Thursday, 27 October 2005

Work has impeded additions to this journal. However, life resumes. Strange to be very impressed at this stage with performances of the Brahms and Mendelssohn violin concertos. Strange, also, that the violinist concerned should be Johanna Martzy, always a superb violinist but often, in the studio, somewhat straight-laced and severe. But her live performances of the Mendelssohn concerto (in The Hague, 1954 with Klemperer conducting) and Brahms (Stuttgart, 1964 with G√ľnter Wand conducting) are fast, fiery and dashing. The Mendelssohn has to be one of the fastest performances on record (and ditto the finale of the Brahms concerto). Both performances get lots of stars in my listing -- and the recording of the Brahms is especially acceptable. Martzy's studio recordings showed she was an excellent violinist; her live recordings show she could have been fully the equal of all but Kreisler and Heifetz.

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Tried yet again with Shostakovich's sonata for violin & piano (Oistrakh playing, with Yampolsky). Yet again, I found it a work without talent and utterly unmemorable. Shostakovich was so uneven!

On the bright side, a large oxtail stew awaits me tomorrow evening. It's already looking good.