Summer Recapitulation and Autumnal Projection

Michael ThalliumHere you are my summer recapitulation. I would like to share with you what I have been doing over the last months of a summer which has just finished a couple of days ago, here in Spain. I would also like to sketch out what I call my “autumnal projection”, that is, what I will be doing over the coming months.

I started the summer by taking a distance from the Internet and the social media, particularly from Facebook and Twitter. I needed time for myself, for some reflection, for some travelling. And I used music to do so. Over the last three months I have listened to lots of music. Those of you who know me, you will know of my passion for coaching and music. Coaching is a process by which a person can achieve goals. In this process, we use language (the conversations between the coach and the coachees), and music is also a powerful language we can take advantage of in order to practice our empathic listening, our analyzing ability and, essentially, our ability to explore and experiment. In my desire to systematically integrate music in the coaching and transleadership world, I decided to walk the talk myself. So, here you are some of the works I have been experimenting with:

Guillaume de Machaut
Misa de Nostre Dame, Le vray remède d’amour and Le Jugement du Roi de Navarre.

Madrigals by Josquin Desprez, Thomas Morley, Thomas Weelkes and Carlo Gesualdo.

Claudio Monteverdi
The operas L’Orfeo and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

Henry Purcell
The opera Dido y Aeneas

Georg Philip Telemann
Tafelmusik, Sinfonia Spirituosa, string concertos and flute quartets, Ino Cantata.

Johann Sebastian Bach
The two books of The Well Tempered Clavier and The Coffee Cantata.

Johann Christian Bach
Sinfonias op. 1, Keyboard Concertos op. 7, Trios op. 2 & op. 15, the operas Amadis de Gaule and La Clemenza di Scipione.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Complete 32 sonatas for piano (I listened around for times to each sonata… yes, I know, I know, it’s a lot of listening hours!), and the nine symphonies.

Carl Maria von Weber
The opera Der Freischütz and the piano sonatas nos. 2 & 3.

Franz Schubert
The eight symphonies.

Robert Schumann
Cello Concerto in A minor, Piano Concerto in A minor and the four symphonies.

Camille Saint-Saëns
Symphony no. 3 and the five piano concertos.

Gustav Mahler
Symphony no. 3.

Charles Ives
Quartets nos. 1 & 2.

Arnold Schoenberg
Verklärte Nacht and Pierrot Lunaire.

Béla Bartók
Viola Concerto, Piano Concerto no. 2, the opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle.

Dmitri Shostakovich
The opera Lady Macbeth von Mzensk.

Sergei Prokoviev
The opera L’Amour des Trois Oranges.

Paul Hindemith
The operas Mathis der Maler and Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen.

Alfred Schnittke
Symphony no. 4, Requiem and el Piano Quintet.

Alexander Shchetynsky
The choral works Know Yourself, Light to Lighten.

From the above mentioned works, I focused more on the complete sonatas by Beethoven and Mahler’s 3rd Symphony.

CaballoBut I not only filled my hours with music. I also took the chance to make a trip to Edinburgh, in Scotland, and visit some old friends. Then I travelled to Cantabria, in the north of Spain, with two beloved friends from childhood. I can tell you it is an amazing experience to listen to Mahler’s 3rd Symphony in the nature and surrounded by breathtaking mountains. From the north of Spain I came down to the southwest. I spent some days in the province of Caceres visiting different places such as the Monastery of Yuste, the place where the Holy Roman Emperor Charles 5th retired and died. I particularly liked a small village called Garganta la Olla, which I recommend you to visit if you ever come to Spain and visit that region. Then I decided it was time for me to spend some time with my dad alone -something we had never done before- and we both decided to “explore” different places in the Castillian region, places such as Toro, Villafafila, Zamora, Fermoselle, Ledesma and Salamanca.

And what is that “autumnal projection” I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Well, despite of all those listening hours I spent, the fact is that I still consider they were not enough in order to achieve my goal? And what is my goal? To practice the empathic listening, the exploration, the analysis and the connection… So, I decided to dedicate the coming months to listen to and read -that’s why I bought the scores- The Well Tempered Clavier by Bach, one Prelude & Fugue a day (there are a total of 48 preludes and fugues, so I hope I can finish with it in two months, that is, by the end of November); equally, I will dedicate a week to each sonata by Beethoven (there are 32 of them, so it will take me around eight months to complete the task… and that means I will be finishing by the time Spring arrives next year).

Some people need drugs in order to reach an elevated state of relaxation or concentration or meditation. I can tell you that if you immerse yourself into Beethoven’s last sonatas (nos. 30, 31 & 32), you will reach the highest state of meditation and much healthier than what you can expect from the use of any drugs.

Now that the new fiscal year is about to start, I pick up my Internet collaborations again. It is also my intention to finish my PhD thesis on coaching, communication and globalisation -something that I have been putting off for years- and to keep on developing my professional activity. So, get on with it! I leave you here with my last musical discovery: a Ukrainian composer whose name is Alexander Shchetynsky and his symphony for mixed choir entitled Know Yourself:

Michael Thallium
Global Greatness Coach
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