I was lucky enough to be asked to review The Last Night of the Proms last Saturday 09 September 2017, as a colleague was unable to make it. It was a wonderful concert for all the usual celebrations but also for a peerless Nina Stemme in a varied repertoire plus an entertaining Sakari Oramo conducting the fabulous BBC Singers, BBC Symphomy Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra. My review is here if anyone would like to read all about it.
The photo of the Royal Albert Hall on the Last Night is my own and taken shortly before the performance started.
Johan Botha the great South African/Austrian tenor who died of cancer in September 2016 at the age of 51 had an extraordinary, unforgetable voice. This CD is a tribute to the talent and voice that have to be remembered.
Read review here or click on CD cover above.
Short Stories is an album with music from various composers performed beautifully by two young German musicians: Mark Schumann (cello) and Martin Klett (piano).
The short stories in this CD are encore pieces by a variety of performers and composers. Like an author’s collection of short stories, these pieces delight or thrill for a brief moment and do not require the commitment and engagement of a novel or, in this case, of a full concerto or a set of complete sonatas.
Short Stories is suitable to anyone who loves the sound of the cello or to someone who would like a gentle, elegant introduction to classical music. Read my full review.
I was given this lovely, little gem of a book to review. It is by Tim Lihoreau of Classical FM radio. Funny, witty and to lol for many pleasurable hours at any time, rain or shine.
Read review here or click on the book cover.
Sacred Duets – an unusual work featuring repertoire that is seldom heard, well delivered by countertenor Valer Sabadus and soprano Nuria Rial owner of a lovely clear, pure and pristine voice. Whether you are religious or not this comes just in time for Easter. Review can be read here or by clicking on above CD cover.
Murray Perahia turns 70 years old this April but his electrifying, extraordinary performances are not getting old. They are as fresh today as they were when he won the International Leeds Piano Competition in 1972. I was privileged to be at the Barbican Hall on Fri 07 April to see and hear his performance of Beethoven’s masterful Piano Concerto No. 5, known as “Emperor” in English-speaking countries. Perahia’s rendition, supported by the excellent Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, was simply magnificent and received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. Read my review HERE or click on one of the pictures.
A lovely, charming CD of little known Mozart’s songs. A treat for any Mozart fan to listen and enjoy time and time again. Read review here.
A delightful recording for Mozart lovers and not only. Read review here.
A compilation of work by Howard Shore, best known for his the film music of Peter Jackson’s trilogy of the Lord of the Rings, based on the J.R.R. Tolkien’s celebrated novels of the same name.
A different work from the film music but equally interesting and appealing. Click here to read the full review.
There’s a light against the sky
like the flicker of a candle;
always shiny, always bright
though it’s more than I can handle.
Darkness descends from a height
shutting the stars and the flames
like a bold warrior knight
whose death no-one claims.
I stretch my hand, feel the cold
the powder-like pristine snow;
its beauty precious as gold
shimmering in the sun’s glow.
Where’s the grace?
Where’s the light?
The tender touch on my face
and the energy to fight?
The world is slowly dark
the heart numb and so sad –
no beauty, no happy spark
just the spectres of the dead.
Upon Brexit and the new US President Donald Trump