13 May 2019

Long time no activity, alas. Found the time to review Alfred Hill’s String Quartets Nos. 5, 6, 11 by the Australian String Quartet, a CD published in 1997 by Marco Polo. I had never heard of Hill, didn’t even know where to situate him in chronology and geography. Turns out this Aussie was writing, in the 1920s, beautiful string quartets strikingly reminiscent of those of Dvorak (written 25 to 50 years before) and, in 1935, one that evokes Ravel’s own essay in the genre (1903). Well, if you forget the chronology and the derivativeness, they are quite enjoyable.

1 thought on “13 May 2019”

  1. While off topic, I finally listened to the Wagner portion of Toscanini’s last NY Phil. concert and the 1935 Pastorale. I am reminded that Toscanini in his younger days was very free but in good taste. The Pastorale had elasticity only when the music could be played that way. The close of movents1, 2 & 5 were almost strict tempo. The Wagner excerpts also extraordinarily free and it helped me to understand early Toscanini even better. The extra emotional appeal notwithstanding, I prefer the later more subtle and even more intelligent Toscanini of later years. Immortal Performances has done a service in making so much of this material available.

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