Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Catch Up

It's been too long since I posted in here so I thought a quick entry to catch up then I'll try to return to my listening project.

Not much to catch up on of course, but there was the Classic 100 Swoon. As expected most of my nominations didn't make the voting list and only one made the countdown - Eliza's Aria by Elena Kats-Chernin. The upshot of the nominees missing out was I could vote for other things.

Swoons are very personal of course and it seems this year I sided with less popular pieces than usual. Selections from Grieg's Peer Gynt made it in to the top 50 which was good and not unexpected. I had to vote for them as they are probably my earliest swoons, particularly Solveig's Song which I was swooning too as a young teen just discovering music's real power.

My only other successful vote was for Faure's Pavane, another early love of mine, but it came in much lower than I expected. In fact, many of what I thought would be obvious choices only scraped into the countdown or ranked much lower than I imagined.

I had more luck in the second hundred but even there some absences seem quite glaring. Such is the nature of swoon, it's very divisive no matter how beautiful.

As I write this I'm listening to Shostakovich's String Quartet No 15 played by the Eder Quartet. It never entered my mind for the countdown, but there is no doubt if I stop typing and just listen I am transported. It takes me to a sad place, sometimes violent but generally it feels like the cold ruins of a city torn apart. Or, to quote the Smashing Pumpkins, "where the willow weeps and the whirlpool sleeps'.

Swoons are everywhere, beauty is lurking, waiting to be found. We only need to look.

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