Showing posts with label Isolde Menges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Isolde Menges. Show all posts

Friday, May 03, 2013

Friday Historical: Isolde Menges plays 'Hejre Kati'

This sweet-toned, quick-witted performance of Hubay's version of Hejre Kati was recorded by the British violinist Isolde Menges in the 1920s. The sound quality is remarkable for the time and the whole thing beautifully bridges the divide between high-art classical playing and the rather earthier Csardas that Hubay transcribed. Menges is definitely inclined more to the classical side of things...

...but the recording is nevertheless getting me geared up for the Hungarian Dances concert-of-the-novel, for which our new team - David Le Page and Anthony Hewitt - has rehearsal no.1 next week. This piece ends our programme. First concert will be in the Ulverston Festival on 8 June, then the St James Theatre Studio on 11 June and we're going on Radio 3's In Tune to talk about it, and play some, on 3 June.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vaughan Williams for Remembrance Sunday

For Remembrance Sunday, here is the earliest recording I can currently find of Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending: the work that perhaps more than any other evokes a moment of stillness in a world about to be swept away by the outbreak of World War I. This account by Isolde Menges is conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent (with what the uploader describes only as "a less than sterling orchestra"). It dates from 1928.

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.

For singing till his heaven fills,
‘Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup
And he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.

Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.

--- George Meredith