Arnica Quartet at Camerata Musica Salem

Music of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

Beethoven – Quartet in F major, Op. 59 no. 1 “Razumovsky”
BeethovenCavatina from Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130
Tchaikovsky – Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

van cliburn, rest in peace

cliburn1958

I grew up in a household that loved classical music. My father was stationed in Germany in the early 70’s (went through Checkpoint Charlie dozens of times, I’m told), and collected quite a few records while there. Some of them remain my favorites to this day. Karajan’s 100th Anniversary recording of Beethoven’s Ninth, for example, or the Schubert and Schumann song cycles rendered by Dietrich Fischer Dieskau and Fritz Wunderlich. Wunderlich’s Dichterliebe still melts my heart to this day. Anyway, among those records was his 1958 debut recording of Tchaikovsky’s First and Rachmaninoff’s Second piano concertos. I practically wore out those poor LP’s. I just was so smitten by the sheer sonic richness and romantic phrasing of Cliburn – even though I was maybe only just beginning to study the violin at the time. That sound has stuck with me through the years a lot, and occasionally there is a pianist who approaches that concept (Andre Watts is a prime example), but I’ve yet to find one who has eclipsed Cliburn in sheer beauty of sound.

peter’s got our back

peter's got our back by nobleviola
peter’s got our back, a photo by nobleviola on Flickr.

As reported in last September’s issue of Portland Monthly magazine, there is indeed a bust of Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky guarding our front door. I think that a bust of Bruckner might repulse more string players, however.