Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of Western music history knows that Beethoven first rattled the cage of Classical form, then demolished it with oupourings of emotion using then-unconventional means. But so much of the Beethoven we hear on symphony stages sounds so tame. Is this really the music that shocked listeners 200 years ago?
A visit to Bob Shingleton’s excellent blog, On an Overgrown Path, has inspired a little ode to the charms of the string orchestra, a deceptively simple-seeming collection of violins, violas, cellos and double-basses.
There is such a fuss coming up over the next two weeks as people latch on to the Big International Brand that is Glenn Gould. In Toronto there will be concerts, lectures and all sorts of weirdness at Convocation Hall.
Bastille Day is a fine excuse to spend a moment with underappreciated French composer Charles Koechlin (1867-1950), who is benefiting from some very fine new recordings, including an album by Toronto violist Steven Dann.