eric le sage



Painting: Arnold Böcklin Self-portrait with Death as a Fiddler (1872)

Photograph: Vilhelms Mihailovskis Gunars Binde (1990)

In death’s proximity, a ghastly fear seized me. Dying is a terrible affair. Then I recalled the image of the house’s dark passage, the smell of the lamb stew, the faces of old Pelageya and of the middle-aged writer, the newspaper office; but the thought of people breaking my door open with a loud crash was rather entertaining…

I put the muzzle to my temple, with a trembling finger I felt the trigger. And then, from the floor downstairs I heard a very familiar melody, the muffled playing of an orchestra, a tenor’s voice on a gramophone singing: “But what can this God of theirs do for me?

“Good Heavens, Faust!” I thought to myself. “How very appropriate. I’ll wait for Mephistopheles to appear; listen to him one last time. I’ll never have the chance again.” The orchestra sometimes faded, then was heard again, but the tenor was singing more and more loudly: “A curse on life, on faith, on all sciences!

Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov Theatrical Novel (A Dead Man’s Memoir), translated by Colouringreflections

Music: Gabriel Fauré Piano Trio in D minor, op. 120 (Suggested interpretation: Piano: Eric Le Sage; Clarinet: Paul Meyer; Cello: Julian Steckel)

Fantaisie Op.79: Andantino - Allegro
Emmanuel Pahud
Fantaisie Op.79: Andantino - Allegro

Fantaisie for Flute , Op. 79: Andantino & Allegro - Gabriel Fauré

Flute: Emmanuel Pahud
Piano: Eric le Sage

I post a lot of Pahud and I try not to, only because I would rather some variety on my blog… However I cannot find a better recording, with the same sound quality that this man produces! He’s just pretty much the best!

Märchenbilder for Viola and Piano op. 113: IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
Antoine Tamestit (viola), Eric Le Sage (piano)
Märchenbilder for Viola and Piano op. 113: IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck

Schumann had a wonderfully happy knack to conjure up heavenly melodies with apparent ease. This concluding piece from his Märchenbilder for Viola and Piano is a wonderful case in point. The song-like opening phrase has an inevitability about it which goes straight to the heart.

The Märchenbilder (Fairytale Pictures) have no particular plot but the ‘Once upon a time’ is implicit. The work is in four pieces with an unusual pattern : slow–fast–very fast–slow. And the main key of the work, D minor, represents a melancholy, funereal character that was becoming increasingly common in Schumann’s work (this was towards the end of his life, in 1851, with his death just five years away).

‘Märchenbilder’ translates as Fairy Tale PIctures, but the composer gives us few clues as to what creatures or events are depicted within each movement, except in a section of his journals, where he describes the first two movements as depicting scenes from Rapunzel, the third movement depicts scenes from Rumpelstiltskin, in particular his dancing outside his house with attendant fairies, and this fourth movement depicts scenes from The Sleeping Beauty. The music stands quite well enough on its own without the need for this background information, and Schumann was right not to include these clues in the score.

This performance is from a 7-disc set devoted to the complete chamber music with piano. The common denominator is Eric Le Sage.


Schubert’s Introduction and variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’, performed by Emannuel Pahud and Eric Le Sage.


Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 48: I - Carl Maria von Weber 

Clarinet: Paul Meyer
Piano: Eric le Sage

A staple piece of Clarinet repertoire, but I’m posting this video mainly for us Clarinetists to observe his POSTURE! This actually mainly relates to me, because I have terrible posture whilst playing, and I noticed that Mr Meyer’s back is completely straight and his head is held high at all times throughout the piece. Clarinetists, take note!