More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
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So, people will know mvts 1&3 well, which means that one cannot play them very differently (as with the famous one of the Chopin Mazurkas, Op. 17, or those amongst Rachmaninov's Op. 23 set) - yet is it an answer to make mvt 4 (marked Adagio) Molto adagio, and slow the Moderato ?— THE AGENT APSLEY #ScrapUniversalCredit #JC4PM2019 (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) February 1, 2019
A standard account or explanation of the poor reception of the first performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Brahms (in D Minor, Op. 15) is that there was insufficient familiarity with the work, probably by players and audience alike, but does one - although there are people who go to certain orchestral concerts, because they want to hear works played just the way that they know them - want to allow the fact that one knows a work to solidify how it is to sound ? (More scope to change that, perhaps, as a solo performer, or a conductor, than if, say, the members of a string quartet or trio attempt to come to 'anbsp;democratic agreement' after arguing points over ?)
The gravity and stillness of the opening section lead to an Adagio that feels paced, and restrained. The rest of the performance is fine, but, apart from added stateliness in the Menuet (from the bass), does not ‘break new ground’.— THE AGENT APSLEY #ScrapUniversalCredit #JC4PM2019 (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) February 1, 2019
So to what end that initial impression ? https://t.co/FnW5EvvTwY
Two theses here, then. One is that, accepted that there is an overlap between performance practice and playing a composition by Tchaikovsky in the style of Vivaldi (or vice versa), chamber musicians can easily respond to each other to avoid the familiar, and, by introducing small changes in emphasis, etc., they can bring us the piece with new ears.
The other is that one could, for example, adopt quite different approaches to the sound of the first two movements (Allegro and Molto adagio, etc., respectively) of the second of Beethoven's so-called Razumovsky quartets (Op. 59), but, if the Allegretto and Presto, in the nature of their playing, do not (or not easily) lend themselves to one's continuing in that vein, one may not meaningfully have transformed a listener's experience of the quartet as a unity.
What gives hope that music can be so, and artists give us a studied insight that shapes the whole piece, are such examples as :
* Imogen Cooper's three live double-CD performances of Schubert, where the care is in the structure of the individual programmes and in the way that she gives us a coherent reading of each work
* Likewise, when Angela Hewitt played the whole Book II (BWV 870-893) of Das wohltemperierte Klavier at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
* When Nicholas Collon conducted a programme of Vaughan Williams, Britten and Elgar at The Corn Exchange, Cambridge
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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)