Archive by Author

Silvana Magano Born in Rome to an Italian father and an English mother (Ivy Webb from Croydon), Mangano lived in poverty during the Second World War. Trained for seven years as a dancer, she was supporting herself as a model. In 1946, at age 16, Mangano won the “Miss Rome” beauty pageant and through this, she […]

Christmas Mystery

As an ardent mystery reader ( with most of my interest focused on the so called “Golden Age” period, 1920-1950 ) one of the yearly and recurring pleasures is to read some good yarns that are set within a Christmas setting. I stumbled across a gargantuan list compiled by Janet A. Rudolph and it contains […]


Late Mozart Vol. 4

The so called “Divertimento” KV 563 is a string Trio in 6 movements for violin, viola and cello. It is one of the indisputable highlights within Mozart’s oeuvre. Impossible really to describe the compository subtleties, the sophistication of its themes in combination with the serious technical demands. For example like so often in late Mozart […]

Late Mozart Vol.3

Here one of the many outstanding chamber music works from Mozart’s last years. The sonata for piano and violin KV 526 is quite a racket when performed like here with Jaques Thibaud and Marguerite Long in a stupendous recording from the 1930’ies. The music is sparkling and played with élan, spirit and virtuosity, and I […]

Umberto D

Italian neorealism was one of Italy’s finest cinematic movements, characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on location, frequently using non-professional actors. Its films mostly contend with the difficult economic and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, representing changes in the Italian psyche and conditions of everyday life, including […]

Late Mozart Vol.2

Here are 3 short examples of late Mozart. Firstly the unusual Adagio for Glasharmonika KV 617a, a very subtle but harmonically highly interesting work, which works also fabulously on the piano. Then the complex Fantasy in f KV 608 for mechanical clock, here in a 2 versions: one for for pedal piano and organ. Mozart’s […]

Late Mozart Vol.1

The late music of Mozart ( anything from roughly the last 3 years of his life ) is in a very special category of its own. ‘Dark’ or ‘Dramatic’ doesn’t even begin to describe the complexities of his late style. There is a ruggedness, despair and uncompromising attitude in some of these works that leave […]

Das Lied im Grünen et al

It seems to me that singers from the beginning of the last century until the 1960’ies era were more individual and interesting to listen to than today’s correct and technically accomplished, but often uninspired offerings. Here are some diverse examples of this Golden Age of singing. The spontaneity and freedom of these not only great […]

Celine and Julie go boating

Jaques Rivette’s film from 1974 has always been one of my top 10 favourite movies. At 192 minutes it is not for the impatient or faint hearted, and it has a surreal charm running through it. It is ultimately a playful story of two women who become friends and after consuming some magic candy they […]