"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, October 15, 2007

"For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman law it is administered with subhuman inefficiency." - Eric Ambler

***

Pinchas Zukerman, the volatile violinist

"Take, for instance, his stance on the period-instrument movement, which seeks to make music sound as close as possible to what the composer would have heard in his time, right down to use of gut-string violins and valveless horns.

"I disagree with everything they do," Zukerman says emphatically. "From the minute I heard that in 1972 to today (I said), 'What the (expletive) is that? These are professional musicians?'" He calls the movement a fad and contends that digital recording has falsely represented the sound of period ensembles. "If you hear them in public - which I have - one is amazed at how bad it sounds and out of tune."

The string instruments that period groups play are dubbed "cigar boxes." Conductors such as Christopher Hogwood and Roger Norrington, pioneers in the field, are dismissed as no-talents who have ruined classical music. "They don't know how to conduct. They certainly don't know how to play. And who's going to say that?"

Well, Pinchas Zukerman is."


And to think I'm going to watch him in 2 weeks. Hurr hurr.

***

From a review of something I'm going to listen to:

"Some interesting flavors greet the ears in the first concerto on this disc, the "Grosso Mogul" (D major, RV 208), which is not about a wicked ski slope but a reference to the Grand Mughal in India... Of course, some malicious tongue once quipped that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto 500 times, and you can listen to a lot of the Vivaldi concerti before hearing something that really makes you sit up and listen. At the same time, any of his concerti are unlikely to be anything less than pleasant listening."
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