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My Classical Notes
A Musician's List of Events & Artist Reviews
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Violinist Isabelle Faust has developed a performance manner that is relaxed and understated. She has an appreciation of musical structure and an interest in historical research that are integral to her work.

The purity of sound that has distinguished her playing can be heard in a repertoire stretching from Beethoven and Schubert through to Hartmann and Ligeti, on modern and period strings.

Where other violinists dazzle, Faust is a thinker. On the subject of her own individual sound, she is hesitant: “Of course, I’m trying to be me in whatever repertoire I’m playing, and I do think that my work is different from that of other violinists – but actually I’m never really trying to keep to this idea of an individual sound. It’s always my goal to get a different interpretation and also a different kind of voice particular to the voice of the composer.

Works performed are:

Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 1 in B minor, BWV1014
Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 2 in A major, BWV1015
Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 3 in E major, BWV1016
Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 4 in C minor, BWV1017
Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 5 in F minor, BWV1018
Bach, J S: Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 6 in G major, BWV1019

1 day ago |
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Time and venue:

19:30 Großer Saal, Musikverein (Large hall of the friends of Music)

Vienna Austria


Wiener Symphoniker, conducted by Alain Altinoglu


Renaud Capuçon, violinist


Maurice Ravel:

Pavane pour une Infante défunte

Edouard Lalo:

Symphonie espagnole für Violine und Orchester d-Moll, op. 21


Johannes Brahms:

Symphonie Nr. 2 D-Dur, op. 73

Here is the Symphonie Espagnole by Lalo:

4 days ago |
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Menahem Pressler, a living legend of piano performance, recorded here his first ever solo album for Deutsche Grammophon, with repertoire by Debussy, Fauré and Ravel.

An homage to French music and musicians who have played a determining role in the development of his career ever since he was awarded First Prize at the 1946 Debussy Competition in San Francisco. Menahem Pressler is a founding member and pianist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio and has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honored musicians, with a career that spans almost six decades.

Now, at 94 years old, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as performer and pedagogue, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career.

The album is dedicated to Lady Annabelle Weidenfeld, who has been an essential support to his life as soloist: “I first met Annabelle when she was a young girl working for the manager of the Beaux Arts trio in London. She later moved to Madrid and often brought the trio to Spain. This recording is dedicated to her with all my love and gratitude.”

Here is Menahem Pressler in the Nocturne in C# minor by Frederick Chopin:

7 days ago |
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Joyce DiDonato is the real entertainer. She seems so comfortable on stage, has a sense of humor, loves her work, and surely loves music.

On this recording, With her flexible, mellow mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato is the star guest at Sir Simon Rattle’s side during the New Year’s Eve Concert, singing Richard Strauss’ lavishly beautiful orchestral songs.

The program also includes works by Dvorák, Stravinsky, Bernstein and Shostakovich and this created the perfect atmosphere for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Here is Ms. DiDonato in Richard Strauss’ “Zueignung”:

8 days ago |
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The music of Joseph Haydn so often brings a smile to my face! Why, you ask? Because I am continually amazed and thrilled by the man’s creativity, originality, and inventiveness.

According to his biographers, he was supposedly married to a shrewish wife. So he got himself a position at the Ersterhazy estate, where he was in charge of everything musical. The estate was located quite a distance from Vienna, so Haydn was effectively not impacted by the wife’s tirades…

This created time for Haydn to compose sumphonies, religious works and a whole lot of amazing chamber music.

Here for your enjoyment is an example of how Haydn brought a smile to me earlier today:

9 days ago |
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Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata is considered one of the major challenges of the piano repertoire: not only is it arguably one of his most technically challenging works, but its sheer length means that the physical demands placed upon the performer are considerable. Although Murray Perahia first explored the piece when he was in his mid-twenties, it took four decades before he felt ready to perform and record it, and the benefits of such a prolonged gestation period are immediately audible in this new recording.

At just over forty minutes, it must be one of the swifter performances, and yet it never feels hurried or too fast.

Aligned with his flexibility of phrasing, Perahia catches all the changing moods and colors, mainly through intelligent use of a great range of dynamics (particularly in the second movement, where he plays up the off-beat accents to great effect).

And so let’s move on to the Moonlight Sonata. The first movement of this sonata is surely one of the best-known in the repertoire, and so it would be easy to be somewhat cynical about what a new recording could possibly bring to the table. It’s fascinating, therefore, to hear how Perahia manages to find moments of interpretative light and shade; it’s certainly not simply a case of just ploughing through the notes. There are several moments of subtlety involving sudden changes of dynamics that Perahia makes sure to highlight, and it makes all the difference.

Here is Mr. Perahia playing and speaking to us about this music:

9 days ago |
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On this recording, Lisa Batiashvili presents an excellwnt interpretation of Prokofiev’s two violin concertos in another first-class musical partnership with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

With her unique abilities to turn standard repertoire into something new, fresh, elegant and special, this album will allow the listener to rediscover Prokofiev through Lisa’s eyes.

The album features the core classic Prokofiev (violin concertos), as well as selected movements of his famous ballets with their very recognizable tunes (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for Solo Violin and Orchestra by Tamás Batiashvili, Lisa’s father.

Here is Ms Batiashvili in Prokofiev’s violin concerto number 1:

16 days ago |
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Lahav Shani returns to the Wiener Symphoniker on 14 February to lead the orchestra in a series of concerts in Vienna and then on tour of Austria and Germany. Shani, the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, directs two sets of concerts in Vienna: at the Konzerthaus on 14 and 15 February and then at the Musikverein on 18 and 19 February.

At the Konzerthaus, Shani conducts excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Beethoven’s Corolian Overture and Piano Concerto No.3 with soloist Jasminka Stancul. Shani is then joined by fellow Intermusica artist Daniil Trifonov at the Musikverein for the Schumann Piano Concerto and Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5.

In 2020 Lahav Shani becomes the new permanent conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, replacing Zubin Mehta.

18 days ago |
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Date: April 10, 2018 at 7:30 PM


Large hall of the Musikverein, Vienna, Austria


Elina Garanca, Mezzo-soprano

Malcolm Martineau, pianist


Robert Schumann:

Widmung, op. 25/1

Der Nußbaum, op. 25/3

Jemand, op. 25/4

Lied der Braut I

Lied der Braut II

Frauenliebe und Leben, op. 42


Richard Wagner:

Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Mathilde Wesendonck, WWV 91

Gustav Mahler:


This promises to be one great concert

18 days ago |
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Venue: San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sol Joseph Recital Hall

Date: Fri February 9, 2018 10:30am

City: San Francisco,CA


Price Range: Free, no tickets or reservations required

Cellist Steven Isserlis will conduct a cello master class

18 days ago |
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