A Truth in Art: Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

Salome by Aubrey Beardsley (c) Tate Britain

A truth in art, said Oscar Wilde, is one whose opposite is also true. Aubrey Beardsley’s same friend also said, one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art. That is Dandyism for you. These men would sometimes spend hours tying a cravat. Whichever way you look at Beardsley there are contradictions. It is comic while being tragic. Lightweight while being ponderous. Intense while being relaxed. Dismissive while being possessive. Comic while being tragic. Knowing while being unknowing. Gilbert and Sullivan were Beardsley’s exact contemporaries. See my recent Seen and Heard piece on G&S topsy-turveydom (click here).

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Centenary Concert will be streamed online on 5 September

CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM CENTENARY CONCERT IN WAREHOUSE

Saturday 5 September, 7pm
Streamed on the CBSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels
#cbso100

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has today announced that it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first ever concert with a landmark performance featuring the full orchestra and filmed at a production warehouse in Birmingham.

The varied programme will be conducted by former Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, who is handed the baton for this special event by the orchestra’s current Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, while she is on maternity leave. They are joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and sitar player Roopa Panesar, and the performance will be presented by Birmingham-born actor Adrian Lester.

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Mike Leigh’s Topsy-Turvydom

There can be no doubt – No ifs or buts: Mike Leigh ranks Gilbert World’s leading misery-guts. It may come as a surprise that the parents of Sir William Schwenck Gilbert outshone him in eccentricity: a valuable tool which is a leitmotif in Mike Leigh’s impressively researched and thoroughly entertaining 1999 biopic. Other authors too … Read more

INTERVIEW WITH THE CONDUCTOR VASILY PETRENKO – ‘CULTURE IS WHAT KEEPS US UNITED AND INTEGRATED’

Young-Jin Hur in conversation with Vasily Petrenko

Vasily Petrenko, © Svetlana Tarlova

The world is complex in its embrace of seeming opposites. There is joy in sad music; individual preferences coexist with societal norms; natural tendencies may complement acquired processes. The world is complex, but it is simple in its consistent presence of contradictions. This complexity also holds true for life’s challenges. The truism that bearing difficulties strengthens the self is elevated to metaphysical heights in Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. In the realm of music, Igor Stravinsky viewed that ‘the more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.’ A time of difficulty and limitation, thus, seems also a story of hope.

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St John’s Smith Square announces ‘ARTIST LAB’

SJSS’s ‘ARTIST LAB’ PROJECT

#Artistlab

The covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges around the world. Clearly, our first priority is everyone’s health and well-being, but an important part of this is people’s enjoyment of music and the arts. Concert halls have closed their doors and musicians are unable to work. This creates enormous pressures and challenges as people’s livelihoods are challenged and venues face an uncertain future.

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A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL BROFMAN, FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN ART SONG SOCIETY

Rick Perdian spoke with Michael Brofman, founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, about the impact of the pandemic on the organization and its plans for the future

Michael Brofman © Meg Goldberg

In the midst of its tenth anniversary season, the Brooklyn Art Song Society (BASS) had to cancel everything when New York became the global epicenter of the novel coronavirus in March. For its 2020-21 season, BASS is going digital and will celebrate the legacy of Franz Schubert, the first and arguably the greatest composer of German Lieder, with five programs of more than 100 of his songs. In addition, BASS will launch the New Voices Festival, which seeks to reimagine the art song for the twenty-first century.

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‘It Ain’t A-Gonna Rain No Mo’ – more music hall memories

 It Ain’t A-Gonna Rain No Mo’

Oh, it ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’, no mo’,
It ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’.
But how in the world can the old folks tell
It ain’t a-gonna rain no mo’?

Grandma used to tell me that if there was enough blue in the sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers, it wouldn’t rain, so I might then play in the garden. That’s how I became interested in cloud movements. She didn’t explain that it was the wind’s dialogue with the clouds that was the referee. Or how fat the sailor had to be.

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