A string quartet was among the very first works that Edvard Grieg presented after completing his studies in 1861, but the Quartet in G minor, Op. 27, was the only such work to be published in his lifetime. In 1878, while composing it, Grieg wrote that ‘it aims at breadth, to soar, and, above all, at vigorous sound’, and the amplitude of the sound is indeed striking: the generous use of double-stops creates an almost orchestral effect, unusual for the genre. This caused some reviewers to criticize the quartet as being unidiomatic, while others, including Liszt, greeted it with enthusiasm. Some thirty years later, when Jean Sibelius composed his D minor quartet Op. 56, he too had previous experience of writing for the medium, but Op. 56 is the only quartet among his mature works. The often used 'nickname' Voces intimae is often taken to refer to the intimate interchange between the four voices in a quartet, but is probably a more specific allusion to a brief passage in the third movement: Sibelius wrote the remark into a score some time after the work had been published.
Animals, and our ever-changing relationships with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the dawn of our existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationships with one another, and entire civilizations have risen and fallen upon this curious bond we share with our fellow fauna.
Verve 60th Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Intimate listening from pianist Teddy Wilson, but surprisingly lively listening too – as Teddy's as fleet on the keys as ever, and maybe even more so in this well-recorded session from the 50s! The record's got a great Verve vibe – simple, unadorned presentation of the Teddy Wilson genius at its mature height – with bass and drums to help bring in a gentle bit of rhythm, but Teddy handling most of the energy himself – with an amazing command of the keyboard that really transforms these familiar tunes. The approach is like Erroll Garner at his best from the time – subtle magic from simple sources – but Teddy's lighter, and more lyrical too – especially on his flourishes on the keys.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. The intimate nature of the title is very apt on this one – as the album features spare duets between drummer Masahiko Togashi and other Japanese musicians – including the great Sadao Watanabe on flute, and either Masahiko Satoh and Masabumi Kikuchi on piano! The sound is open, and sometimes a bit free – but in a way that's very inventive, and never too overpowering – as Togashi finds a way to really keep things grounded, and work in the best collaborative spirit with each musician. A real standout on the East West catalog of the 70s – and titles include "Haze", "Fairy Tale", "Song For Myself", and "Song For My Friends".
We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that everything is connected.