Monday, 17 April 2006

Bravo Isabelle Faust! Her Schubert recital disc really is exceptional (Fantasie D 934, Duo Sonata D 574, Rondo Brilliant). Like Adolf Busch or Joseph Szigeti, she draws attention to the music, not to her playing. Alexander Melnikov (piano) provides real, virtuoso partnership. An exemplary CD.

Sunday, 16 April 2006

Sviatislav Richter in Schubert; that Brilliant Classics box (Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt) was quite an acquisition. I really enjoyed two Schubert sonatas this evening, and am beginning to conclude that Handel and Schubert are my two principal choices when it comes to music listening.

And, on the same subject (?), the improvisation on cooking squid this evening was also a major success!
Very taken with three CDs featuring Ion Voicu. Lovely to hear the classic, pre-war Central European sound (with a Romanian flavour to it). And great to hear real trills played as they should be. Voicu was a major violinist, but it must have been tough for someone from the East to become internationally known in the 1940s and 50s. He did get to make an LP (Mendelssohn and Bruch) with the LSO in London in 1963, however. And his Paganini first concerto is quite impeccable. I'll have to have a Voicu hunt and get some more recordings by him.

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Stressful days. Fortunately, I took delivery of a CD of Handel duets sung by Carolyn Sampson (hurrah!) and Robin Blaze. The singing is perfection, as is the recording (very well done, BIS). Yet another Handel disc to listen to over and over again. I am beginning to think that Georg Friedrich may well be my favourite composer; his music is inexhaustible and constantly enchanting.

I was also pleasantly surprised by a "Heifetz Transcriptions" CD (Naxos) from 16-year old Su Yeon Lee. The 18 tracks are a real pleasure. Lee may not have too much experience, but she brings freshness and enthusiasm to these pieces. If only someone would tell her to listen to Heifetz, Kogan and Milstein and learn not to play slower pieces too slowly (a bad modern trend). But most of the pieces on this super CD are not slow, fortunately. To be replayed many times.