In Paradisum

This version of Faure’s Requiem for string ensemble, organ soloist and choir is one of 3 around and it is the most intimate one. This particular recording here with the Winchester Choir ( we used to live only a few miles from that beautiful town for 11 years ) is especially notable for the beauty […]

Two XX. century piano milestones

Stockhausen’s Klavierstueck X and Messiaen’s ‘La fauvette des jardins’ are two of the most demanding and uncompromising works for piano in the 20th century. Here are two outstanding performances: Maurizio Pollini performing Stockhausen and Hyeonjun Jo Messiaen. Both pieces seem twins in a way and never has Messiaen sounded more radical than in this addition […]

Forgotten British composers part 1

I have a lifelong affinity for British composers and the works of Arnold Bax, George Dyson, Granville Bantock, Frederick Delius, Ernest John Moeran to name a few have become very familiar to me. It is very satisfying when one discovers from time to time a completely new name, and here is one: Sir John Blackwood […]

Karajan und J Strauss

There can be little doubt that Herbert von Karajan had a special feel for the Viennese repertoire. A particular delight is a recording from 1958 of “Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald “. The only conductor that might match this quality of music making in this particular repertoire was Carlos Kleiber, though even he didn’t have […]

The Coen Brothers meet Our Father

A highly surprising find during the very last 2 minutes of the running credits of the latest Coen Brother’s Film “Hail Caesar” ( far from their best unfortunately ): suddenly there was this mesmerising singing to be heard. I searched for the piece as such, but other ensembles didn’t come near this particular version. Finally […]

Opus 123

Beethoven’s difficult and often impenetrable late “Missa Solemnis” can be seen and heard here in a performance from the biggest and most splendid classical musical festival in the world, the BBC proms. This amazing concert was performed by the Monteverdi Choir, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and John Eliot Gardiner, conductor in 2014. Gardiner’s expertise […]

Fleabag

I have said it before and I will say it again: when it comes to humour the Brits are in their own league and produce a never-ending array of fabulously innovative comedies. One of the many new ones is “Fleabag”, on BBC for the ones who live either in the UK or have a VPN, […]

Safari

The great Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl has done it again: a new film is hitting the screens in September: SAFARI. Of course the viewer is in for some of the seemingly endless perversities of the human mind, here the shooting of wild animals in parks in Africa and Asia. And Seidl doesn’t hold back when […]

Gabriel Faure Les Barcarolles Les Nocturnes

There is hardly more sophisticated and understated music imaginable than Faure. And only very few pianists capture that special charm and elegance, the unique colour that his music possesses. Among his piano works the 13 Nocturnes and the 13 Barcarolles form the most exquisite group of piano pieces within his oeuvre. One can also follow […]