Author Archives: sw508

Ambulances and allotments: RVW and wartime

Vaughan Williams was unlucky, as were millions of others who had to endure not one, but two World Wars (my grandparents, for example – my father’s father served in France in WWI and never, ever, discussed it). Even though RVW … Continue reading

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RVW and the Symphony

Like Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler before him, Vaughan Williams composed nine symphonies. But, unlike Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler each and every one of his nine is totally unlike any other. Think of the contrast between A Sea Symphony (no. 1), … Continue reading

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Vaughan Williams 150: the writer

This month sees the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth and we here at MusiCB3 thought we would devote many of MusiCB3’s posts over the rest of the year to different aspects of his output in celebration of his life … Continue reading

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Hans Keller’s E major challenge

Reading Hans Keller’s programme note on Franz Schreker’s Suite for the Birthday of the Infanta for a concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the Royal Festival Hall in October 1978 (which also included Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in F … Continue reading

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“A very special thing”: 50 (plus 2) years of music at Kettle’s Yard

So wrote Jacqueline du Pré in her letter to Jim Ede after she and Daniel Barenboim had given the inaugural concert in the (then) new extension at Kettle’s Yard which curator Jim Ede had had designed not only to display some of … Continue reading

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Hans Keller and “Music Review”

Working my way gently through every single item in the Keller archive, preparing it all for its final phase, I am struck, yet again, by the sheer volume of his output. Yet again, I wonder how, physically, he managed to … Continue reading

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An evening of Brahms with Hans Keller

Take your seats, everyone, please, the concert is about to start. This evening an (improbable) all-Brahms concert at The Other Place Festspielhaus is being given in the first half, by the Orchestra of the Eternal Age conducted by the composer … Continue reading

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John Ireland: poetic fantasy meets precise craftsmanship

Hugh Ottaway, in the opening paragraph of his article on Ireland for Grove sums up the essence of the composer thus: “A somewhat painful and unhappy childhood followed by the early death of his parents, did much to form the … Continue reading

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The Strad man: Luigi Tarisio, a tale of rags (literally) to riches.

How’s this for a great opening to a biography? “The man stood alone on the crest of the hill overlooking Paris. In his tattered clothing he looked like some farmer’s scarecrow outlined against the sky…The Scarecrow was thirty-five years old. … Continue reading

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“Transcending all” : Slow moments with J.S. Bach

Goodness, SW, I hear you thinking…how brave! How courageous! How utterly foolhardy! How is it possible to even begin to present anything which can never come close to doing such a great composer justice. Well of course it’s not possible … Continue reading

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