May 20, 2017

A not so odd couple

I'm sure you've read about occasions when a great composer's work was performed by his contemporary fellow composer of comparable stature who also happened to be a distinguished musician.  Ever wondered what it would be like to hear such performances?  Vivaldi concertos played by Bach (in transcriptions for organ)?  Mozart's D minor piano concerto played by the young Beethoven?  How about Chopin's etudes played by Liszt?  Or perhaps Mahler's interpretations of operas by Puccini and Richard Strauss?

But why spend time on daydreaming when you can hear the real thing:
a live recording of Elliott Carter's music performed by his friend, fellow composer, and one of the century's great conductors Pierre Boulez.  These performances of Carter's Oboe Concerto and Three Occasions for Orchestra come from the concert given by Boulez and the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 February 1993 at the Royal Festival Hall, London.  The soloist in the Oboe Concerto is Laszlo Hadady who was at the time the principal oboe of Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain.

The analog FM broadcast of this concert by the BBC Radio 3 was recorded - via an English-made vacuum tube tuner Leak Trough-Line II - to hard disc by a British Carter enthusiast who kindly sent me a flac copy not long ago.  Whether due to the vacuum tube tuner or to the excellence of BBC's analog FM transmissions at that time, the sound in these recordings is remarkable for its warmth, depth, and detail.


Jon said...

Many thanks for sharing these recordings.

One minor correction - it's a Leak Trough-Line tuner (ie, not Through).

A technical explanation for the name, and lots more info about the tuner, at

No need to put this comment 'live', incidentally.



Boom said...

Thank you for the correction regarding the tuner's correct model name. I made an appropriate change in the post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Boom!