Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hirschhorn, 1967

Following a special mention from Sebastian in the comments the other day, here is a clip of the great Philippe Hirschhorn playing in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1967. Hirschhorn, who died of a brain tumour aged only 50, was a huge loss to the music world - one of the artists I most wish I could have heard. Just take in that tone. Very occasionally, you find a musician whose sound and ethos feel too good to be true - too good, perhaps, for this world... On one of the other Youtube videos of him there's a comment from listener who says simply: "I believe he returned to where he had come from."

There's a touching tribute to him from our Philippe, Monsieur Graffin, in my profile of him for The Strad a few years back, including a lovely photo of the two of them together. As a teenager, Philippe G used to travel from Paris to Brussels for lessons with Philippe H every couple of weeks. (Due to technotwit difficulties I can't copy the pic from the PDF, so please go to the page to see it...)

Thank heavens for recordings. Before the classical recording industry succeeds in committing suicide, someone should please reflect on the number of extraordinary musicians whose artistry we now know only because someone switched on a microphone.