Archive by Author

Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for literature for “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Here is an example of his art, “It’s alright, Ma ( I’m only bleeding ), one of his arguably greatest songs. And the 2016 Nobel Lecture. Food for thought.

WKL

Bach’s Welltempered Clavier has been recorded numerous times, and of course the work allows for a very diversified and individualist approach. In terms of displaying polyphony hardly anybody can touch Glenn Gould, but I always seem to come back for one version, which I think ranks way above the rest. There seems no ego involved […]

Choral searching

I am a longstanding Bach chorale enthusiast. That has slightly to do with the fact that I played organ in church for quite many years, though Bach chorales were not the normal diet: I had to play simplified and very plain versions of all kind of songs the church had approved of, but nevertheless: what […]

Interpretation

Schoenberg’s music, often maligned as intellectual and all too dissonant ( due to his composition method ) is in reality ( just like Anton von Webern’s music ) amongst the most expressive music ever written. A kind of Brahms on steroids, due to the extreme chromaticism, the abandonement of tonality, but — and this is […]

Die schönste Nacht

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, not only a highly original composer but also a formidable pianist can be heard here in full swing playing and humming. Quite infectious and wonderful ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXDuBKvQ8-U

“Les Roses d’Ispaham”

As an ardent and unrelenting Faure admirer ( his music comes next to Mozart and Schubert in subtlety ) one further attempt to find the ideal interpretation of one of Faure’s most exquisite songs. And it is no surprise that Victoria de los Ángeles delivers a stunning rendition.

Sleeplessness

According to Forkel, Bach’s first biographer ( 1802 ) this is how the Goldbergvariations came into existence: “For this model…, we are indebted to Count Keyserlingk, formerly Russian envoy to the court of the Elector of Saxony, who frequently resided in Leipzig, and brought with him Goldberg, who has been mentioned above, to have him […]

Arno Schmidt

Finally an English version of an excellent film about Arno Schmidt, one of Germany’s most important postwar writers, and certainly my favorite “Wortmetz” ( wordsmith ) of them all.