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The legacy of Jane Kasriel

August 28, 2007

Today while painting the harpsichord, I put on a favorite CD of classical piano music. Immediately the atmosphere in my studio became high and clear and I felt the presence of the women on my mother’s side of the family. There is a story here.

My mother’s sister trained as a concert pianist but after a promising early career in London, stopped for various reasons, among them a terrible case of performance anxiety and pressing family responsibilities. Luckily she kept up with her playing, and 30 years later was persuaded to produce her first CD, ’10 composers, each in two contrasting moods’.

It is this glowing waterfall of music that I paint to. Pieces by Chopin, Haydn, Bach, Schubert, Scriabin, Grieg  and others remind me of the days when my mother played, as well as the privilege of hearing my aunt perform live in their living room.  At the end of the CD is a piece composed by Jane Kasriel which she used to play me when I was a child. Jane was my French grandmother.

So I paint flowers contentedly, listening to my aunt’s playing, thinking fondly of her and feeling surrounded by the artistic inspiration of the women in my family.

The thing is, ‘I’m too old to accomplish this’ can never be an excuse in our family. My mom was playing piano beautifully before she died of cancer at 76. My aunt recorded this first brilliant CD when she was 76 and is now working on her second one. And there is a recent CD of my Grandmère playing her own compositions when she was 86!

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2 Responses to “The legacy of Jane Kasriel”


  1. Such incredible inspiration to start the day.

    Is the CD available for purchase somewhere?

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    Hi Alison,
    my aunt totally inspires me too.
    She has a number available for about 10 pounds each, I can enquire for you what shipping would cost. Let me know.


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