This performance is just so stunning! The antique piano sounds SO much better than a modern one. The sound is rapturous, rich and brimming with life!
Happy Birthday remembrances to Bedřich Smetana, born on this day 2 March 1824.
In the years between 1854 and 1856 Smetana suffered a series of personal blows. In July 1854 his second daughter, Gabriela, died of tuberculosis. A year later his eldest daughter Bedřiška, who at the age of four was showing signs of musical precocity, died of scarlet fever. Smetana wrote his Piano Trio in G minor as a tribute to her memory; it was performed in Prague on 3 December 1855 and, according to the composer, was received “harshly” by the critics, although Liszt praised it. Smetana’s sorrows continued; just after Bedřiška’s death a fourth daughter, Kateřina, had been born but she, too, died in June 1856. By this time Smetana’s wife Kateřina had also been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
How sad! Poor Smetana- losing 3 little daughters. I wonder what Bedřiška’s life would have been like had she survived. Would she have been a composer too?
My favourite piano rendition of Brahms’ Lullaby on you tube:
It has that old time charm.
I placed a hand crank musical movement that plays the Lullaby into a couple of wooden boxes, glued them together, added acrylic paints and decorations to make a music box pianola player piano:
Here is the back:
This Pianola music box has gone to a new home, but I’m making more Pianolas and Pianos. I have two new ones in my Etsy shop. Each one I make has a different theme and is one of a kind.
The wind blew bitterly cold. It tore round the desolate old mansion and scattered dead leaves round the crumbling walls. A single candle flickered at one of the upstairs windows. A white figure appeared as it had done each night for the past 150 years. Waiting—
“I am leaving you. I do not feel guilty in doing this. I have known for some time that it must happen- for both our sakes.”
Memories haunt both the living and the dead.
“The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one:
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.” *
Alone in life-
alone in death.
Haunted by memories
the lonely ghost
waits at the window
for love to return.
*The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, Francis William Bourdillon (1852- 1921)
Music for The Lonely Ghost:
The Lonely Ghost was made with vintage novel pages and white tissue paper. A cardboard box has been collaged with more of the book pages and text carefully chosen to bring to life its story. I’ve used some of this text to create the above story.
Some pink flocked design art papers have been torn and distressed with pencils and paint to create peeling old wallpaper.
Pieces of voile have been glued to the window for tattered old curtains.
I made a clock using a metal craft frame with a clock print to the right of the ghost. Time stands still for the ghost, and it waits for time to begin again—
I was inspired by abandoned old houses, and hauntings to create this roombox.
Here is a Victorian Ghost curio box I made:
Why play or listen to an early or “period” piano? An instrument which may have significant limitations compared to a precisely made and carefully calibrated modern instrument, and surely “better” and infinitely more sturdy and reliable than an old piano? Aside from the visual aesthetic of period pianos (many are very attractively designed, with fretwork […]
This lovely piano has a delicate, sweet sound!
I saw a Broadwood Square piano at Castle Howard recently:
Isn’t it lovely? It plays well I think as the guide pressed a few keys and it sounded nice. It looks well cared for. It sits in a beautiful little music room.
I’ve a fondness for square pianos, and so I had to make one for my next piano roombox. Here is a Regency era square piano in a roombox I completed yesterday.
I made the Piano out of cardboard boxes, vintage sheet music, and matches for legs. It has been decorated with craft gems and pretty trimmings. The sheet music was painted with sienna and gold acrylic paints.
The stool is also made out of a cardboard box, matches for legs and covered with a hand sewn cushion and various pretty ribbons and trimmings.
The wall candles are birthday cake candles covered with painted vintage book pages and glued onto metal craft fans for sconces.
I had bought a new design pad and loved this turquoise paper that has a period wallpaper design with some lettering on it- I think it makes the roombox have a charming Regency look.
You can see more photos of the Regency Piano Roombox here in my Etsy shop:
The most complicated fairy tales can easily be found on Beethoven’s so-called ‘broken’ metronome. In all the discussions you’ll find on Beethoven’s metronome, one general agreement among all layers of musical society is easily agreed upon: By definition it is Beethoven who was wrong. Not we.
Stay tuned for what I believe is an extremely important element in the interpretation of Beethoven’s music. I might even give you a few bars of my…yes… Hammerklavier sonata.