Author Archives: sw508

To celebrate, to commemorate: Dennis Brain

Dennis Brain, perhaps the greatest horn player of the 20thcentury, would have celebrated his 100th birthday back in May. Sadly and tragically, he died in a car accident on 1st September 1957 at the age of only 36 travelling back … Continue reading

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Slow moments with SW: Samuel Barber, infinite sadness.

Samuel Barber – oh yes, you are thinking, he wrote that Adagio didn’t he. And you would be right, he did, and it has become the work of choice to play to mark solemn occasions and commemorations. And because we … Continue reading

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The Black Bear at Senate House

As avid readers of this blog will remember, the Black Bear Inn here in Cambridge was notable for its concerts held from the 1770’s to the 1800’s under the auspices of its Music Club. Sadly, like so many of the … Continue reading

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Slow moments with SW: Elgar (…..)

Only one slow moment this time dear readers – and I think you will agree that it is more than enough for the soul: the slow movement of Elgar’s violin concerto. What, you may reasonably ask, has prompted this little … Continue reading

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Slow moments with SW: Bartók

The contrast between the musical language of Rachmaninov and that of his contemporary Bartók is striking. The one firmly in the full “romantic” sonata-form-based mode, the other pushing those formal boundaries forward and absorbing the influences of the folk music … Continue reading

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Slow moment with SW: Rachmaninoff – a brief encounter.

Scene: a railway waiting room somewhere in SE England in the 1930s. A man and a woman are sitting at a table over a cup of tea. Celia: I say Trevor, must we, really? Trevor: I’m afraid so, old thing, … Continue reading

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Singing from the heart: Mario Lanza 1921 – 1959

Star of the 1951 MGM film The Great Caruso, Mario Lanza was perhaps, the first “superstar” of stage and screen. Renowned for his extraordinary tenor voice (described by Toscanini as “the voice of the century”) and classic good looks, he … Continue reading

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Beethoven 250: a rare interview with the master

  As the Beethoven 250 year draws to a close, we here at MusiCB3 agreed that one final posting was in order. We had hoped to be able to assemble at least one physical exhibition and a number of other … Continue reading

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The Pianists’ Pianist: Leopold Godowsky 150

Leopold Godowsky – the name immediately conjures up impossible acrobatics at the keyboard made to look ridiculously simple by all self-respecting professional pianists. How can anyone play the famous arrangements of the Chopin Études with only two or (in the case … Continue reading

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To celebrate, to commemorate: Stanley Sadie (1930 – 2005)

This year marks what would have been the 90th birthday of the much-missed musician, critic, author and editor Stanley Sadie so we here at MusiCB3 thought we would devote a little post to reflect on his immeasurable contribution to musical … Continue reading

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