Acknowledgements


  • Primarily, I wish to thank all visitors / readers: I’m amazed to see how many people keep visiting my blog, even in periods when I haven’t posted many new articles — the number of visits is a great motivator for upcoming blog posts!
  • I also would like to thank readers who made comments to blog posts, and/or who stay in contact with me via channels such as Twitter or Facebook.
  • Thanks for the people at Bachtrack.com for getting me into concert reviewing — my blog would look entirely different without that,
  • The concert reviewing led to several, extremely inspiring and stimulating contacts with artists—I’m infinitely grateful for each one of these encounters: they have boosted my motivation in the area of concert reviews.
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  • Thanks to my daughter Deborah — she has been the initial trigger for getting me started in blogging, back in 2011.
  • Thanks to Deborah, as well as to my wife Lea, who have helped with comments and with reviewing posts.
  • Also, many thanks to Deborah for motivating me to switch to WordPress as blogging platform, and to Lea for supporting me in the transition, and all the subsequent work on the site

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7 thoughts on “Acknowledgements

  1. Congratulations, Rolf. It looks great. I’ve been told I could do better myself using WordPress for my online publishing venture and will probably do so (as you know, I already blog at WordPress).

    I look forward to more of your thorough, well-considered and always enlightening posts and reviews!

    • Hi Thomas,
      thanks for the flowers! I was always a bit jealous about the far more professional look of your blog site; as far as I saw, you use wordpress.com — my daughter and I both opted for the “full option”, i.e., wordpress.org with our own domains and a commercial hosting service; installation is a matter of a couple mouse clicks (OK, we both did it twice, as by default the WP software installs in a subdirectory “wordpress”, which we did not want). I’m truly delighted, not just by the endless customization options, but for me primarily because it internally uses Mark-down rather than full HTML: Blogger’s internal use of HTML is a real nightmare (well, to tell the truth, in my former life I once dealt with one instance — Jive — that is even worse than Blogger in that respect). Here, I do a fair amount of formatting in the HTML / Mark-down mode (especially when transferring stuff from Blogger), and the quirks that I encountered during this first week are really minor and manageable.
      Best regards, -Rolf

  2. Rolf,
    You would have liked the concert we were at last night: The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, at the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. Bach, Handel, and Telemann, all on period instruments and partly with a countertenor vocalist.
    We are both patrons and volunteer ushers at Stanford so we get a regular infusion of live music (classical being my choice) — in addition to trips to the San Francisco Symphony.
    I found your blog via a G+ notice — I hope your blogging goes well for you!
    Regards,
    -Paul

    • Hi Paul,
      thanks for your comment — yes, that would indeed have been an interesting concert! I have also been following “Voices of Music” via Facebook / G+ / Twitter lately — I’m pretty sure you have been to their concerts as well, as they seem to be based in the Bay area?
      Blogging: well, just 10 days ago I decided to move my entire music blog site (154 published postings, some 15 in draft state) from Google/Blogger over to WordPress.org; this looked like a scary exercise, as my posts are typically much longer than my (notoriously long) newsletter articles, back at Varian/Agilent — however, after 10 days I have transferred already around 70 postings — I suspect I will be finished in 2 weeks or so, and after that I’ll be able to focus on new content again… WordPress is so much easier to work with — almost quirk-free; I wish I had made that transition earlier!
      I hope you are doing well? Right now, my blog keeps me as busy (or more) than my former job…
      Best regards,
      -Rolf

  3. Dear Rolf,

    I ‘stumbled across’ your blog whilst searching for reviews about recordings of Beethoven symphonies. I read Gramophone and Fanfare, but I think that your reviews are often far more detailed and balanced than those of these esteemed professional record critics. I agree with your approach to analysing recordings based on what is in the score- an essential starting point that some ignore! I cannot begin to imagine how much time and thought you put into this.

    By coincidence, Beethoven’s 4th symphony was the subject of a recordings comparison just over a week ago on BBC Radio 3 and the critic recommended David Zinman as a ‘library choice’. It was quite cheap to order his set of all the symphonies. They have just arrived. I notice that you are selective about which recordings you analyse, but I was wondering whether you had a view on HIP recordings other than Norrington (e.g. Gardiner, Brüggen, Immerseel or Krivinne) and on the Chailly Leipzig set- not HIP, but claims to follow the metronome markings.

    On another note, last Sunday I heard the Belcea Quartet play Beethoven’s Op.131 at the Wigmore Hall in London. Live, I thought their tone was lovely (especially the leader), attacks were robust and the tempi seemed quick, but they used quite a bit of vibrato. Earlier this year I heard Patricia Kopatchinskaja there playing Mozart and Enescu sonatas (exciting and very discreet vibrato) and a few years ago I heard Isabelle Faust play all 6 of the solo Bach sonatas and partitas- she was sublime!

    All the best,
    Louis

    • Dear Louis,
      thanks a lot for your comment!
      My basic “rule” is that I have what I have — it is far too easy to get swamped in versions (just found out that I have some 27 versions of the Beethoven piano concertos, which will make it quite a chore to review), plus, as I have stopped working, and hence on a more limited budget, I’m selective about adding new versions. I have seen that Zinman has been elected best on BBCR3 (that even made it into Wikipedia!) — I like the Tonhalle orchestra (being local, after all!), Zinman’s approach I like, too, but compared to real HIP recordings, they are often somewhat too smooth / polished. So, in terms of HIP, Dausgaard (IMO) is closer, and more natural. I have not evaluated Gardiner, Krivine or Brüggen, nor Chailly. Note that I only review stuff that I have in (preferably) hardcopy or full download, not via Spotify — the latter is *so* cumbersome in locating tracks, and in track labeling.
      While I was doing the Beethoven string quartet reviews, I listened to previews (amazon) with the Belcea — and decided that I had enough “vibrating (i.e., traditional) versions” already. Yes, I like Kopatchinskaja (you’ll find some comments by her husband attached to my post on the Beethoven concerto!), and Faust really is one of my very top favorites. One other set of planned reviews is on the Bach violin sonatas & partitas — with 18 recordings, including Isabelle Faust.
      The other “thing” about extensive, many-version reviews is that over the past year, I gradually got pulled into reviewing concerts — to the point where I decided to make this the primary (or at least a second, main) topic of my blog, and hence my productivity in writing CD reviews has decreased to some degree.
      Best regards & thanks again!
      Rolf

  4. Dear Rolf,

    Thanks for your prompt and detailed reply. I think that I will need to investigate Dausgaard’s Beethoven recordings soon. It will fascinating to read at some point in the future your thoughts on Bach’s violin sonatas & partitas- a labour of love, no doubt! I also have and admire Faust’s recordings of these.

    Kind regards,
    Louis

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