A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Alexander Scriabin's Grand Niece Nicole
Thursday, April 06, 2006

At precisely 11am, every Saturday, Juan Castelao, Rebecca's piano teacher, knocks on the door. At 11:45 we have lunch. The language at the table is Spanish. It is a mixture of Rosemary's Mexican with a Canadian accent, my Argentine and Juan's crisp Oviedan Spanish. After lunch Rebecca and Lauren are read to by Rosemary while Juan and I retire to the living room to listen to music. This last Saturday we listened to Vladimir Horowitz play two Alexander Scriabin Etudes (Etude in C sharp minor, op. 2 no.1 and Etude in D sharp minor, op 8 no. 12). We then compared the performance to Glen Gould playing Scriabin's Piano Sonata no. 3 in F sharp minor, op 23. According to Juan he thought that Gould was the better pianist, particularly in the loud passages where the piano was banged percussively. I think I agreed with Juan, but I was initially swayed by the Russians enthusiastic clapping in Horowitz's live Moscow version. Juan appreciates Gould's penchant for the perfection of a studio recording. I feel lucky to have a friend with whom I can listen to someone like Scriabin and have a discussion. The topic of Scriabin also gives me the marvelous opportunity to place here a photograph of his grand niece, Nicole Scriabin. She is posing by the very piano that Juan teaches Rebecca. It's a Chickering baby grand. Our piano tuner told us that Gould had a Chickering in his living room, too.

Scriabin's Colours


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Alex MacGillivray And The Belly Dancer

Art Bergmann and Los Rádicos Popularos

Morris Panych And Bert Stern's Gary Cooper

Gunga Din, The Sailor Dress & The Sailor

María de Lurdes Béjar

Terry Fox, Frank and Ian

Vittorio Gassman

Jennifer Montgomery & Barbara Sukowa

Sarah McLachlan, The Police and Malcolm Parry

Bif Naked at Tony Ricci's Marble Arch

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