Sunday, 23 September 2007

Very taken with Ivry Gitlis's 1977 traversal of the Paganini caprices. Caprices, one feels, suit Gitlis's nature. I don't think I'd like to hear him in unaccompanied Bach, or in Mozart, or in the Beethoven violin concerto. But in quirky music Gitlis is supreme. An odd violinist; but a great technician and one who comes into his own in the right music, at the right time. Paganini's caprices certainly come alive in this recording. Thank goodness Gitlis at last consented to its release.

Gitlis was preceded by an excellent foie de veau, courtesy of Marks & Spencer's new shop in Cirencester; an establishment that threatens to revolutionise my eating habits (and my bank account).

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Good evening, thanks to 1.2 kilos of moules marinières, plus Henry Purcell. Listened to the fantasias (Phantasm) plus three Queen Mary odes (Gustav Leonhardt). Purcell must be the least well-known great composer; it is incredible how his harmonic contortions and constant changes of mood and pace add up to great works. I must get out the six CDs of the theatre works and give them a new work-over.

Sudden renewal of interest in Purcell inspired by some posts on the Music Forum. Superb mussels courtesy of Morrison's!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Downloaded (from her website) Alina Ibragimova's 2006 performance of the Bach second partita for solo violin (BWV 1004). Seriously good. To begin with, the performance can sound a bit sedate and studied. But on a second listening, you find that Ibragimova is very much playing the music as she feels it. Her playing here is neither classical nor romantic; it's her view of the music and I like it very much indeed.
Ibragimova is turning out to be excellent; I admired her off-air performance of the Shostakovich first violin concerto very much indeed (and still do). What a plethora of interesting young violinists there is at the moment!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Change of season this evening. No violins; no duos; not baroque. My instincts demanded Canteloube (Chants d'Auvergne -- sung, of course, by Véronique Gens) and then the Sibelius sixth symphony (or the Vaughan Williams Pastoral would have done, instead). Colin Davis (LSO Live) is really very good in the Sibelius 6 and may even have supplanted von Karajan (Philharmonia, 1950s) in my fickle affections. Sometimes, having too many records to choose from does help, when one's head demands something out of the ordinary.