Brahms “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born into a poor family. He showed musical aptitude, and his father provided music lessons. Brahms himself later told stories about himself as a teenager earning money for his family by playing piano in bars and houses of ill-repute (there being no recorded music at the time, so if music was…

Mikael Franzen

Variations on "Prepare The Way" [HARPSICHORD] "Prepare the Way" Improvisation Frans Mikael Franzen (1772-1847) was a Swedish poet born in Finland. At thirteen he entered the university of Abo, where he attended the lectures of H. G. Porthan (1739-1804), a pioneer in the study of Finnish history and legend. Franzen graduated age 17, and three years later he…

Comfort Ye My People

Variations on "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People" P. Kedezichlem (1715-1780) [HARPSICHORD] "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People" Improvisation The harpsichord is a keyboard instrument that goes back to at least the 14th century. It works by plucking the strings — unlike the piano which strikes the strings with hammers. That simple difference in the physics of…

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Variations on “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”      J. Barmherzig (1710-1763) [HARPSICHORD] “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” Improvisation After their marriage, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and his wife Sally set up housekeeping in Bristol, England, heading up the Methodist activities there. Later they moved to London so Charles could work more closely with his brother…