A Beast in Paradise

At the end of the book, I was left wondering who was the title beast? Alexander or Blanche? It was only in the days after as I continued to ponder that question that I stumbled across the original French title—as a novice student of French, I was struck by its…

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Scan from old edition of Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata for violin & piano

The Bridgetower Sonata

Sonata per un mulattico lunatico. This is the dedication that Ludwig van Beethoven affectionately gave to his Violin Sonata No. 9, a piece deemed not only too hard to play, but also “outrageously unintelligible” and an affront to music, by contemporary virtuosic violinists. Due to a falling out, Beethoven ultimately…

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