It may not be news any more but one of the most outstanding violin talents ever was Josef Hassid. Details about his short and tragic life can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Hassid The spellbinding intensity of his playing and a certain inexplicable expressive quality have very few peers in the history of violin playing. His recorded […]
The Scots have their own Comedy tradition, the best effort so far has been ‘Still Game’ , the story of several pensioners living in a Glasgow towerblock. Hilarious characters and superb acting are the norm here. Here are two tasters: firstly a famous clip where ‘Winston’, a notoriously stinchy guy loses all his money, which he […]
In the middle of all the endless discussions about the ‘right way’ to perform Bach ( or Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert etc. ) and claiming to present a historically informed style I enjoy quite often versions of great works that are far outside the newly found correctness. The simple method I use is pretty unscientific to say the […]
Gershwin was of course a superb pianist, but what makes him special was apart from his gift for catchy melodies a certain snappy unsentimental playing. Particularly “That certain feeling” ticks all the boxes of that very individual style. And it is very “American”, in the best sense: very entertaining, optimistic, imaginative and intelligent. Here we go:
Not exactly a book recommendation,but one of the most intelligent magazines around. The title “The American Interest” is somewhat misleading, as it is a magazine highly critical of the US and its establishment, but the quality of its articles is superb. Here is a taster: a sharp and crisp article about the phenomenon of “crony […]
“…die Haeuser schau’n verwundert drein…” ( …the houses look in wonder… ). This wonderful line, which I have never forgotten since I heard it first many years ago — one can find in Franz Schubert’s “Nachthelle”, a priceless piece for Tenor, Male choir and Piano. My favorite recording used to be with the Muenchner Singphoniker, […]
That must be one of the most remarkable versions of this work: the Norwegian chamber orchestra performs Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Verklaerte Nacht’ not only from memory (!) but without conductor . Quite priceless in its searing intensity and profound interpretation.
Karol Szymanowsky’s 1st piano sonata Opus 8 is — like his violin sonata Opus 9 — a wonderfully inspiried work of the highest order. Disarmingly charming is the 3rd movement.
There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that Karlheinz Stockhausen was one of the most creative minds in the 20th century. His music is an endless ocean of new sounds and revolutionary ideas. There is a vast amount of his music on you tube, most notably many excerpts from his opera ”Licht”, the […]
Very rare and interesting short film about W G Sebald’s book “Austerlitz”. It was Sebald’s last major novel and in this fascinating film some of the traces of that book are followed. Highly recommended !