BLUES MUSIC: Were Robert Johnson’s Original 78 RPM Recordings Sped Up?

Writing the liner notes for the Columbia/Legacy single-CD anthology Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blueswas a great pleasure, since I’ve loved and admired Johnson’s music since the 1960s. I’ve listened to Robert Johnson so much – along with his contemporaries Son House, Willie Brown, and others – that this music feels ingrained on my soul. Recently […]

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BRAHMS: The Symphonies (3 cd)

  We are told: The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons are pleased to release their latest recordings on BSO Classics–a three-disc set of the four Brahms symphonies, recorded live during concert performances at Symphony Hall in November 2016, engineered by the same in-house team that produced the BSO’s Grammy-winning Shostakovich recordings under Maestro Nelsons […]

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OPINIONS / MUSIC

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: Pavarotti versus Corelli: who’s really king of the high Cs in Il Trovatore?

From the archives Tim Wong writes: I grew up listening to a recording of Verdi’s Il Trovatore my father bought. It’s the Franco Corelli version with Thomas Schippers conducting. I was instantly captivated by his heroic style and especially how he threw himself into the aria Di quella pira. In an extremely silly plot, it’s […]

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OPINIONS / MUSIC

What are the most controversial pieces of classical music?

Harrison Boyle (composer) replies …… In terms of music as music – apart from some of the social/political afflatus mentioned in the answers so far – the major candidates for controversial in terms of the actual notes (or absence thereof) are probably, from oldest to most recent: Stravinsky Rite of Spring Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire George […]

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OPEN-MINDED: The open-mindedness of the finest artists

Genre-hopping can enrich players and audiences alike. If anyone doubts the astonishing range and quality of classical music recordings being made today – and, I hope, regular readers of these pages would harbour no such perception – then they should really take heed of this month’s releases. There’s always a slight seasonality to release schedules, […]

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THE FORGOTTEN GREAT CONDUCTORS: What ever happened to Monteux, Reiner, Munch, Szell and Ormandy? asks Tully Potter

They dominated the record catalogues of the 1950s and 1960s. Orchestras trembled at their every irate, intemperate word and record company executives scuttled to do their bidding. When the CD arrived, their recordings were again released in swathes. And then, like the dinosaurs, they suddenly disappeared. The once-mighty maestros Pierre Monteux, Fritz Reiner, Charles Munch, […]

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PREMATURE DEATH: Were reports of classical music’s death premature?

Stereophile: Over the last several weeks, one newspaper after another has made note of Nielsen Soundscan’s 2006 point-of-purchase data, which showed classical record sales up 22.5%, making it the “fastest growing” category for the year. Hip-hop was down (-20.7%), R&B was down (-18.4%), alternative was down (-9.2%), jazz was down (-8.3%)—soundtracks were up (+19%), but […]

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SLASH: Q&A

  “Slash, 45, was born Saul Hudson in London and raised in England and Los Angeles. He was an original member of the rock band Guns N’ Roses which formed in 1985 and sold 100m albums worldwide. Slash – considered one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time – left Guns N’ Roses […]

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YUSUF ISLAM: Q&A

Born in London, Yusuf Islam, 66, began his career as Cat Stevens and became a star in the 1970s with songs such as Morning Has Broken and Moonshadow. In 1977, he converted to Islam and left the music business to concentrate on his family and charity work. He began recording again in 2006; his latest […]

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OPINIONS / MUSIC

PREMATURE: Which people left a musical band/group before the band got famous?

Al I. Husain writes ….. This is an interesting question as my interpretation of the answer is people who intentionally left and/or voluntarily left rather being dismissed or succumbing to illness or death, which is also leaving I suppose, but not necessarily by someone’s own volition. I’m also trying to apply some measures around the […]

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