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Picks of the week.

April 18, 2009 at 8:18 AM


now I have a new computer I have been abusing youtube to the extent I feel like writing a `three picks of the week.`

The interesting thing I have found is that it can be very illuminating to keep switching quite rapidly between player s in the same piece.  Of course I have to be polite about Hilary because she used my Schoenburger neoligism but really she comes out time and time again as one of the most beautiful sounding and perfect player s of today.  And not in any boring sense. Its a very subtle thing but I am more and more impressed with her all the time.   So go for her Mozart four.  She`s gone her own way with phrasing and articulation,  often quite smooth compared to the born again baroquers but its just awesome.

The only other player who i find really comparable in Mozart is Mr. Vengerov playing Mozart two.  That is so beautiful.  It reminds me that in one of his master classes he compares the opening chord of Mozart three to the first big d major cruncher in the Tchaik and notes how they have to have different colors. That every composition has to have its own unique color.  His sound is Mozart as perfect as one could wish for.

The third item is a real prize.  It actually shook my view of the Beethoven concerto quite considerably.  Joshua Bell,  no conducter and the Orpheus orchestra. My first reaction was the tempo was too fast for my taste. But that quickly disappeared when I notice d the reduce size of the band created an amazing transparency and I could hear very beautifully worked out dynamic contrast and articulations in the opening that one doesn`t normally get.   This is real subtle.  Bell comes in and for a second it almost seems causal and uncommitted as he plays through rapidly and cleanly with no big rubatos or gestures. Then you just realize its simply egoless and unaffected.  he sees the opening and indeed the whole work as a complete organic whole in which there just happens to be a lone fiddler adding some extra twiddly bits.  Its so well integrated,  so right and so different from how one traditionally sees the greats play it-  perfect chamber music.(and its in tune. ) Learn a lot from this one.

Having done with these three you would be well advised to watch Monty Python  Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no1.  No comment needed.



From Daniel Jenkins
Posted on April 18, 2009 at 10:29 PM


I'm glad to hear you've got a new computer.  May I presume that this means we will be seeing even more of you on now?  Thanks for sharing these with us.  I especially enjoyed hearing Joshua Bell playing Beethoven with Orpheus

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on April 19, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Buri, yeah for the new computer! Thanks for the top picks too. There is also an interesting one that has him working with Corina Belcea By the way, I went to a concert performed by the Belcea Quartet last fall in Vienna and enjoyed it very much. They’ve released quite a few CDs and I’m curious about what’s your take on this group.

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on April 19, 2009 at 8:23 PM


hi Yixi.  I think the Belcea is one of the best young quartets around.  Another one to watch out for is the Pacifica.   I haven`t heard the Belcea for a while so I will look on this computer thingy again. There is so much stuff I think it wil have ot chnage to pick of the day!



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