Since I love to listen to a ton of different sorts of music, I thought it would be nice to share with you a couple of interesting songs/pieces that I came across this month. March was quite an interesting month in terms of music, because I rediscovered an oldie but goodie, played the dies irae theme 3000 times and I got into bagpipes?! Keep on reading if you want to find out about this Month’s Music Menu!
E. Ysaÿe – Violin sonata no. 2
This spooky sonata was on my study list and I played it at two concerts this month. The first movement, called Obsession, begins with a quote of the first three bars of the third partita of Bach. All of a sudden, Ysaÿe stops the quote and tears it apart with an outburst of harsh sounding notes. I really enjoy to play this part in particular, because I immediately felt the surprise and even shock in the audience after I played these bars. Malicious pleasure? Probably ;) After this, the haunting Dies Irae theme appears in different combinations, which makes it quite an eerie first movement. The second movement is a real beauty and, at some point, it sounds like a violin duet. Melancholy is the keyword for this movement.
The whole sonata is quite an emotional journey, so if you’ve never heard it before, go and check it out!
Chilly Gonzales – Solo Piano I
Funny enough, a lot of people don’t know about mister Gonzales, which is a shame, actually, because I really enjoy his music. Chilly Gonzales, born Jason Charles Beck, is a Canadian pianist, producer and songwriter and he’s best known for his electro albums. The reason I know this musician is a sad one: two years ago, I watched only one episode of the Dutch television series ‘Boer zoekt Vrouw’, which means ‘Farmer wants a wife’. During one of the nature shots, a beautiful and simple melody was performed on a piano. The melody stayed in my head, so I had to check who the composer was: Chilly Gonzales. The song in question is called ‘Othello’. His two Solo Piano albums are my absolute favourite albums to listen to if I’m enjoying a sip of red wine or when I’m painting. The songs are simple, but often very surprising and intruiging. I even bought one of his songbooks for piano to play the songs myself and I’m thinking about writing a ‘review’ of this book. Let me know if you’d like to read that! I’d definitely recommend him!
Treachorous Orchestra – Superfly
And now for something completely different: Scottish fiddle music! This summer I’m going to Scotland with the lovely Ricciotti Ensemble. For this tour, we need some Scotttish (inspired) music, so I listened to a lot of music with bagpipes involved. While I’m not the biggest fan of bagpipes, I have to say that I enjoy listening to a bagpipe more since I discovered the Treachorous Orchestra and that’s why you should give it a chance as well! The song ‘Superfly’ makes me happiest of all! I have to make sure not to listen to it too much though, because there’s a chance that we’ll play it all summer long ;)
That’s it for this month! I’m planning on writing an article about all the awesome Scottish music I found and about the Songbook of Chilly Gonzales, so please let me know if you’re into that!
Author: Saskia Peters
Violinist and student at Utrecht Conservatory, the Netherlands.