Sunday, September 18, 2005

Listening & reading

My friends are busy and so am I! Some news, some things to listen to, some to watch out for, some to read...

Leon McCawley has a new CD out: actually, three new CDs. It's the complete piano music of Hans Gal, a much-neglected figure who fled the Nazis and settled in the UK. He is also neglected, of course, because he insisted on writing beautiful music during the wrong part of the 20th century. He also wrote some excellent books on Schubert and Brahms, inspired by the fact that so few books on music were being written by authors who were musicians themselves. I sense a kindred spirit. Unfortunately he proved too obscure for most of my editors, but I urge you to hear the music. Avie Records has a special offer on this release at the moment.

If you're in northern France, Philippe Graffin's festival Consonances de St Nazaire is now underway and runs the length of this week. Philippe is an expert at creative programming, but this year he's really pulled out all the stops. I wonder whether any British festival could get away with what he's cooked up? Have a look...

Speaking of festivals, pianist Lucy Parham is putting together a Schumann Festival to celebrate the anniversary year about to hit us. It will be held in the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea in February and as well as an orchestral concert with the Royal Philharmonic, a Lieder recital and a coffee concert on Sunday morning, it will include my 'Beloved Clara', with Lucy joined by actors Joanna David and Timothy West. Lucy's website includes a designated Schumann Festival page, but this is currently still in development.

Also at Cadogan, Tasmin Little will be playing Nicholas Maw's fantastic violin concerto on 10 November, in a concert celebrating the compser's 70th birthday.

And on 25 September Roxanna Panufnik's new work for singers and orchestra, The Hare and the Tortoise - her third setting from Vikram Seth's Beastly Tales - will be premiered at the Windsor Festival by the City of London Sinfonia - more details here.

Stuff of mine coming up soon (no online links yet, sadly): all those singers are beginning to appear in print! The interview with Placido Domingo about Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac, and much more, is out now in ABOUT THE HOUSE, the Royal Opera House's magazine (free to friends but also available in the ROH shop). Interview with Jose Cura should be out in the Indy this week sometime. Interview with Barbara Bonney (remember that Salzburg trip?!) should be out any minute, the cover feature for BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE's October edition.