Tag Archive | Classic music

I think it is the most fulfilling and eye opening thing that you can do – to travel the world and meet and understand other cultures and more about yourself. – Philip Glass

“Philip Morris Glass” is an American composer. He is considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century. His music is also often controversially described as minimal music, along with the work of the other “major minimalists” La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich.

Glass has distanced himself from the “minimalist” label, describing himself instead as a composer of “music with repetitive structures”. Though his early mature music shares much with what is normally called “minimalist”, he has since evolved stylistically. Currently, he describes himself as a “Classicist”, pointing out that he is trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied such composers as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Nadia Boulanger.

Glass is a prolific composer: he has written works for the musical group which he founded, the Philip Glass Ensemble (with which he still performs on keyboards), as well as operas, musical theatre works, ten symphony/symphonies, eleven concertos, solo works, chamber music including string quartets and instrumental sonatas, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.

Life cannot be captured. Human heart cannot be captured. The moment of creation itself is fleeting.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale Quotes



 I’m a lot older than you but I tend to think that there’s an element of music that cannot be captured. Life cannot be captured. Human heart cannot be captured. The moment of creation itself is fleeting


I never met my grandfather, he died when I was just a little baby.

But when I hear about him and Hachi, I feel like I know him.

They taught me the meaning of loyalty. That you should never forget anyone

that you loved. And that’s why Hachi will forever be my hero.



Look, you don’t have to wait anymore.

He’s not coming back.



How many other things are we missing?

“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC

 and started to play the violin; 

it was a cold January morning.

 He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. 

During that time, sinceit was rush hour, it was calculated 

that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. 

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed 

there was musician playing. 

He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, 

and then hurried up to meet his schedule. 

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip:

 a woman threw the money in the till

and without stopping, and continued to walk. 

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall 

to listen to him, but the man looked

at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. 

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy.  

His mother tagged him along, hurried,

 but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard,

 and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. 

This action was repeated by several other children.

 All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. 

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped 

and stayed for a while.

About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk 

their normal pace. He collected $32.

When he finished playing and silence took over, 

no one noticed it.  No one applauded, 

nor was there any recognition. 

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, 

one of the most talented musicians in the world. 

He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,

 on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. 

Two days before his playing in the subway, 

Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston 

where the seats averaged $100. 

This is a real story. Joshua Bell 

playing incognito in the metro station was organized

 by the Washington Post

 as part of a social experiment 

about perception, taste, and priorities of people. 

The outlines were: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour: 

Do weperceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it?

 Do we recognize the talent in anunexpected context? 

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

 If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world

 playing the best music ever written, 

how many other things are we missing?”

I am not handsome, but when women hear me play, they come crawling to my feet.

Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) 


Niccolo Paganini was born in Genoa, Italy, Oct 27, 1782. He was one of six children born to Teresa and Antonio Paganini. He was an Italian violinist and a composer, considered by many as the greatest of all time.

            He received music lessons from his father before he was 6 years old and later from the best instructors in Genoa. He began to perform in public and composed his first sonata in 1790. In 1795 he went to Parma, Italy to study but the teachers there told him they could do nothing more for him. He then commenced on a course of self-training so rigorous that he often played 15 hours a day. In 1797 he started his concert tours, which for many years consisted of triumph after triumph. From 1805 to 1808 he was the court solo violinist at Lucca, appointed by Napoleon’s sister Elisa Bacciocchi.            In 1809 Nicolo became a free-lance soloist performing his own music. He performed concerts throughout Italy.

 In early 1828 Nicolo began a six and half year tour that started in Vienna and ended in Paris in September 1834. During the two and half year period from August 1828 to February, 1831 he visited some 40 cities in Germany, Bohemia, and Poland. Performances in Vienna, Paris, and London were hailed widely, and his tour in 1832 through England and Scotland made him wealthy.

His playing of tender passages was so beautiful that his audiences often burst into tears, and yet, he could perform with such force and velocity that at Vienna one listener became half crazed and declared that for some days that he had seen the Devil helping the violinist.

Once his fame was established, Paganini’s life was a mixture of triumphs and personal excesses. He earned large sums of money but he indulged recklessly in gambling and other forms of dissipation. On one occasion he was forced to pawn his violin. Having requested the loan of a violin from a wealthy French merchant so that he could fulfill an engagement, he was given a Guarnerius violin by the merchant and later refused to take it back when the concert was over. It was Paganini’s treasure and was bequeathed to the people of Genoa by the violinist and is still carefully preserved in that city

Paganini’s genius as a player overshadows his work as a composer. He wrote much of his music for his own performances, music so difficult that it was commonly thought that he entered into a pack with the Devil. His compositions included 24 caprices (published in 1820) for unaccompanied violin that are among the most difficult works ever written for the instrument. He also challenged musicians with such compositions as his 12 sonatas for violin and guitar; 6 violin concerti; and 6 quartets for violin, viola, cello, and guitar.

According to Philip Sandblom in his book Creativity and Disease few geniuses have experienced such lucky agonies as Paganini, bedeviled by a host of chronic complaints, including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, marked by excessive flexibility of the joints. “This enabled Paganini to perform the astonishing double-stoppings and roulades for which he was famous”, Sandblom writes. “His wrist was so loose that he could move and twist it in all directions. Although his hand was not disproportional he could thus double its reach and play in the first three positions without shifting.”

            It is well known that Paganini rarely practiced after his 30th birthday. Those who were closely associated with him used to marvel at his brilliant technique and watched him closely to discover how he retained it.

In performance Paganini enjoyed playing tricks, like tuning one of his strings a semitone high, or playing the majority of a piece on one string after breaking the other three. He astounded audiences with techniques that included harmonics, double stops, pizzicato with the left as well as the right hand, and near impossible fingerings and bowings.

Antonia Bianchi, a singer who toured with Nicolo in 1825, bore him a son, Cyrus Alexander on July 23, 1825. Although they were never married, he did lavish affection on his son for the rest of his life.

Known as a gambler, he unsuccessfully attempted to open a gambling casino in Paris in 1838. Later he moved to Marseilles and then to Nice, France where he died on May 27, 1840.