Charles Libove / Nina Lugovoy
The Libove-Lugovoy Duo and other ensembles connected with Charles Libove, violin, and Nina Lugovoy, piano, are the most musically intense ensembles I have ever had the pleasure to hear.
I met Charles and Nina in 1972, when I was 23 years old, at the Claremont Music Festival at the Claremont Colleges in California. As a young clarinetist growing up in California in the musical presence of the likes of Heifetz and Piatigorsky, I loved great string playing and listened to everything I could get my ears on, past and present.
When I heard Charles Libove for the first time, with his incredible tone, color, vibrato and phrasing, I was literally brought to tears. I said to myself, “Don’t be a sap. Listen carefully to the other faculty to hear what’s there.” They were good, too, but with Libove there was always an intensity that engaged the feeling. I asked him if he would coach my group that was working on the Mozart Clarinet Quintet. He said he would.
The following season I went to Claremont to study with him privately for the summer. Our work together focused on feeling, sound, sensiitivity to movement and touch, how a composer expresses ideas on paper, and the role of the interpreter in bringing those ideas to life. Intensity of feeling in music and how to bring feeling to the performance through technique and sound was his paramount goal.
The music on this site shows rare dedication and attention to the art of interpretation through complete knowledge of the instrument and structure of the compositions being interpreted. The recordings are all “live” performances before an audience at various Universities of Upstate New York, Peabody, Potsdam, Town Hall in New York City, the Alban Berg Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony. There are a few works that were recorded privately for study, and these were only one take with no edits. Some years ago I spoke with Charles about the importance of having "live" performances available to the public versus edited "studio" recordings and he agreed that there is an
element of immediacy in a live performance that is very rarely found in studio recordings.
Thanks to Nina (Lugovoy) Libove, Charlie’s wife, life-long companion, collaborator and accompanist, we were given permission to transfer over two hundred reel-to-reel tapes of their performances from 1956 through the early eighties. It is in the spirit of "immediacy" that we offer these wonderful performances here. There are many tapes that do not have dates and or personnel listed as in the recordings with the Philharmonia Trio. In these cases we have no specifications listed.
The violin played by Charles Libove after 1965 is the "Lord Norton" Stradivarius of 1737.
Our wish is that you find these performances as edifying and inspiring as we do.
Russell and Leslie Harlow