Friday, November 24, 2006

Music news

Hot from reading two issues of 'The Strad' on the plane (left one copy behind, annoying that), I can tell the breathlessly waiting world the following news:

1. Anne Sophie Mutter has announced, shortly after her divorce from A Previn, her retirement from performing when she is 45. Her agents will be frantically examining contracts and checking bookings that may already have been made for beyond that period. She's only 43.5 just now - I thought she was nearer my age (have not seen 43.5 for a while). I suppose she has been working at the fiddle since the age of about 5 or so, so that would be a 40 year working life - well going for anyone. And maybe she does not know anything else? I wonder what she will do?

2. Daniel Hope's Bach CD is reviewed rather negatively by Tully Potter, as in ' I don't think Bach would have recognised his music had he heard it being hustled along'. I did think at the time that the historically informed brigade (or as someone once called them 'the Dutch baroque dweebs in sandals') might not entirely approve of this recording. Interestingly the same reviewer is much more positive (in the lost December issue) about a recording by Monica Huggett of almost the same concertos, who, as it happens, generally uses the historically informed approach, gut strings, bow held half-way up the stick and so on. We know which side the reviewer dresses on then, don't we.

3. Jessica Duchen was lucky enough to interview the Fine Arts Quartet at the end of their two-month Europe tour which had started in Vilnius in June this year. It was their second visit to Vilnius, the first one having been a bit of a disaster Not Of Their Making due to lack of advertising, but this one, within the context of the Vilnius Festival, was much more successful and almost sold out. Not that I can remember what they played - oh yes, I do, some piano quintet with a very young Lithuanian pianist (notes are at home). The guys are really nice, and very well travelled (all but one emanating from Eastern Europe, though, Jessica, Bocio is Ukrainian methinks, not Russian).

4. Carlos Maria Solare, a permanent attender at international viola congresses, with fluent German and very fluent English (his turn of phrase is very impressive), very positively reviewed Tatjana Masurenko's recording of British viola concertos (Beamish, a new version of the Walton and the Britten Lachrymae). The Lachrymae is a reverse theme and variations, with the theme, a very sweet Dowland song, resolving only at the end the tension created earlier in the piece. It's strange because usually you listen for hints of the theme when you listen to variations, but here you cannot do it. Tatjana Masurenko organised a very nice German viola day in Leipzig a couple of years ago, and it was a great opportunity to visit Bach's city (beautiful place!) and even the Thomaskirche. She also gave a performance of a Bach cello suite, to mutterings from the Historically Informed Brigade 'no-one plays Bach like that any more'...


Jessica said...

More info on the FAQ at their website: http://www.uwm.edu/~revans/bio.html#efim
- which by the way describes Boico as Russian! Intrigued to hear about their Vilnius trips - I imagine they'd go over extremely well there. I adore their style, but of course the Dutch Dweebs probably wouldn't. Frankly, that's their problem. If a violin can sound as glorious as Ralph Evans's, why would you want it to sound any different?

violainvilnius said...

Well, presumably their bio is right then - I could have sworn in one conversation or other we talked about Ukraine....