Berg, Arrau and extra 2023
This Week in Classical Music: February 6, 2023. Berg, Arrau and extra. It so occurred that for the final month, we’ve been preoccupied with Austro-German composers, first with the principally Jewish, and now principally forgotten, composers who flourished early within the 20th century, then with Mozart and Quantz. This week brings one other identify, which might firmly match into the identical class – that of Alban Berg, who was born in Vienna on February 9th of 1885. Fortuitously, we’ve written about Berg many occasions, so, along with the current posts, we will refer you, for instance to theseentries. Within the meantime, we’ll flip to performers whom we’ve uncared for in our current posts. Arthur Rubinstein and John Ogdon have been born in late January, the previous on the 28th within the yr 1887, and the latter on the 27th, precisely 50 years later, in 1937. Rubinstein lived a splendidly lengthy life, nearly 96 years, and carried out nicely into his 80s (he gave his final live performance in London in 1975, when he was 89). However, Ogdon’s profession was transient: on the age of 36 he skilled a psychological breakdown, and from that point until his dying in 1989 on the age of 52, he gave just some concert events.
Two great cellists have been additionally born in late January: Jacqueline du Pré, on the 26th in 1945, and Lynn Harrell, on the 30th in 1944. Right here now we have an identical story: Harrell carried out until the ripe age of 76 (he died, instantly, in 2020). The du Pré tragedy is broadly recognized, it was portrayed in books and movie: a tremendously proficient musician, she was struck by a number of sclerosis in 1971, when she was solely 26 (she died on 19th of October 1987 on the age of 42). Let’s hearken to each cellists in the identical Cello concerto by Antonin Dvořák. Right here Jacqueline du Pré performs the primary motion of the concerto. This recording was made reside in Stockholm in 1967 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sergiu Celibidache conducting. And right here Lynn Harrell performs the second motion. This recording was made in 1982 in London with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra.
This week we commemorate the anniversary of the nice Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau, who was born on this present day in 1903. A toddler prodigy, he gave his first public live performance on the age of 5. On the age of 11, he performed all of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes; that was additionally the yr when he gave his first live performance in Berlin, the place he would reside and educate from 1924 to 1940. In 1935 he gave 12 concert events taking part in all of Bach’s keyboard compositions. In 1941 he settled in New York. He performed a number of full cycles of Beethoven’s sonatas, each within the US and in Europe, and continued to carry out into his 80s. Arrau had an unlimited repertoire. It was mentioned that he may play 76 totally different recitals with out repeating a single piece, not counting the piano concertos. We will consider solely Sviatoslav Richter having a broader vary. Contemplating that a lot of Arrau’s repertoire was recorded, it’s tough to select one piece to show his expertise. So, we’ll provide you with two Beethoven sonatas: first, Piano Sonata No. 21 “Waldstein” in C main, op. 53, recorded in 1963, and then, Piano Sonata No. 17 “Tempest” in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2, recorded in 1965. The tempos are sluggish however the outcomes are profound.