Music for Heart and Breath

A slow process of creating a new way of playing music.  

Here is what it is:  very soft, very quiet music, played utterly in synch with the heart rates and breathing rates of the musicians performing it. Every note you hear is either in synch with the heartbeat of the person playing it, the breathing of the person (or one of the surrounding persons) playing it.

So what you hear when this music plays is played precisely in time with someone’s quiet, internal rhythms.  Brought to musical life by a handful of different ensembles. And now, at last, recorded in full, and coming out on Deutsche Grammophon in a few weeks from now.  

It has been a joy to create this work, and even more of a joy to have it brought to life by such a fantastic cast of musical minds.

Yuja Wang is a Chinese classical pianist. Born in 1987 in Beijing, she began studying piano at the age of six, and went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at the age of seven. She later continued her studies at the Mount Royal University Conservatory. She has since collaborated with many major symphonies, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony. She has released four CDs on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Also, hot damn.



Stefan Askenase (1896-1985)

Askenase was born in Lemberg. At the age of five he began playing the piano with his mother, a pianist and pupil of Karol Mikuli. He studied with Theodor Pollak, a professor and director of the Ludwik Marek School of Music in Lemberg, then with Emil von Sauer, a pupil of Liszt, at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1919 he made his debut in Vienna, and subsequently toured throughout the world. He also taught at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music from 1937 to 1940 and the Brussels Conservatory of Music from 1954 to 1961.

His first concert in Poland after World War II took place on 17 May 1946. In 1950 he became a naturalized Belgian citizen. He recorded extensively the works of Chopin for the Deutsche Grammophon label in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1965 he founded The Arts and Music Society, whose aim was to preserve the historical Rolandseck railway station upon the river Rhine. After its restoration the building became a venue for artists such as Pierre Fournier, Hans Arp, Oskar Kokoschka, Yehudi Menuhin, Martin Walser, Marcel Marceau, Henryk Szeryng, Salvador Dalí and Askenase himself.

His pupils included Martha Argerich, László Gyimesi, John McKay, André Tchaikowsky and Mitsuko Uchida.


Tori Amos - “Nautical Twilight.”

I have not been able to hear, look or read anything about the “Night Of Hunters” album without hysterically crying. It has struck a deep nerve.

Hélène Grimaud and Sol Gabetta have recorded their first album together for Deutsche Grammophon. It’s a musical sensation!

Every so often, a musical encounter sees a truly astonishing “musico-biological” process take place. The meeting of the pianist Hélène Grimaud and the cellist Sol Gabetta last summer at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad was one such rare encounter. Two charismatic stars made music together: two performers who play with such a combination of passion and intelligence that time after time they made the classics sound as contemporary as if composed today.

These two stars of classical music recorded a selection of masterpieces by Schumann, Brahms, Debussy and Shostakovich for Deutsche Grammophon. Learn more about the album here:

  • Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61, 2. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
  • Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado
  • Schumann: Claudio Abbado

Robert Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61, 2. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)

Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado

In the year of his 80th birthday, Claudio Abbado releases another album with the Orchestra Mozart: Schumann’s Symphony No.2. This album is Abbado’s first recording of a Schumann Symphony on Deutsche Grammophon and will be released this June. It was recorded at Vienna’s Musikverein in November 2012.
Discover the album here!

Deutsche Grammophon gave me this lovely track in honor of Schumann’s birthday (thanks, DG, for reminding me!). If you aren’t signed up as a ~free!!~ member go do so and get really neat music!