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