So lots of Beethoven... and in the evenings - if that wasn't enough - we often listen to some old Beethoven recordings of great quartets of the past. It is so interesting to hear what kind of interpretation and what type of sound they arrived at. Axel has really introduced us to the recordings of the Guarneri Quartet. They are his all-time favourites and it is only now that we turn to them after years of listening to mainly "European" groups. The beauty and unanimity of their sound is really out of this world. That generation played with such refinement... Somehow their approach to sound is so different to what we are looking for. It seems that tonal beauty was always of utmost importance. Perhaps, even though these are post-war recordings these great musicians were steeped in the pre-war world - and it is only our post-war generation that is hearing in Beethoven's music not only its beauties but also all the horrors that man is capable of. Of course, this doesn't make our vision of it any better than theirs - it just shows that great music is not only eternal but that perhaps it also serves us as a mirror of our time...

 

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