Music to my ears.
Did you hear Sir András Schiff’s lecture recitals on the complete cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas at Wigmore Hall, London W1, a few years ago? I’m sorry to say that I didn’t. Imagine my delight then when a friend told me that they can be downloaded from the Wigmore Hall website (http://wigmore-hall.org.uk/podcasts/andras-schiff-beethoven-lecture-recitals). Not surprisingly, the news that he will be giving a lecture recital on Schubert’s last piano sonata in B flat major D960 at 22, Mansfield Street on March 18 is causing considerable excitement among musicians. Rarely do emotion, virtuosic skill and intellectual rigour march so well together, let alone in such elegant surroundings.
The house was built by Robert and John Adam from about 1770 to 1772. After the Adam brothers, the lease was taken by a rackety MP called Sir Edward Dering. Partly remodelled before the First World War, the house remains a private home and Sir András’s lecture and performance will be in aid of his charity, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, founded in 1972 to allow young musicians to make music together away from the hurly-burly of big cities. Lucky those who can secure a ticket (price £250; www.i-m-s.org.uk/concerts/fundraising).