Category Archives: Genny’s Playlist

“Ah. A few measures of ‘Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity.'”

I pull the duvet up over my face and settle myself in silence to hear what might float through my head this morning. Ah. A few measures of “Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity.” I need to go have a shower and get ready, but not yet. Not yet. Soon.

Chapter 6: Photo shoot

Watch as a flash mob from the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra performs the most beautiful theme from Gustav Holst’s The Planets: Jupiter – also known as the familiar English hymn, I Vow To Thee My Country.


“Mr. Chopin and Mr. Brahms”

Père kisses my cheek, pats my shoulder, and sends me inside to settle myself with Mr. Chopin and Mr. Brahms.

Chapter 6: Photo shoot

I took piano lessons for just two years, at the North York satellite campus of the Royal Conservatory of Music. It was a pokey little set of rooms over a store on Yonge Street, and students had to sit in the hallway on hard chairs waiting our turn. I loved it – sitting there in the poorly lit hallway, clutching my official Conservatory music.

One evening, as I sat waiting for Miss Reuter to open the door to her studio, this wild music floated out into the hallway from the room belonging to the other teacher. It was spectacular, loud, pounding, complex. I loved it!

Miss Reuter appeared at the door of her studio at the end of lesson before mine. She cocked her head, listened for a moment, and said: “Ah, Mr. Liszt.”

For a long time, I thought Mr. Liszt was the name of the other piano teacher. When I did finally discover the truth – Franz Liszt was long gone from the earth, and that was just Mr. What’s-his-name, practising – it was a revelation. I loved that she addressed this grand master of the piano so politely, even though he was no longer alive: Ah, Mr. Liszt.

For Imogen, guided by the ever-polite Père, these musical greats are real and deserve respect: Mr. Chopin and Mr. Brahms.

Listen to the amazing Anna Fedorova perform (another of my own favourites) Johannes Brahms’ Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118, No. 2



“(I was six. I played Clara Schumann.)”

Papa and Père and Alain, our publicist, have been reminding me of this since I made my first public professional performance at the National Arts Centre (I was six. I played Clara Schumann). I am not great at it.

Chapter 5: What happened in Perth last summer

Not the easiest music for a six-year-old. Have a listen to “Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann“, a variation set written by Clara Schumann on a theme by her husband, Robert Schumann.

“The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plays Brahms…”

The concert is a well-received, standing-ovation success that will have Alain rubbing his hands in glee back in Montreal. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plays Brahms.

Chapter 5: What happened in Perth last summer

Watch HERE: Brahms Symphony 4, second movement – one of my favourites – performed by the Verdandi Camerata, conducted by Jean-Louis Gosselin.


“Today it’s the Korngold D major…”

“Perfect black lines all weaving together, just like my piano and Papa’s cello and Père’s violin. Today it’s the Korngold D major. Just those few bars near the end of the Finale. Difficult, but sweet. Sweet. Doodle, doodle.”

Chapter 3: A new boy arrives

Watch as the ATOS Trio play E.W.Korngold – Trio in D-Major, op.1 – I.Allegro non troppo





“…and found out from the program that they were expecting the 100. Oops…”

“I haven’t got a clue what’s going on. It’s like that time we arrived in Elora to play the Schubert 99 and found out from the program that they were expecting the 100. Oops. Moment of panic colored by comedy.”

Chapter 3: A new boy arrives

NOTE: This one is a three-fer. The first two videos show the two Schubert pieces Imogen refers to – but the final video shows the real-life incident that resembles this memory of Imogen’s.

The Eben Trio plays Franz Schubert: Trio Nr. 1 B-flat major Schubert 99: Watch here.

Trio Wanderer plays the Andante con moto from the Schubert Piano Trio 100: Watch here.

And finally, here’s the real-life incident that inspired this scene. Watch what happens when pianist Maria Joao Pires expects a different concerto…



“…the delicately ascending lark”

“…while upstairs my mother turned up the recordings of Elgar, Finzi, and Vaughan Williams that were her drug of choice. I would try to settle in the kitchen with my homework or my drawing spread out on the table. The air was saturated with competing choruses—“Pass the puck, you moron!” versus the delicately ascending lark…”

Chapter 4: More about the new boy

Watch here as Hilary Hahn plays Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.”

“…listening to the second movement of the Fifth and desperately hanging on…”

“In fact, there’s so much buzzing, I have to know what, why. It’s like listening to the second movement of the Fifth and desperately hanging on for the andante con moto to end and the allegro to begin.”

Chapter 4: More about the new boy

NOTE: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, in case you weren’t sure. Imogen is talking about the suspense of waiting for what comes next and thinking it’s going to be good…

Moving from the second movement (andante con moto) to the third (allegro) – with some cool graphics along for the ride. Here’s the second movement:

Listen and watch here.

And on to the third movement…

Listen and watch here.