Daily Archives: 2011年11月17日

played list

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 (1913 Edition)

Frederic Chopin
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35
1. Grave – Doppio movimento
2. Scherzo
4. Finale: Presto

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, 1st Movement, Op. 28

Frederic Chopin
Ballades No.1 in G Minor, Op. 23

Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, ‘Appassionata’


I thought about the nuance of B-fat minor. Rachmaninoff’s sonata no. 2
is influenced by Chopin’s 2nd, sharing the same tonality and
character. Wondering why they are both so grave, it occured to me that
Chopin’s 2nd might have been influenced by J. S. Bach’s Prelude and
Fugue in B-flat minor, especially those included in the second book of
well-tempered clavier. That is, Prelude and Fugue, BWV 891.

Here are some samples:
Glenn Gould – Bach – BWV 891 – Prelude and Fugue

Glenn Gould – Bach – BWV 891 – Fugue

Some scholars argue that the prelude and fugue describe the passion,
the torment Jesus Christ endured to his death. I do not know how much
composers following JSB were affected by him, but it seems plausible
to assume that they were aware of its implication. Say, B-flat minor
is a key to express torment, agony, grief, etc. Chopin seems to have
enlarge the grammar for composing in B-flat minor. Rachmaninoff
enriched it further. hm… I do not know. I have to think over this.

Science Partnership Project

We are involved in Science Partnership Project, sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). We visited today Miyatake school, our local primary school, to instruct the schoolchildren to build a robot using a kit. I was concerned with the program initially as it seemed a bit demanding to children, but they adapted themselves so quickly and almost half of them could finish building a robot within an hour or so, to my surprise. I myself liked to help them and two groups whom I took care for successfully built robots in time.

schoolchildren working on their robot

a close-up of the robot under construction