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Jessica Duchen
Sunday 16th August 2009
Choose your weapon...

"Inverted mordents at dawn?" tweets my mate Sebastian Scotney over at the London Jazz blog, drawing our attention to a somewhat unseemly spat surrounding some fine Bach pianists over whom a couple of blogosphere luminaries are crossing if not swords then quite possibly Steinways.

Or make that Faziolis, the piano of choice for Angela Hewitt, whose own blog, quoting lots of nice crits of her performances, appears to have got up Damian Thompson's nose (Damian, btw, is the Telegraph blogger who writes mainly on Catholic issues, but also had the good sense to flee the Mariinsky Ring after just one hour of Rheingold). He's written a post all about it - the Brits loathe self-promotion, remember?- oh, and besides, he's not all that mad about her playing.

Now Milo Yiannopoulos has weighed in on the debate, quoting a comment on Thompson's blog from said musician regarding the Bach playing of Andrei Gavrilov. Will Gavrilov and his fans retaliate? His site is bound to displease Thompson & friends too: when you log on you are faced with the words WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL HOME PAGE OF A GREAT MUSICIAN.

And guess what? He too has a blog. It is not extensive, but in its own way it's priceless. Try his post about having a glass of wine with Richter and Rostropovich. 

Blimey, guv... Well, I think I'll stick with my beloved Goldbergs recording by Andras Schiff (who does not have a blog). It was the soundtrack to my formative years and most precious memories and is coming to my desert island with me, fin.

Happy Sunday, all.



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Tod Brody
August 18th, 2009
4:08 AM
I'm a Hewitt fan, and a Schiff fan also, but the piano recording of the Goldbergs to treasure is Murray Perahia's. This took me by surprise, as I'd always thought of MP as a pianist who shone in works of the 19th century, particularly Schubert and Chopin. His Goldbergs feature Gould-like precision, astounding virtuosity, and a warmth and thoughtfulness that stand out in a very distinguished field. Check it out!

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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