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July 8   -  

Pelléas et Mélisande Aix - dream but not a dream

Pelléas et Mélisande at Aix en Provence : orchestrally stunning and vocally top notch. But something was missing.  Debussy understood Maeterlinck's use of symbols : images deliberately created to unsettle and disorient, to ...

July 7   -  

Mahler Zu Straßburg auf der Schanz : its context

Zu Straßburg auf der Schanz, an early song by Gustav Mahler from Lieder und Gesänge, vol. 3:, a song with an interesting background. The text comes from Des Knaben Wunderhoirn. Clemens and Brentano used the original ...

July 5   -  

Lieder as Social Comment? Boesch Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall Monday Afternoon  recitals differ from evening concerts because they're shorter and more relaxed. Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau proved that "relaxed" does not in any way mean lowering of standards.  They presented a ...

July 2   -  

BBC on the Somme Delius Requiem, In Parenthesis and more

Like poppies sprouting from ravaged farmland, the centenary of the Battle of the Somme  has yielded a crop of music.  Some healthy plants,  some weeds. Frederick Delius's Requiem was the culminating point of last night's ...

July 1   -  

The Battle of the Somme - was it in vain ?

The Battle of the Somme began one hundred years ago today. An offensive that destroyed more than a million men,, not counting other lives blighted by their loss., sacrificed for six miles of ruined farmland.  And what have we learned ?  The ...

June 30   -  

Dante the opera, Palazzetto Bru Zane

Benjamin Godard's opera Dante rarely heard but causing quite a sensation.  In January this year, it was heard at the Prinzregententheater, Munich, and later at the Opéra Royale de Versailles, Paris and broadcast throughout ...

June 28   -  

English Baroque Opera, St John's Smith Square

English Baroque opera at St Jiohn's , Smith Square, ready for booking now.  The English baroque style is unique, more "classical" than mor exuberant, southern forms, yet connected to contemporary theatrical values.  St John's, Smith Square ...

June 27   -  

Halévy La Juive Bieito - too close for comfort post-Brexit

Fromental Halévy La Juive at the Bayerisches Statsoper, Munich last night - horribly, frighteningly pertinent to events this week - and last week, too,  when MP Jo Cox was murdered.  Yet already Farage claims "no shots were ...

June 25   -  

Prophetic London Belongs to Me

A petty criminal, peruses the comics. "Easy Pickings", he thinks. But "easy pickings" and easy answers don't mean taking control.   London Belongs to Me now seems terrifyingly prophetic. The film begins in the London of 1938 : social ...

June 23   -  

Vaughan Williams Weekend St John's Smith Square

Ralph Vaughan Williams and Friends Weekend at St John's Smith Square, a glorious three-day celebration of British music. This follows on the success of previous SJSS weekends devoted to Schubert and Schumann.  Curated by Anna Tilbrook, the ...
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