Post Organisation: Classic C:T

Christopher Hogwood

Though especially associated with early music, I cannot let today pass without lamenting the loss of Christopher Hogwood, one of our finest conductors.  For me he was the man who taught me the difference between a good and a bad performance. Specifically, I remember, at a fairly tender age, returning a recording of Mozart’s C Minor Mass to a shop…

October Festivals

If you are in Scotland today and are suffering from post referendum exhaustion you can cheer yourself up with the thought of the imminent arrival of Sound, Scotland’s festival of new music, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. The festival theme – new approaches to traditional music – will look at new ways of writing for traditional instruments and new…

September CD Roundup

To the Sun and Stars is a new album on Bridge of vocal music by Louis Karchin. The works – American Visions, To the Sun, To the Stars, The Gods of Winter, and ‘A Way Separate…’ – were written between 1992 and 2012, so provide a good cross-section of his style: dissonant, rhythmic and angular. This might sound forbidding except that he also does not eschew…

September Concerts

September sees 80th birthday celebrations for Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle at the BBC Proms. On 6th Septemberthe Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Oliver Knussen will perform Birtwistle’s Verses for Ensemble, Dinahand Nick’s Love Song and Meridian; on 8th the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Ben Gernon will give the London première of Maxwell Davies’ Concert Overture Ebb of Winter, Strathclyde Concerto No. 4 (for clarinet) and his…

August CD Roundup

If July’s CD releases were on the parsimonious side the same can not be said of this month, with a deluge that will probably only be surpassed by the August weather. There are seven new albums on Naxos. Their latest rerelease from the Maxwell Davies series originally on Collins Classics is his opera Resurrection, a work abandoned in the 1960s and only…

Present Music – Kevin Stalheim Interview

Kevin Stalheim (photo: Joo Photography) Christian Morris talks to Kevin Stalheim, Artistic Director of Present Music, one of the leading contemporary music ensembles in the U.S. with a reputation for creating provocative experiences through performance, education and commissioning. Tell us a little about the founding of Present Music. It started out of a powerful motivation: boredom at graduate school. I…

Summer Festivals

The BBC Proms get going today. You can see my July picks in an earlier blog post. Looking further ahead, August concerts include the London première of Sally Beamish’s Violin Concerto on 1st; Berio’s Sinfonia on 5th; the UK première of Brett Dean’s Electric Preludes on 7th; Harrison Birtwistle’s Sonance Severance and Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra on 10th; Steve Reich’s Desert Music and It’s Gonna Rain on 13th; the world première of Benedict Mason’s Meld on 16th;…

Judith Weir and July CD Roundup

Master of the Queen’s Music, or maybe Mistress of the Queen’s Music. Perhaps even Lady of the Queen’s Music.  I personally favour Judith Weir using the normal title – it’s about time it were divorced of gender. Whatever ridiculous questions such an award poses, however, it’s an honour that feels richly deserved. Femininity aside, Judith Weir, along with a very select…