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Jessica Duchen
Friday 27th November 2009
Friday Historical: Menuhin Plays Brahms

A gem, and a rare one too, for this week's Friday Historical. My friend and colleague Brendan Carroll, whose archive would turn Aladdin's genie greener than ever, has just uploaded this heavenly account of the slow movement of the Brahms Violin Concerto. The soloist is Yehudi Menuhin with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, and it's a live broadcast from Maida Vale on the Home Service in the middle of World War II, 5 April 1943 to be precise.

To me, it seems that Menuhin's tone here is more eloquent than any words. Many musicians sing, but those who 'speak' as well are few and far between, let alone those who speak great poetry.

 

 
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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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