Friday, August 25, 2006

Alban Berg as filler???

I'd never have thought of Berg's Violin Concerto[^] as filler material.

Yet it seems that it has become so.

I'm *still* tweaking the tags in my music collection and I noticed that I have no fewer than 7 different recordings of the Berg. Yikes! I like the concerto but that's going way over the top.

In my heyday I once had, on LP, three recordings of each of Gustav Mahlers[^] 9 Symphonies, plus the only recording available of the incomplete 10th. But that was then and this is now and I've contented myself with just the one recording of each on CD save for my favourite, the 6th, which I do have in three different recordings.

But seven recordings of the Berg??? It came about like this.

First recording bought specifically to get the Berg. Second recording (actually I don't remember the order) paired it with Stravinsky's Violin Concerto. Third recording paired with Benjamin Brittens Violin Concerto. Fourth recording paired with Richard Strauss's Violin Concerto. And so on.

It's almost as though a 'difficult' concerto has become a badge of honour; every soloist 'must' have his recording. Not that I'm complaining; it's a damn fine piece of music and I do enjoy hearing the differences between performances!

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