Here is a little something to offer tranquility in a mad world: the 'June' Barcarolle from Tchaikovsky's piano cycle The Seasons. Sviatoslav Richter is the pianist. Wonderful for a lazy afternoon punting down the river in the sun [warning to my niece: not until after your exams!].
Why don't more pianists play The Seasons? Twelve gorgeous slivers of vintage Tchaikovsky - yet the only time I've encountered them in the flesh, so to speak, has been for the occasional ABRSM exam and, er, in ballet class. Technically there aren't many high-jumps or sprint marathons involved, which could explain it...too many performers prefer virtuosity. This is for those who'd rather cut straight the poetry beneath.
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.
- Recruiting at Policy Exchange - Sponsored Content
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Grounds for Hope
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Standpoint's Autumn Salons
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under
- The BBC's painful novelties
- Money can't buy you love - Nichi Hodgson
- World Youth Day Diary: Day Four