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María Dueñas

A 14 year old Spanish violinist who displays a spectacular musicianship and affinity for the violin. One to watch out for. And unlike a competition in Norway where I was recently sitting in a jury and a similar talent – a 12 year old violinist – was ignored on grounds of being “merely technical” – […]

2 clips

For those out there who claim that contemporary music is at a dead end and we have no truly great composers any more: here are 2 very short clips with performances of music by György Ligeti. Performers with personality are needed to make it work… Not to be missed !!!

Symphonic piano concertos Vol.2

Another giant in the tradition of the symphonic piano concerto is the 40 minute long “Romantisches Konzert” by Joseph Marx, composed 1919/1920. An explosion of harmonic wealth and grand, romantic gestures. The difficulty of this concerto is quite unbelievable, and it needs a virtuoso of the caliber of the great Jorge Bolet to pull this […]

Rarities

Two quite exquisite and rare videos of my favorite pianist are on you tube: a live video of Schubert’s dark and neglected f-minor D 625 Sonata from Paris ( 1971 ) and an excerpt from the last movement of Mozart’s c-minor concerto KV 491. It doesn’t get any more inspired and better than this…

Outside the box

I have always believed that Wilhelm Kempff had a level of spontaneity, individuality and beauty of sound that was often unmatched. History wants to make us believe that he was a Beethoven expert, accompanied by Schubert und Schumann. I would want to add that some of the finest Chopin recordings ever come from 2 LPs […]

Scherzo and Fugue

This LP from 1977 contains some of the most hairraisingly fantastic piano playing, which puts some of the achievements of today’s celebrated Virtuosi into perspective. The pianist is Terence Judd, an exceptional musician who after winning 4th prize at the Tschaikowsky competition in 1978 took his own life at the age of 22 in 1979. […]

Special Choice

I was recently asked which one of my recordings I like best or even more precise: which work or movement is my personal favourite amongst all my CDs. An interesting question, I never had thought about it myself. It was also a bit surprising that within 20 seconds I knew the answer: the slow movement […]

Symphonic piano concertos vol.1

There are quite a number of late romantic piano concertos that are ‘symphonic’, meaning that the piano part is interwoven to a high degree rather than the more ‘soloistic’ works such as by Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninov. In today’s 12 second attention span-instant gratification society there is probably no more unfashionable music than these “symphonic […]

BWV 1064 Two versions

Though I greatly appreciate original instruments and period performances, particularly the ones coming every Friday from www.allofbach.com , the very latest posting of Bach’s Concerto for three pianos BWV 1064 is a disappointing affair and shows limitations especially in the first movement. There is no clarity in the different voicings of the three harpsichords, also […]