Saturday, February 25, 2012

Noises Off, Yundi and Rosenkavalier

What a week. Much of it unbloggable of course but I can mention a few highlights.

To Oxford on Monday for a very enjoyable and productive lunch and working session with Bob May. On Weds a we and a group of friends and family went to The Old Vic to see Noises Off and had supper afterwards where we were  joined by our wonderful friend Janie.

I was more than a little torn because I had been invited to Yundi's only recital in London on his European tour. This was a private event and I would have loved to have gone and was very honoured to be invited.  Yundi had given me a copy of his Live in Beijing CD playing mainly Chopin and it's stunning. Fortunately we were able to have dinner together the following evening and it was great being able to spend time together, talking about music and his plans to encourage Chinese composers to write great music for the Piano.

We also discussed the wonderful Schubert B Flat Sonata (D960) and my theory that the 2nd movement is in some sense a portrait of Ophelia and her death. I don't have any documentary support for this, but we both agree it's plausible and and makes artistic sense, although of course you can never pin down a piece of music.

If you can possibly get to any of the dates on his European Tour do so - you will not be disappointed. I was hoping to get to Paris on the 12th but it looks as if business commitments will prevent this.  We should be able to catch up when I'm back in Beijing.

Then last night I took C to the outstanding production of Rosenkavalier that I saw the previous Friday. It was just as good as before, and a practically full house.  What a tremendous week.

PS: D960 was composed in1828 and Schubert set his 3 Shakespeare songs in 1826. Johann Willhelm Otto Benda produced a translation of Shakespeare in Vienna in 1825-27 and Josef Fick also produced a translation in Vienna in 1825-1827, so Shakespeare was clearly very "hot" in Vienna at that time.  Can anyone give more information?

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