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string quartets and woodcuts

June 3, 2011

May is over, June begun and birthday coming up. Gemini time of year again. And no, I don’t believe in astrology. Not since Copernicus and Galileo dumped on Ptolemy and certainly not since the parallax was confirmed. But anyway.

The final performance of my first quartet From an exhibition of Australian woodcuts can be heard at Angel Place in Sydney at 2 this afternoon. The Brentano Quartet play like angels. Both Beethovens are superb, and 132 is about as good as it gets. We met for a read through before the first concert in Brisbane two weeks ago, and I think I’m already a groupie. It’s hard to describe the pleasure of hearing one’s own music performed in a way that reveals aspects that one did not know were there. They keep asking me to criticise, suggest changes, tweak details, but I keep telling them: it’s perfect, don’t change a thing. And I mean it. I suppose, as with the Eggners, it’s a thing I’ve developed as a player. The composer might have a very well defined concept of how a particular passage might sound, but I believe that it’s far better to allow good musicians to play in such a way that they are as unconstrained as possible, meaning that they will arrive at an interpretation that excites and involves them, ideally. It just so happens that the Brentanos really do recreate marvellously well exactly what I wanted, and I’m having the time of my life.

Musica Viva has posted a video of the last movement, “Tarantella on a Sydney tram” here

More anon. I have to get ready…











































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