July 30th, 2011

Random Violin

Where have you been all my life, Debussy?

My maternal grandmother was a music teacher; she'd tutor private students in violin and piano, in the front (forbidden to the rest of us) room of her house. Even though she passed away when I was four, I still remember how quiet we had to be when she had a pupil. My sister and I would "listen-in" to the lessons from the other side of the closed door, neither of us daring to even breathe loudly, let alone speak, in case we disturbed her.

My mum learned piano right up until her marriage at 17, and we always had a piano in the house while I was growing up. Mum didn't often sit down at it to play, but when she did, I'd stop whatever I was doing so I could sit beside the piano and listen. Piano lessons were obligatory for my sister and me, but I'm sorry to say neither of us were that keen on the necessary practice and found too many other distractions, so the lessons stopped after a year or so.

As I got older, into my teens, pop and rock took over and "mum's music" (not only the classical that she played, but also the show tunes she loved) took a very distant back seat. Classical was decidedly uncool, and I had enough problems fitting-in with my peer group without listening to "that weird shit".

Then this week, while playing around on youtube (filling time while LJ was down!) one thing led to another and I found myself listening to a Mozart piece that I loved when I was little.
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From there it was a slippery slope back into Beethoven, Lizst, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Greig, Tchaikovsky etc; the composers whose music provided the soundtrack of my childhood.

But one composer I stumbled upon, whose works were totally unknown to me, left me breathless from the sheer beauty of his music. I can't imagine why I hadn't encountered him before as a lot of his compositions seem to be for piano.

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That's the most beautiful thing I've heard in a long long time.
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