Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Action, please

A few fabulous musical events this week and next, all of which deserve that elusive thing called an audience but, being at Kings Place, are not as yet assured of having one. I reckon music-lovers just haven't clocked yet that this terrific venue exists -- it's not in a place where you can exactly bump into it. Get on your hiking boots and balaclavas and head for Kings Cross:

Today til Saturday: BIG HUNGARIAN LISZT BICENTENARY FESTIVAL with ace fiddler Barnabas Kelemen, Dezso Ranki & Edit Klukon who will play the Faust Symphony on 2 pianos, brilliant clear-toned pianist Denes Varjon, the Joyful Company of Singers and many more. Barnanas is first up this evening, and there's a pre-concert talk by Karl Lutchmeyer. But please ignore the note online saying that Barnabas is playing Liszt's 'finest violin sonatas' - you're right, there aren't any - he is actually playing Liszt's own violin version of some great piano pieces. And Bartok Romanian Dances and First Rhapsody & Faure's Sonata No.1. Full programme here.

Next week: TASMIN LITTLE AND FRIENDS in 'VIOLIN JOURNEYS'. Tazza, John Lenehan, Piers Lane, Paul Watkins, David Le Page and more in a fiddletastic whirl, plus mesmerism, masterclasses and Messiaen. (Infuriatingly, I am going to be elsewhere next week, but if I wasn't, I'd be there.) Here is Tasmin's sneak preview podcast.

BUT even if you do nothing else today, please read this inspirational and impassioned speech by the fabulous author Philip Pullman about the perniciously stupid, absolutely misguided current plans to close down our libraries.