Category Archives: Music

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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Beethoven for a Later Age

On a recent visit to our favourite bookshop, Topping’s in Ely, I picked up a copy of Edward Dusinberre’s Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet. (In fact, if you click on the photo, you’ll see … Continue reading

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CD choice #4

Continuing my occasional series of CD recommendations, this is not at all my usual fare. But I happened to hear a slightly jazz-influenced arrangement of Purcell’s “A prince of glorious race descended” on internet radio (Otto’s Baroque Music, since you … Continue reading

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Encore #19: Schubert’s piano music

Is it something about the philosophical temperament? But I have known a number of philosophers for whom Schubert’s later piano works are absolutely central among the music which means the most to them. Certainly they are for me. I have blogged over the years … Continue reading

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