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:
“…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 […]
In anticipation of being in Cornwall in a few weeks — one of the most mesmerisingly beautiful landscapes in Europe — here some music illustrating of what it is all about: Sir Arnold Bax’s symphonic poem ”Tintagel”, accompanied by some beautiful photos. And here some more material regarding harbour villages in Cornwall.
To play Baroque repertoire on the modern piano is not without its problems particularly when one looks at the colourful works by Francois Couperin. Zuzana Růžičková, the great Czech Harpsichordist has a highly impressive recorded legacy and a particular gem is the Supraphon recording from 1966 with a selection of Couperin. ( Thanks to David Hertzberg […]
This is a priceless document: German baritone Heinrich Schlusnus in the only existing film document. His singing here shows his qualities: unpretentious and totally natural singing combined with great seriousness. The film shows some images from war ravaged Berlin, which are in stark contrast to the words ending Hugo Wolf’s song. ( ”Gruess Dich Deutschland aus Herzensgrund […]
Here is a link to the most recent concert of the Barrat Due Chamber Philharmonic, that is the student orchestra of the Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo, the institution I work at.
For anybody interested in Mendelssohn, a composer that still is undervalued and underestimated, here comes a lecture about how to play ( and how NOT to play ) Mendelssohn by Menahem Pressler. Full of invaluable insights. As an added bonus you will find Mozart’s early B-flat Trio at the end.