Hidden Gems Vol. 2 Exquisite Schubert

“…die Haeuser schau’n verwundert drein…” ( …the houses look in wonder… ). This wonderful line, which I have never forgotten since I heard it first many years ago —  one can find in Franz Schubert’s “Nachthelle”, a priceless piece for Tenor, Male choir and Piano. My favorite recording used to be with the Muenchner Singphoniker, […]

Verklaerte Nacht

That must be one of the most remarkable versions of this work: the Norwegian chamber orchestra performs Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Verklaerte Nacht’ not only from memory (!) but without conductor . Quite priceless in its searing intensity and profound interpretation.

Stockhausen

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that Karlheinz Stockhausen was one of the most creative minds in the 20th century. His music is an endless ocean of new sounds and revolutionary ideas. There is a vast amount of his music on you tube, most notably many excerpts from his opera ”Licht”, the […]

Austerlitz

Very  rare and interesting short film about W G Sebald’s book “Austerlitz”. It was Sebald’s last major novel and in this fascinating film some of the traces of that book are followed. Highly recommended !

Bax, Tintagel and Cornwall

In anticipation of  being in Cornwall in a few weeks — one of the most mesmerisingly beautiful  landscapes in Europe — here some music illustrating of what it is all about: Sir Arnold Bax’s symphonic poem ”Tintagel”, accompanied by some beautiful photos. And here some more material regarding harbour villages in Cornwall.    

www.aldaily.com

This must be the most interesting all-round  website in English language for all matters regarding  cultural and political affairs. Founded by the late Dennis Dutton, a former colleague of mine at the University of Canterbury and a world wide renowned cultural philosopher ( I most highly recommend his seminal book ‘The Art Instinct’ . http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/books/review/Gottlieb-t.html?_r=0  ). […]

Francois Couperin

To play Baroque repertoire on the modern piano is not without its problems particularly when one looks at the colourful works by Francois Couperin. Zuzana Růžičková, the great Czech Harpsichordist has a highly impressive recorded legacy and a particular gem is the Supraphon recording from 1966 with a selection of Couperin. ( Thanks to David Hertzberg […]

Michelangelo Antonioni

For me the greatest Italian film director  in the 20th century. My favorite film of his always has been ”Il Deserto Rosso”. The film operates on so many levels that it requires multiple viewing. I always felt the literary equivalent of Antonioni was Cesare Pavese, whose books also are multi layered affairs. Antonioni’s ”Le Amiche” was […]

Rare document

This is a priceless document: German baritone Heinrich Schlusnus in the only existing film document. His singing here shows his qualities: unpretentious and totally natural singing combined with great seriousness. The film shows some images from  war ravaged Berlin, which are in stark contrast to the words ending  Hugo Wolf’s song. ( ”Gruess Dich Deutschland aus Herzensgrund […]