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  1. The Unknown Richard Strauss, Piano Concertos For the Left Hand

    In August of 2019, I wrote a post on my Blogspot Music Blog about music written specifically for the Left Hand. At that time I wrote the following:

    [...] Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein [had] his right arm amputated during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist.

    A musician who enjoyed the company of several luminaries
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  2. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 27

    Chopin
    Nocturnes Op. 15.
    Maurizio Pollini, piano

    Also good, I think I prefer No. 2.

    Haydn
    String Quartet No. 43
    Emerson Quartet

    Another good quartet from Haydn. Not a "joke" finish, but still a fairly quiet one.

    Vivaldi
    Four Seasons: Autumn
    Simon Standage, violin
    The English Concert
    Trevor Pinnock, conductor

    The fast movements are familiar to me, the middle
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  3. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 25

    Chopin
    Nocturnes Op. 9
    Maurizio Pollini, piano

    I have a CD with all 19 Chopin Nocturnes played by Pollini (including the posthumous Op. 72). That seems like too many to absorb at one sitting, so I will try to listen to one opus per day. Today was Op. 19. I listened to each twice.

    I like these first three. When I've played this CD in the past, it's just been background music, where I was really only paying attention for the first minute or two. So Op. 91
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  4. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 23

    Brahms
    Arrangement of the 2nd movement from the String Sextet No. 2 Op. 18
    Emanuel Ax, piano

    Brahms apparently did the transcription himself, as a gift to Clara Schumann on her 41st birthday, but was never published in his lifetime.

    I like this, but not as much as the sextet version. Some parts work in the piano version, but other really don't (i particular I really miss the pizzicato in some sections). Nevertheless, enjoyable to listen to.
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  5. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 22 - Part 2

    Whoops, I forgot to include this one on Jan 22:

    Brahms
    String Sextet No. 1
    Violins: Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin
    Violas: Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree
    Cellos: Yo-Yo Ma, Sharon Robinson

    I've owned this disc for a long time, and I really like this piece. I think I prefer it to the 2nd sextet, but it's a close call. I particularly like the 2nd movement.
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