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…

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Pianist with a bus to catch

KHATIA BUNIATISHVILI at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 4 June 2014 The Georgian pianist, now 26, is, let us say, very pleasing to the eye. Last night she gave us a shimmering, figure-hugging, full-length silver gown. With that mop of black hair and trademark carmine lips, Khatia Buniatishvili cuts a charismatic figure. You can’t teach stage…

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Waxing lyrical about Brazilians

Apparently there is another Football World Cup about to take place. Being a follower of the oval rather than round ball, I shall be getting in a few rental films over the next weeks to avoid the inevitable wall-to-wall coverage, and not see much of the action until England meet Germany in the quarter-finals for…

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The RFH organ restored

The Royal Festival Hall’s mighty Harrison & Harrison organ has not been heard at full throttle since 2005. It was taken out of action for two years when the Hall’s acoustics were refurbished since when only one-third of the instrument has been operational. First installed in 1954 (it took four years to build), it was…

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Fiddling about

I’m generally a fairly sanguine chap but occasionally I read something that makes my blood boil. The excellent BBC Music Magazine has just published another of its Greatest of All Time polls. These polls always cause controversy and passion – it’s their raison d’etre – but they do provide a bit of harmless fun and…

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The Best Dance of Death?

My friend the great Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire sent me this link a few days ago without comment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8SofSH-Whk&feature=share Here’s my comment. As you can see, it’s an unpublished performance of Liszt’s Totentanz conducted by Rafael Kubelik with Freire as soloist. For  me this is the most thrilling, convincing performance of the work I have ever…

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