Help the Detritus, Save the Queen

Give this CD review a gander:

Paul Lewis’ Beethoven piano sonatas lovely, but a bit too British

Today’s question for the Detritusites: what is it exactly that Cantrell says about British comportment?

First, Lewis is described as able, thoughtful, eager, lovely and elegant. Then, somehow, his inner-Brit gets in the way. Cantrell wants more wit, more danger and more ecstasy, just like he received from Schiff’s recording.

And Mr. Lewis misses the songlike qualities of the variation themes in Op. 109 and 111; the former is too foursquare, the latter too slow.

Foursquare: unless Cantrell is referring to a church, waterproof jackets, rum, an American architectural style, an archaic definition or a video production company in San Diego, he’s saying that the performance of Op. 109 was childish or simplistic, like the game. Sure, he could’ve meant “square,” as in "conventional or boring." But "foursquare" is an archaic English definition of the geometric figure; it's not related to the informal shortened form.

Now, dear Detritusites, I'll ask again: what about the British demeanor that makes for an unsatisfactory Beethoven performance?


Sator Arepo said...

Able, thoughtful, eager, lovely, elegant, too slow, and foursquare = British. What's confusing about that?

Oh, right...everything.

He forgot: mild-mannered, drunken, bad-teethed, dignified, war-weary, and insert stereotype here.

Empiricus said...

I forgot to admonish the editor, or whoever came up with that pea-brained title, which is what initially gave this review a...taint. That said, maybe Cantrell isn't the sole culprit of this egregiousness. My "foursquare" beef still stands, though.

SA: he also forgot imperialist. That goes nicely with foursquare and its anachonisicity, I think.

Murderface said...

The British drink too much tea to play Beethoven satisfactorily, everyone knows that.

Wait, what?

It's the tea and the infamous symphony hooliganism that puts one off.

Lruygi: Basque expressionist architect killed under Franco (1890-1958)