A Frame of Gnomes

The nearest I’ve ever got to a gnome is by eyeing its dictionary definition: In folklore, one of a species of diminutive beings, usually described as shriveled little old men, that inhabit the interior of the earth and act as guardians of its treasures; troll. The plastic garden gnome subspecies doesn’t get a mention, not Read More …

Podcast: A forgotten treasure. Marin Alsop discusses Hindemith.

This podcast features Marin Alsop in conversation with Raymond Bisha following the release of her first album for Naxos as chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. She assumed the post in 2019 and the programme reflects that of her first public appearance in the role. Marin’s advocacy of Hindemith’s music is rooted Read More …

Podcast: Paired to perfection. Tianwa Yang plays Prokofiev’s violin concertos.

Violinist Tianwa Yang marks her fifteenth year as one of Naxos’ leading artists with a new album featuring Prokofiev’s two violin concertos. The works’ stylistic contrasts reflect the fact that they were written some twenty years apart, but they receive the same scrupulous attention to technical and musical details that hallmark every one of Tianwa’s Read More …

Earworms for bookworms.

I recently registered with my local library and duly received a plastic card that gives me borrowing rights. Covering the front of the card is a quotation: “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of a library.” Albert Einstein I wondered how many ‘books/livres/Bücher’ I could locate in my own Read More …

Podcast: A centenary special – Sir Malcolm Arnold’s Complete Symphonies and Dances

An introduction to the Symphonies and Dances of composer Malcolm Arnold featuring conductor Andrew Penny who recorded all these works for Naxos.  Arnold’s orchestral works are a study in contrasts, from his optimistic and tuneful dance suites to his deeply personal symphonies. Join Raymond Bisha and Andrew Penny in this podcast as they chat about Read More …

Podcast: Mapping a musical monument. Giltburg’s Beethoven 32.

Raymond Bisha presents an overview of Boris Giltburg’s project to learn and record all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which are now released in a 9-CD box set edition following their inception as critically acclaimed digital releases. The recordings reflect only one facet of Giltburg’s gem of an undertaking, in that performances were also filmed Read More …

Gershwin whingers.

I’ve always found it intriguing how a quality composition is seemingly indestructible when it’s pressed into new clothes by skilled arrangers. (Whingers, by the way, is simply an anagram of Gershwin to reflect that notion). My first taste of the industry as a youngster was on hearing the Swingle Singers elevate J. S. Bach’s instrumental Read More …