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Showing posts from March, 2012

16th. Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival Warsaw 25 March - 6 April 2012

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Unfortunately I have little time to attend all the concerts of this festival (my own writing and research takes up so much time) but at least two of the pianists interested me greatly.

25 March
The splendid miltitaristic and certainly festive performance of  Wellington’s Victory, Op. 91 appropriately opened the Festival followed by what must be considered a unique assemblage of talent. The Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 was performed with three winners of the recent Tchaikovsky Competion in Moscow on their various instruments.
Daniil Trifonov – piano

Sergey Dogadin – violin
Narek Hakhnazaryan – cello


The chamber music section of the competition meant these three must have already had an immense command of ensemble playing and for me it was remarkable performance of this admittedly light, charming work. Daniil Trifonov listened carefully to the other solists and played in his usual intensely sensitive and musical manner. One of the most gifted young musicians of our time. The orchestra, …

Eccentric Club Dinner at the Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, Mayfair on the evening of 21 March 2012 in the presence of H.R.H. the Prince Philip

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Pretentious moi?  Probably but it's fun in is own way. One only lives once and the standards one was brought up with should be maintained as one ages. I cling desperately to the coat-tails of the 'inequality onslaught' as my once comfortable income is unpleasantly reduced by the recession and the financial chaos in Europe. The oligarchs rise inexorably in a triumph of mediocrity. I also fight a thankless task against the frightful levelling of 'political correctness'. This club and the art of individualist and fearless conversation it maintains helps somewhat to foster a normal sense of human proportion and morality. Nil Nisi Bonum - Nothing But Good. 

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I made a special trip to London from Warsaw for this entertaining event and was so pleased I did so. The venue was the Savile Club at 69 Brook Street London W.1 once owned by Viscountess Harcourt. The club occupies one of the greatest original Mayfair interiors. Here the subject of my recen…

Grigory Sokolov in Warsaw 24 March 2012

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Today there are a few truly great pianists - then there is Sokolov


I returned to Warsaw from London and my researches early on Friday especially to experience a musical soul whom I consider to be the greatest living pianist. Each recital promises to be a profound musical experience and a new adventure into  interpretative recreation possible at the instrument.
I first heard Sokolov in 1993 playing the Op. 25 Chopin Etudes in the small concert room in the atelier of the Chopin Museum in Warsaw, a room sadly no longer in use for this purpose. He was a legend in the Chopin Society even then, his very name breathed with reverence and awe. It was a shattering musical encounter I have never forgotten. I would cross great oceans in a twinkling to hear him perform.
Sokolov is that rare species, a pianist at home with the entire Classical and Romantic repertoire but also attracted to music originally written for the harpsichord - composers such as Froberger, Bach, Francois Couperin and…

In Search of Edward Cahill's 'At Home' London recitals. A recent walking tour of Mayfair and elsewhere in and around the great metropolis

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For those of you who have been following my ongoing work in progress in the many postings over the last two years concerning the brilliant but forgotten Australian pianist Edward Cahill, I have been in London for the last two weeks searching out the surviving great town houses that 'Uncle Eddie' played in and the residences he lived in during the 1920s and 1930s. Some houses were bombed during WWII and some buildings completely redeveloped such as Brook House in Park Lane (now an Aston Martin showroom). Here is a selection of photographs I have taken with my trusty Leica.           
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