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»Composers«

Ole Bull – Quartet for One Violin

December 29, 2009

I have been fascinated by Ole Bull for years. Today (15th August 2012), I have been thinking about his ‘Quartet for One Violin’, written in Dublin in 1837. This seems to be a work that he may have played with the bow beneath the violin.  I will post a recording of this later, but to […]

Volodmyr Runchak

December 28, 2009

With Volodmyr Runchak in Odessa 2001 Volodymyr Runchak-non-concerto 1 + 16 PSS-Violin Conductor-Volodymyr Runchak Ukrainian Symphony Orchestra Hall of Columns, K’yiv 2000 Volodymyr Runchak-Sounds re-sounds PSS-Violin, Piano, Voice. Odessa 1999 Sitting with Volodmyr Runchak, at the head of the ‘November steps’, I witnessed the most wondrous natural phenomenon. We were drinking  coffee with our backs […]

Paganini Prelude-Vuillaume Steel Bow

December 26, 2009

Niccolo Paganini-Unpublished Prelude 1838 From the Collection of Andrew McGee Instruments-Vuillaume Rolled Steel Bow, Violin-Stradivari 1698 World Premiere recording. PSS 2005 Engineer/producer-Jonathan Haskell (astounding sounds) Paganini was constantly searchingfor new bow makers. A letter written on Lake Como in January 1824, reports that he had tried a number of bows, presumably all from one maker, […]

Paganini Capriccio No 16

December 26, 2009

The G minor Capriccio No 16 is where I feel most in the presence of Bach, or at the very least, that Paganini was very aware of Bach’s legacy for solo violin. This can be more obviously witnessed in the elegant chordal writing of the Capriccio No 11. But the Bach-ian allusion in the 16th […]

Paganini Caprice No 9

December 22, 2009

On Paganini – Capricci Op 1 No.9 E Major  Caprice No 9 seems to take place in a forest, though of course this is not stated. This piece is the only place in Paganini’s cycle where the composer demands mimesis. Heoffers tools to achieve this. The ‘imitation of flutes’ is achieved by playing the upper […]

Trockne Blumen-Schubert (an appreciation)

December 18, 2009

Trockne Blumen ‘Variations on an Original Theme for Flute and Piano’ Und Lenz wird kommen, und Winter wird gehn Und Blümlein werden in Grase stehnn Und Blümlein liegen in meinen Grab, Die Blümlein alle, die sie mir gab. Wilhelm Müller “What I produce is due to my understanding of music and to my sorrows; that […]

Paul Pellay-Evolving to

December 15, 2009

I met the composer Paul Pellay when we were both students at the Royal Academy of Music. At that time, although I was involved in performances of some of his music, we did not develop a collaboration. That had to wait for some years. Evolving to….(1006)Track05 PSS-Violin Recording Engineer: Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds) This was […]

Jeremy Dale Roberts

December 8, 2009

Studying Jeremy Dale Robert’s Croquis was a turning point for us all. It also gave us all pause-how can an absolute masterwork, be totally neglected for almost thirty years? Playing it, we had to consider our relationship to Watteau, Bartok, Vivaldi, Hokusai, gamba-technique, ballet, sonnets, Liszt, plain-chant, Sappho-and that is just the start…   NMC:D151

Schubert and the violin

December 8, 2009

  Discussion continues within the Quartet as to where Schubert’s crazy late violin writing comes from. Imagine him handing the last movement of the G major Quartet to his violinist brother Ferdinand. One supposes that the initial reaction would have been: “What the hell is this?”! However, if we go back ten years, and look […]

Elliott Schwartz – composer

December 8, 2009

Elliott Schwartz and Peter Sheppard Skaerved have been collaborating for over a decade-following a much earlier meeting. This collaboration has resulted in countlesss performances of classic Schwartz works, such as Memorial in Two Parts, which Peter has played worldwide with Aaron Shorr. The Kreutzer Quartet has made a groundbreaking recording of Schwartz’s wonderful Bellagio Variations, […]