Johanna d’Arc

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Painting by Alex Katsenelson

Today I’d love to share with you Johanna d’Arc, a symphony in four movements that has smitten me over the last few months. It was written by German composer Moritz Moszcowski, who was of Jewish-Polish descent (1854-1925). I’ve written before about his terrific Piano Concerto in E (I promise, it is one of the greatest).

At first, when I listened to Johanna d’Arc it fell completely flat for me – which is typical of new classical music, at least for me. However, I stuck with it, as love of Moszkowski’s piano concerto and a few glimpses of greatness in the second movement kept me listening to it. After half a dozen times I finally understood it. My advice to you: Start in the middle of second movement and listen to it a few times, and then relisten to the whole piece. When I listen to Johanna d’Arc I hear occasional bits of Mahler (in the violins and in Jewish melodies), Elgar (in the cellos), Saint-Saens (in melodies), and Bruckner (in grandness).

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  • Alek says:

    Hello Vitaliy,

    First, Im very glad that I have discovered you. I’ve been a student of value investing for a while now and I guess I discovered you through a link by prof. Damodaran if i’m not mistaken. It’s early days familiarizing with your work but your posts and Q&A sessions are fantastic.
    Second, thank you for discovering Maszkowski for me. I’m a little ashamed that despite being a fellow Pole (one of his many nationalities) I didn’t know about him. Wonderful virtuosery and the echos of Polish music, mazurkas, Chopin – superb. Upon reading about him more I have found out he has been born in Wroclaw the best city for me, a city where I spent my student years.
    But even more surprisingly there’s also an investing lesson for all of us that we can draw from his life. After his fame and prosperity faded he lost his wealth after investing (speculating?) in Russian, Polish and German bonds and securities which lost their value amid wartime – an unexpected lesson in investing.
    Thank you very much Vitalyi, looking forward to learning from you and enjoy your writing about investing, life and music.

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