Bartok

Bela Bartok was an extraordinary pianist, and there is a wealth of recordings out there. Here are just 2 examples: 4 Scarlatti sonatas played with fantasy and imagination. A real discovery: some fragments of his 2nd piano concerto. Quite an eye opener: no hacking, no brutality or ugly sound, but very inspired rhythmic playing. This […]

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The author of the poem for Vaughan William’s song “Silent Noon” was Dante Gabriel Rosetti ( 1828-1882 ). A very creative artist Rossetti divided his attention between painting and poetry. In 1848 he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with six other young men, mostly painters, who shared an interest in contemporary poetry and an opposition to […]

Maboroshi No Hikari

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film “Maboroshi No Hikari” is just another stunning example of the level Japanese art films operate on. It is impossible to describe the subtleness, dignity and depth of this film. The imagery is influenced by Ozu, one of the Grandmasters of Japanese cinema, and it is no exaggeration to say that each scene […]

Silent Noon

If I ever had to choose one singer above everybody else I would not hesitate to pick Kathleen Ferrier. Ever since I have heard her first over 30 years ago I have been captivated by her mesmerising artistry. There is an intensity and honesty in her singing that is unparalleled. She particularly excels in English […]

In memoriam

Arnold Bax is one of the unsung heroes of British music. When I recorded his 5 piano sonatas a few years ago I was totally absorbed by his style. Particularly his 7 symphonies and their dark dramatic and often haunting gestures were very inspiring. One of the lesser known works is the symphonic poem “In […]

Stygmatas

Quite a discovery at a piano competition taking at the HfM in Zurich this week : “Stygmatas” Five Miniatures For Piano ( 1990 ) by Lithuanian composer Alvidas Remesa. Alvidas Remesa (b.1951) composed over 100 works in genres ranging from songs to symphonies and stage works; however, sacral music occupies the main part of his […]

NRK Virtuos 2018

That is the the premier classical music competition in Norway. In the finals were 4 candidates, all from the precollege of Barratt Due Music Institute which calls itself “Unge Talenter”. All 4 candidates are highly gifted and performed superbly. But the jury had to choose a winner to go on to the European finals in […]

Cicely Alaska

So far I have 2 TV series I would have to take to a desert island if it ever comes to that. One is “Minder”, a British series, which has been my Nr. 1 since I first got my paws on it. http://www.minder.org And Nr.2, straight behind, is “Northern Exposure”, a US series that ran […]