Music and Vision homepage 'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org

 

<<  -- 3 --  Peter Dale    Fresh impressions

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You might expect that, played like this, Beethoven would come over as a stranger, but not so. The music remains familiar; the voice, however, is more immediate, more compelling, sometimes more alienating, always more convincing.

To some extent this is achieved by an unusually forward recording (you can occasionally hear the intake of breath -- impeccable in its unanimity, I may say -- before a preludial chord), but mostly it comes about as a result of a shared conviction to take Beethoven at his word.

Someone hearing a Beethoven quartet for the first time would straightaway realise what all the fuss was about. Someone else -- jaded perhaps by familiarity -- will find a good deal of their original excitement, engagement, and even astonishment, restored. Paradoxically, by brooding upon what this music was 'like' two hundred years ago, Beethoven is recovered as our own contemporary [listen -- track 6, 0:00-0:29].

Copyright © 9 January 2002 Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK

 

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