No Food – Live 

I went to the Seattle Chamber Music Series today and heard a program that included:
Britten: Phantasy Quartet in F minor for Oboe and Strings, Op. 2download audio sample
Dvořák: String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 77 download audio sample

Schulhoff: Duo for Violin and Cello
Poulenc: Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet, Op. 100 download audio sample

They were supposed to include Shostakovich’s 13th String Quartet –which is what initially drew me to the performance– however they replaced it with Schulhoff, with whom I was totally unfamiliar.  Turns out to have been the show stopper which got the only standing ovation (no doubt in part due to Walter Gray, cello and Mikhail Shmidt, violin, the latter whom was particularly animated [“historionic” I heard one woman say after the show]).  Anyway, in his time, Schulhoff was apparently quite a character,  even setting the communist manifesto to music as an oratorio.  Tragically, because of his Jewish descent and his radical politics, he and his works were labelled degenerate and blacklisted by the Nazi regime and his life and career were tragically cut short by tuberculosis in the Wulzburg concentration camp in 1942. Until very recently Schulhoff’s work was rarely noted or performed.  It is definitely worth hearing!

Read about him
“Absolute art is revolution, it requires additional facets for development, leads to overthrow (coups) in order to open new paths…and is the most powerful in music…. The idea of revolution in art has evolved for decades, under whatever sun the creators live, in that for them art is the commonality of man. This is particularly true in music, because this art form is the liveliest, and as a result reflects the revolution most strongly and deeply–the complete escape from imperialistic tonality and rhythm, the climb to an ecstatic change for the better.”  –Erwin Schulhoff, 1919

Listen to his Duoschulhoff



by Alexander