The rise and rise of the countertenor I

Strange though it may seem, we may be in the middle of a rebirth of the countertenor voice in our popular consciousness. For a long time, from the time of Mozart until the mid-20th century, the sound of the high [...] more >>

by William Cole | March 9th, 2014
Bashing the Boo and Charming the Clouds The musical world of Harry Partch

Have you ever heard of the musical instruments called Chromelodeon, Quadrangularis Reversum or Zymo-Xyl? If not, let me introduce you to Harry Partch (1901-1974), an American composer, music theorist and creator of unique musical instruments. The son of Presbyterian missionaries, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 8th, 2014
Overtures and Overtures

When is an Overture not an Overture? When it’s a Concert Overture. We are familiar with Overtures that serve as an introduction to an opera, a ballet, or even an oratorio, starting in the 17th century, but the Concert Overture [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 7th, 2014
Playing with Leg

The elegant young man about town in the 17th century carved his way through the world dressed very very well. Fine cloth, elegant cuffs, a lace collar – and stockings. So what kind of instrument might the elegant young man [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 2nd, 2014
The Child Prodigy as Social Experiment

Saint-SaensPiano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22 The American pianist Philippa Schuyler made her concert debut while still a child, giving piano recitals and frequently appearing on the radio. Born in 1931, the mixed-race child was the daughter [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | February 23rd, 2014
Death by Autoerotic Asphyxiation Frantisek Kotzwara

František Kočvara (1730-1791), who thankfully changed his spelling to Frantisek Kotzwara after settling in London, originally hailed from Bohemia. He was a talented performer, equally versed on the viola, double bass, piano, violin, cello, oboe, flute, bassoon and cittern. He [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 21st, 2014
Opening Doors with Music

In his 2010 novel, The Elephant Keepers’ Children, Danish author Peter Høeg uses Schubert songs to very practical end. One of the major characters in the book is a sonic engineer – she creates mechanisms that operate through speech or [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | February 20th, 2014
More about Ernst Toch

Wait, what? This guy wrote film music as well as classical stuff? Pfft… Sound familiar? It’s interesting nowadays how film composers are often sneered at in relation to their more ‘serious’ counterparts. However, there was a whole generation of composers [...] more >>

by Oliver Pashley | February 19th, 2014