Louis Krasner

December 16, 2009

   (This article cited here-Auditorio Nacional) I have never forgotten the advice that Louis Krasner gave me about concerto playing. There is an astounding recording of a performance that he gave of ‘his’ piece, the Berg Violin Concerto. This was recorded in 1936, with the BBC Symphony orchestra. They were conducted by Anton von Webern, […]

Nesi Hensu

December 16, 2009

  Nesi Hensu  The Zagrebacka Mumija lies in a small dedicated room at the back of the Archeological museum in Zagreb.  The museum is set back from the road, with a delightful garden in front where I love to sit under the enormous chestnut trees, drinking the fantastic espresso that they make there. The trees […]

Alexandre Boucher and La Marseillaise

December 16, 2009

Boucher and La Marseillaise Alexandre-Jean Boucher (1770-1861) was born and died in Paris. His father was a member of Louis XV’s  Mousquetaires Gris A pupil or Navoigille ainé, and Gaviniés, he performed at court at the age of eight years old, shortly before his debut at les Concerts Spirituels.  .  In 1787, he was engaged […]

Turbulent Quartets

December 14, 2009

  Turbulent Quartets   Pre-Concert Talk-Wilton’s Music Hall-13th December 2009 Schubert’s friend Eduard Bauernfeld noted: “Schubert has the right blend of the ideal and the real; for him, the world is beautiful.” (3 March 1826, in Franz Schubert, Music and Belief, Leo Black, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2003, P.1)  However events in 1820 upset his blend […]

Bach-Beethoven-Mendelssohn-David Matthews

December 11, 2009

Bach-Beethoven-Mendelssohn-David Matthews Extract from pre-concert talk given at Wilton’s Music Hall, Spring 2009  The unifying figure behind all of the composers that we are playing today is, of course, Johann Sebastian Bach.  All three of them arranged Bach’s music, and one, Felix Mendelssohn, was responsible for the revival of Bach’s music in the concert hall, […]

Thoughts on Paganini and England

December 10, 2009

 Click on Paganini and Eliasson  Preparations for Paganini’s Arrival in London-1831 (10-12-09) “For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still sad music of humanity, Not harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue.” Wordsworth Lyrical Ballads (1798), On the […]

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 […]

Shibboleth – Opening the Salon Door

December 7, 2009

Opening the Salon Door Text of Talk given at SOUNDBOX,RAM 2008 It is perhaps appropriate that we discuss the question of the Salon here, in the surroundings of a Museum. It is a word that we have come to use a lot to describe our activities here at the Academy. In the beginning, it was […]

Elgar and Heifetz’s Third Finger

December 6, 2009

Elgar Meets Heifetz (Short talk given at RAM ‘Soundbox’ series, and Elgar Society Study Day, Northampton University, 2008)     On the 5th May 1920, George Bernard Shaw penned his by now legendary note to the 19-year old Heifetz.   My Dear Heifetz  Your recital has filled my wife and I with anxiety. If you […]

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony-a side look…

December 6, 2009

  A side look at Beethoven 9. Talk given as part of the ‘Barbirolli Lecture’ series at the Royal Academy of Music. 2008 On the 21st January 1825, the great double-bassist Domenico Dragonettti wrote to the Philharmonic Society:   “I will accept the engagement for the ensuing season at 10 Guineas per night, and play […]