The old stables of the medieval town of Schwabach—that famed gold leaf production center of the world—make for a very decent make-shift concert venue with a little regular series of classical music to which the locals—some more, some less, most very enthusiastically—allow themselves to be goaded.
Beneath the 450-some year old beams of the half-timbered house, which houses town council meetings when not filled with the gifts of Euterpe (that’s the muse of song, for those whose parents tried to save on their education), pianist Daniel Grimwood* and Nazrin Rashidova performed a mother’s day concert in which they dragged the Schwabachers sneakily from the classical period (Mozart) to the 20th century (Poulenc) by way of Beethoven, Fauré, and Moritz Moszkowski.
In Schwabach (40.000 souls, give or take a few), Daniel Grimwood – unknown the world over as a pianist – is a minor star, having played himself into the hearts of the good burghers by giving memorable concerts of the town’s tenuous musical claim to fame: Adolf von Henselt.
W.A.Mozart, Sonataw f.Fortepiano & Violin K296, 379 & 454 ,
The work is officially titled a sonata for pianoforte and violin, in that order, and Grimwood made no pretense of letting this be a showpiece for the violin. Nazrin Rashidova, meanwhile, is not a violinist who needs to fear an independent-minded, volume-lusty pianist: She’s got a sometimes piercing, sometimes feisty, certainly ambitious tone that would dominate many a more timid ivory-artist.
To indulge in simply throwing adjectives at the reader, however well considered a bunch of adjectives they are, is a disgraceful habit. It’s bad writing and makes for even worse reading. Take this less a sign of awareness on my part than a warning: Brace yourself, because here comes just such a (second) salvo describing Mlle. Rashidova’s playing, which I found scribbled on my notes and am too lazy to cleverly work into the text: Tenacious, determined, tensely unrelenting, and any lightness—if and when on display—coming with clenched teeth. (Now we should be over the hump.)
L.v.Beethoven, Violin Sonatas,
Peters Edition (mp3)
“Still better than being a judgmental, supercilious prat!” you might say. And if you (understandably) did, I would merely raise a dismissive eyebrow in mutually re-assuring response.
F.Poulenc, Chamber Music (incl. Violin Sonata),
A.Tharaud, Graf Mourja et al.
Two Moszkowski firecracker encores were added, one show-off, one less so… and announced as being contained on an upcoming album. Musicians want to eat, after all. Another gratifying chamber in my chamber-music-in-the-countryside exploration, although I think it might have been more gratifying still if performed in exact reverse order.
* He is an acquaintance close—and, until now, dear—enough that it merits this disclosure.