Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Weekend Wrapup

Long weekend but not much listening. Cleaned up the basement, put on a new screendoor, mowed the lawn and watched fireworks instead.

Watched most of the second concert in the Barenboim on Beethoven set. He played the Op.2 No.2, the Tempest (Op. 31, No. 2) and the Op. 14, No. 2 sonatas (the Les Adieux is the remaining sonata in the concert). I thought the Op. 2 No. 2 was a little too... interpreted, I guess. I prefer Goode's more straightforward reading. A few days before watching this, I watched the masterclass on the last movement from the Hammerklavier. The pianist was farther along the way than the one in the previous masterclass - Barenboim seemed impressed with him. The bar-by-bar commentary Barenboim provides is great. Wish there were more of them.

A couple of nights ago, I watched the recent Glenn Gould documentary Hereafter. It was a strange experience in that I don't think Gould comes off all that well. The way it's presented in the film, his distaste for live performance and preference for recordings is only a rationalization for his own neuroses. In a telling scene, Yehudi Menuhin says to Gould that surely a work like the St. Matthew Passion needs to be performed in public. Gould has no answer and Menuhin continues by asking what if people prefered to watch movies about mountain climbing instead of actually climbing mountains. "What kind of world would that be?" Gould answers lamely to the effect that it would be better since mountain climbing is dangerous. "Oh, Glenn, don't say that. Don't say that," Menuhin replies.

The scene in which he explained his approach to a Mozart sonata to Humphrey Burton also rankled. I came away from the film thinking I didn't have much use for such a solipsistic approach to music. But then again, his playing of Beethoven's Op. 109 seems worth a try.....

So after viewing that, I listened to Goode playing Op. 109 and Beethoven's Sonatina for Mandolin, WoO 43a.

Today's lunchtime listening was Haydn's Op. 20, No.1 quartet and the first of Mozart's great Vienna concertos - the E-flat, KV 449 (Murray Perahia's performance).

Last week, I also listened to one of the Elektras recorded off Sirius. That's for next time since the subject of the lecture will be cuts in performances of Elektra.

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