While doing some background reading as preparation for my first experience playing Peter Grimes, I discovered an unpublished poem by George Crabbe that would surely have resulted in a somewhat different opera had Britten come across it. There once … Continue reading
Orchestras are sometimes presented as a model for businesses to emulate: the conductor as managing director, different instrumental sections as different corporate departments and so on, all working harmoniously to some common purpose. But if your business is making cars and … Continue reading
Music is organised sound: unmistakeably the words of a composer (Varèse). A musician would prefer: music is expressive sound.
Did you know that, before modern-day industrial techniques made mass production of rosin possible, local authorities were the only providers of the stuff? They would hang great municipal cakes of it in public places and local fiddlers would prep up their bows en route … Continue reading
Daniel Barenboim, piano hipster? I was as disappointed as everyone to find that Daniel Barenboim’s new piano design, presented to a London public (although not the world) for the first time yesterday, was not some hopeless ramshackle wreck, a tangle perhaps … Continue reading
A short while ago I played Mozart’s Requiem, something I could have said on more or less any day over the past 10 years. But on this occasion, as chance would have it, I found myself surrounded by bassoons and basset horns, … Continue reading