|VVCD - 00073
of Maria Yudina
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel
Piano Quartet No 2
Fedor Druzhinin Viola
Sergei Shirinsky Cello
Maria Yudina always esteemed Johannes Brahms as
a composer and thought highly of his personality. She found him
a person "of great intelligence and high moral integrity".
Yudina heard in his works some eternal themes, which no true artist
could escape. These were love and desperation, the pursuit of one's
lot, the endevaour to solve the causes of the sorrows of the world.
But she also saw the joy and light running through many of his works.
What admired her was how "this amazing man of genius was satiated
with life in all its manifestations".
A unique recording of Brahms' Variations on A Theme by Handel was
made in 1948, more than half a century ago. It is one of Yudina's
earliest recordings. Her style of performance amazes by the grandiosity
and thoroughness of the conception and some transcendental virtuosity
that combines true liberty, easiness and incredible colourfulness.
Her imagination is truly boundless. While drawing out of inexhaustible
source of the Brahms' ingenuity she strews before us like precious
stones 25 variations of very different character.
Yudina knew the joy of a joint creative work. More than anything
else she liked the moments of making music together with other musicians
when "the art of music runs through everybody and everybody
is happy to be in it together with others". She inspired her
students and partners - musicians with this joy involving them into
free artistic explorations.
The Beethoven Quartet was one of Yudina's objects of affection.
She played with the outstanding musicians of the Quartet ever since
1930. They are truly unique, she used to say. Though, as she admitted,
there were moments of rather deep difference of opinion between
them it never destroyed their mutual respect and friendship. The
main thing was that they together made superb interpretations of
many chamber compositions.
Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 2 was one of those compositions. This
is one of the last recordings by Yudina made on November 14, 1969.
Earlier Yudina played it on March 18, 1969 at the concert of the
Beethoven Quartet at the Maly Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire
and it was her last public performance.
Life full of severity, hardships and sorrows was fatally coming
to the end. Maria Veniaminovna compared it with the shagreen leather.
Yet in the Quartet's performance we will find no even a hint at
weariness, disillusionment, or despair. On the contrary, it breathes
with a joyful sensation, a clear and sometimes naive perception
of life. And the final movement carries us away by the elements
of a folk dance that sounds so youthful and exciting. This interpretation
fully conveys Yudina's vision of the composition: "The theme
of the Quartet is happiness; it is the aspiration of human being
for happiness, it is beatitude".
The author is a student and friend of Maria Yudina
Total time: 74.30