The genius of Mozart is so multi-faceted that arguments can be made for wide diversities of interpretation.
The St. John’s Singers, conducted by Hugh Fen with Leslie Owens (organ) performed Charles Wood’s setting of the St. Mark Passion at St. John’s Cathedral last evening.
What sort of criteria does one apply when evaluating the merits of one string quartet as against another? So many things are relevant – the members’ individual capacities as musicians, their unanimity of attack, quality of tone, temperamental compatibility, unity of concept about the shaping of a phrase, the unfolding of a movement, consistency, presence and other things, too.
Diploma students from the Rhodesian Academy of Music provided an entertaining lunch-hour recital at Bulawayo City Hall yesterday.
The oboe is one of the most obdurately difficult of the wind family to master. At 30, the Swiss player Heinz Holliger, who played in Bulawayo last night accompanied by Edith Picht-Axenfeld, is without doubt already a virtuoso of the first rank.
Every significant artist since time began has something of the anarchist. Imitation of what others have already said is only craft. Art is the single-minded crystallization of a wholly personal vision, answerably only to its own sense of relevance. This is true equally of the executant as the creator.
The Bulawayo Chronicle
I declined the line-by-line debate with H.G. Sendall on the function of art in society because it would take considerable space adequately to traverse all the issues involved, and I am far from certain that the argument would be of general interest to your readers.
I remember the late Walter Murch, one of America’s foremost realist painters of this century, saying to a student during a life drawing class: “Don’t ever be concerned with literal accuracy – your responsibility is not to the subject, it’s to the painting or drawing you are making”.
There was a refreshing modesty about the Italian violinst Salvatore Accardo and his accompanist Niccolo Parente who played in the Bulawayo City Hall last night – not merely personal reticence, but an avoidance of self-regarding virtuosity and of the precariousness with which many performers draw attention to their sensitivity.
A strong case could be made for the proposition that the anger of one man changed the whole course of Western music. Beethoven’s letters abound with distress at his deafness, his social ineptitude and at the shallowness of a society which fawned on the nobility but patronized and exploited genius.