R.I.P. Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020): Did we really need Vera Lynn during the war?

Reposted in part tribute to the passing of Dame Vera Lynn at 103 I was in my first decade during the Second World War. Two voices over the radio made me reach for the off switch: Vera Lynn and Kathleen Ferrier. Both sounded to my child’s ears as though they were at a funeral, whatever … Read more

BBC to show the ROH’s first post-lockdown performance and their other recent music news

The BBC is to broadcast the Royal Opera House’s first post-lockdown performance across TV and radio later this month.

The concert, which will take place without a live audience, is scheduled for 13 June, hosted by the venue’s director of music Antonio Pappano.

It will feature a dance premiere by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet, as well as music by Britten, Handel and Butterworth.

Radio 3 will air the show on 15 June, with TV highlights later in the month.

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Educating Rita, says who?

The OED on education refers an inquirer through a Middle English (ME) root of educe meaning to bring out or develop (something latent or potential): very much Willy Russell’s territory in his melodramatic farce of 1980 at the Royal Shakespeare Company;  which in turn became an even more successful (1983) film of the same name. whose stage version also had the same leading actors as the film. But that is only half the story.

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ACCOMPANIST OR PARTNER? PIANIST SUSIE ALLAN IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN QUINN

Susie Allan talks to John Quinn

Susie Allan (c) Bill Wyatt

A little while ago I read two online reviews of the same Lieder recital. The singer and pianist involved were both highly distinguished musicians in their own right and, in addition, have worked together in recital quite frequently in the past. Both reviews were written by experienced and knowledgeable reviewers but there was a significant difference between them. One, admittedly the longer of the two, commentated on both the singer and the pianist in almost equal measure. The other addressed the work and the performance of the singer but the contribution of the pianist was covered in a final short paragraph which consisted of just two sentences.

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Need to escape reality? Enter into the magical world of composer David Hertzberg

Swans welcomes guests to The Wake World at The Barnes Foundation © Dominic Mercier

Over a few days in early March, concert halls, opera houses and theaters went dark around the world in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Countless works of music, both new and old, could not be performed, among them the premiere of a symphonic piece by the American composer David Hertzberg. Hertzberg gave the piece the working title Madig, a German word that may translate to worm-eaten but has a range of meanings in colloquial usage.

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