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Have only listened to this once, will need more work i think...

41S2VQMWX6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I have Fleisher's recording "Two Hands" made after his recovery from a long term neurological disability where he was forced to play with left hand only.

The Schubert D.960 sonata on this CD is truly extraordinary. Deep and powerful, if you are familar with the work it will, I feel sure, leave a permanent impression.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leon-Fleischer-Hands-Claude-Debussy/dp/B0002IQHHK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1321040294&sr=1-1

A user review on that Amazon link says this

Highlight of this cd is the awe-inspiring performance of Schubert's D960 Sonata. This is a superlative performance that can match the great recordings by Rubinstein and Richter in depth, delicacy and richness of playing. Fleisher defies the centuries-old nonsense that left-hand part must support right hand, by letting left hand part express itself as much as right hand part. The effect is a revelation. The piano produces lavishingly rich sounds like an orchestra. This performance is a moving testimony that adversity can be turned into advantage, by an artist who, through much suffering, has learned the essence of what music is and what life is.

And I couldn't agree more!

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Malcolm - really like the shot, good lighting, and the grain adds to the atmosphere. He looks deep in thought (or just blank, not sure)

Jerry - yes, exactly my feelings too, and it was Two Hands that started me buying lots of his recordings. I've listened to Recital again since, and altho some of the pieces are not my cup of tea, there is some excellent stuff, albeit with the slightly stripped down sound of one hand

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Thanks for sharing this. I for one like it very much. Somehow brings back my teens, buying classical music at random with my pocket money - Boult figured strongly in my early forays.

Found it, and scanned the print. Taken on 25th April 1973. i remember being very disappointed with it when I first printed it but later thought better of it and now I'm not sure.

6334466920_3b1aa10aee_o.jpg

1973-0425 001002 by mdspic, on Flickr

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Jerry - yes, exactly my feelings too, and it was Two Hands that started me buying lots of his (Flesher's) recordings. I've listened to Recital again since, and altho some of the pieces are not my cup of tea, there is some excellent stuff, albeit with the slightly stripped down sound of one hand

I, too, started off with Fleisher's Two Hands album and started to explore a bit further.

He recorded the Schubert D.960 before he came down with his debilitating illness, as well, so I snaffled that up. Oh dear, it doesn't even come vaguely close to the profundity and depth of his later recording on Two Hands, imo.

As the Amazon review quoted previously said ... This performance is a moving testimony that adversity can be turned into advantage, by an artist who, through much suffering, has learned the essence of what music is and what life is. Yup, spot on. In comparison, his earlier recording sounds like a callow youth with a good keyboard technique!

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Of late ...

Gilbert & Sullivan Pirates of Penzance on DVD. Canadian CBC live recording. Pretty good overall, although Caralyn Tomlin as Mabel doesn't really have the voice for the amazingly high vocal line, but surely this is the best Major General's patter song ever! (I am the very model of a modern major general ...) - the speed is astonishing, the diction superb. Bravo, Douglas Chamberlain! :^ And any connoisseur of the male buttock will surely be impressed by Jeff Hyslop as Frederic. Not that I noticed, of course ;-) but my wife seemed unusually enraptured by the performance. :D

Vaughan Williams Dives & Lazarus, Symphony #6 - Abravanel / Utah SO on a DVD-Audio disc. Excellent performances, tense and violent, although the finale's barren devastation is taken just a tad too fast (as it usually is). Wow Sound - a bit bass light but superb soundstage, dynamics and rez.

Tom Cullivan - violin sonata 1 &2, piano quintet. On a Far Western CD. I picked this up on a whim about 15-20 years ago in a Tower Records sale for £2.99. It's been one of my fave CDs ever since. Cullivan is a contemporary Irish composer - the music is just brimming with wonderful Irish melodies and, at times, toe-tapping excitement. Just wonderful. This CD is impossible to get now, I think - so if anyone would like a copy, just drop me a line with your address. This really is too good to miss. :)

Benjamin Britten Cello Symphony. Naxos CD. Hmmm .. every now and then I dig this out and play it. I'll be b*ggered if I get the point of it, but I keep trying!

Happily it is partnered by Britten's genuinely fab violin concerto - so all is not lost! :)

Duparc songs with Janet Baker and Andrew Preview / LSO on an EMI LP. I'm not usually a big fan of Dame Janet, but she sounds gorgoeus here! Yummy.

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And a recent Blake-ian focus ...

