Showing posts from April, 2024

Anne-Sophie Mutter inspires the human spirit through music in Warsaw the Phoenix - 27 April 2024

Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra   Andrzej Boreyko conductor Anne-Sophie Mutter violin Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884)   Bedřich  Smetana in ravaged old age String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life"    (orchestral instrumentation by George Szell) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life" And so it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bedřich Smetana. As I am unfamiliar with this work in its orchestral version and its genesis as a chamber work, I am eternally grateful to John Henken, Director of Publications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, for the sensitive, illuminating information and deeply moving quotations contained below. The Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyko gave a powerful and symphonic account of the orchestrated chamber work String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life". However, the American conductor of Hungarian origin who orchestrated the work, George Szell, s

Arcady Volodos beguiles Warsaw with Schubert and Schumann - Sunday April 7th 2024

Arcady Volodos ( photo Marcin Borggreve ) Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Piano Sonata in A minor  D 845  Franz Schubert (1797-1828) From the opening seconds of touching the keys the divine legato, velvet distinction and perfection of tone and touch was instantly clear from Volodos hand. Like all the greatest pianists, his unique voice wings effortlessly above what is inappropriately called 'technique' plunging us deep into the beating heart of the music. Listening to Volodos in Schubert, I was put in mind of a letter the composer wrote to his parents in 1825 (the year of the composition of this Première grande Sonate ) concerning his own playing : ' upper Austria ... I played [the variations from my new two hand sonata. Op.42] myself, and apparently not without an angel over my shoulder, because a few people assured me that under my hands the keys became like voices. If this is true I am really pleased, because I cannot stand this damnable thumping that even quite

Arthur Rubinstein and the Ache of Love. His last concert in Poland recorded on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Łódź Philharmonic, 30th May 1975 - A rare Rubinstein recording

A joyful picture of  Arthur Rubinstein  dancing a  sevillana  in the back yard of a tenement house at 78 Piotrowska Street,  Łódź,  where he lived his childhood. Taken on his visit to the city commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic. A number of memorable moments are associated in my mind with the genius of Artur Rubinstein. One was some time after I gave a short recital of Chopin at the age of 8 in the Town Hall in Melbourne. At that time I was vainly cultivating the illusory dream of becoming a concert pianist. I first heard the unforgettable Rubinstein himself play live in the Sydney Town Hall when I was about 15. Years later I took his complete Chopin vinyl recordings and my C. Bechstein piano to a remote Pacific island where I had decided to live and practice. Later Rubinstein performances in London accompanied the slow dissolving of my artistic dreams in the grey fog of reality and recognition of the limitations of talent. Artur Rubinstein died