music clip of the day


Tag: Franz Schubert

Monday, May 2nd

sounds of Moscow

Alexei Lubimov (1944-, piano), live (4/13/22, Moscow), playing, after pieces by Ukrainian composer Valentyn (aka Valentin) Silvestrov (1937-), Franz Schubert’s (1797-1828) Impromptus (1827), until being interrupted by the police


Alexei Lubimov:

“Two months ago, we announced the program, of Valentyn Silvestrov’s vocal cycle ‘Steps’ with Yana Ivanilova and the Schubert Impromptus and some lieder. It was a planned event, and was publicized normally. There was nothing dangerous about it. But, on the morning of the day of the concert, the director of the hall [Alexei Munipov] got a call—I don’t know from which authorities—and they asked him to cancel the concert. He replied that he couldn’t cancel it because it was sold out, and that there was nothing problematic or dangerous about the program.

Before the concert, [Munipov] asked me and Yana Ivanilova to speak carefully during our introductions to the pieces, without references to politics or the war. And we did so. We just explained who Silvestrov is—a very well-known composer, of course a Ukrainian composer, a famous member of the avant-garde from the 1970s and ’80s—[and talked] about ‘Steps’ and so on.

We performed ‘Steps’ with great success. Then we began the second part, with the Schubert Impromptus, which were supposed to be followed by Schubert songs. But during the end of the first Impromptu, the policeman came into the hall, and announced loudly, ‘You have to leave the hall, because we have to check for a bomb. There’s been a bomb threat.’

I immediately understood that this was a provocation and that it was fake. So I continued to play, going into the second Impromptu. And the police were waiting at the entrance of the hall. But after four minutes, they came up to me at the piano. I was worried that they would close the piano, but they didn’t. When I finished, there was great applause, and cries of ‘Bravo!’ and so on.

They said we had to stop. I asked why. They explained again that there was probably a bomb, and that they were waiting for the bomb-sniffing dogs to arrive. I asked how long it would take. They said 15 minutes. So I told the audience, ‘Please, let’s follow the procedure. We’ll stop for 15 minutes.’ Everybody understood immediately: There were no protests, no political statements. It was absolutely quiet and polite.

We left the hall, but we couldn’t go back inside. The bomb-sniffing dogs didn’t come until two hours later. The police said they were just following orders, and they obviously didn’t know the music or why they had these orders. But it was immediately obvious to us that they wanted to stop the concert because Silvestrov had spoken clearly about the war and Putin’s dictatorship in interviews. [Silvestrov is currently in Berlin.—Ed.] The authorities probably recognized the name: ‘Silvestrov means you’re against Putin and against the war.’ They probably thought his name was a dangerous anti-war symbol.

[The concert was interrupted] although Silvestrov’s pieces have been performed in this hall—just counting this hall—four times since December. He’s a famous composer, and despite his Ukrainian heritage his works are played often in [Russian] concerts of contemporary music. Even in these dangerous times.”


reading table

Every moment of life is an attempt to come to life.

—Robert Duncan (1919-1988, The New American Poetry, ed. Donald M. Allen, 1960)

Thursday, June 3rd


One-word review: Wow!

Mitsuko Uchida (1948-, piano), live (performance begins at 2:45), London, yesterday: Franz Schubert (1797-1828), 4 Impromptus (D899), 4 Impromptus (D935)



random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, December 26th


Need more air?

Mitsuko Uchida (piano), live, London, 12/16/20: Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Piano Sonatas in C major (“Reliquie,” 3:40-) and G major (“Fantasy,” 42:00-)




random sights

yesterday, Chicago (Columbus Park)


reading table

Listening deeply,
sometimes—in another—you can hear
the sound of a hermit, sighing
as he climbs a mountain trail to reach
a waterfall
or a Buddhist nun reciting prayers
while moonlight falls through the window
onto an old clay floor,
and once in a while, a child
rolling a hoop through the alleyways of Tokyo,
or a farmer pausing in a rice field to watch
geese fly,
the thoughts on his lips he doesn’t think to say.

—Dick Allen (1939-2017), “Listening Deeply”

Thursday, November 24th

Happy Thanksgiving!

What am I thankful for?

That I live in a world of sound.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Piano Sonata in B-flat major, 2nd movt.; Ivan Moravec (1930-2015), live, Princeton, N.J., 1993


Tuesday, March 29th

In a hurry?

Better go somewhere else.

Want to step outside of time?

You’ve come to the right place.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Piano Sonata No. 18 (G major, D. 894); Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), live

Tried listening to this last night while working on a criminal appeal. Couldn’t. Work waited.



random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

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Thursday, July 10th


Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major (2nd movt., Andantino), Paul Lewis (1972-), live, Boston, 2013



reading table

During Wind and Rain
by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
See the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Thursday, 11/1/12

Forget harps—my heaven’s full of string quartets.

Franz Schubert, String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (“Death and the Maiden,” 1824), excerpt (mvt. 2), Takacs Quartet, live, Scotland (outside Edinburgh), 1998

Thursday, 5/24/12

A high school girl in Reykjavik, an old man in Prague, a grieving widow in Sydney: no matter who you are, no matter where you are, these sounds are just a click away.

Franz Schubert, Piano Sonatas D. 958 (C minor), 959 (A major), 960 (B-flat major); Alfred Brendel, piano*

One of the delights of doing this blog is imagining the lives of the folks who stop by. In the past few days, for instance, there’ve been visitors from Germany, Netherlands, France, Syria, and Italy; Lithuania, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Mexico; Greece, New Zealand, Belgium, Israel, and Ethiopia; Colombia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Spain; Mongolia, Argentina, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Singapore, and the United States. To all: Welcome!


*Here, courtesy of YouTube, is more detailed information about the program:

Sonata in C minor, D. 958

I Allegro
II Adagio
III Menuetto: Allegro — Trio
IV Allegro

Sonata in A major, D. 959
I Allegro
II Andantino
III Scherzo: Allegro vivace — Trio: Un poco più lento
IV Rondo. Allegretto — Presto

Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
I Molto moderato
II Andante sostenuto
III Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza — Trio
IV Allegro, ma non troppo — Presto

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