A Comedy of Terrors

I’ve just finished reading Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. It’s another gripper from the American author, involving ancient symbology revolving around Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem The Divine Comedy. The last word of that title signals that it ends happily, not tragically; there’s nothing comedic about the work. It describes Dante’s tripartite journey across the nine Read More …

Oxymoron for Orchestra

When is a concerto not a concerto? We’re all familiar with the term when it implies a soloist in a tug-of-tunes display, riding atop a generally subservient orchestra; and works such as the Brahms Double Concerto and the Beethoven Triple are a self-explanatory extension of that arrangement. The Baroque concerto grosso also neatly reflects the Read More …

Podcast: Twists and turns

In this week’s podcast, Raymond Bisha explores works by the Italian musical adventurer Gian Francesco Malipiero, the fascinating 20th-century composer who trod his own prolific path, often defying tradition with his idiosyncratic flair. View album details of Gian Francesco Malipiero’s Fantasie di ogni giorno / Passacaglie / Concerti at naxos.com Catalogue No.: 8.573291 http://blog.naxos.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/8.573291.mp3Podcast: Play Read More …

Scoring ten

Most people know about the curse of the ninth, but if you don’t, here’s a quick explanation. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Choral (8.550181) laid down a few benchmarks. Its influence was felt most recently, perhaps, during the dawn of the age of the compact disc. Consideration had to be given to how many minutes of music Read More …