Vikram Seth: An Equal Music

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
An Equal Music is that rare literary creation: a sensitive and perceptive novel about classical music and musicians. The protagonist of Vikram Seth's sad romance is a violinist who specializes in chamber music, and the masterworks that he plays are themselves important characters in the story. While some of these musical personae are well known, like Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, others are more obscure. One of the novel's pivotal pieces -- Beethoven's arrangement for string quintet of his C Minor Piano Trio, Op. 1, No. 3 -- was actually not available on CD at all. Luckily, Decca has stepped in to provide a two-disc companion to the book which includes, among ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
An Equal Music is that rare literary creation: a sensitive and perceptive novel about classical music and musicians. The protagonist of Vikram Seth's sad romance is a violinist who specializes in chamber music, and the masterworks that he plays are themselves important characters in the story. While some of these musical personae are well known, like Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, others are more obscure. One of the novel's pivotal pieces -- Beethoven's arrangement for string quintet of his C Minor Piano Trio, Op. 1, No. 3 -- was actually not available on CD at all. Luckily, Decca has stepped in to provide a two-disc companion to the book which includes, among other things, a brand new recording of that elusive Beethoven arrangement. Some of the selections are drawn from Decca's catalog, featuring excellent performances by the Hagen Quartet, András Schiff, Maria Joao Pires, Augustin Dumay, and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. But Decca also introduces us to new names, most notably that of violinist Philippe Honoré, who also happens to be the dedicatee of the novel. Honoré has a beautiful, bright tone, a secure technique, and a thoughtful style that perfectly evokes the character of the book's fictional violinist. For those readers who were swept away by Seth's story, this collection will provide added insight, as well as many hours of listening pleasure.
All Music Guide - James Manheim
Vikram Seth's novel An Equal Music, an elegant classical-music romance, naturally invited the release of an accompanying CD with performances of the music so nicely woven into its story of a pushing-midlife London violinist who encounters a woman, a concert pianist, whom he had loved years before while both were music students in Vienna. Decca's double-CD release ought to extend the emotional satisfaction for lovers of the novel, providing a notably thorough immersion in its musical world. A few pieces are excerpted, but Haydn's "Op. 20, No. 6" quartet, Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending," and Schubert's "Trout Quintet" are presented in full. There is also a complete performance of Beethoven's "Quintet in C minor, Op. 104," rather creatively presented by both the novel and the disc's marketeers as a lost Beethoven masterpiece. "Includes the world premiere CD recording of Beethoven's String Quintet in C minor," proclaims a sticker attached to the jewel box. True enough, but the work is simply an arrangement of the Trio, "Op. 1, No. 3," made by someone else and somewhat reworked for publication by Beethoven in 1817. It is a piece of minor Beethoveniana well known to scholars and the classical hard core, and hardly big news. Unlike almost all other compilations of this kind, this one offers some freshly made recordings, several of them by violinist Philippe Honoré, the work's dedicatee. The other recordings draw from the Decca and Deutsche Grammophon catalogs, going all the way back to 1972 for Iona Brown's recording of "The Lark Ascending" with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The sonic shifts between this and the two brand-new recordings between which it is sandwiched are startling, but as a whole everything coheres in just the way the novel's readers will hope.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/22/2000
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028946694527
  • Catalog Number: 466945
  • Sales rank: 109,979

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 1. Preludio - Johann Sebastian Bach & Philippe Honore (4:07)
  2. 2–5 String Quintet in C minor (after Piano Trio, Op. 1/3), Op. 104 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Sally Jane Pendlebury (31:16)
  3. 6–9 String Quartet No. 24 in A major, Op. 20/6, H. 3/36 - Franz Joseph Haydn & Clemens Hagen (16:26)
  4. 7 Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Sally Jane Pendlebury (3:20)
  5. 11–12 Sonata for violin & piano No. 21 in E minor, K. 304 (K. 300c) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Augustin Dumay (14:51)
  6. 12 String Quartet No. 12 in C minor ("Quartettsatz"), D. 703 - Franz Schubert & Clemens Hagen (9:38)
Disc 2
  1. 1–5 Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major ("Trout"), D. 667 (Op. posth. 114) - Franz Schubert & Clemens Hagen (43:57)
  2. 2 Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): Mvt.3 - Franz Schubert & Peter Buck (11:24)
  3. 3 Sonata for violin & continuo in C major ("Manchester Sonata" No. 1), RV 3: Largo - Antonio Vivaldi & Philippe Honore (3:56)
  4. 4 The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Neville Marriner (16:12)
  5. 5 Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Rustem Hayroudinoff (3:11)
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