Castles in the air - they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build, too.

आम्हां घरी धन शब्दांचीच रत्नें | शब्दांचीच शस्त्रें यत्न करुं ||
शब्द चि आमुच्या जीवांचे जीवन | शब्दें वांटूं धन जनलोकां ||
तुका म्हणे पाहा शब्द चि हा देव | शब्द चि गौरव पूजा करुं ||
- abhang of Tukaram Wolhoba Ambile of Dehu

There's No Freedom Like That of a Child's Imagination

கடலுக்கு உண்டு கற்பனைக்கு இல்லை கட்டுப்பாடு

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So I heard it after all!

Beethoven's Cello Sonata in A major is a piece of music I hear everyday. Well, nearly, everyday. Ever since I heard a recording of it by Jacqueline Du Pre, that late great maestro, I've never tired of hearing it. And dreamt of listening to it live.

And yesterday, I finally did. By a real musician on a real cello in a real concert hall.

There was a trio concert at the National Centre for Performing Arts on February 19th, 2008 organised by the Symphony Orchestra of India. John Lenehan (piano), Marat Bisengaliev (violin) and Raphael Wallfisch (cello) presented the following compositions:-

Robert Schumann: Five pieces in Folk Style

Claude Debussy: Cello Sonata

Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata A major

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Trio d minor op. 49

Schumann was terrific. One of his pieces was called "The Vanity of Vanities", and like its name, was a glorious, vain piece of music only a genius could write.

Debussy's piece was written after the Great War (in which he couldn't be of much service), and is at once both mournful and triumphalist, swaying between loss and victory.

Beethoven's Sonata was the best of all. It was played in a more cheerful mood than the Du Pre version I am used to, but it was absolutely as grand and as lovely as I had expected. The three movements were flawless, especially the playful scherzo.

Mendelssohn (the only composer to become a verb courtesy his over-played Wedding March) was a delight to hear, after the intermission.

But the whole point is this: I have now heard the Cello Sonata in A Major live, and therefore can die in peace.

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