Life goes on, for those of us lucky enough to be alive.
I'm still occupying much of my time at the Menlo festival, where workers are rolling the artificial lawns back onto the gravel, fortunately. My review of last Saturday's first concert
, the Italian Baroque one, is up, and I see the Daily Journal
has entirely redone its archives. All my past links here to my articles there are dead, though I have redone all the ones on my own webpage list of my journalism.The second concert of high classics
I already mentioned here; and here's the third, Thursday's covering the cusp between Classical and Romantic.
That Mendelssohn not only was already composing before Beethoven died, but had heard his late music and was inspired by it, is something I've noted before; and Spohr's octet - which Menlo has played before - was also a then-new work Mendelssohn had heard and absorbed.
In theory I could go on like this - concert 4 with the Schumann/Brahms circle (nothing by Clara, but it does have Joachim) was tonight and tomorrow, and I'd love to attend, but no; my assignments have ceased for the moment and I have other tasks to attend to. But I'll be back later.
In the meantime I did get to the first young performers' concert (10 to 18) on Sunday, including all 3 groups I'd heard Gilbert Kalish coach on Thursday, and I may get to one or two more of those master classes.
I did get to one more lecture, violinist Aaron Boyd's eccentrically-spoken encomium to Fritz Kreisler. His worshipfulness of Kreisler is so great that someone asked if Kreisler had made any recordings that were less than perfect. Well, yes, Boyd admitted, that during Kreisler's last couple decades when he was totally deaf
he did make some he should not have; but then Boyd went on to describe how even the deaf Kreisler was so great a player he moved other violinists to tears.
He didn't mention my favorite Kreisler anecdote: the one about the hoax Kreisler pulled by attributing concert pieces to then-obscure Baroque composers, raising a furor when he revealed that he'd composed them himself. Here, for instance, is the concerto he ascribed to Vivaldi.
This was written in 1927 when few people had heard much Vivaldi, whose works were only then being unearthed, and didn't know what he sounded like. This sounds more like Bach, or perhaps Handel, to me, except for the final eight bars which must be a total put-on that don't sound like anybody.