Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Hair-raising times : what to wear to the opera

What links Marie Antoinette, vaccinations, Gluck, a famous naval battle, and Parisian opera houses? A man named Léonard Autié. 

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My favourite music

Last summer, staff at the Pendlebury library and the UL Music Department were asked to do a sort of Desert Island Discs (one disc not eight, luxury item and book of course allowed). I was about to pick Ennio Morricone’s … Continue reading

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What’s been happening at the Pendlebury Library?

Searching, finding, organising, checking, explaining, informing, scanning, uploading, buying,…. just a few of the things we’ve been doing at the Pendlebury Library.  Working at the Pendlebury Library since Christmas has been a very different experience. Due to the 3rd lockdown … Continue reading

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Don’t read the reviews

March 6th is the anniversary of the premiere of Verdi’s La Traviata. The most popular of all his operas, Traviata had an unfortunate beginning. Based on the popular novel, La dame aux camelias, by Alexandre Dumas, fils, Verdi had attended … Continue reading

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Cristofori 290

Last month saw 290 years since the death of Bartolomeo Cristofori (4th May 1655 – 27th January 1731), the instrument maker who developed the gravicembalo col piano e forte, or “harpsichord with soft and loud” generally thought of as being … 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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Exploring online music resources

Cambridge University Libraries have over the past year worked very hard on extending access to online resources. If you are a keen follower of the eresources blog you will already have a fairly good idea of the fantastic content that … Continue reading

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Game of queens (and composers)

My latest lockdown watching has been the recent Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, the show follows the story of chess prodigy, Beth Harmon. The popularity of The Queen’s Gambit has resulted in a … 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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