Monday, May 30, 2016
Our heroine's birthday
Today is the birthday of the great violinist Jelly d'Arányi, who was born in Budapest on 30 May 1893. She is of course the heroine of Ghost Variations.
Here are just a few pieces of the pieces of music that were composed for her and/or inspired by her, in no particular order:
Bartók: Violin Sonata No.1
Ethel Smyth: Double Concerto for Violin and French Horn
Vaughan Williams: Concerto Accademico
FS Kelly: Violin Sonata in G major (now nicknamed the 'Gallipoli Sonata')
Gustav Holst: Double Concerto for two violins (for Jelly and her sister Adila Fachiri)
Unfortunately the majority of Jelly's recordings are of short salon works rather than the meaty concertos and chamber works that formed the bulk of her repertoire. The exceptions are some concertos by Bach and Mozart, and a remarkable set of two piano trios - Schubert's B flat and Brahms's C major Op.87 with Myra Hess, with whom she enjoyed a rewarding duo for some 20 years. The two trios have different cellists - Felix Salmond joins them for the Schubert, Gaspar Cassado for the Brahms. It's the only surviving recording testimony to her partnership with Hess.
Above, hear the slow movement of the Brahms (which features some of Brahms' Hungarian Joachim-tribute rhythms). To judge from their playing here, Myra and Jelly were musical soulmates.