30 November 2007

Concert: Pieter Wispelwey, Bach's six suites for cello, *****

Johann Sebastian Bach, 6 Suites for Cello Solo (complete)

Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello are among the greatest works for the instrument; they represent a peak that every cellist feels the need to tackle. Pieter Wispelwey has played them on a number of occasions and has also made two magnificent recordings.

I went with a couple of friends and we had tickets way in the back of the Brussels Consevatorium, nothing better was available. However I told him to follow me and we sneaked as I usually do behind the scenes of the Conservatorium and sat on the floor of the closed off balcony to the left of the stage. Perfect! Just a few meters from the soloist. One heck of a concert to remember for life. Technically perfect, precise yet passionate, warm, colorful.

I have had the CDs of his second recordings for some time, and they are always a joy to listen, on par, or almost so, with those recorded by Rostropovich and Fournier, neither of whom however I ever had a chance to listen to live.

17 November 2007

Concert: Itzhak Perlman violin - Bruno Canino piano, *****


Franz Schubert, Rondo brillant, for violin and piano, op. 70, D 895

Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata for violin and piano no. 5, op. 24, "Spring"

Richard Strauss, Sonata for violin and piano, op. 18

Encore: Bazzini, la ronde des Lutins, an impossibly challenging virtuoso piece, which you can here played by Perlman with another pianist.


This great violinist is one of the most outstanding musicians of our time. Together with Bruno Canino, his long-standing musical partner, Itzhak Perlman presented a programme with a harmonious balance between early Romanticism, with Schubert and Beethoven, and late Romanticism, with Richard Strauss.

Perlman is simply out of this world.

You can buy some of his greatest hits here:

15 November 2007

Book Review: In Viaggio - En Voyage - Travelling, by Savina Tarsitano, ***

This is a catalog of Savina's main work up to 2006. Here you will find excellent color photographs and several descriptions and illustrations of her installations around the world. One section is dedicated to her "islands" project, which has taken her to various islands in Europe, Greenland and the Caribbean. Her style is soft spoken yet can project stark contrasts and shadows, and never leaves the viewer indifferent.

Other sections are devoted to Brussels, where she has lived for a few years, her native Calabria, Liguria and Finland.

You can find more about Savina's work on her web page.

The book is available for sale from her publisher.