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Jessica Duchen
Saturday 29th August 2009
Saturday Sequels

A few little sequels on some of our stories to report this morning.

At Glyndebourne, the Rusalka run is over and Santiago Sabinho Carvalho, the cellist in whose lap the mermaid landed last week, has become the hero of the opera house, the darling of every girl from wardrobe department to diva... A graceful thank-you message from Ana Maria Martinez herself topped it all: it went out to all the punters who'd witnessed the event and described him as 'Saint Santiago'. Now he's also a national hero in his home town in Brazil! Ambassadors and attaches have become involved...

Over at Damian Thompson's blog, there's a sequel to the Battle of the Goldbergs, Hewitt v Gavrilov. This time he's listened to both recordings to compare them. Priceless extract:

"Gavrilov’s “black pearl” Adagio goes on for ever, for example, but in the spooky, sublime way that the slow movement of the Hammerklavier goes on for ever. Hewitt’s is jolly slow, too, but in the absence of pedal and poetry you either lose the will to live or get distracted by the siren call of the tub of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer."

I'm puzzled by the carping elsewhere in the piece about having to 'be in the mood' to listen to the Goldbergs. Any mood is Goldberg mood, as long as it is played with the requisite spirit. Preferably by Andras Schiff. Perahia's great too.

Over at Facts & Arts, the irrepressible Michael Johnson is having another go at piano competitions, and good for him. I wonder how he managed to write this piece without mentioning the Russian KGB man who...well, more of that soon.

And finally, there's a sequel to the Mahler 9 marvel. I wrote a rather ecstatic review after hearing Haitink conduct it with the LSO at the Proms a few weeks back. Now a letter arrives from a friend in New York, enclosing a flyer that she says was inserted in all the programmes at Avery Fisher Hall at a recent Mostly Mozart Festival performance. It trails...the visit to NY of the LSO and Haitink in October, playing Mahler 9. Said review is plastered wholesale across one side of the paper. Do I get the blame if they have an off-night? (They won't. They won't.)


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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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