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Archives for April 2010

Space rubble

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Anthony Sayer Anthony Sayer | 18:39 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010


I've been wondering: Deep down, what do I want to say - apart from jumping up and down on the touch line shouting for the music team? Well, I've had some holiday - time to reflect a little - time to tidy up thoughts. If ideas jig around in the front of your mind, bells ring when something similar flits by your attention. Your radar picks up oblique references to your pet subjects. Pet subjects always feel ever so important. You keep banging your shins on them.

I hear voices.....often - those of Barenboim, Rattle, Runnicles, Manze, Kovacevich, and many many more of that ilk - voices cheer leading for the same issues - the voices of stars of our firmament, not wee fragments of space rubble like me. What are these pet subjects? Spontaneity, freedom, engaged listening, music education - that sort of stuff. For example: I was listening to the Music Matters edition where Tom Service was talking to Stephen Kovacevich. In his charmingly acerbic manner Stephen was quite rude about colleagues: pianists who "type" music, and string players who want to imitate those typing pianists - all very accomplished and musical, but not music making that's going to grab you where you need grabbing. Nor was he much kinder to the audience: too many "only want entertainment" - he doesn't sense much "hunger" to listen, to discover additional riches in the great masters. Of course, he was quick to add that he didn't want to he isn't including you personally! Is he concerned that classical music has lost its edge? (He certainly hasn't lost his edge - catch his stunning live Schubert A major sonata on iPlayer). They played a bit of a Rachmaninov recording, the middle section of Schubert's famous A flat impromptu, as an example of what it's all about. I'll come back to that - those few seconds of vintage recording seem to corral all the pet subjects.

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