Category Archives: Music

(Not quite) CD choice #5

This is a recording that, as far as I know, has never existed as a CD — a Supraphon LP from 1963, by the great Smetana Quartet in their prime, of Prokofiev’s first and Shostakovich’s third string quartets. I bought this as … Continue reading

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La Traviata at La Fenice

Francesca Dotto singing Violetta was just stunning tonight. Here she is last year in Act I of La Traviata in the same fine production (filmed unofficially I suspect, but still well enough to give you some sense of both the … Continue reading

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Beethoven for a Later Age

On a recent visit to our favourite bookshop, Topping’s in Ely, I picked up a copy of Edward Dusinberre’s Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet. (In fact, if you click on the photo, you’ll see … Continue reading

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CD choice #4

Continuing my occasional series of CD recommendations, this is not at all my usual fare. But I happened to hear a slightly jazz-influenced arrangement of Purcell’s “A prince of glorious race descended” on internet radio (Otto’s Baroque Music, since you … Continue reading

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Encore #19: Schubert’s piano music

Is it something about the philosophical temperament? But I have known a number of philosophers for whom Schubert’s later piano works are absolutely central among the music which means the most to them. Certainly they are for me. I have blogged over the years … Continue reading

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Sophie Bevan and the Dunedin Consort

A quite terrific Bach/Handel concert in Trinity College Chapel — the Dunedin Consort with the soprano Sophie Bevan. There’s a very warm review here in the Guardian of the same programme in Glasgow earlier in the week, which writes of Sophie Bevan’s singing: “no … Continue reading

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Encore #14: The Pavel Haas Quartet reviewed

We had tickets to hear the Pavel Haas Quartet three weeks ago, and again for today when they were due to play the Schubert Quintet. Very sadly, they have had to cancel their series of four London lunchtime concerts this … Continue reading

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CD choice #3

I have been listening and re-listening over the last week to Angela Hewitt’s new CD of sixteen Scarlatti sonatas. An experience I most certainly can recommend. She plays, as always, with such thought, precision, polish, articulation, sheer musicality. Some pieces … Continue reading

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CD choice #2

I have come very late to appreciate Janáček’s piano music — something I largely owe to two discs by Ivana Gavrić. Her fine first CD, titled after that composer’s In the Mists, was a serendipitous find in an Oxfam shop (it also … Continue reading

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CD choice #1

Those end-of-year lists of recommended books are really rather depressing, aren’t they? Even setting aside the pretentious, the uninviting, the distinctly esoteric, there remain all those novels, all those biographies, all those histories, and much more, books that do sound … Continue reading

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