The music of Rachmaninov has found a passionate advocate with the pianist Leon McCawley in these thrilling performances.
Who could possibly resist this collection? With cellist Truls Mørk’s commanding account of the Cello Concertos, a scintillating The Carnival of the Animals and Louis Lortie’s scene-stealing turn in the fantasy Africa, this album is a sure-fire winner.
Formerly situated just off The Strand in London in front of Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece St Clement Danes church, the Crown and Anchor Tavern seems an unlikely birthplace for a revolution in choral music. Then, as now, taverns (or public houses) were colourful meeting places for eating, drinking, animated discussion and occasionally brawls. In the…
Until fairly recently, the critical reception for the piano music of Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) has largely been dismissive and scornful. Tim Page writing in the New York Times in 1987 summed up the feelings of many when he described the music as “…for the most part, shockingly bad. And not the sort of…
This debut album by the pianist Catherine Lan contains warm, sympathetic and measured performances in an appealing programme.
Writing to a friend in 1942, Poulenc admitted “I am well aware that I am not the kind of musician who makes harmonic inventions, like Igor [Stravinsky], Ravel or Debussy, but I think there is a place for new music which is content with using other people’s chords. Was that not the case with Mozart…
This year sees the fortieth anniversary of the film Lisztomania, an outrageous fantasy biopic on the life of Franz Liszt, written and directed by the unashamed bad boy of British cinema, Ken Russell (1927-2011).
“Do I care how fast you can play your octaves?”, Liszt remarked to a pupil in a master class, clearly unimpressed with the playing “what I wish to hear is the canter of the horses of the Polish cavalry before they gather force and destroy the enemy!”
In his recently published memoirs, Words Without Music (2015), the American minimalist composer Philip Glass tells the story of a lesson in musical counterpoint he had one afternoon with the formidable Nadia Boulanger.
Budapest – a fine city. Formerly a provincial backwater made up of three small towns (Buda, Pest and Obuda), at the turn of the 20th century it was Europe’s fastest growing metropolis and a symbol of Hungarian national pride, the population ballooning from around 300,000 in 1870 to over a million in 1910.