Tag Archives: Clara Schumann

New year, new ideas, new music, new…

Dear readers,

2018 has been a quiet year here on the blog. It has been a busy year in my life. Overall, I’m very happy with the way things turned out. Yes, there has been sadness and grief, too, but that’s part of life and I was able to deal with these challenges in a good way.

Now, the calendar tells me it’s 2019. I don’t know what the year will bring, but I have plans. I want to write more blog posts (and I’m sure I said this before. Maybe it was my plan for 2018 already? 😉 ), speak at a conference, play another organ recital… At the moment I have so many ideas in my head, I feel I either need a second head to store them all or more hours to my day. This might sound a bit “out of breath”, but I’m actually quite relaxed.

2019 marks the 200th birthday of two remarkable musicians: Elizabeth Stirling and Clara Schumann. Elizabeth wrote many pieces for organ (unfortunately not a lot of them are available in print) and Clara’s main instrument was the piano. However, some of her piano works have been edited for organ and I want to play at least two (or rather four, if you count each prelude and fugue separately) of them this year.

I will continue doing “50-50” in my Sunday organ playing: at least one of the pieces I play will be by a female composer. I also include lesser known (male) composers whenever possible. My own list of female composers who have written for organ is still a work in progress and already contains more than 200 names. That’s enough material for many Sunday services, I guess.

I will also continue trying to help others who’re not as privileged as I am and to point out unfairness and stupidity and make my voice heard when I feel like saying something.

Thanks for reading, and happy new year to you!


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New on my bookshelf, and some music stuff

Yes, I know, I know, it has been rather quiet here on the blog, and I hope to change this in the days (weeks) to come.
I have been busy. Doing a lot of stuff on the weekends, like teaching first aid, playing the organ, playing the accordion, going to family gatherings, knitting… and occasionally reading books.
I have read Frank Westworth’s “The corruption of Chastity” and I read “A last act of Charity” to make myself more familiar with the world of JJ Stoner. There’s a separate blog post coming soon where I will also explain why I read the books in the “wrong” order 😉

Recently, Ben Aaronovitch (https://twitter.com/Ben_Aaronovitch), whose books I adore, recommended a new novel (the first?) by Andrew Cartmel (https://twitter.com/andrewcartmel): “The Vinyl Detective”. I finally got round to getting the book and started reading this morning on the train. What should I say, I almost missed my stop because I was immediately hooked. It’s a page turner, at least for me. And it deserves a blog post of its own which I will write when I’m done with the book (I need a few more train rides, though).

Linda MacFadyen (https://twitter.com/LindaMacFadyen), who organised the wonderful “Thin Ice” blog tour, mentioned Natasha Walter’s “A quiet life” which is next on my reading list and already sits on my bookshelf. Well, to be honest, it sits on the kitchen table, but will move onto the bookshelf soon.

What else was I reading? I re-read “Punk Rock People Management: A No-Nonsense Guide to Hiring, Inspiring and Firing Staff” by Peter Cook, “Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations” by by Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone, and I read lots of music. 😉

Speaking of music, yesterday evening I had the pleasure of playing a nice small grand piano at a service held by and for women. Men were invited, too, but none came. So we were a female-only congregation, and, as it often happens, I was the youngest.
I played Clara Schumann’s prelude in B flat, an Andante Espressivo by Hedwige Chretien, and another Andante espressivo by Helene Liebmann. Also, I played a piece by Margreeth de Jong, originally for organ, but it was manuals only and sounded quite nice on the piano. And of course I accompanied all the songs we sang during the service.
Afterwards, the pastor came to me and said that the piano hadn’t sounded so good for ages. I accepted the compliment gracefully (I hope!), but wondered at the same time who the other people might be who play that piano regularly. The perfectionist inside me didn’t think my playing was that good, but I made her shut up 🙂

Thanks for coming back to the blog in quiet times, and I hope to see you again soon!

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Filed under Bücher, Books, Music, Musik, Sammelsurium