Howard Blake - Violin Concerto - ASV CD. Haven't played this for a while, but I got quite entranced by it a few nights ago and played it 3 times on the trot! A very fine piece, well recorded. Performed by violinist Christiane Edinger, who just happens to be the soloist in my fave version of Bach's partitas and sonatas for solo violin on 2 Naxos CDs!.

Followed by Blake's "A month in the country" a suite for strings, and the Sinfonietta for ten brass instruments - the latter being a bit of a tour de force and huge fun.

A CBS CD of Blake's piano concerto then followed. Luvverly-jubbly, some simply wonderful piano writing here - from barn-storming to heart meltingly delicate. That'll be on my playlist for today as well.

Violin sonata and piano quartet etc on a Naxos CD. Hmm .. the violin sonata is excellent in a post-romantic way, but the rest of the disc falls a bit flat on first listen. Or maybe I was just tired - I shall def listen to the disc again if only for the sonata!

And yes, t'was he who wrote the music and words for the animated film "The Snowman" including the beautifully poignant (and somewhat corny!) song 'Walking in the air". :)

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Benjamin Britten Cello Symphony. Naxos CD. Hmmm .. every now and then I dig this out and play it. I'll be b*ggered if I get the point of it, but I keep trying!

Happily it is partnered by Britten's genuinely fab violin concerto - so all is not lost! :)

I go very hot and cold on the Cello Symphony - I think it's what you'd term one of his 'gnarly' works...

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I quite like it. Particularly the original Rostroprovich/Britten version, great sound too from John Culshaw.

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When I'm in the mood, so do I - I have that Britten version as well as the recent Watkins/Gardner, and the grinding, cumulative power is very compelling, in fact, I'm off for another listen..

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Of late ...

Gilbert & Sullivan Pirates of Penzance on DVD. Canadian CBC live recording. Pretty good overall, although Caralyn Tomlin as Mabel doesn't really have the voice for the amazingly high vocal line, but surely this is the best Major General's patter song ever! (I am the very model of a modern major general ...) - the speed is astonishing, the diction superb. Bravo, Douglas Chamberlain! :^ And any connoisseur of the male buttock will surely be impressed by Jeff Hyslop as Frederic. Not that I noticed, of course ;-) but my wife seemed unusually enraptured by the performance. :D

Vaughan Williams Dives & Lazarus, Symphony #6 - Abravanel / Utah SO on a DVD-Audio disc. Excellent performances, tense and violent, although the finale's barren devastation is taken just a tad too fast (as it usually is). Wow Sound - a bit bass light but superb soundstage, dynamics and rez.

Tom Cullivan - violin sonata 1 &2, piano quintet. On a Far Western CD. I picked this up on a whim about 15-20 years ago in a Tower Records sale for £2.99. It's been one of my fave CDs ever since. Cullivan is a contemporary Irish composer - the music is just brimming with wonderful Irish melodies and, at times, toe-tapping excitement. Just wonderful. This CD is impossible to get now, I think - so if anyone would like a copy, just drop me a line with your address. This really is too good to miss. :)

Benjamin Britten Cello Symphony. Naxos CD. Hmmm .. every now and then I dig this out and play it. I'll be b*ggered if I get the point of it, but I keep trying!

Happily it is partnered by Britten's genuinely fab violin concerto - so all is not lost! :)

Duparc songs with Janet Baker and Andrew Preview / LSO on an EMI LP. I'm not usually a big fan of Dame Janet, but she sounds gorgoeus here! Yummy.

Me mum liked Gilbert and Sullivan. It's one of the first things I remember. She also liked September Song sung by Walter Huston, an American film director and father of John, also a film director. Her best friend down the street loved opera. I remember her clutching her breast during the impassioned moments in arias. We spent a lot of time at her house. She had a big stereo console. I have her collection today. She had children of her own but she willed it to me.

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On G&S, we enjoyed a rare live performance of Ruddigore at the Barbican last week performed by Opera North. Decent, but not exceptional, ensemble and well-conducted orchestra with effective simple staging and a good ancestors awake scene. Basingstoke!

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I've been a sparse poster for a year or so due to changes in personal circumstances, but managed a concert yesterday evening at Keswick by the Northern Sinfonia. I particularly wanted to go because it included Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, a rarely-performed piece. An interesting programme, with the two Bachianas Brazilieras with an octet of cellos, the second well-known one (no 5) wiith soprano, and a new piece to me written in homage to Piazzolla, the Golijov. The leader of the Northern, Kyra Humphreys, played the lead fiddle in the Four Seasons very well. An excellent evening.

Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras no.1

Piazzolla The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Bach Suite no.2 in B minor

Osvaldo Golijov Last Round

Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasiliera no.5

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