Monday, November 30, 2009

Franck, Horszowski and a recording of Tchaikovsky whistling

Links to fascinating material at Stephen Hough's blog featuring the voice of Tchaikovsky and great stuff about the Franck Prelude, Chorale & Fugue, plus my own memories of Horszowski playing it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mischa, Jascha, Toscha, Sascha...

Wonderfully indulgent historical violin stuff for a wet Sunday and the anniversary of Korngold's death, with Gershwin attached, lots of Jascha and Toscha and a bit of dear old Fritz, plus a little help from Tanita Tikaram and Philippe Graffin. Ideal sampled with fruity porridge. Utterly my kind of stuff.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Historical: Menuhin plays Brahms

A rare live broadcast from 1943 of Menuhin in the slow movement of the Brahms Violin Concerto. Breathtaking & sublime...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

If you've got it, use it

An e-interview with cellist Robert Cohen about his new series of free podcast interviews with arts movers and shakers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Comply with compliance..."

A few thoughts on this peculiar concept, plus a link to a very good article - and do you remember the time that someone said "f***" on R3??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Alt-Classical": is this the future?

Thoughts on the direction of new music as reflected in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's new composers-in-residence, with thanks to Greg Sandow, James MacMillan and Norman Lebrecht, not to mention Riccardo Muti and Sakari Oramo...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Composer Standing

Norman Lebrecht is inviting votes for the living composers most likely still to be performed 50 years from now. Interesting stuff for a number of reasons...and I've added a rogue name to the roster: Kapustin. Read more...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Driving to Distraction

In which Clive Davis has a problem with speedy Bach, I recall a little Wagner on the M3 and we encounter the unfortunate consequence of forgotten sandwiches on the way home from Macclesfield...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Historical: The Comendian Harmonists

A visit to Germany's greatest pre-war singing troupe, in honour of my mother-in-law, who was born into their world in 1925 and is critically ill at present.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tchaikovsky Cheers Up

Post re my article about the reassessment of Tchaikovsky in today's Independent...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

"Ochin priatna"

Apparently the Beast from the East likes classical music. Why should this sound so weird?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Moments of Inspiration

Diverse news and inspiration for Friday morning, featuring a link to a profoundly moving story about the healing power of music, some words of wisdom from Lionel Shriver and a rather odd photo from outside a Rite of Spring rehearsal...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Notes on programme notes

So what do you want from a programme at a concert or opera? A few thoughts on what's wrong and why. Ideas, please, on how to fix it. (Comments at the Standpoint site, please, rather than here - it's good to have one discussion rather than two - thanks!).

Monday, November 02, 2009


November edition of Standpoint includes my article on No Music Day and how our minds affect our listening; and a stunning essay by James Macmillan on music and modernity.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Dilettante's Composer Competition Countdown

An e-interview with Dilettante Music's Digital Composer-in-Residence Competition judge Nico Muhly as the big evening approaches: