Notespinner

Thoughts on composing, teaching and performing music, by Fergus Black

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Fioriture in Chopin’s Nocturnes

Old editions have their uses. The old Novello edition of Chopin Nocturnes has a very helpful table of the fioriture (fast florid passages) in the Chopin Nocturnes, with an interpretation by Frank Merrick of how to play them.

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Pencils

I recently came across a comment by Richard Egarr of the AAM, in an interview for the Cambridge Alumnus Magazine. Does anyone else do this? Ban pencils in rehearsals?

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Memory Lane

Some pianists, (many well-known concert artists, in fact) find playing from memory easy, and some find it very difficult. The pointers in this article, from Pianist magazine, may help.

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Unstaged Opera

My wife and I have been to the opera. But we prefer to go to unstaged opera: that's when an orchestra gives an orchestral concert, but instead of playing an overture, concerto and symphony, they play an opera instead, with the soloists standing out front.

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Another Wedding (sigh!)

Please, people! If you go to a wedding ceremony at which live musicians are performing, please have the courtesy not to talk over them.

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Singing in english

Why is it that some singers manage to pronounce words clearly when they are singing? and others do not.

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Schubert's An Silvia in English translation

You might be asking yourself why I would need to post a translation of a very famous song. Well, if you look this song up in an CD booklet or book of translations, almost all of them give the Shakespeare original. But that isn't right.

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The impact of Brexit on the Church musician

This humorous article about putting together a Lessons and Carols service for Christmas in the brave new world of the UK leaving the EU, first appeared in the December edition of the Stamford All Saints' December 2018 magazine.

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Nerves

I was depping on the organ the other day in a normal parish church near here. It was communion, and the choir was trying to sing And Didst Thou Travel Light by Richard Shephard under my direction from the piano.

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