Beethoven’s hearing loss was gradual, but he never gave up playing the piano. By 1814, however, he couldn’t hear anything and gave his last performance with the piece “Piano Trio, No. 7.” I can feel his desperation when I listen to this music, and I ask myself, “Have I ever been so desperate about something […]

La Foila

La Foila means “madness.” Jean-Baptiste Lully was the first composer to formalize this style of composition in the mid-Baroque era, and other composers followed with variation symphonies. Even though this is Baroque music, the style is ‘madness’ compared to traditional compositional methods. The trio in this video are harpsichord, Baroque violin and viola da gamba, […]


Robert Schumann, composer and music critic, wrote as a critic under two pseudonyms: Eusebius and Florestan. Eusebius appears to be sensitive while Florestan is impetuous. In “Fantasiestücke Op. 12,” which consists of eight pieces for piano, Schumann reflects these two personalities, repeatedly contrasting and harmonizing. Think about what someone with both facets would be like […]


I must not show my tears flowing; I just restrain myself, mourning within my heart. Then my confidence is restored, and I display my brilliant techniques. Soon, though, I hang my head in shyness and want to run away to the back row in my embarrassment. Nevertheless, I guess Schubert’s music has become a comfort […]

chubert’s Arpeggione

Among Schubert’s compositions is one called “Arpeggione Sonata.” Nowadays, musicians play this piece on a cello; however, when the music was originally composed, it was played on the arpeggione, which looks like a cello with six strings. Can you think of any instrument that has six strings? Right, the guitar. Playing the arpeggione is like […]


Francis Poulenc belonged to Les Six who composed music in the avant-garde and surrealistic style, yet his music is not mysterious or difficult to understand. His melodies are fine and beautiful, light and free. They are attractive because they evoke a few tears. Even though “Nocturne” was inspired by night, I usually listen to this […]


“When you see a gentleman dressed up in a suit, don’t you think he’s cool? When you see a lady who is dressed in a suit, in a simple way without too many accessories, don’t you think she’s cool? They seem restrained, but they certainly look tidy and professional. This grace and style we refer […]


In classic fairy tales, we are all handsome princes and beautiful princesses. We fall in love and go on adventures just as the stars in movies do. However, we are tricked by magic and forget our noble position. After many years, we follow the sound of music playing and are set free: we once again […]


Softly but clearly…sadly but not enough to bring tears…emotionally yet detachedly…impulsively but not recklessly…inspiring movement but in a subdued way…deeply but not inaccessibly…intensely but calmly like an opera…naïvely but sometimes with the wisdom of an old man…That’s how Mozart’s music should be played.


Once when I was a child, I filled up my mouth with candy and was so happy enjoying the sweetness. Did you ever have this experience when you were young? The music of French composer Saint-Saëns evokes this feeling. His music is not too heavy or overwhelming. Rather, it is light and makes us happy. […]