May 1998

Arturo Delmoni, Violin & Nathaniel Rosen, Cello - Music for a Glass Bead Game
John Marks Records JMR 15
Released: 1997

by Jay Piriz

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****1/2
Overall Enjoyment ****1/2

[Reviewed on CD]"Throughout its history…the Game was closely allied with music, and usually proceeded according to musical and mathematical rules. One theme, two themes, or three themes were stated, elaborated, varied, and underwent development quite similar to that of the theme in a Bach fugue or a concerto movement."

—from The Glass Bead Game: A General Introduction to its History for the Layman

So states the opening page of the liner notes for this CD. In Herman Hesse's last novel The Glass Bead Game, the amalgamation between the arts (music) and science (mathematics) provides the foundation for the Game's ceaseless quest for connectedness and universality. In similar fashion, the two extraordinary performers on this recording conduct a synergistic dance of chamber works which is nothing short of masterful.

Delmoni's distinctively precise and romantic violin playing exudes the kind of passion and sensitivity generally associated with only the great virtuosi of the golden violin age. Rosen's masterful cello performance is dripping with emotion and spirit. The two musicians combine to produce one of those rare musical gems that contains the essence of the performance on each and every note. Some of the passages are so absolutely beautiful that I was literally left breathless.

Jerry Bruck has skillfully engineered this recording, assuring that the romantic essence of the two wonderful instruments and their players is rightfully complemented by the recording venue. This recording was made at the Conservatory of Music Recital Hall at Purchase College in New York. The character of the spatial dimension, decay and ambiance within the hall are preserved with delicate detail. The liner notes mention that on this recording Delmoni plays a 1780 Guadagnini violin and Rosen plays a 1738 Montagnana violoncello. The warmth and beauty of the music emanating from these vintage instruments is present in the glorious tones captured by Bruck.

Music For A Glass Bead Game belongs in the collection of every classical music lover. It captures the essence of the music, the mastery of the musicians, and the beauty and character of the venue. What more could you ask? I encourage you to visit John Marks Records' website ( to find out more.