The rubato story, Chopin – Nocturne in E minor.

When depicting the musician as the artist who plays with passion and expression, tempo rubato is an important issue. And a difficult one for sure. Because , in its very essence, it can only be an individual,  personal way of playing. Which makes it difficult to judge.Describing rubato as a way of playing where one deviates from the basic tempo makes  it almost sound like playing wrongly, not  keeping the  tempo. But then that’s what it actually is: to free Read more…Read more

The bar as one, Allegro – Blasco de Nebra.

One of the hardest things when explaining time and rhythm to a student is the bar: it’s function other than the  visual structure on the page. What does it do, what does it actually keep together? A number of beats, yes, but what does that “do” when playing the music? When playing a waltz it becomes quite clear the “1-2-3”, the “oom-pa-pa” is one thing, one entity which we could actually feel and count as “one”, one sway. The bar Read more…Read more

Manuel Blasco de Nebra: Sonata in C minor – Adagio

Though reading this blog you might think otherwise I’m not a regular radio listener. But when I do listen it’s Klara, the Flemish classical radio station,  I like most. They still have that atmosphere of awe and wonder when talking about music. In fact, that’s their slogan: “blijf verwonderd”, stay in wonder. It was Klara who introduced me to this piece of music. To Manuel Blasco de Nebra, a Spanish keyboard player and composer. I immediately fell in love with this Read more…Read more