It was my friend Nick James who introduced me to the pianistic brilliance of András Schiff, pointing out that the playing I’d hear on the birthday gift he’d bought me – the Hungarian’s 2001 concert recording of the Goldberg Variations – would be rather different from Glenn Gould’s renowned recordings of Bach’s masterpiece. Certainly, I … Continue reading Bach at the keyboard: András Schiff’s latest gem
Best of a bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2020
In the few years I’ve been posting best-of blogs in the face of worsening political circumstances, I’ve often expressed a rather forlorn hope that things might improve the following year. Well, it turns out, obviously, that the hope I expressed last year could not have been more forlorn. How terrible 2020 has been… not only … Continue reading Best of a bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2020
Mixing the old with the new: richly rewarding recent classical releases.
A confession: while I’ve always enjoyed classical music, until around 12 years ago I was generally quite wary of contemporary composers, and tended to stick to a few favourites like Arvo Pärt, Michael Nyman, Terry Riley, John Adams, Giya Kancheli and – really adventurous, this! – James MacMillan. (My interest in the last came about … Continue reading Mixing the old with the new: richly rewarding recent classical releases.
Music and movies for Christmas and beyond: a few recommendations
Sitting at home the other evening, contemplating the dismal antics of our wretched government, I found myself taking consolation from the melancholy beauty of Lawrence Power’s viola in his performance of James Macmillan’s marvellous concerto for that instrument. And, generous fellow that I am – not to mention someone who often dithers endless over what … Continue reading Music and movies for Christmas and beyond: a few recommendations