Have you ever come across some old sheet music in an antique store, and wondered what it would sound like? Our musical tastes have changed a lot over the years. Recorded music has made music available in ways unimaginable to our ancestors. There is a lot of music out there that we simply do not hear. It is neither classical music, nor is it the occasional piece or sub-genre that has managed to hang on through luck, or the happy circumstances of popularity. Music that we would normally find thoroughly enjoyable languishes on dusty shelves and inside creaky old piano benches, simply because the casual musician would find them impossible to play, and because they did not find the right people to preserve them and carry them forward to our time. The music from the late 1800's to the beginning of the 20th Century marked the end of an age in an exceptional manner. It was the culmination of a technical trend that intersected with the cultural explosion of recorded music, and it spelt disaster for beautiful songs that in other times would have eventually made it into the hallowed realms of classical music. The most popular of this form of music was referred to as 'Salon Music', often written and played in the Romantic Style. Salon music was simply the popular music of the day, played in smaller concerts to a relatively small audience. At the time, of course, there was no radio, and no recorded music to speak of (not counting player pianos, of course). If you wanted good music, you had to play it yourself. There were a lot more pianists in those times, and many of them were more highly skilled than pianists are these days, as a whole. Instead of having popular recordings of music, you bought sheet music, and learned it yourself. One thing that was different about salon music was that the musician is as much a part of the show as the music itself was. While classical music was played in a more formal style, with an emphasis on strictly playing the music as written, a salon musician was first and foremost, a showman. Some of the famous salon musicians remain famous to this day for their style and behavior both in front of, and away from a piano. Liszt and Chopin were both well known salon musicians. They were, if you will, the "rock stars" of their day. Romantic music was not to be played by the faint of heart. The emotions of the composer had to come through, through the notes and the expression of the pianist. It was not a job for the average pianist, and often the single best performer of a piece of music would be the actual composer or arranger. There is a lot of musical variety to salon music - from the bold to the delicate -- but the one thing that it all has in common is that it is as much a performance as it is music. Tatyana has been looking at old music - as a classically trained concert pianist (top of her class at Tashkent Conservatory), she knows and loves music that can showcase her abilities, and many of these pieces are real forgotten gems. While most musicians would shy away from them, as being entirely too difficult to master, she is happy to spend the weeks to get to know them, and to Polish them and bring them out of their hundred year slumber and back into the popularity they deserve. I hope you enjoy listening to this music as much as I have enjoyed listening to Tatyana practice them - it is a real treat. Tyson Boellstorff.