Loud, massive, ecstatic, modern. Calm, elegant, majestic, traditional. Frenzy and serenity. A self-portrait? An allegory of life? Between 1909 and 1911 the British composer Edward Elgar wrote an intriguing symphony in E flat major, Op. 63. I heard it yesterday night for the very first time at the Philharmonie de Luxembourg. I did not like it. It was not the orchestra’s fault. I will have to listen to it again. Soon. And then perhaps I will know what to think about it. I have an idea that there is something great hidden in this piece. But I didn’t find it yesterday.
Those of you following me on Twitter know how often I am listening to the trios and quartets written by Ludwig van Beethoven, and I am surprised myself that I do not write more frequently about him. But it is a fact that when I listen to those pieces, I forget about everything else. Ludwig would probably frown his eyes. He knew how important public relations were to get new commissions and earn a little money.
It all started with a fraud. We were three students: Ellen, Thomas and myself. It must have been in July during our last year at university or the year before. It was hot, and we were desperately looking for a way to sneak into an open air classic concert. Officially, the concert was sold out. Tickets were available on the black market, but at a price that none of us was willing to pay. So we scouted out the cordon around the Königsplatz in Munich to see if there was any spot through which we could enter the concert area. There wasn’t. Police and security teams everywhere, fences, barriers – no trespassing.
This is why I love to blog about music! This is how I like this blog to work. On Monday I started into the week with Julius Röntgen’s wonderful Violin Concerto in A minor and mentioned it in tweets and Facebook post. Seconds later a follower from Japan, the pianist Maya Asano, shared her enthusiasm for Röntgen, a not-so-well-known composer of the late 19th century. Here is what she wrote: “Nowadays it seems nobody knows him or his compositions eventhough his music has rich harmony and expressive description. I’m happy to see his name again in your blog. Thank you so much!”