Showing posts with label Yehudi Menuhin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yehudi Menuhin. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Farewells to too many people

In the past week we have heard of the deaths of SIX musical legends. The beloved composer Jonathan Harvey (73). The marvellous jazzer Dave Brubeck (91). Charles Rosen (85), pianist and author, whose books are required reading. Then the great sopranos Lisa della Casa (93) and Galina Vishnevskaya (86). Now Ravi Shankar (92). Here is a tribute to each of them.

Jonathan Harvey's Tranquil Abiding:

 Dave Brubeck and his quartet in 'Take the A Train' (1966):

Charles Rosen talks about Schoenberg and emotion:

Lisa della Casa sings Strauss's 'Frühling'

Galina Vishnevskaya sings Rachmaninov's 'O ne grusti'

Ravi Shankar - with Yehudi Menuhin. 'Tenderness'.

Friday, June 08, 2012

It's Schumann's birthday

It's Schumann's birthday, so for a Friday Historical I'd like to play one of the most exquisite and heartbreaking recordings I know. This is Menuhin in the slow movement of the Violin Concerto. A much-maligned work that might have lain forgotten in a Berlin library forever, had Clara and Joachim had their way, it's a piece that can baffle on first hearing; but the better you know it, the more there is to discover, especially in the cyclic nature of its themes - for instance, a pattern that sounds like a curving, linking melody in this movement is derived from the second subject of the first movement and forms the main theme of the third. That's just a taster idea; listen and go deeper. Much deeper.

Recorded in 1937 with Barbirolli conducting  the New York Philharmonic. (It cuts off rather abruptly at the end - this movement, of course, leads straight into the finale.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yehudi plays Handel in 1929

You know that feeling when the captain says "Cabin crew, ten minutes to landing," and they dim the lights...but 25 minutes later you're still reeling about over Stansted in high winds and for once the Ryanair staff have stopped trying to sell you burgers or scratchcards and are eerily quiet? Oh - you don't? Lucky you. Me, I thought we were all gonna die.

Glad to be alive the next day, so it seems a good idea to celebrate. I was looking for a nice historical clip of Handel's Messiah so that we can be suitably seasonal - also, I, er, gatecrashed a rehearsal of it in in Aarhus yesterday and, um, it's a really, really good piece, even without the singers. The adorable Maestro Giancarlo Andretta was filling in the vocal lines quite spectacularly from the podium.

But while I was looking for Messiah, I found this. It was recorded by the young Yehudi Menuhin in 1929. Let's have it instead, because it's to die for (only not in a plane...).