I’m not a physicist. I will freely admit that. I did quite a lot of chemistry in my younger days because chemical equations, for some bizarre reason, appealed to me, and now, I’m back studying maths.
There wasn’t any major doubt in my mind that they’d found something in CERN when they lined up for their announcements during the week, and given that they’d been looking for something in particular, there’s not any major surprise for me that they’ve probably found it. It’ll be interesting to see how, from a purely physics point of view, said particle behaves.
I’m more interested in how they found it. Over at Significance Magazine’s website, you can find a whole lot about this. Basically they looked at a whole lot of data and analysed it statistically. We’re talking a lot of data. It’s the sort of thing that makes me think that statistics can be really fascinating.
It’s just, we don’t sell it very well sometimes.
If you’ve any interest at all in statistics, I recommend a look at Significance’s website, and if you have an iPad, their magazines can be downloaded for a handful of euro each. And a few of them are free at the moment. Well worth a look and in particular, it’s fairly accessible as a stats publication goes.
A while back, I went to the final of the Dublin International Piano Competition, an item which along with figure skating championships had been on my bucket list for about 10 years. While it is fair to say that the finalists were all very talented, I wasn’t so enthused about the choice of concertos I sat through that evening. In summary, we had Tchaikovsky No 1 twice, Rachmaninov No 3 and what I think was Prokofiev No 3 although I am not familiar with that piece and it didn’t endear itself to me enough for me to seek it out any further.
So, bearing that in mind, I wanted to – again – list a bunch of piano concertos which I particularly like, some of which are well known and some less so. After that I would choose a couple of movements out of piano concertos which are almost standalone work of genius.
- Saint-Saens Number 5
- Rachmaninov No. 2
- Grieg in Am
- Schumann in Am
- Bruch in A flat Major for 2 pianos
- Hummel No 3
- Tchaikovsky No 2
- Beethoven’s Mighty Emperor No 5
- Liszt No 2
- Brahms No 2.
If I am looking to listen to powerful piano music, these are often close to the top of the list.
Now for a few odds and ends which stand out for various reasons
- Shostakovich 2, II Andante.
- Adinsell – Warsaw Concerto
- Ode to the Yellow River (get Lang Lang’s performance of this – it’s well worth it)
- Saint-Saens Africa Fantasy
- Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
- Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody arranged for piano and orchestra
- Rachmaninov 3 Opening movement
- Mendelssohn 1, opening movement
- Mendelssohn for 2 pianos 1, second movement
- Franck – Symphonic Variations
I don’t often do the Ebay trick but lately I find myself regularly looking through it. I am on the hunt for one particular item, well, 4-6 of them anyway. Special, all the same.
In 1998, I was on holiday in Finland learning Finnish on a government sponsored course and over one weekend had dinner with the family of a girl I had taken in after an au pair story hadn’t really gone well. They wanted to give me something and so they gave me a beautiful piece of Finnish glassware. You’ll (currently) find a picture of something similar here on eBay. I still have it. It was designed by one of Finland’s top glass designers, Oiva Toikka. I love it.
Recently I learned that there are little serving bowls in existence. The pattern doesn’t appear to be sold at the moment so if I want them, I need to find them on one of the auction sites. So for that reason, I am watching Ebay for them. I want the clear ones (the rare blue and green ones don’t interest me) and am looking forward to actually owning them.
I’m very fortunate to have some unusual but very thoughtfully selected things in my position. Another one is a most beautiful pewter tea measuring spoon which, for someone like me who drinks a lot of looseleaf (and expensive) tea is a highly thoughtful gift. You’ll find some very similar measuring spoons here (at the moment)
I like things like these.