Category Archives: Music Matters

IRENE SCHARRER

Irene Scharrer

Hymn for Today

Idon’t dislike all modern hymns – or ‘worship songs’ as they are called by the people who sing them – but I dislike most of them. The words are generally as unmemorable and as undistinguished as the latest teenage lament being belted out over the PA system in my local Co-Op. ‘Love’ and ‘Jesus’ are […]

TWO PIANO RECITALS – a famous name and an unknown

  I went to two piano recitals last week: one by a famous international artist, the other by a young man who is still a student. They could not have been more different. Nor could my enjoyment of the two events. The first was given by Sir András Schiff at the superb Saffron Halls, the […]

TOO MANY BEETHOVEN SONATAS

The Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda invited me to take part in a symposium in Cremona during the annual festival in which luthiers and piano manufacturers from all over the world congregate for their annual exhibition. I had never been to Cremona before. The hotel was a stone’s throw away from the imposing duomo – the medieval […]

CHOPIN – Introduction to the Complete Works

CHOPIN In response to requests from a few members of the audience last night, here is the text of my introduction to Warren Mailley-Smith’s cycle of the complete works of Chopin at St John’s Smith Square – Friday 4th September 2015 I am privileged to have been asked by Warren to say a few words […]

CHOPIN – The Two Photographs

CHOPIN – The Two Photographs This evening sees the first in a series of 11 concerts spread over 12 months in which the British pianist Warren Mailley-Smith will play the entire solo works of Frédéric Chopin in St John’s Smith Square. It’s a mammoth undertaking for any pianist and Warren has asked me to give a […]

MARGARET BURKE SHERIDAN

WHEN HE WHO ADORES THEE – MARGARET BURKE SHERIDAN There are some recordings you hear for the first time which stop you in your tracks. Something about the music and / or the performance just hits you in the emotional solar plexus – and you find your eyes burning. It takes you by surprise. Your […]

Kirill Gerstein recital

KIRILL GERSTEIN Wigmore Hall recital Thursday 14 May 2015 I’ve not been going to many piano recitals recently. Too often in the past year or so I’ve traipsed into London full of eager anticipation, an interesting programme promised, an exciting talent on offer – and I’ve come away underwhelmed, undernourished and generally disappointed. This is […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Mar 15) Just One Of Those Things

JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS Cole Porter The song is best known from its appearance in the 1960 film Can-Can when it was sung by Maurice Chevalier, but it was originally written by Cole Porter for the 1935 musical Jubilee. The title, however, goes back further: Porter wrote a song with this title for the 1930 […]

Ivo the Divo

IVO THE DIVO I did something last night that I have only ever done once before: I walked out of a piano recital at the interval. If I hadn’t been sitting in the middle of Row K at the Royal Festival Hall I’d have walked out sooner. This was the much-heralded return to the venue […]