Monday, 29 August 2005

Viola Day. Listened to Lars Tomter (with Andsnes) playing the two Brahms sonatas, plus Schumann's Märchenbilder: very good, with a fine, gruff viola sound. Then to Katz and Shteinberg playing Hindemith (dull), Bach and Mozart (K 378, arranged). The two Israeli's sounded like an agreeable chamber music concert in Bad Godesberg on a wet Wednesday: polite, well-mannered, smooth. But not memorable, and the viola sound was "pseudo-violin".
Refreshed myself by listening again to Lise de la Salle. It really does sound as though she is improvising, so surely does the music come from inside of her. Most enjoyable.

Saturday, 27 August 2005

Well, spent another 27 minutes of my life listening to the Berg violin concerto (this time in a performance by Leonidas Kavakos at the Proms; very well recorded). That has to be around the twelfth time I have listened to this concerto and, I have to confess, it does absolutely nothing for me. That is the last time I waste another 27 minutes on it. Life is too short. I haven't a clue as to whether Kavakos played it brilliantly, or whether he lost his place after the first few minutes and improvised thereafter. Bah!
I also revisited Des Knaben Wunderhorn before shelving it. I like the music. I really do not like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (at least, not in this music). She too arch; he too gusty. And Szell isn't terribly gemütlich, either.

Monday, 22 August 2005

Once again, I was able to make an excellent CD of the (Edinburgh Festival) recital by Magdalena Kozena (Ravel, Britten, Debussy, Strauss and Shostakovich). Very much my kind of singer: a lovely voice, extreme intelligence, excellent linguistic skills.
This weekend I also enjoyed Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn -- despite the participation of Mr and Mrs Legge plus Mr Fischer-Dieskau, none of whom warms my heart. But the music (Szell conducting the LSO) is attractive and I did not know it very well.