Presidential suites

Mention music and American politics in the same breath and many people’s thoughts will immediately spring to anti-war songs. The passing late last month of Pete Seeger aged 94 is a reminder of his contribution to this powerfully simple milieu … Read More →


Podcast: Curtain up!

If the purpose of an opera overture is to prepare the audience for the mood and emotions of the opera that follows, Rossini was a master. And yet, the overture was almost an after-thought to him. Rossini usually composed it … Read More →


Horsing around

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, which is a moveable feast, unlike its western counterpart that always falls on 1 January. It also differs in adopting a particular zodiac animal, repeating the association after every 12-year cycle. … Read More →


A Case for Casella

Garibaldi’s Red Shirts are marching triumphantly en route to the successful Risorgimento, the establishment in 1861 of a united Italy – though the actual ramifications were complex and true uniting took longer. Lustily they sing, and the song on their … Read More →


Sounds effective

Whatever the instrument, mastery of performance technique is a daunting challenge. But spare a thought for string players who probably suffer at the hands of exploitation more than others. Not content with demanding accuracy and fluency over a range of … Read More →