“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile”

STUART MILLSON can hear Restoration London from 21st century Kent Music@Malling, planned and organised by classical musician and educator, Thomas Kemp, is one of those provincially-based, smaller festivals which succeeds in bringing performers of national and international standing to local and semi-rural settings. So, instead of having to travel to Kings Place, Wigmore Hall, or…

Summer with the Sinfonia

Tintagel. Photo: Chris Gunn. Wikimedia Commons STUART MILLSON enjoys a super-orchestra’s seasonal offerings The re-formed Sinfonia of London (a recording and film-score orchestra of the 1960s) appeared at the Proms on Saturday 16th July under the baton of the ever-popular John Wilson, for a concert of music by British composers. The programme was made up…

On First Concert at the Bradley Symphony Center, Milwaukee

JACOB RIYEFF (@riyeff) is a translator, teacher, and poet. His work focuses on the Western contemplative tradition and the natural world. Jacob lives in the Upper Midwestern U.S. with his wife and three growing children.”A man’s attitude to life.” (Feb 20, 2022)O Edward Elgar, did you see our facesrapt in darkness, hearts attuned to your celloAs you lay upon your deathbed, tracesOf joy accompanying the low and mellowTones the strings invite our ears to hearAmid glissando runs to keep the mindAnd body clear? You cursed its weak premiereBut here a hundred years past you findA willing crowd to celebrate your movementsAs you lay in Worcester gasping for air‚From lyric to rondo, fulfillmentIn sonic pattern, virtuosic fare.Could you see, in your final agony,Our festival of superfluity?

Diary of an organ-playing nobody

Credit: Shutterstock R. J. STOVE reflects on life as an antipodean performer on the King of Instruments ‘“What?”, said [piano manufacturer] Herr Stein. “A man like you …  wants to play on an instrument which has no sweetness, no expression, no piano, no forte, but is always the same?” “That does not matter,” I replied.…

John Pritchard – master of sonorities

STUART MILLSON recalls an unjustly overlooked conductor The early 1980s was a vintage time for British orchestral music. Gennady Rozhdestvensky was halfway into his term (1978-1982) as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a position which brought great kudos to the ensemble – Rozhdestvensky recording and performing Tchaikovsky ballet music, and venturing into the…

Dreaming of utopias past

Henry Wrong, first administrator of the Barbican Centre, overlooking the build. Credit: Barbican Archive Building Utopia: The Barbican Centre Nicholas Kenyon et al, Batsford, 2022, 288pp, fully illus., £40 ALEXANDER ADAMS acknowledges a modernist monument’s coming of age My first exposure to the Barbican Centre came obliquely. In the children’s science-fiction drama The Tripods, when…

Unfinished symphony in Oz

R. J. STOVE says reports of the death of Australian classical music education have been greatly exaggerated The most satisfying paid regular employment that I have ever experienced concluded on 11 November 2021. For a twelve-week course, I worked as a sessional tutor under the University of Sydney’s auspices. The tutorials – overarching title: ‘Music in…

England’s musical Shakespeare

Henry Purcell STUART MILLSON gives a glimpse into the life of Henry Purcell Henry Purcell (1659-95) is forever associated with the birth of opera (or masques) in England – works such as King Arthur and The Fairy Queen - the creation of semi-operatic scenic cantatas, like his music for The Tempest, and with expansive works…