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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 […]

Genius

Needless to say that Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was one of the most stunning pianists of all times. The sophistication of his playing, the complete lack of outward effects and sentimentality and his unmatched pianistic abilities are the stuff of legends. His best time was from the 1940ies into the 1960ies, nearly everything from that time […]

Fantasy

Franz Schubert wrote 3 major Fantasies, all seminal works that belong to the top of the genre. The first one in chronological order is the so called “Wandererfantasie” Opus 15, a highly virtuosic work for solo piano, based on the song “Der Wanderer” was composed in 1822. Schubert, who was only a moderate pianist could […]

Eileen Joyce

Australian pianist Eileen Joyce ( 1908 – 1991 ) is a vastly underrated and nearly forgotten pianist. In my opinion she was one of the very great performers of the 20th century, and whilst having a big International career during her lifetime, reputation has since faded. Equipped with a stupendous technique and a highly individual […]

Ravel

It was one of the great privileges having had lessons with Felix Galimir at the Juilliard School of Music during my studies there. Galimir was a direct connection to Maurice Ravel, as he and his Quartet were the first one to record Ravel’s String Quartet in 1934 under the supervision of the composer. Ravel’s very […]

Kolisch

The Kolisch Quartet has always been a most unusual formation regarding the radicalism of their interpretations, especially in their Mozart, Schubert and Schoenberg recordings. One notable aspect of the Quartet was that they generally performed from memory, including difficult modern works such as the Lyric Suite of Berg ot the Schoenberg Quartets. This was not […]

Karen Dalton

A remarkable and neglected singer with a tragic life story. Her voice has a haunting quality… a real discovery. https://timeline.com/karen-dalton-folk-tragic-8c042745bdc7

Requiem

Dvorak’s Requiem is rarely performed and an underrated masterpiece. Composed in 1890 it is a deeply spiritual work. It needs to be heard. ( A woman in Berlin 1945, after having committed suicide. The suicide rates spiked dramatically in 1945 as many women were afraid of being abused,raped or killed by Russian soldiers who had […]

Vitebsk (1929 )

Shloyme-Zanvel Rappaport/Semyon Akimovich Ansky (1863-1920) is one of the most remarkable figures in Russian and Jewish history and literature. Born to a traditional, Yiddish-speaking Jewish family, Ansky became a populist activist and an author of fiction, poetry, and drama in Yiddish and Russian. His play “Between Two Worlds” (The Dybbuk), was written in 1919, was […]