Knocking away at Slava’s old house

Knocking away at Slava’s old house


norman lebrecht

October 22, 2014


slava house1


Our publisher friend Martin Anderson has been producing for Toccata Classics in Évian, at the Grange au Lac, built in 1993 for Mstislav Rostropovich in the manner of a massive Russian izba, peasant house – entirely constructed of wood, and sitting in a natural woodland.

However, there was a price to pay. Martin found that while ‘an all-wood building provides a marvellous acoustic, as you’d expect, it also came with an unexpected drawback: on several occasions during the recording we had to wait until a woodpecker had finished trying to drill holes in the top of the building. Lesser spotted, before you ask – I went outside afterwards and caught it having another go.’

This may be the first recorded instance of a woodpecker – Picoides minor halting a recording session. The outcome will be heard – or unheard – on Toccata’s production of Vadim Repin and Murad Hüseynov recording the Violin Sonata and 24 Preludes by Kara Karayev.

slava house 2

Knock, knock…