Tuesday, 31 January 2006

I had forgotten about Joseph Szigeti. A new Biddulph re-issue of him playing baroque works in the 1950s (plus a Bach third solo sonata from 1949) made me realise why he was always classed as a great player. Not, perhaps, a great violinist; but certainly a very great musician and one whose playing remains in the mind after more flashy performances have long been forgotten. I must start a Szigeti listening retrospective.

Monday, 30 January 2006

Bad day, for usual reasons: work, wine and woman (without the wine). Sought catharsis, as often, in Russian music (Rachmaninov's second symphony – Pletnev) and this was so soothing (?) that I followed it with Furtwängler conducting orchestral excerpts from Götterdämmerung (1950, Lucerne). [Why doesn't Google/Blogger permit an "o" with an umlaut? I had to import this one from another file] All through headphones at high volume. Lovely! My spaghetti al sugo ed ai funghi was as good as usual. But life is stressful. Perhaps tomorrow evening it will be Tchaikovsky's Pathétique (no doubt Pletnev, again).

Sunday, 1 January 2006

Great success with transfers to three CDs; the first transfers I have done for a long time. Old Alfredo comes up well in Saint-Saens and Bruch, as do Heifetz and Piatigorsky in Dvorak and Stravinsky. And there is also the Hotter 1954 recording of the Schwanengesang. Most welcome of all is a reincarnation after nearly 50 years of the Todesverkündigung with Flagstad. Welcome back! The hum and surface filters in Waverepair really work well. Excellent transfers, and a few more LPs can bite the dust at long last.
The year 2005 ended peacefully, with Sviatoslav Richter playing late Beethoven sonatas. Richter is my kind of artist; his concentration is phenomenal, and nothing he plays is done simply for effect or to draw attention to himself.