Podcast: 20th-century harpsichord music. An irresistible revival.

It was the great virtuoso Wanda Landowska who spearheaded a revival of interest in the dormant harpsichord at the turn of the 20th century. Working closely with Pleyel of Paris, the instrument manufacturer, she helped develop and promote a sturdier and more sonorous instrument than was hitherto the case. Composers of the time weren’t slow Read More …

From winding stairs to whippoorwill

Anyone who was born in a church tower, squandered opportunities for music education as a naughty teenager, lived through two world wars, rose to be one of his country’s greatest composers, and left footprints either side of the Atlantic gets my attention. I was reminded that today marks the death, on 28 August 1959, of Read More …

Paper chase

The Day after Christmas Day, Boxing Day, St Stephen’s Day, the Day of the Wren. Wherever you are, and whatever event you may yourself celebrate on 26 December each year, I personally always try to spare a thought for the discarded and dispossessed. I’m thinking, for a change, not of the unfortunate condition of swathes Read More …