An eminent clarinettist is no more
We have been informed of the death of Dietrich Hahn, long-serving principal clarinet of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and professor at the Conservatory. His pupils are numerous and far-flung. Professor Hahn was 84.
What Handel’s secretary wrote
Who knew the secretary was a composer? He’s my album of the week on sinfinimusic.com. Very few great composers have been exposed by a private secretary, perhaps because few could afford the luxury of employing one. In Handel’s case we know about his secretary chiefly because the man’s stepson, a churchman known as the Rev. […]
Bruckner review of the year (so far)
At one point I caught myself thinking, ‘How did this man ever write four-part motets? He can’t even write basic soprano-bass counterpoint.’ The one time the bass did anything it was that tired descending line borrowed from Meistersinger, which created only a momentary interest of passing dissonance. And that trite scherzo – I spent the […]
Video: Homeless man plays Beethoven in station forecourt
While you enjoy your weekend: This is a homeless man in Newcastle train station, soaking wet with a drenched sleeping bag over his shoulders.His name is Alan, he is 26 and he has been living on the streets for 18 months. He plays Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata and other Beethoven standards. Do not avert your eyes. […]
When DSCH met Isaiah
A play about the 1958 meeting of minds between Dmitri Shostakovich and the Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin opens next month at Sadlers Wells. From the blurb: In 1958, at the height of his artistic ability and reputation, the composer Dmitri Shostakovich was invited by Oxford University to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Music, along with […]
A big Bach debut on two … mandolins
Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg have made a world premiere recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, Organ Duets and Canons from the Art of the Fugue arranged for mandolin and mandocello. Brave. Try some.
We’ve tried change. Mostly, it doesn’t work.
Gareth Davies, principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, has been reflecting on the constant demands for change in classical concerts. In a typically thoughtful blog, he dismisses most change initiatives as tinsel. There seems very little invention and much more repackaging. I remember when I was a student in the 90’s, the fashion was […]
The old gardener who is growing into Ligeti
The young conductor Jonathan Bloxham has sent us this from his festival, Northern Sounds: photo (c) Kaupo Kikkas Hi Norman, I’d like to you meet Dave, a 74 year old community gardener from Gateshead who has never been to a classical concert but on Sunday will be performing Ligeti at the Sage. This is part of […]
John Adams: ‘I’ve known John Adams since 1976. We’re friends…’
Lovely, revealing, un-pressy interview by Timothy Hazlett with the American composer John Luther Adams, whose success in the past year has overtaken that of his namesake without the added middle name. Confused? You won’t be. Click here. h/t: Steve Smith
Can’t be done, right? All the symphonies need someone at the front, giving shape and direction. That’s what we thought. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra of Los Angeles, a conductorless ensemble, decided to perform the fourth symphony without external interference. See what you think.
Here’s what happens when you let a high school choir into the hotel pool
They restore your faith in youth and beauty. Three weeks ago, the Stillwater Area High School Concert Choir posted a video of their break at a hotel in Ames, Iowa. They liked the pool’s acoustics and sang F. Melius Christiansen’s “O Day Full of Grace.” Three-quarters of a million people have watched in wonder. More […]