The tree of the wooden clogs

This film received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival in 1978, its director was Ermanno Olmi. It is an epic portrait of peasant life in late 19th century Italy. Olmi presents a year in the lives, charting their daily activities in the natural flow of existence: birth, marriage, death and the trials and tribulations […]

Seminal recordings 6

Ravel’s style is quite unique: under a rhythmical strictness lingers some of the most fiery and emotional music. It’s neither impressionistic nor romantic. That interplay between discipline and harmonic poetry was interpreted in an exemplary way by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Among his most prized achievements is the recording with the London Symphony orchestra and Sergiu […]

Joseph Marx ( 1892-1964 )

Not related to Karl Marx but one of the nearly forgotten composers, who unashamedly continued to compose in a romantic style, ignoring the musical developments around him, such as some of the dead ends in 20th century composition like 12 tone music and its follower serialism. I fell in love with his symphonic tone poems […]

Forgotten pianists 7

Totally forgotten in our days is Ekaterina Novitskaja, who won the Queen Elizabeth Competition at age 17 in 1968. She supposedly gave up concertising in the 1990ies and lives somewhere in Belgium with her family. There are some stunning recordings to be found on you tube: excellent Skrjabin and Mozart plus some wonderful French repertoire […]

Notturno D 879

One of Schubert’s greatest chamber music works, very difficult to bring off. The Suk Trio though has all the qualities: a warm sound, an unerring sense for the right tempo and that special Schubert pulse. And as a bonus it comes here with beautiful LP sound. Music does not get any better than this.

Donald in 1958

This is not about Donald Duck, but a 1958 episode of the Western TV show “Crackdown”, which features a con man named Trump who comes to town and promises that he alone can save the townspeople from the end of the world. He is accused of being a fear-mongering snake oil salesman and they try […]


For all those who want to explore one of 20th century’s argueably greatest novels: I do recommend to stick to this excellent Audiobook version from an Irish Radio 1982 production. All the different characters incl. the inner monologue are spoken by different actors and it makes the whole affair far more digestible. It is well […]

Seminal recordings 5

My favourite Mozart concerto and my favourite Mozart pianist. ( And Bach and Beethoven… ). Friedrich Gulda had a wonderful spontaneous and infectious way with Mozart. And particularly the so called “Coronation” Concerto KV 537 ( late Mozart, so holy territory ! ) needs a near childlike simplicity and of course fearless technique, and quite […]