Classical music’s mess

Twenty years ago, when I started listening to classical music, things looked pretty good for the form. A small revival was under way – lots of gorgeous new music, influential movie soundtracks and superstar ensembles seemed to promise some kind of renaissance. The subsidised concert halls were full and radio deregulation promised a wave of… Continue reading Classical music’s mess

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Old punks

Jamie Reid’s cover art was the ultimate ‘fuck off’ to our parents’ generation and all that fuss about the Queen and EMI was intoxicating if your last album purchase was Tales from Topographic Oceans. So now all that perfectly ephemeral stuff is perfectly collectable – and, I’ll tell you, I’d like one… (does that make… Continue reading Old punks

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Why I love chamber music more than orchestral music

I don’t think that anything so tender, tragic or complete as Schubert’s String Quintet in C exists in the orchestral repertoire. And nowhere else will you find such passion, love and involvement as among the musicians who play it. An (unidentified) musician from a Radio 4 documentary about the Quintet: “The expression also comes, I… Continue reading Why I love chamber music more than orchestral music

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