If you haven’t got tickets, put it in your diary in red ink (literal or metaphorical) and snap up a return or one of the Proms tickets available on the day. If you HAVE heard them before either at the BBC Proms or at Snape or on tour, you’ll know what I mean and understand my excitement.
The thing that strikes you is the sheer exuberance on stage – it’s [read more…]
This is a great idea from north of the border – one of Britain’s finest ensembles teaming up with brilliant young professionals from around the Commonwealth, surfing the tide of goodwill and energy that already seems to have been generated by the Glasgow Games to form a classical supergroup. (Actually, on a smaller scale it’s a bit like our own Aldeburgh World Orchestra, that unforgettable gigantic band formed for the [read more…]
So much of the fun of a great string quartet concert is in seeing and hearing the players listen and respond to each other. There are great quartets who’ve played together for decades and who respond to each other almost imperceptibly. And then there are groups like the Pavel Haas Quartet whose young players almost bubble over with the urgency and dynamism of their interaction – you could probably take [read more…]
Classical and folk music lovers alike will love the beautiful and haunting music of Trio Mediaeval. Their focus: monophonic and polyphonic mediaeval music from England, France and Italy, as well as the traditional tunes of their Scandinavian roots. They’re known for breath-taking performances that simply captivate the audience, surrounding them in a lush, full sound and guiding them on journeys of the soul through the medium of music. [read more…]
I love the sound of the kora. The African harp was one of the first sounds heard at the opening weekend party of the Britten Studio (was it really five years ago?) and its soulful, stirring strains remain with me even now – it was an implacably tranquil, very `other’ way to open a new building, an exotic, other-worldly music that sang of wide open spaces and timeless tradition.
The Celtic [read more…]
THIS is what got me into Igudesman and Joo. It was doing the rounds five or six years ago (it’s from 2006) and (naively) I thought I was part of a select insider few who’d latched on to them. But look at the number of hits – over FIVE MILLION on this clip alone! Clearly I was not – am not – alone in my appreciation.
Superstars in Europe and the [read more…]
Wow. Who better than Claire Martin to take us on a whistle-stop tour of the great divas of the jazz age – Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee et al.
Whether with her legendary duo with the late and oft-lamented composer Richard Rodney-Bennett, or working on her own albums with some of the other great jazz musicians of our age, or fronting shows with big bands, her trio, symphony [read more…]
Mahan Esfahani rehearsing for his Festival concert in Aldeburgh ChurchOnly two things that make this irresistible for me; the performer – and the music!
Firstly, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. As anyone who witnessed his Aldeburgh Festival debut last month will testify, Mahan is a musician of immense technical assurance, boundless imagination and formidable surety of touch. He is also a great thinker, communicator and passionate ambassador for what he still [read more…]
How amazing to hold an audience in thrall for two hours using just the power of your voice, a guitar, your creative imagination and a set-list of – for the most part – your own material. How must THAT feel? Liberating, connected, terrifying, I imagine. The spotlight is on you, and you alone; there is, literally, nowhere to hide. I am in complete awe of all [read more…]
Jonathan Biss plays at the Snape Proms on August 20.