Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday Night is... Ravel

The String Quartet in F Major, First Movement, played by The American String Quartet. It's 1903 and Ravel is just twenty-eight.

I remember hearing this for the first time at a small concert in a small town. I don't generally like going to big concerts because I know my attention span with music is concentrated, but short. I am easily distracted and start running away into my own thoughts, and before I know it, I have missed ten, twenty, thirty bars. The music has gone.

But this swept me away, utterly. It still sounds extraordinarily fresh in my ear. I don't know whether it is the romantic quality as it edges into modernism. Parts of it are like film music - or rather parts of film music are like it. I could imagine passages accompanying something by Hitchcock. But that is not what happens when I am really listening. I don't 'picture' anything. I just feel my senses quite alive, and am moved to a great shuddering degree. Maybe it's like surviving something. Maybe all art is that.

Oh, very well! Why not have the wonderful second movement too?

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