Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Véronique Gens

It is sad, but there are well-known works of music that I have simply heard too often in my lifetime. No loss in my musical world if I never again hear Mendelssohn's violin concerto, nor the G minor violin concerto of Max Bruch, nor Dvorak's cello concerto, nor the fifth symphony of Beethoven. Sad, but over-familiarity breeds indifference, and no performers can ever re-create the magic for me; not even Fritz Kreisler in the Mendelssohn concerto, this week.

Off tomorrow for a few weeks in France, then Sicily. Lots of spaghetti alle vongole, and many plates of fritto misto di mare (I hope). Before leaving, I am luxuriating in the smoky soprano of Véronique Gens singing Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Eté, and Ravel's Shéhérazade. That is music that keeps me alert and entranced. As I have often mentioned, I am a great admirer of Véronique Gens who combines a lovely voice with superb diction and exemplary musicality. Ravel's Shéhérazade has long been a favourite of mine, dating back to an LP with Frederica von Stade singing superbly (1982).

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