The artist Norman Perryman came by the other day with a dazzling selection of his kinetic and music-themed works. If you’ve ever been to Symphony Hall, Birmingham, you will know his great Mahlerian mural
(c) Lebrecht Music &Arts
but the work that caught my eye this time was a magnificent portrait of the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, who died so young and beloved last month. Norman told me that he got to know Yakov in Amsterdam, while he worked with the Netherlands Philharmonic, and that they planned to work together on a Stravinsky kinetic performance. Here’s Norman’s tribute: ‘Black and red were his colours – a comment on his cultural origins. But it would take ten more paintings to portray Yakov’s creative ablities and generous, kindly personality.’
(c) Norman Perryman/Lebrecht Music & Arts. all rights reserved
Barely had this reminscence sunk in than the mail brought Yakov’s last recording – four orchestral tone poems with his violinist discovery, Julia Fischer. The Suk, Chausson and Vaughan Williams pieces are beautifully played and predictably chosen. The opening piece, though, has an epitaph quality. It’s the Poema autunnale by Ottorino Respighi, a gentle, lingering parting from the great noonday glare of life.
May he rest in peace.