Saturday, February 15, 2014

Here's the key -- or is it?

Piano Trio: 
i. Allegro moderato -- opening

Arthur Rubinstein, piano; Jascha Heifetz, violn; Emanuel Feuermann, cello. RCA-BMG, recorded in Holllywood, Sept. 12-13, 1941

Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano; Itzhak Perlman, violin; Lynn Harrell, cello. EMI, recorded in New York, c1979
UPDATE: If you looked at this post before 10pm ET/7pm PT, you saw only the Ashkenazy-Perlman-Harrell clip, and in fact originally the whole first movement. When I went back to edit it to include just the opening, I was disheartened by how namby-pamby the performance is. (I actually thought the EMI CDs contained a different one, and then I figured how far wrong could we go with this one? I learned.) Most of my CD versions are on a hard-to-get-at shelf, so as an add-on I chose a much grander performance that happened also to be more readily at hand.

by Ken

This piece suddenly popped into my head this afternoon, and I couldn't have been happier that it did. So we're going to hear it tomorrow. Meanwhile it set me to thinking about other works in the same key, with the realization (I'm sure not for the first time, but then, who remembers?) that it's hard to find others of the same character.


The first of our first movements really has nothing in common with it, does it? The second is the most monumental of Beethoven's piano sonatas, but it still isn't really that similar, is it? The nearest match is the last, I think.

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 6, Op. 18, No. 6:
i. Allegro con brio

Borodin Quartet (Ruben Aharonian and Andrei Abramenkov, violins; Igor Naidin, viola; Valentin Berlinsky, cello). Chandos, recorded in Moscow, October 2003

BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 29, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier):
i. Allegro

Emil Gilels, piano. DG, recorded in Berlin, October 1982

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 83:
i. Allegro non troppo

Leon Fleisher, piano; Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. Epic-CBS-Sony, recorded Oct. 19-20, 1962


Like I said, we'll hear the piece that popped into my head.

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