Alexander Hawkins

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Everything posted by Alexander Hawkins

  1. Anything Good To Say About Andre Vida???

    I don't know Andre too well at all, but did work with him in a large Braxton ensemble in Berlin last Autumn, and he seems like a fascinating guy...and a hell of a player. I really enjoy his work on the Braxton Tristano-school stuff...he also has some very extreme explorations of the saxophone. I feel like I've heard some amazing solo stuff, but can't quite place where/when just now! But anyway, as I say: IMHO he's fantastic throughout this:
  2. Bandcamp waiving fees on Friday

    Wow, thank you so much. I hope you enjoy them! I'm definitely working on some new things, one of which is indeed a sextet...hopefully some news soon!
  3. Bandcamp waiving fees on Friday

    Thanks so much for checking them out!
  4. I love those you mention too. My personal favourite would be Pollini (n.b. to the curious - there are, as of a couple of months ago - new Pollini recordings of 109/110/111). Richter I'm intrigued by in this one...his second movement is SO slow it's very odd; so I couldn't say it was a favourite, but I like it because it's challenging in some way... Solomon and Annie Fischer I also love.
  5. Vexations Live (RIGHT NOW!)

    I'm curious now - I can't wind back that far. According to the list I was sent, those repetitions should be Wayne Marshall!
  6. Vexations Live (RIGHT NOW!)

    If I remember correctly, I played the ten repetitions beginning at repetition 488! I'm not sure if it's part of the concept as such, but the score is fascinating, and the way it's written is definitely one of the piece's many 'vexations'. If you take a look, you can see some of what I mean: For example, Satie has seemingly deliberately written the notes in unhelpful ways - flat/double flats/etc. used for the sake of it, rather than grammatically, or at least conventionally (although of course with so much of the harmony being augmented or diminished, what would be 'grammatical' or 'conventional' is up for debate!) if you look at the 7th and 8th beats of the second system, a melody which appears in print to fall actually rises. Notice also that the structure is written totally unhelpfully - there would be a much easier solution. I think part of the process of the piece is mind games with the performer - how awkward can he make this apparently simple little thing, and how badly is this going to mess with your head as you attempt to repeat it all those times. I haven't checked, but IIRC I made a slip on my 7th repetition: as you can see, the notes aren't tough as such, but after a while, they really play tricks. (I played it for a long time yesterday, just to see how it felt to go for many more than the 10 repetitions of this performance: the answer is, stuff gets *weird*, and indeed, there are plenty of tales from people who have attempted extremely long stints in the past...) So I think that playing it with the music is arguably part of the point. For sure, it wouldn't be that hard to memorise (although again, there are tales that people who have done long stretches of this piece have just had a complete 'block'.) I would also guess that some performers have simply rewritten Satie's notation into something much simpler to read. This would virtually guarantee no errors, and I toyed with it, but it didn't quite seem to capture the full 'vexatiousness' of the piece to me personally..! Also the little text at the start: 'Pour se jouer 840 fois de ce motif, il sera bon de se préparer...' - 'To play this motif 840 times, it would be a good idea to prepare'...I always think that 'would' is significant...he doesn't seem to be *telling* the performer. And it's a 'motif' rather than anything more concrete: so although most people play the notes 'as written', on some repetitions that I saw as I've dipped in and out during the day, there is the occasional octave transposition etc. (Also - the instrument itself appears to be up for grabs - so I think at the least any keyboard instrument would be valid!). Sort of incredible to think this was probably written in the 1890s!
  7. Vexations Live (RIGHT NOW!)

    Ha - I did a shift in this performance a few hours ago!
  8. Bandcamp waiving fees on Friday

    If anyone's interested, I've actually made my entire Bandcamp catalogue 'pay what you want' for a while...I figured that finances are likely to be tight for many listeners just the same as many musicians during these times, so please do feel free to take the offer at face value. [Also please do check out the amazing stuff Intakt Records have, including my latest - a duet album with the amazing Tomeka Reid.]
  9. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    This is THE ONE!!! Not enough thumbs up possible from me at least!
  10. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Don't know this, but excited to check it out...her Rameau, Bach etc. is totally magical IMHO.
  11. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    The (incredible) Maderna disc from this.
  12. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Mendelssohn 4, then Schumann 2 from this.
  13. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Indeed! Masterful. Now listening to the other volume of Bach - the 4th partita just now.
  14. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Yes! Now onto the Bach suites and transcriptions from the same set.
  15. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    From this, the Rachmaninoff 1st sonata.
  16. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Love this earlier recording!
  17. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Cool/cold - that's a really interesting point - yes, agree! BTW - I mentioned his Appassionata...I love the DG recording of course, but there are some incredible live ones. This one in particular I think is pretty astonishing: I saw him play this sonata in London a few years back, and it was frankly one of the most transcendent live music experiences I've ever had!
  18. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Pollini blows my mind in Beethoven...I think his structural grasp is a huge benefit in these later sonatas in particular, where the musical forms are so radical. Take e.g. the slow movement of the Hammerklavier - he has no trouble making those 17+ minutes hold together. Also - the 'cool' thing - I do understand this, but I don't necessarily always sign up to the characterisation. The way he treats the repeated G major chord in op.110 before the inversion of the fugue just at the end of the piece is mesmerising and almost shocking to me in his hands; or for another example, the intensity of the last movement of his op.57. Anyway - for sure just a personal thing! I can't wait to hear his just-released new recordings of 109, 110, and 111.
  19. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Love BWV106!!!
  20. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    This recording is really stunning, and IMHO an amazing companion piece to the DG version...some may have played the etudes differently to Pollini, but I don't think anyone ever played them better...
  21. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    I know he prevented its broadcast, but I would love to hear the second half of the concert... Ha! Last night listened to Sinopoli doing Mendelssohn 4 and Schumann 2; and the day before, his Respighi disc (which is wonderful!).