A ram sang?

Here’s one for crossword buffs who enjoy massaging anagrams, to which the title of this week’s post alludes. We’ll outline a work for you, throwing in some audio clips, giving an anagrammatical clue as to the composer’s name, and then the challenge to also name the work. Check out your responses with the answers listed Read More …

Sleeping beauties

You may have missed it, but March 17 was World Sleep Day. Its slogan: ‘Sleep soundly, nurture life.’ Part of its mission: ‘ …to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.’ Ernest Hemingway would probably have signed up: ‘I love sleep. My life has a tendency Read More …

Out of the blue

I’ve always thought of musical blues as being a tad unfair on the colour. Although ‘feeling blue’ is a convenient phrase to express a state of feeling emotionally low, there’s a lot more character to the colour to be found in recording catalogues. And in life, too. Living in Bangkok, I’m endlessly fascinated by the Read More …

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 …