Monday, 27 August 2012

Guillaume Lekeu

Belgium is not a country to which I warm. I prefer to fly over it. Or to drive through it rapidly (rapidly, in so far as possible, given that all its major routes are choaked with lorry traffic, taking a main artery from east to west). However, one of my favourite musical byways is the music of Belgians Henri Vieuxtemps, Eugène Ysaÿe and …. Guillaume Lekeu. My CD of the moment features Lekeu's piano trio (1890-1) and the unfinished piano quartet (1892) played by the Canadian Trio Hochelaga (with Teng Li, the viola in the piano quartet). On a wet English afternoon in August, Lekeu's music captures the mood of the moment. His melancholy suggests he knew he would die the day after his 24th birthday. I have long been a lover of Guillaume Lekeu's music – the few compositions he left us.

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