REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composers: Ginastera, Chopin, Moussorgsky; Pianist: Charles Rosen

Charles Rosen


Peter Catesby Peter Cates


String Quartets 1 and 2
Henschel Quartet; Arte Nova-ANO 721250, cd, recorded December 9, 10 and 14, 1999.

Alberto Ginastera

Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (April 11, 1916 – June 25, 1983) was born in Buenos Aries, Argentina, to a Catalan father and Italian mother. In addition to composing a huge legacy of his own music in different forms, he taught much of his life. His students included the well-known Tango composer Astor Piazzolla and classical-pop arranger Waldo de los Rios, whose own 1970s Ode to Joy was a smash hit in the U.S.

The Two String Quartets, from 1948 and 1958, have wild, savage rhythms in the fast movements, haunting mystery and beauty in the slower ones and wondrous moodiness evoking the vast landscapes of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, etc. I have played both works several times this week, enjoying them more and more.The best approach for new listeners is simply to relax and let the music happen.

The Henschel Quartet was founded in 1988 ; its members were three siblings – brothers Christoph and Markus Henschel on violin, sister Monika as violist and cellist Matthias Beyer-Karlshoj. They are still together, except for a different violinist since Markus left in 2012.


2nd Piano Concerto and the Liszt 1st PC
Charles Rosen with John Pritchard conducting the New Philharmonia; Odyssey Y 31529, LP, 1972 reissue of an original 1966 Epic LP.

Charles Rosen

Charles Rosen (1927-2012) was one extraordinary pianist, very gifted writer on music and other subjects and brilliant teacher who crammed several lifetimes into one. He not only played these Concertos well but wrote the insightful liner notes on the back of the record jacket.

Moussorgsky Pictures

at an Exhibition (Orchestrated by Maurice Ravel); Night on Bald Mountain; Vladimir Golschmann conducting the Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Vanguard SRV-117SD, LP, recorded early 1960s.

Vladimir Golschmann (1893-1972) brought a suave elegance to these two works, so often performed with hyper intensity; and they hold their own against the great number of other recordings of them. His 27 years as music director of the St. Louis Symphony from 1931 – 1958 were very accomplished ones and he treated his players as colleagues, getting very good performances on 78 and LP records.





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