Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Allies in an Axis Land

I was most terribly torn over this week's MWM.  I wanted to do Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola.  E voilà.  But I wanted to find Yehudi Menuhin doing it.  No such luck; the only video out there with him clips off the intro to the first movement—which, in the case of a Mozart concerto, is semi-blasphemous.  Then I found this entertaining video.  Cute dance that the couple up front are doing, but the innovative frames were too many for me.

So when I found The Below and saw that it had Sir Colin Davis, I knew there could be no contest.  Sir Colin, while not as entertaining as some other conductors that have been featured in this series, is a British knight: automatic win.  Besides, although he is not mad himself, he gets to conduct two mad Russians here.  Those faces!  Not to mention the violist's hair ...

Movement 1, part 1:

Movement 1, part 2: 

N.B. The other two movements are also right there on YouTube. Enjoy!


  1. Oh, the sad fate of all violists... or maybe it's happy? For I had certainly heard of Sir Colin as well as Vladimir (not that I could tell you what he's doing *now-a-days*), but Yuri is entirely new to me.

    If it's buried in the preceding (and you don't mind a new fan dredging through the lot), feel free not to tell, but have you an instrument, yourself?

    1. Both the instrumentalists were new to me--but that's one of the fun things about doing the MWMs: I find out things of which I'd wotted not!

      It's implicitly buried in the preceding. My comps, a couple of which have made it to the blog, are mostly piano and voice ... because I've done piano and voice. Took violin for two years or so, but never had the time to practice enough to be good at it. Do you play anything?

    2. I took violin lessons for ten years, more than ten years since; and try to keep an acceptable tone. I did also try viola for the last two years of lessons which doubtless has doomed me to permanent insignificance, but it was fun and terribly helpful, not least in encouraging consideration of "1/2-position" fingering. But I can't seem to find anyone to play with, so of late I'm just struggling through the Bach sonatas. Don't ask me to try them for you, if you ever visit, it wouldn't be worth it.

      And the Local Schola Master caught me my second year here, so there's chant most Sundays.

      By piano I am indeed impressed: Grandma often asks how a violinist manages to make his hands do different things, but I'm baffled by any attempt at two hands doing the same thing differently. Even typing is a delicate affair...

      Anyways, Happy writing, to you, and I'll be looking out for next Mid-Week.

  2. "If I ever visit"? I'm a regular massgoer, but I try to stay out of belfries wherever I am.

    Having done piano and violin, I have to say I think piano is a tad easier. At minimum: forced listening to the beginning pianist is a far less purgatorial experience than forced listening to the beginning string player.

    Next MWM? Ooooh, you have no idea ...