Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tom Yum, and Christian Tetzlaff

Made an excellent "Thai" soup today. I used some tom yum powder (sachets) I bought in a Kuala Lumpur supermarket last year. And lots and lots of fresh ginger. And lots of galongal. Lots of lime juice and kaffir lime leaves. Lots of lemon grass. Some crushed chillies. Lots of mussels, with some squid and shrimps. Quite delicious; but spicey ! The tom yum paste was different from the Thai one I buy locally. But it all made for an excellent dish.

Then on to a re-visit with Christian Tetzlaff playing the Sibelius violin concerto. Tetzlaff comes from Hamburg, and plays here with a Danish orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard. To sum up with one word: idiomatic. I currently have 51 recordings of this concerto, but Tetzlaff and the Danes place it firmly in Scandinavian Northern Europe (a remarkable area, despite its food and climate). Listening to the recording -- admirably balanced -- you feel yourself transported to the north; too many performers try to pretend the music is wannabe Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov, which it is not. And I greatly admire Tetzlaff's violin; Tetzlaff ditched his Strad in favour of a modern German violin, and the latter sounds just wonderful. Makes you think about the snobbery / financial ramifications surrounding 300 year old Italian violins -- not all of which are remotely better than the best modern ones.

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