Thursday, 25 June 2015


I came very early to Tchaikovsky, we had the violin concert at home (78 lp) and we studied at college Capriccio Italien,  so when I was around  17-18 I bought all his symphonies and really liked no 2, 5 and the 6th. And then of course Ouverture 1812 and Slavic March. Then the Piano Concert no1 and the Manfred Symphony.
Also I loved the Balllets; Swanlake, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.

Much later I discovered Andante Cantabile, which is a jewel by itself.

Let's start with the Piano Concert.


Here played by Alice Sara Ott 

Yuja Wang

Martha Argerich

Violin Concert




Sayka Shoji

Julia Fischer

Janine Jansen 2013; Breathtaking performance

Janine Jansen 2015;What an energy

Hilary Hahn; last part only

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Mussorgsky;Song cycles and other songs

Once I came to Mussorgsky I explored his other works and soon came to the more or less complete repertoire sung by Nesterenko; Here hos recording of Songs and Dances of Death.

Next is an excellent performance of Savishna and here you can see that not only the composer, but also the performer can bring forth the ability to empathize with other people

Here the Song and Dances of Death by Galina Vishnevskaya with Rostrapovich on Piano.

Shostakovitch really appreciated Mussorgsky and orchestrated the cycle in an excellent way. Also sung by Galina Vishnevskaya

Here the last two songs from the same cycle sung by Dmitry Hvorostovsky.

Next ; Cradle Song, Magpie Whitesides Night, Where Art Thou, Little Star, Street The Urchin aka Ragamuffin Yarema's Song aka On the Dnieper;
Galina Vishnevskaya 
Russian State Symphony Orchestra 
Igor Markevitch

Then there is another song cycle called Sunless, which is rather 'Dostoevskian'  and the melody is very subtle. Also sung by Galina Vishnevskay

And then there is the song cycle called the Nursery, which is very original.
I know very well the excellent version by Boris Christoff, but can't find it at the moment, so here an old version 

And here a recent version

Then there are plenty of other songs which I will present in due time

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


My first encounter with Pentangle was the LP Basket of Light which my friend had, but it was only later that I really appreciated it and then slowly collected all their albums, even some of them much later in my life.
My favorites were the  songs Sweet Child (From Sweet Child) and Once I had a Sweetheart (From Basket of Light)

And this how they started

House Carpenter

Light Flight

Train song

I got a feeling

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mussorgsky; Chaliapin


song of a flea


Full version abbado

Mussorgsky; Boris Christoff

Through Mussorgksy learn to know Boris Christoff

Mussorksky; Boris Gudonov

After learning to know Pictures of an Exhibition, discovered his other works and as all his work has a deep relation with Russian people and history and al what he wrote is not just for enjoyment.

A short version from 1978 with Nesterenko is very good.
A longer version and in relation to sound quality a perfect version Conductor Rostropovich .

And an excellent version  produced by Tarkovsky

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Janine Jansen; Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich

Here an astonishing performance of the Violin Concerto of Tchaikovsky

And a Prokofiev violin concerto no 2

Then at home in Holland some  Shostakovitch

Janine Jansen

Only recently I discovered Janine Jansen. She really make a performance worthwhile and it becomes an event.
All young violinist start with Mozart and Bach, but sooner or later they they find there own way or pick out particular aspects of Bach and Mozart.

Here below her Bach Album with all the violin concerts

Here below Mozarts Violin Concerto Live

Ray Davies; The Twentieth Century Man

How do I come to the Kinks? And to Ray Davies? And to the song 20th Century Man and so the title of my blog
Apart from hearing their hits in the sixties, one of my friends was a real fan around the time of their album Arthur. It was only when visited my ex-girl friend that when they (she with her new boyfriend) were out that I went through their music and discovered Muswell Hillbillies and I really liked it. 
Even then it was only when I was in England that I started to really appreciate not only the music, but their texts and their message etc. That was around the time of Sleepwalker, Misfits etc.
After they stopped, Ray Davies went on with Storyteller in which he tells the story of the Kinks and I went to see it two or three times. It is an interesting story, and intimate and at the same time fun.
After that a few more solo albums which show very much all where the Kinks were about. 
Here a great performance by Ray Davies

Shostakovitch; Cello Concerto no 1 & 2 and Preludes & Fugues

I can't remember how I came to Shostakovitch, but I think  it was partly because a friend of mine gave the biography of Galina Vishnevskaya, the wife of Rostropovich and at the same time it was around the breaking down of the Wall and disintegration of the Soviet Union.
However I always had an interest in Russia from around the age of 17-18; Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol and Pushkin and the music of Tchaikovsky.

Mussorgsky; Pictures of an Exhibition

Also Mussorgksy I came to know around the time when a friend of mine gave me the biography of Galina Vishnevskaya. If it was because of the book I can't remember, as I was then in the "Russian" phase. (My second one)

Once Ihad the film produced by Nupend about Ashkenazy, where he performed the piano version and the original orchestral version and was interviewed at the same time; Alas videos are out of date!
Anyway here a piano version by Ashkenazy in three parts.

Here a orchestral version.

Troubadours Art Ensemble

I came to Gerard Zuchetto soon after we arrived in France

An excellent performance in Stanford University from March 2010

Hilary Hahn

I came to Hilary Hahn recently and very impressed how she deals with pure tones and technically she is fantastic. She is still an enigma for me as on the stage she does not show her emotions and just smiles when she is finished.