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Symphonic piano concertos 3

Composed in 1929 “Winter Legends” is one of the two large scale piano/orchestra works by Arnold Bax. Structurally it is a three movement work with an epilogue, a technique Bax employed in many of his symphonies. For Baxians like myself this ranks among his finest works. Evoking old legends, beautiful visions of countryside and dramatic […]

30 seconds

This is some of the most special footage that has come to light in recent years: Dinu Lipatti on film during a garden party in Luzern in 1947. It is a short clip, but the 5 minute long footage also has many other interesting artists to show for, such as Hindemith, Stokowsky, Furtwaengler, Schwarzkopf, to […]

Late Mozart Vol. 5

Last not least there is Mozart’s ultimate piano concerto. A mysterious, spooky affair it is. Already the beginning is highly unusual as the orchestra starts just with an accompanying figure before a quite subdued theme appears. Another magic moment is this feeling of getting lost from 6.15 min.onwards. The slow movement ( 13.50 min.) is […]

Late Mozart Vol. 4

The so called “Divertimento” KV 563 is a string Trio in 6 movements for violin, viola and cello. It is one of the indisputable highlights within Mozart’s oeuvre. Impossible really to describe the compository subtleties, the sophistication of its themes in combination with the serious technical demands. For example like so often in late Mozart […]

Late Mozart Vol.3

Here one of the many outstanding chamber music works from Mozart’s last years. The sonata for piano and violin KV 526 is quite a racket when performed like here with Jaques Thibaud and Marguerite Long in a stupendous recording from the 1930’ies. The music is sparkling and played with élan, spirit and virtuosity, and I […]

Late Mozart Vol.2

Here are 3 short examples of late Mozart. Firstly the unusual Adagio for Glasharmonika KV 617a, a very subtle but harmonically highly interesting work, which works also fabulously on the piano. Then the complex Fantasy in f KV 608 for mechanical clock, here in a 2 versions: one for for pedal piano and organ. Mozart’s […]

Late Mozart Vol.1

The late music of Mozart ( anything from roughly the last 3 years of his life ) is in a very special category of its own. ‘Dark’ or ‘Dramatic’ doesn’t even begin to describe the complexities of his late style. There is a ruggedness, despair and uncompromising attitude in some of these works that leave […]

Das Lied im Grünen et al

It seems to me that singers from the beginning of the last century until the 1960’ies era were more individual and interesting to listen to than today’s correct and technically accomplished, but often uninspired offerings. Here are some diverse examples of this Golden Age of singing. The spontaneity and freedom of these not only great […]

Forgotten

The British pianist Evlyn Howard-Jones (1877-1951) has been only known to a handful of insiders, but his playing deserves for sure attention. There are some marvelous Bach recordings from 1929 and 1930. Far from the dry and academic Bach playing which is la mode these days it is wonderful to see such imagination and musicality. […]

400

That’s the approximate number of dances Schubert wrote throughout his life. Together with his songs these pieces contain some of his most idiomatic music. They are especially noteworthy in their relationship to Austrian folk music combined with an endless melodic variety and subtle, often surprising harmonics. When I first came across these works it felt […]