Message from John Walz, whose cello was stolen from his San Diego hotel room at the end of last week:

Update – great news!! Dame Joan has been found – and in perfect condition!!! A fellow found it on the street in downtown San Diego, and it was through news outlets I was tracked down. A huge thanks to everyone for their thoughts, good wishes, helpful suggestions and to the people responsible for reuniting us!!!

Last summer, the Dutch label Pentatone issued a set of Mahler songs for mezzo and orchestra with a conductor’s face on the front.

Our readers did not think much of that.

So Pentatone have now reissued the recording with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote on the cover.

Which is no less than she deserves. It’s a fabulous recording.

From Marston Records:

At a private gathering with conductor Eugene Ormandy in 1940, Rachmaninoff demonstrated just how he wanted his new orchestral work Symphonic Dances to be performed, playing a single-piano reduction of the score for a single piano while singing and given spoken commentary to Ormandy, to whom the work was dedicated.

Marston Records will be releasing a tremendously important historic CD sets on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

The recently discovered recording of Rachmaninoff at the keyboard is presented twice in this set: first edited to conform to the score, and again just as the occasion unfolded, with Rachmaninoff jumping from place to place as he demonstrates, comments, and sings. The playing throughout is absolutely phenomenal – some of the greatest, if not *the* greatest, that exists of Rachmaninoff on record.

The Munich music director Hermann Levi gave the world premiere of Parsifal at Bayreuth in 1882.

A rabbi’s son, Levi had to endure antisemitic sniping from the Master through the rehearsal period. In letters to his revered father, he bit his bearded lip

Wagner died the following winter and Levi continued as music director in Munich until ill-health forced his retirement in 1896, at the age of 57. He then made a late marriage to Mary, widow of a wealthy art historian. When he died in February 1900, she created an imposing tomb for him near their villa in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The Nazis destroyed the mausoleum, outraged to find that their Master was involved with a rabbi’s son.

But the burial plot remains, and there lies the problem.

The present landowner, a former town councillor, called in the Mayoress and a rabbi to open the coffin, with a rabbi in attendance. Levi’s remains are still there. But the village – which gives pride of place to Richard Strauss’s grave – doesn’t want him there.

They have asked for the remains to be reburied in the Jewish cemetery in Munich.

Munich, it seems, is none too keen.

The media is waking up.


The Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France will equip all of its 120 musicians with iPads next month with a view to abolishing printed notes and music stands.

The first all-iPad concert will take place in October.

The technology has been developed by a French start-up, Newzik, which is also working with the Vienna State Opera.


The diva, 85, is critically ill in hospital.

The Lark Quartet are playing their final season.

The all-female ensemble, founded in 1985, has commissioned extensively from US composers and made several noted recordings.

The original players were: Kay Stern, Robin Mayforth, Anna Kruger, Laura Sewell.

Present members are: Deborah Buck, Basia Danilow, Kathryn Lockwood, Caroline Stinson.

No reason has been given for the break-up. All good things, etc.

When there was too long a pause between acts at this summer’s Eisteddfod…