A Fab Four

The week ahead moves between the Zodiac signs of Leo (ends August 22) and Virgo (starts August 23). No doubt there’s a gradual astrological change of character traits between people born under the respective signs, but this particular week of 19-25 August marks the anniversaries of the births of four people who all bear a Read More …

Leaving a legacy

Have you ever commissioned a new work from a composer? I’ve been through the process a number of times. No work longer than twenty minutes. But when you get the brief of the commission right, which encourages the composer to turn up a bit of magic, it can be one of the more satisfying experiences Read More …

Podcast: Singing Bernstein’s praise

Raymond Bisha delves into the stunning new Naxos recording of three choral works by Leonard Bernstein. The performances are conducted by Marin Alsop, a protégé of the composer and one of today’s leading interpreters of his work. A fervent spirituality permeates The Lark, the Missa Brevis (the last choral work to be completed by Bernstein) 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 …