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<<  -- 2 --  Gordon Rumson    A BRIEF REPORT FROM THE EMPTY QUARTER


Years ago I also played through vast swaths of his available études and sorry folks, even the School of Velocity, opus 299 of some 800 or more published opus numbers, has some fine music in it. Then I tried to find the Sonatas and was stymied. Though I came upon a remark of Liszt praising one of them, I was unable to locate the music. A dead end.

But about ten years ago I did chance upon the organ works (!) in an edition by the excellent scholar Otto Biba and played them during Church services. Here was serious, well-written music that showed thorough mastery of meaningful counterpoint, total command of organ writing (including quite demanding pedal parts) and genuine feeling.

When the New York based pianist Vladislav Kovalsky and I chanced to meet Anton Kuerti, he began to talk of his festival and we decided to make the trek to Edmonton to hear as many of the concerts as we could.

Sadly we only heard three. But what music!

A concert of songs and chamber music, an organ recital and, most importantly, a symphony concert. Mr Kuerti told us though that the treasure of the event was a string quartet in one of the concerts we missed. Among the performers I will single out the tenor Benjamin Butterfield, who gave excellent performances of the lieder, and the Edmonton Symphony led by Grzegorz Nowak. No composer could ask for better performances: well prepared, energetic and deeply felt.

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Copyright © 5 July 2002 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada



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