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 […]

Mozart Haffner Symphony

Here is a link to the most recent concert of the Barrat Due Chamber Philharmonic, that is the student orchestra of the Barratt Due Music Institute  in Oslo, the institution I work at.  

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon

Probably my two favorite UK comedians, here a few flicks from the  most highly recommended ”Trip to Italy”, where they travel around Italy visiting one fantastic restaurant after another ( Italy  of course is an incomparable  food destination, in a different stratosphere when compared to its more Northern neighbours  ). I believe all their rants are improvised.

Sebald und Kant

 For German speaking folks: ”Jetzund kömpt die Nacht herbey – Ansichten aus dem Leben und Sterben des Immanuel Kant” is the title of the only so far unpublished film script by the German writer W G Sebald. The WDR ( West German Broadcast ) has produced a radioplay based on this script by Claudia Johanna Leist. A remarkable […]

Mendelssohn

For anybody interested in Mendelssohn, a composer that still is undervalued and underestimated, here comes a lecture about how to play ( and how NOT to play ) Mendelssohn  by Menahem Pressler. Full of invaluable insights. As an added bonus you will find Mozart’s early B-flat Trio at the end.

Ken Russell

Ken Russell ( 1927 -2011 ) was an English film maker, who is particularly interesting for his eccentric portraits of composers, amongst them Mahler, Elgar, Tschaikowsky, Liszt and Delius. The Delius film is enchanting, full of quirkyness and a must for admirers of this great English composer. The DVD’s with these films are now available, but also […]

The Kurtags and Bach

Here is one of the most remarkable music videos I have come across a long time ( thanks to Norman Lebrecht and his always informative and  inspiring site ‘Slipped Disc’ ): the eminent Hungarian composer  György Kurtág   and his wife Márta, both in their Nineties play some of their own  Bach transcriptions. No need for […]