Music performances

On this Music page you may like to listen to some audio and video performances, including a short lesson on a toccata-like piece by the great Swiss organist Lionel Rogg.

Within my Porfolio page, you can read some samples of translations in different subjects, especially music, art and architecture, from German and French to English. These passages may show you how I can help you through my lifetime’s experience of study of music and the arts, together with travel throughout Europe. Join me on some of my visits to historic sites, demonstrating instruments played by (e.g.) Bach, Haydn, Liszt and Brahms, giving occasional recitals where I also introduced the items in both English and German. Enjoy snatches of guided tours through the history, art and music of cities such as Dresden and Vienna. Or see the world of Haydn with trips into Hungary and listening to a quartet playing in the music room at the Esterhàzy Palace in Fertöd where it was first heard. And keep me company on my solo travels to France and Italy in the selections on art and architecture.

As I told you then your translation was excellent. It showed a great feeling for style and accuracy and it proofed that you know everything about music. (Dirk Ceelen, Dice Vertalingen bvba)

Contact me on 07497 356501 or at roger@rs-translations.com to get more information about my services today
Playing the Schnitger organ (1692) in the Martini-Kerk, Groningen
Contact me on 07497 356501 or at roger@rs-translations.com to get more information about my services today

Here are a few recordings and videos of my playing and speaking which relate to my activities as a translator, musician, teacher and traveller, starting with a commentary (almost a “lesson”) on a thrilling toccata by the Swiss organist and composer Lionel Rogg.

The slow movement from Bach’s Trio Sonata No.2 in C minor for organ stands as one of Bach’s most restful movements, and was composed to teach his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann.

Then follow some audio recordings of piano and organ music. The slow movement from Chopin’s Sonata in B minor would sound wonderful on the Erard piano now in Liszt’s birthplace – which actually belonged to a friend of the composer.

The Prelude by Dupré is a wonderful, dreamy piece (in spite of the endless rapid triplets and four-note chords in the pedals!) composed in 1912. My performance on a Johannus organ rather places every note under a magnifying glass, but imagine those sounds drifting down to you from the heights of a great French Gothic cathedral!

“The Banjo,” by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, is based on his own tune, which, all the same, happens to sound like “Camptown Races!” In an effort to persuade a student (whose tone could often be described as “doubtful,”) how to make the piano sing, my teacher often used to try and get me to imagine imitating an oboe, or a cello, and occasionally a trumpet. Maybe a banjo was not quite what he had in mind…

The joyful Praeludium in G, by the North German composer Nikolaus Bruhns concludes this short selection of music. Living only to the age of 31, Bruhns left five organ works, three of which, in their marvellously contrasting ways, count amongst the greatest works of their style, and were admired by J.S. Bach. This piece includes double pedalling, and a passage imitating the violin; the composer used to play the violin at the organ console, and accompany himself with his feet on the pedal stops. 

Commentary on Toccata, from Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein – Lionel Rogg
Slow movement, from Sonata No.3 in B minor, Op.58 – Chopin
Slow movement, from Trio Sonata No.2 in C minor – Bach
Prelude, from Prelude and Fugue in G minor, Op.7 No.3 – Dupré
The Banjo – Gottschalk
Praeludium in G – Bruhns