Category: Read

Review: Penderecki String Quartet & Stéphan Sylvestre

In today’s Record Usually most of the seats are occupied, but Wednesday night, The Music Room was packed nearly to the rafters. The Penderecki String Quartet, was giving a concert with young Canadian pianist Stéphan Sylvestre, a piano professor at…

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 ‘Leningrad’

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” Allegretto Moderato (poco allegro) Adagio Allegro non troppo There is great debate among musicologists regarding Shostakovich’s relationship with the Soviets. Some interpret his music as railing against Soviet cruelty while others have compiled…

Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Sinfonia da Requiem Op 20 Lacrymosa: Andante ben misurato Dies irae: Allegro con fuoco Requiem aeternam: Andante molto tranquillo Britten’s largest work for symphony was born in rather curious circumstances. It was the result of a commission…

Review: Nota Bene Period Orchestra

In today’s Record Although it’s difficult to imagine, given its now exalted position, there was once a time that the violin was regarded as an uncultured instrument suitable only for playing dance music at parties. It wasn’t until the mid-17th…

Louis Andriessen: The Nine Symphonies Of Beethoven

Louis Andriessen b. 1939 The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven for orchestra and ice cream bell (1970) Louis Andriessen was born into an extraordinarily musical family. His father and uncle were well-respected Dutch composers and his brother and sister also took…

Spine Tinglers: John Terauds

John Terauds, the Classical Music Critic for The Toronto Star, weighs in with the first Spine Tingler of the season. Here’s John: We can only hope of wining the big lottery once. But people who listen or play can (and…

Just In Case You Were Wondering

A *hmmm I wonder* that turned into a 3-hour Excel love-in: The stats are too incomplete at present to give absolutes for the top twenty but the top five pieces played by League of American Orchestra members from 2000/01 to…

On Folk Music

It is no longer common in the West for people to live with their Nan, the inevitable result of which is less people learning folksongs.

Messiaen: Offrandes Oubliées

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) Offrandes Oubliées (1930) When asserting that Messiaen was one of the most influential composer of the 20th century, there is very little danger of overstating the matter. There is simply no other composer that had such a…

Program Notes Catalogue

Miss Mussel writes programme notes for orchestral and chamber music concerts in England and would be happy to create an original set of notes for your next concert. Her preferred method is to write an essay that links the whole…

All About Spine Tinglers

Spine Tinglers is a section devoted to stories about those moments in music that are out of this world; the ones that make you stop and reconsider life as you had previously known it. Some people get the shivers, others…

Review: Guy Few, Nadina Mackie Jackson @ The Elora Festival

Duo Affinité 19th July, 2008 St John’s Anglican Church, Elora If a bassoon and trumpet recital didn’t qualify as my daily dose of bizzarerie, getting stuck behind a 1985 Lincoln limousine weaving down a country road at 65kph certainly did….

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 111

Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 Maestoso – Allegro con brio e appassionato Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile Beethoven still had five years left to live when he wrote this sonata but in many ways it…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 110

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 Moderato cantabile molto espressivo Allegro molto Adagio ma non troppo Fuga: Allegro ma non troppo On paper, Op 110 is a traditional four-movement sonata. In reality however the work is…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 109

The last decade of Beethoven’s life is universally regarded as one of the most intensely creative periods of any artist. Musicologists cannot resist the allure of the tortured genius, conscious of his approaching death choosing to sacrifice his life to…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 81a ‘Les Adieux’

Sonata in E flat major Op 81a ‘Les Adieux’ (1810/11) Das Lebewohl: Adagio – Allegro Das Abwesenheit: Andante espressivo Das Wiedersehen: Vivacissimamente In the 11 years between Op 10 and Op 81a, much had changed both for Beethoven personally and…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 57 ‘Appassionata’

Piano Sonata in F minor Op 57 “Appassionata” Allegro assai Andante con moto Allegro ma non troppo The difference in style between the three early sonatas and Appassionata is marked. In the intervening 12 years, Beethoven had written 20 piano…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 54

Sonata in F major Op 54 In Tempo d’un Menuetto Allegretto With stories of his tantrums and grumpy demeanour in plentiful supply, it is difficult to imagine Beethoven ever cracking a smile or telling a joke. This sonata proves without…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 27 No.2 ‘Moonlight’

Op 27 No.2 ‘Moonlight’ Adagio sostenuto Allegretto Presto Like the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the first movement of the Moonlight sonata has become a victim of its own popularity. The piece has been transcribed for all manner of instruments…

Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 27 No.1

Beethoven was 31 years old when he was writing Op 27. He had been living in Vienna for eight years, was firmly established as one of the best pianists around and had his first symphony, six string quartets, five violin…