fri 10/04/2020

Features & Interviews

Joe Boyd's Recording Heaven

Joe Boyd

When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number of overdubs made possible by ProTools, is my idea of hell. Back in the Nineties, I once spent an afternoon combining vocal takes line-by-line into a master track for one song. That’s when I started to think writing books might be a better way to make a living.

'Most significant is the experience of being confronted by different ideas': Steven Osborne on free piano lessons from quarantine

Steven Osborne

How fast the world can change. What seemed unimaginable just weeks ago, the effective shuttering of our societies, is now a reality in many countries for at least weeks and quite possibly several months to come. I hope for the health and security of all of you reading this. I’m not going to reflect on our situation at any length as I’m sure many of you have read far more on the subject than is good for you - I certainly have!

Jazz musicians adapt to the lockdown - '...

Sebastian Scotney

“Jazz people,” one commentator has written this week “are amongst the most adaptable of our species as life mirrors art and we improvise our way...

Remembering Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

Gavin Dixon

No composer since Stravinsky has defined his age as comprehensively as Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday aged 86. Initially an uncompromising...

A simple twist of fate - how a chance encounter...

Liz Thomson

We’ve all spent time considering our desert island discs, which is of course why the programme Roy Plomley devised one winter’s night in 1942 is...

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

David Nice

The conductor's recent interpretations from Berlin and London online for free

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 5 - 'Every Day A Little Death'

Sam Marlowe

A stinging duet from 'A Little Night Music' has a savagely funny power

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 4 - 'America'

Aleks Sierz

Brilliant lyrics from the young composer offer a definitive take on migration

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 3 - Two Jenůfas

David Nice

If you want searing music-drama, Janáček's are the place to start - but choose carefully

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 3 - 'Johanna' (Quartet Version)

Graham Rickson

Sublime ensemble number from Act Two of 'Sweeney Todd'

Notes on a no-show - Nico Muhly

Jenny Gilbert

New dance inspired by his music was the first casualty of the darkened Sadler's Wells

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 2 - 'Epiphany'/'A Little Priest'

David Nice

Is there a better climax to a musical first act than the terror-plus-wit in 'Sweeney Todd'?

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 1 - 'I'm Still Here'

Marianka Swain

We're celebrating the great man's birthday with favourite numbers - mine's from 'Follies'

Sondheim at 90: adults will listen

Matt Wolf

The composer-lyricist has left an indelible legacy

'Pause. Notice. Breathe': Elena Urioste on self-love in a time of coronavirus

Elena Urioste

The violinist on how her yoga practice has informed her life and playing

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 2 - Boris Giltburg and Igor Levit

David Nice

Two top pianists give live recitals in their music rooms at different times of day

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 1 - Budapest's Quarantine Soirées

David Nice

First of regular notifications about what you can watch online in the dark days

First Person: Electra Perivolaris on composing for BBC Radio 3's 'Seven Ages of Woman' project

Electra Perivolaris

On setting a Heather Dohollau poem to music for International Women's Day 2020

First Person: Hassan Abdulrazzak on the real-life drama behind American deportation to the UK

Hassan Abdulrazzak

A provocative fact-based play locates truth in transcripts

Oscars 2020: a 'Parasite' love-in caps a night of firsts

Matt Wolf

South Korean triumph dominates a generously-spirited Oscar night

Young people's guides to the orchestra: the making of 'Not Now, Bernard & Other Stories'

Bernard Hughes

Composer Bernard Hughes on how an idle conversation between friends became a new album of premiere recordings

theartsdesk in Brussels - jazz, openness and youth at the start of the cultural year

Sebastian Scotney

A packed cultural calendar and poignant reminders of affection for the British

Bridging the cultural divide: Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan on marrying east and west

Sergey Smbatyan

As the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra arrives in London, its artistic director reflects

'Divinity is all around us': soprano Susanna Hurrell on Ravi Shankar's 'Sukanya'

Susanna Hurrell

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indian master's birth with a return to his opera

Planting seeds for change: Helen Wallace on a year of seminal events at Kings Place

Helen Wallace

Women composers to the fore in the innovative arts centre's 'Nature Unwrapped'

Celebrating the musicals of Jerry Herman (1931-2019)

David Nice

An immortal lyricist and composer leaves us plenty to be joyful about

theartsdesk in Zurich and Tallinn: celebrating great Estonians

David Nice

A Swiss inauguration for Paavo Järvi, a significant birthday for Erkki-Sven Tüür

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Semyon Bychkov in Prague

David Nice

A tutorial on Smetana's epic of Czechia from the man its leading orchestra calls 'daddy'

Remembering Mariss Jansons (1943-2019)

David Nice

The great Latvian conductor has died at the age of 76, but he leaves a powerful legacy

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

latest in today

Album: Laura Marling - Song for our Daughter

Laura Marling has always loved to weave the textures of '70's Laurel Canyon folk-rock into her music. Never...

New Music Lockdown Livestream Special 1: Miley Cyrus, Metall...

Given the times, theartsdesk’s New Music section is starting weekly round-ups of new streaming fare tob liven the spirits and entertainingly pass...

Trolls World Tour review - a visual spectacle full of toe-ta...

The world might have changed drastically in the wake of Covid-19, but thankfully those hyperactive, candy-coloured Trolls haven’t. Anna...

Alma's Not Normal, BBC Two review - bare-knuckle comedy...

Creating the opening episode of a new comedy series is like...

The Beast review - bad cop blues

“They say we all have a beast locked up inside of us,” a character observes early in this...

Gators, Tramp Productions online review - the glittering dar...

She’s an ordinary young woman, and she really doesn’t know what to think. After all, things are way out of control. She knows that the natural...

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Netflix review...

ZZ Top always seemed like a Texan version of Status Quo. It turns out, from watching this entertaining but hardly revelatory documentary, that...

Album: Nels Andrews - Pigeon and The Crow

This is the perfect album for these dark and dislocating times, a delicious slice of...