Piano Fantasies

The musical Fantasy (or Fantasia or Fantasie) has its roots in improvisation and rarely follows a strict musical structure (such as Sonata or Ternary form). In this respect the Fantasy is related to the Impromptu. The term was first applied [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
January 24th, 2018
Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Götterdämmerung: Dawn of a Wagnerian Orchestra

The sense of achievement at this Götterdämmerung was palpable. The Hong Kong Philharmonic has now completed, over four years, a full Wagner Ring Cycle. It is fair to say that what started as a very competent sounding orchestra in 2015 [...] more >>

by Philip Eisenbeiss
January 23rd, 2018
Opera gains a new fan

[Opera is] more than entertainment. Opera offers an insight into the complexities of the human psyche – it is a metaphor for, or an exposition, even, of our own personal dreams and nightmares… – Kevin Volans, composer Last week my [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
January 21st, 2018
Forgotten Cellists: Antonio Janigro

If you listen to the distinguished Italian cellist Antonio Janigro, and his pure, resonant sound in the Bach Suites, you’ll encounter a master of depth and perception. Such beautiful playing. One of the great artists of the twentieth century, cellist, [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath
January 20th, 2018
Turning the Tables

They all die at the end, those poor opera women. Madama Butterfly kills herself, Tosca dies off the parapet of the Castel Sant’Angelo, and Carmen has a face-off with her former soldier lover.

by Maureen Buja
January 14th, 2018
What do musicians do all day?

“What do you actually do?” and “What is your day job?” are all-too familiar questions to musicians. People are also endlessly fascinated about practising – “so how much practising do you actually do?” – and imagine we spend most of [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
January 14th, 2018
Forgotten Cellists: Elsa Hilger

Hilger was born in 1904 in the small town of Trauenau, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the youngest of eighteen children (only four survived.) Elsa and her two sisters, Maria and Greta, were prodigiously gifted young musicians. After the family heard the news [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath
January 13th, 2018
Unravelling the influential Franco-Belgian violin and organ schools II

The early core of the Paris Conservatoire violin faculty gradually came together between 1795-1802, as a result of spontaneous cooperation between Italian freemasons Giovanni Viotti and Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842), their French pupils, freemasons Pierre Baillot, Jean-François Tiby, and their friend [...] more >>

by Guy Francis
January 11th, 2018