sun 29/05/2022

Classical Features

First Person: Christina McMaster - seeking musical cures for modern malaise

Christina McMaster

In 2020, during a gentle easing of lockdown restrictions, I was asked to play for the Culture Clinic sessions at Kings Place, a creative initiative where small groups of up to six people could book a ticket for a private, personally tailored performance. After speaking together briefly, I would then prescribe and perform music I felt they needed to hear.

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theartsdesk at the Dresden Music Festival - orchestral abundance in a spectacular setting

Gavin Dixon

Dresden is filled with music at this time of year. The Dresden Music Festival runs through May and early June, with concerts at all the famous venues – the Frauenkirche, the Semperoper – but also recitals in smaller halls and unlikely settings.

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'An invitation to stillness and reflection': saxophonist and composer Christian Forshaw on collaborating with top choir Tenebrae

Christian Forshaw

The idea of recording an album with Tenebrae has been bubbling away for a number of years. Nigel Short and I first worked together in 2007 when I asked him to direct the vocal consort for a UK tour I was doing with my own group. Since then we have worked together on a number of projects and regularly discussed the idea of a collaboration with Tenebrae.

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First Person: composer Michael Price on responding to Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto

Michael Price

There are lots of ways that we respond to great works of art – intellectually and emotionally, then visually, aurally and even by taste and smell, depending on the art in question. I have a habit of screwing my eyes tight shut and bringing to mind a piece of favourite music, or book, or person, and it seems a glowing imprint forms behind your eyelids. You could try it now!

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First Person: composer Mason Bates on the powers and perils of musical storytelling

Mason Bates

What do Beethoven and Pink Floyd have in common?

Narrative – ingeniously animated by music.

From the Ninth Symphony to The Wall, narrative music has brought a new dimension to the forms and genres it has touched.

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Russians and friends play on for Ukraine

David Nice

National sensitivities are running understandably high right now in the thick of an ever-escalating aggression. What a shame that the Southbank Centre has excluded Russian artists from performing alongside British and Ukrainian performers to bring a message of peace through the arts in their upcoming fundraiser. Not so "Dance for Ukraine" at the London Coliseum, including Natalia Osipova in its line-up.

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‘Slava Ukraini!’: Russian musicians worldwide show solidarity

David Nice

“You are told that we hate Russian culture,” President Zelenskyy of Ukraine informed Russians, using their language, in a speech for the ages just before the invasion, “But how can a culture be hated? Any culture? Neighbours are always enriching each other culturally. But that does not make them one entity, and does not separate people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ “.

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‘Let me be your main course’: composer Jimmy López on why new music needs time and space

Jimmy López

No, not your aperitif – and certainly not your digestif; your bona fide main dish, the one your audience yearns for, dresses up for, and looks forward to.

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First Person: Pavel Šporcl on Paganini and the Czech violin tradition

Pavel Šporcl

It is taken for granted today that Paganini is almost a God-like figure for violinists. After all, he epitomises the ultimate virtuoso figure, both as someone whose technique outshone (so we are told!) every other player of his time, and who oozed charisma.

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First Person: young composer Nicola Perikhanyan on a new immersive reality experience at London Wall

Nicola Perikhanyan

There's something really moving about standing in the centre of London Wall's Roman ruins and looking up at the city that has grown around it. Thinking about our past, present and future simultaneously. More than 2000 years have passed since the Romans created our city, and while much has changed there's still so much consistency in how our society exists, both the beauty and the flaws.

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