While we’re enjoying the chat about concertos with difficult openings, consider the mysterious disappearance of a wonderful cadenza that Alfred Schnittke wrote for the Beethoven violin concerto.

It’s a tour d’horizons of great concertos, with snatches of  Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Ysaye, Schoenberg, Berg, and Schnittke himself.

Gidon Kremer recorded it on Philips around 1981 and hardly anyone has touched it since, nor has it ever transferred to CD or download.

Why not?

Congratulations to Paolo Bordogna and his manager Adalberto Ruggeri who have tied the knot in Ozzano, near Bologna, within weeks of Italy recognising civil unions.

paolo bordogna wedding
Foto Schicchi

From AyseDeniz Gockin:

Like most listeners, I have absorbed most of my musical memory from records.

One makes allowances for editing and distortion but we assume that what we hear is more or less a simulacrum of the real thing, and that’s how it should go.

Until, with certain works, you meet the real thing again in concert.

Yesterday at the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, I heard the Prokofiev sonata for two violins and had to rethink the work from the ground up.

What did I miss on record? The drama of physical competition between the two violins, the daring delays by which players tease and tempt each other, the whispering conspiracies: I can play it quieter than you.

Prokofiev was trying to say something here about things which cannot be said aloud (especially in Stalin’s Russia). You cannot hear than on any of the recordings I have sampled. You have to hear it live.

The Jerusalem gladiators, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Latica Honda-Rosenberg, did not yield a millimetre or a pppp to one another right through the piece.

And the audience were silent as the hills before dawn.


prokofiev car

Banff in Canada is where young string quartets head for high noon.

This year’s finalists are:

Rolston String Quartet (Canada)

Castalian String Quartet (UK)

Tesla Quartet (Russia / South Korea / USA)


Watch the final tonight streamed live here.

In his first discussion of the incident since he took down an audience shouter at the Schubertiade at Schwarzenberg, the British tenor has told a German newspaper that the same man had disrupted a Matthias Goerne recital the previous night.

If that was so, why did the festival not take measures to exclude him? The more so when the elderly gentleman appeared to be disturbed. It’s all very well having a relaxed atmosphere, but the first duty of a festival is to protect its artists.

Interview here (auf Deutsch).

Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake - Schubert

The director of Netherlands Touring Opera Nicolas Mansfield today became a Dutch citizen, giving up his British passport.

Nicolas, like many Brits abroad, recoiled from the Brexit referendum. He has lived in Holland for 28 years.

‘I’m a man of principle,’ he says. ‘If my homeland takes a different path, I must cease to belong to it’.




The Austrian authorities have confirmed that a former chief executive and technical manager of the Salzburg Easter festival will begin jail sentences  of four and four and a half years this week.

Both were convicted of embezzlement.

Under Austrian law, a new prisoner cannot be named. Details can be found in past Slipped Disc reports.


A saxophonist, Łukasz Dyczko, 19, was crowned European Young Musician in Cologne last night. He wins 10,000 Euros and a broadcast concert with WDR.

Second was a Czech pianist, Robert Billy, also 19.

The instrumental contest is run every other year by the European Broadcasting Union, which somehow fails to drum up the noise it creates each year for the Eurovision finals.