Monday, September 6, 2010

Kreisler and Brahms

I never liked Kreisler's Preludium and Allegro much until this past July, when I heard Gabriel Bolkosky, a former student and grad teaching assistant of Donald Weilerstein, work with a student on this piece.

Later I came across this YouTube video of him performing the piece himself:

I am now obsessed with this piece. And I guess that's the highest compliment I can give about his playing; it's very personal - as personal as he is engaging as a person - and somehow his playing brought the piece to life for me, like all those silly B's and E's in the Preludium section are suddenly the most interesting notes ever written, the most sublime notes ever played.

This violinist has a recording of the Brahms G Major sonata available on iTunes and on CD Baby. Since the summer of 2003 when I fell in love with Brahms in an altogether new way, I've believed the first phrase of that first movement might be the most beautiful music in the world. It seems to me to be a universal phrase - full of longing, fulfillment, peace, and sadness all at once. It's encompassing of any and every human emotion, which I guess is what I mean by universal.

If you haven't heard it, you probably should, so here's a recording of Perlman and Barenboim:

I bought Bolkosky's recording; it drew me in and made me feel like it was July in 2003 all over again.

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