Tchaikovsky: The ultimate essence of the symphony is Life

My first time live with Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony was back in 2010, when the French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier beautifully conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra at Sala Sao Paulo, in Brazil. It was not when I first heard this masterpiece, but it was certainly that one time when I seriously connected to it in a very deep way. I was lucky enough that a CD recording was made at that very session, enabling me to revive that magical event every now and then.

Tchaikovsky considered naming his 6th Symphony “Program Symphony”, but eventually gave up this idea since he was not willing to share his motivations, what the program was all about. Continue reading “Tchaikovsky: The ultimate essence of the symphony is Life”

Understanding some basics: Concerto and Concerto grosso

Concertos are musical works usually written for orchestras and feature a both musically and technically talented soloist or sometimes even a group of soloists. In its more than 300-year history, the designation concerto has been used to describe a large variety of musical pieces.

Here goes three of my favourites that you can explore to appreciate the different work pieces named concertos: Continue reading “Understanding some basics: Concerto and Concerto grosso”

Discovering Sound at Belgais

icon for silenceClaudio Abbado, our forever conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, referred to the importance of listening and of silence in music. Daniel Barenboim, one of the finest pianists and conductors of our time, also celebrates silence in music:

There are many types of silence. There is a silence before the note, there is a silence at the end and there is a silence in the middle.
— Daniel Barenboim

The celebrated tireless Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires, once more shares thoughts and feelings about sound and silence. And goes beyond: teaches and shares her personal discoveries of a lifetime, after having dedicated her entire life to the piano. Continue reading “Discovering Sound at Belgais”

Estórias da Música: Beethoven vs. Steibelt

icon for pianoTendo chegado a Viena no inverno de 1792 para estudar com Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), apesar de sua já ampla produção musical e fama como exímio pianista, Beethoven, como vários outros talentos das artes, precisava fazer certas exibições para se manter relevante na agenda e patronagem da sociedade vienense da época.

Viena, maio de 1800. Costume da época, a alta sociedade se encontrava na casa de um nobre e entre os convidados estavam artistas e principalmente músicos talentosos, tipicamente pianistas. O encontro desta vez foi na casa do Conde Von Fries, e entre os convidados estavam Beethoven e um outro pianista alemão de nascimento e radicado em Paris que, em tour pela capital austríaca, havia proposto que se realizasse naquela data um “desafio técnico” entre ambos pianistas reconhecidos como virtuosos. Continue reading “Estórias da Música: Beethoven vs. Steibelt”

#RedNoseDay 2015

red-nose-dayComing soon on this Friday March 13th, the Red Nose Day. For those who may never heard about the initiative, this is an UK based campaign to raise money at home, school and even at work, by means of… fun! Every two years, people come together to make something funny and collect money for humanitarian causes. BBC offers TV entertainment and comedy shows to help inspire citizens and help them get involved and contribute. This year, the campaign will also launched in the USA.

For more information about the project and how to get involved, please visit the campaign website at

And speaking of #RedNoseDay I will finish this post sharing some of the most funny music-related jokes that people voluntarily sent to BBC Radio 3 today. Have fun! 😀 Continue reading “#RedNoseDay 2015”


icon for pianoI have been thinking of moving out of Sao Paulo, but then there comes the Piano Recital Series coordinated by the Brazilian Sculpture Museum (“Museu Brasileiro da Escultura”) and surprises me once more. Beautiful initiative, always coming up with an interesting musician and a great repertoire to be tasted. This time a very well known composer – of those we sometimes think that we have already appreciated every piece. And there comes Robert Schumann and his Märchenbilder, Opus 113 (March, 1851). Continue reading “Märchenbuilder”