Archive by Author

María Dueñas

A 14 year old Spanish violinist who displays a spectacular musicianship and affinity for the violin. One to watch out for. And unlike a competition in Norway where I was recently sitting in a jury and a similar talent – a 12 year old violinist – was ignored on grounds of being “merely technical” – […]

The Blind Barber

From the greatest of all “Locked Room” writers and my personal favourite Golden Age crime writer John Dickson Carr the BBC has produced this wonderful radio play, based on “The Blind Barber”. This novel was first published in October 1934, featuring his series detective, the venerable Dr Gideon Fell. It is an old-fashioned and relaxing […]

2 clips

For those out there who claim that contemporary music is at a dead end and we have no truly great composers any more: here are 2 very short clips with performances of music by György Ligeti. Performers with personality are needed to make it work… Not to be missed !!!

Symphonic piano concertos Vol.2

Another giant in the tradition of the symphonic piano concerto is the 40 minute long “Romantisches Konzert” by Joseph Marx, composed 1919/1920. An explosion of harmonic wealth and grand, romantic gestures. The difficulty of this concerto is quite unbelievable, and it needs a virtuoso of the caliber of the great Jorge Bolet to pull this […]

Rarities

Two quite exquisite and rare videos of my favorite pianist are on you tube: a live video of Schubert’s dark and neglected f-minor D 625 Sonata from Paris ( 1971 ) and an excerpt from the last movement of Mozart’s c-minor concerto KV 491. It doesn’t get any more inspired and better than this…

Paean

From my favorite British composer: “Paean” ( 1929 ) by Arnold Bax performed by Harriet Cohen in 1938. A great rarity of a recording and one of the most obscure works of Bax !

Phettberg

Hermes Phettberg was a truly eccentric character, whose TV show “Phettberg’s Nette Leit Show” was a real highlight in Austrian TV in the 1990-ies. Light years away from the hapless and flat TV productions in Germany ( a country that never appreciated eccentric characters but will always opt for conformity instead ), the Austrians have […]

Outside the box

I have always believed that Wilhelm Kempff had a level of spontaneity, individuality and beauty of sound that was often unmatched. History wants to make us believe that he was a Beethoven expert, accompanied by Schubert und Schumann. I would want to add that some of the finest Chopin recordings ever come from 2 LPs […]

Scherzo and Fugue

This LP from 1977 contains some of the most hairraisingly fantastic piano playing, which puts some of the achievements of today’s celebrated Virtuosi into perspective. The pianist is Terence Judd, an exceptional musician who after winning 4th prize at the Tschaikowsky competition in 1978 took his own life at the age of 22 in 1979. […]