BEETHOVEN: The Heiligenstadt Testament

 ‘ Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testiment, written when he was in an anguished state whilst comming to terms with deafness.  He moved forward to an explorative and innovative period in his life. Written in 1802, the same year he wrote his 8th Violin Sonata in G major, opus 30/3. The Heiligenstadt Testament is a letter written by Ludwig […]

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PEER GYNT: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner

A live performance from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with soprano Ann-Helen Moen The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra have Edvard Grieg’s music in their blood (the composer was the orchestra’s artistic director from 1880-82) and the wonderful performance of highlights from his Peer Gynt below simply bursts with energy. The concert is …. Please click HERE to […]

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Young artists changing the way we hear music

They report: Kopatchinskaja, Currentzis and others take pieces from the past, and make them modern In his feature about Patricia Kopatchinskaja in the new issue of Gramophone, Andrew Mellor recalls her appearance at the Gramophone Awards in 2012. There have been many memorable performances at our annual event, but this is one that seems to get […]

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Stradivarius? You’d be better off with a modern violin

Sarah Knapton writes: Professional violinists cannot actually tell the difference between a Stradivarius and a modern instrument, experts find. The name Stradivarius has been synonymous with musical excellence for three centuries with instruments selling for millions amid claims that their sound quality is unparalleled. However it may pain purists to learn that professional violinists cannot […]

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Esa-Pekka Salonen: 10 tips to becoming a conductor – by Alison Feeney-Hart

Esa-Pekka Salonen is the principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. His career took off when he stood in at the last minute for a sick conductor when he was just 25. Almost 25 years later, he was recently named conductor of the year. 1. Love the music I think the most important thing […]

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Verdi or Wagner?

Ivan Hewitt writes:  It’s apt that Wagner and Verdi were born in the same year. They are romantic opera’s two great antipodes, united in stature, but divided in almost everything else. They embody two completely different outlooks on life and art, which are rooted in the cultures of their respective nations. That’s why every German […]

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BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonatas Nos 6 & 9 CD review – light touch and searing focus

Kate Molleson writes … Violinist James Ehnes and pianist Andrew Armstrong play together with an easy spark and suppleness that only old friends really can. In the past they’ve done excellent things with Franck, Strauss, Debussy and Elgar; now they turn to Beethoven with the same combination of light touch and searing focus. There’s a […]

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ROUSSEAU: The Harmony Between His Musical Theory and his Philosophy

    John T. Scott writes ….. Rousseau is best known as the author of philosophic works, but he was a musician and musical theorist before he burst onto the European literary scene with his First Discourse. While he earned celebrity as an anti-philosophical philosopher, he continued to consider music as his primary vocation and […]

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Terry Riley’s masterpiece – and minimalism, African style

Originally published November 2014 It can be over in 15 minutes. It can last several hours. It can be done with a Wurlitzer – or 20 guitars. Now In C, the defining work of minimalist music has been tackled by Damon Albarn and Africa Express. Its composer Terry Riley reveals how it all began Continues […]

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GREIG: Ivana Gavrić talks about recording the music of Grieg

  Martin Cullingford (Gramophone Magazine) writes as follows: The British pianist introduces her Editor’s Choice recording. ‘Everything glows with affection; and in the Lyric Pieces she casts a delectable impressionistic haze over pages which show Grieg at his most intimate and confiding’ – thus wrote critic Bryce Morrison in the March issue of Gramophone of […]

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