Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Medtner and Hamelin

Due to events absolutely beyond my control, a certain someone's digital camera battery charger has been misplaced. As such, I am unable to post significant progress on a pair of Broad Street Mittens, as well as insignificant, soon to be frogged progress on what may someday become a Lace Leaf Pullover. Instead, today I would like to talk about my current loves in the music world: Nikolai Medtner and Marc-Andre Hamelin.

Medtner is a semi-obscure Russian composer, a contemporary of greats like Rachmaninov and Scriabin, who wrote a variety of works, suchs as sonatas, concerti, piano duos, and some vocalise. All of his compositions include the piano :D A friend recently introduced me to this composer, and I have grown to love his work more every single day since. Of particular interest to me are his 38 Skazki, translated as "Fairy Tales." They include some of the most beautifully romantic melodies I've ever heard, but also include interesting twists and unusual harmonies that make it complex with new discoveries each time you listen.

Marc-Andre Hamelin is one concert pianist that I just cannot get enough of. Unlike the many child prodigy pianists, he has become better and increasingly famous in the past several years and even won a Grammy for his amazing recordings of the Godowsky transcriptions of Chopin etudes. He tackles some of the most technically demanding of piano literature, with unparalleled style and interpretation. And if you haven't heard his cadenza from Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody 2, stop reading this blog immediately and go listen to it. But don't forget to come back for some Medtner!

So here is Marc-Andre Hamelin playing Nikolai Medtner's Fairy Tale Op. 26 No. 1. As a wise friend told me, it takes a few listenings to really get it in your head. The first time I heard it I said, "Wow, that's beautiful." After a couple more listenings, I couldn't believe that it honestly did get better and better. A couple more listenings, and I just couldn't get it out of my head. After ten times, I found myself singing it in the shower, around the house, and even as I wake up. So keep on listening, because it's just that good. This piece reminds me why I love music :) Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Updated photo of my sweater progress:

Let's not talk about it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cardigan WIP

Hey everyone! I've begun working on my very first sweater: a cardigan in Cascade Pastaza. This was my first time trying to make sure my gauge was really accurate, which caused way more stress than necessary on a given afternoon. Let's just say it involved a marathon e-mail session with a staff member from my amazing local yarn shop, many tears, several threats to never knit anything besides socks ever again, and two needle sizes larger than expected... lol :D
My family and I are going on a trip to Cincinnati for the next few days, so I expect to have a lot of time to see just how much of this sweater I can get done. When I get back, I should have lots of progress on the cardi as well as an interesting update of Liszt and Medtner practice session. Until then, here's my first official cardigan Work-in-Progress photo! Have a good day!

It's only ten inches of the back of a sweater, but it looks much more substantial if you click to enlarge :)


Hey everyone! Welcome to my new blog! I've decided to jump on the weblog bandwagon and chronicle my adventures as I delve into my two favorite arts: music and knitting. We'll learn to love the beauty and elegance of Liszt etudes and Schubert lieder, of Fair Isle and Arans, as we learn to appreciate the necessity of dreaded metronomes and gauge swatches. With pictures, videos, and priceless commentary, a fun time will be had by all :)

Here's what I've been knitting so far this summer:

Fair Isle Hat with Noro Kureyon

Felted purse featuring Rachmaninov's Third piano concerto!

Hat with Noro Kureyon



And more socks. But these are of the cute baby variety.

Cabled throw

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it
doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit, either." - Elizabeth Zimmerman
Have a good day, everyone!