Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was the pre-eminent master of the aphorism in the second half of the 19th century. Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was one of the greatest of all pianists and his compositions were mostly for solo piano, and most were shorter than ten minutes. For this episode of Read Me to Sleep, Ricky, your host Rick Whitaker reads his own selection and arrangement of Oscar Wilde's aphorisms including the entire "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young." The recording of Chopin Nocturnes is by Guiomar Novaes (1895 – 1979).
We recommend listening with auto-play OFF and the volume fairly low. So get into bed, close your eyes, and listen as you drift off to sleep. Don't bother arguing with Oscar. Though often preposterous, his style never flags. Even on his deathbed, as the story goes, in a cheap Paris hotel, he managed to be funny: "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do."
Brazilian pianist Guiomar Novaes (1895-1979) entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1909 at age 14 and instantly caught the attention of Debussy, who had been on her entrance jury. Even by that young age, she had already made fundamental decisions about musical interpretation. Her teacher at the Conservatoire, Isidor Philipp, found it difficult to persuade her to change her interpretations of things such as tempo once she had made up her mind. By 1910, she was already on the concert stage, performing in Paris, London, and on tour in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany and she was only 19 when she made her New York debut at Aeolian Hall. Her final appearance in New York was nearly 60 years later, with a concert in 1972. She began with a large repertoire and gradually narrowed it, becoming most famous for her Chopin interpretations.
Read Me to Sleep, Ricky is hosted by Rick Whitaker and produced in New York City.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG by Oscar Wilde