Category Archives: Music

Ivana Gavrić, Chopin

I’ve very much admired Ivana Gavrić previous rightly praised discs (I wrote about the first two here in an earlier post, and you can find more about  them here). So I was really  looking forward to hearing her play in the intimate surroundings of the Fitzwilliam Museum in … Continue reading

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Pavel Haas Quartet at St John’s, Smith Square (and on BBC)

To London, to see the Pavel Haas Quartet at St. John’s, Smith Square. First, Beethoven Op. 127 (with, in particular, an absolutely magical performance of the great Adagio). And then, after the interval, the most joyful performance of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2 … Continue reading

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Since it is Schubert’s birthday ….

Barbara Bonney, soprano; David Shifrin, clarinet; André Watts, piano. Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, “The Shepherd on the Rock”, D. 965

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The Pavel Haas Quartet and Harriet Krijgh play Schubert

The Pavel Haas Quartet with Harriet Krijgh play the Adagio from the Schubert Quintet. Not the best quality video ever, but oh, the playing is beyond words …

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The Pavel Haas Quartet at the Wigmore Hall

Another extraordinary concert from the Pavel Haas Quartet last night. They began with Webern’s Fünf Sätze of 1909 – extremely condensed, emotionally unsettling music, which for me works better in a live performance than it can ever do listening to a recording. … Continue reading

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CD choice #7 (Bohemian rhapsodies against the Brexit blues)

Another in my sporadic sequence of random CD recommendations. And this is, in fact a recommendation for a sequence of eight disks, called Baroque Bohemia and Beyond (or in one case Bohemian Baroque), with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic, conducted by … Continue reading

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The Arcanto Quartet with Maximilian Hornung play the Schubert Quintet

By chance, we just caught this BBC broadcast, available for 30 days, of a truly fine performance of the Schubert Quintet by the Arcanto Quartet with Maximilian Hornung as the additional cellist. An hour’s suitably reflective respite from the grimmest of news,  which others might … Continue reading

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CD choice #6 (Argerich plays Bach)

Time goes so very fast: it is Martha Argerich’s 75th birthday today. Here is perhaps still my favourite recording of hers, from 1980. Completely stunning Bach playing. I can’t put it better than Jessica Duchen has:  “Martha Argerich presents intense, minor-key Bach: fierce but … Continue reading

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(Not quite) CD choice #5

This is a recording that, as far as I know, has never existed as a CD — a Supraphon LP from 1963, by the great Smetana Quartet in their prime, of Prokofiev’s first and Shostakovich’s third string quartets. I bought this as … Continue reading

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La Traviata at La Fenice

Francesca Dotto singing Violetta was just stunning tonight. Here she is last year in Act I of La Traviata in the same fine production (filmed unofficially I suspect, but still well enough to give you some sense of both the … Continue reading

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