Tag: Repertoire

Profiles of Joachim’s students: 1. Joseph Kotek

“It’s perfect now,” Kotek said. “It’s fine, it’s beautiful!” “You played it beautifully,” Peter Ilych said, with his arm around Kotek’s shoulder. “You could play it in public at a moment’s notice, my friend.” “Really, Peter Ilych? Do you really think so?” Kotek’s young sensitive face flushed almost scarlet with pride and gratitude. But presently […]

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Arthur Lourié on Berlin as musical capital

Here are a few excerpts about Berlin at the beginning of the twentieth century from the book Sergei Koussevitzky and his Epoch by Arthur Lourié (1892-1966). The author of the second biography of Koussevitzky described this book in his preface: “There was available an earlier biography of Koussevitzky by his friend Arthur Lourié. The value of […]

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When did virtuosos stop playing their own concertos?

In the nineteenth century, it was common for virtuosos to also compose works for themselves to play. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was less common, but there are still plenty of impressive examples. Pianist Eugen d’Albert not only composed for himself but also wrote operas and other works in almost every genre. […]

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The “standard” of three concertos on a concert

One feature of concert life in 1907 Berlin was the standard of three concertos for a concert given by a soloist. This would be unthinkable today because of the stamina required for both the performer and the audience, and because the lack of variety would be unappealing. After backtracking concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic to […]

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Coping with the embarrassment of riches

As I continue to compile my list of the 1000 or so concerts from 1907, I have been lingering on the month of January and imagining time-traveling to the concerts that interest me the most. At first it seems like it would be an ideal situation, but then I start to wonder: could anyone even […]

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What made the Joachim Quartet Special II

Andreas Moser’s biography of Joachim addresses this question. Since Joachim had quite a bit of say in what he wrote, it is interesting to read the list of special qualities: Joachim’s confidence in his interpretation. “If there was ever an artist who knew what he wanted, it was Joachim.” This came partly from his training and […]

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What made the Joachim Quartet so special?

This is the big question. Since there are no recordings, we must rely on the account of witnesses, which are subjective. First, though, there are some relevant facts that should be taken into account: The many years that they played regularly together. Three of the four played together for 28 years, from 1879-1907. The turnover was […]

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