Iain Cameron's Diary
"Click here to access the Fruitful Album" - Click here to visit Music for the Highveld Project

The Highveld Project

Get your own
 diary at DiaryLand.com! contact me older entries

2013-01-26 - 6:30 p.m.

A new video from Didier using a GI-IC pieces

Another video from Didier using a GI-IC piece

Another video from Didier using a GI-IC piece

Our other Reverbnation Page

Bishopsgate and Allotment need some more listeners. I have several new mixes to go onto the Widget but I need to make more room by creating some composites.

Today Peter Karol and I met in Soho Squ to discuss the project. Karol took us to a Malaysian restaurant near Cambridge Circus. The food was great - we all had the same set menu. Afterwards I went into Blackwells and bought a book on an aesthetic debate between Bloch and Lukacs which was taken up by Brecht, Adorno and Benjamin. I didnt know much about Bloch but he looks very interesting and he is covered by Kolakowski in his big history of Marxism which I have to hand. I havent written much about philosophy for a few months even though I have been looking at Kuhn again. I am working through P Burke's 2nd volume on the social history of knowledge. And sooner or later I have to try again with Badiou and set theory. Gracyk's latest book on musical aesthetics is on its way across the Atlantic.

Thursday night Bette and I went to hear Barbara Hannigan sing Berg, Schoenberg and Almer Mahler. I was really looking forward to it and I had done some preparatory work. I listened to Berg's 7 Early Songs in the late 20s orchestral arrangements. There is a big difference between that treatment and the version with solo piano and voice which we heard on Thursday. I think you can hear the influence of Debussy in both the piano and the orchestration. The literature says that the influence is Mahler and Strauss and perhaps Wagner. Post Parsifal I can now hear Wagner's influence on D which muddies the water. I am wondering whether to invest in some mp3s of the piano version of these pieces.

The concert opened with Schoenberg's Four Songs Op2. These sounded much better in performance than anything I had uncovered on Spotify.

The Alma Mahler songs caused consternation because BH chose to sing a different selection from the one in the programme. They sounded fine to me - I think I preferred them to the Op2. Mahler stopped Alma composing which is totally indefensible. The Lied von der Erde was on R3 on Wednesday night and I couldnt listen to it all.

The Wednesday R3 concert also had Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces and Webern's Im Sommerwind. It was from the RFH and also part of The Rest is Noise - the same series that Pierrot Lunaire on Sunday and Hannigan on Thursday belong to. The Sch sounded fine but Im Sommerwind is really only of historical interest, I think.

The 2nd half of Thursday's concert was Schoenberg's 2nd SQ. It s hard to find absolutes to do justice to this performance. Hannigan's artistry is perfectly adapted to blending with the 4 strings. The criticism is sometimes made that the soprano overpowers the SQ - not on Thursday she didnt. The mystical text that is sung in the 3rd and 4th movements is also gripping - completely appropriate for the shift from distant tonal centredness to the abandonment of any home key. I must hurry up and book seats for Tuesday's Webern concert.

previous - next