Caution: It’s Bach !

In the middle of all the endless discussions about the ‘right way’ to perform Bach ( or Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert etc. ) and claiming to present  a historically informed style I enjoy quite often versions of great works that are far outside the newly found correctness. The simple method I use is pretty unscientific to say the […]

Hidden Gems Vol. 3 “That certain feeling”

Gershwin was of course a superb pianist, but what makes him special was apart from his gift for catchy  melodies  a certain snappy unsentimental playing. Particularly “That certain feeling” ticks all the boxes of that very individual style. And it is very  “American”, in the  best sense: very entertaining, optimistic, imaginative and intelligent. Here we go:

The American Interest

Not exactly a book recommendation,but one of the most intelligent magazines around. The title “The American Interest” is somewhat misleading, as it is a magazine highly critical of the US and its establishment, but the quality of its articles is superb. Here is a taster: a sharp and crisp article about the phenomenon of “crony […]

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.


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 […]


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.

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’ .  ). […]