Hello, World…!

Well, here I am at last…

I created this site a few years ago, but have never done more than simply tinker around with it at odd moments; finally, I’ve been badgered by several friends into activating it and attempting to turn it into something worthwhile. I’m hoping Musical Matters will be a useful (and widely read!) companion to the seemingly rather successful series — with a not-too-dissimilar title! — that I’ve been writing for the magazine Musical Opinion. (I ought to stress, though, that this blog has no connection at all with the magazine, and its contents are entirely my own responsibility.)

If all goes to plan, I’ll be doing four different things on here. First, I’ll be reacting to events that take place in and around what remains of the art-musical world — and hopefully posting some worthwhile thoughts of a kind that aren’t available in the gassy and corporatised wasteland that is our ‘mainstream’ media.

Secondly, I’ll be examining some fairly serious musical and musicological topics, and — with luck! — receiving comments and replies from thoughtful and knowledgeable readers all over the world.

Thirdly, I hope to be able to share interesting ‘finds’ — whether these are things that emerge in the course of my daytime research or in my free-time reading, listening and internet surfing.

And, fourthly, I hope to be generating at least a little bit of income: I’ll be putting up a ‘Donate’ button in order that anyone who really, really likes something that I’ve written can electronically stump up a quid or two so as to help offset the loss of earnings I sustained by sitting here and writing it…

Having said all that, I want to make a promise — which is that I’ll do my best to make sure that most of what I post here is comprehensible to the general music-lover as well as stimulating to the musical professional. That’s not an easy brief to work to, I know; but I reckon I’m up to it. And, in any case, I have to make the effort — as I know that good friends of mine from both those categories have already signed up to receive these postings…

So how does all that sound? Worth ‘following’…? If you think so, there’s a ‘Follow’ button, down there on the right, that you can click — so that you never miss a Musical Matters posting, wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing…

Hang on, though: I can’t end this — the first Musical Matters and my first proper blog post ever! — without including some kind of ‘musical matter’.  So I’ve included links to short extracts from two different performances of Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 (1839). If you listen to them both, you’ll find that they differ textually — to the extent that we hear in one of them several bars of music that don’t actually appear in the other. Some readers will already know what I’m talking about; others won’t — but there’s no way I’d want to discuss this intriguing topic without having first tried to make sure that everyone’s ears had got hold of the issue. I’ll come back to this subject in a week or two: when I do, these two clips will — I promise! — be all the preparation anyone needs to make sense of the discussion.

Here are the recordings — which I’ve coded in a way that makes sure they only play the parts you need to hear and compare…

Come on: I reckon all this has got to be worth a ‘follow’!

Next posting is in preparation. See you soon, folks…


MOcoverforblogIf you enjoyed this posting, remember that I am a regular contributor and columnist for the UK magazine Musical Opinion. The magazine’s website can be found here; to see its Twitter feed, click here; to see its Facebook page, click here. To subscribe to Musical Opinion, click here.


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