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Cultural Life: Antonio Pappano, musician


I'm listening to Dinah Shore and André Previn in a collection of standards. Dreamy. Also Kondrashin conducting Shostakovich symphonies. Discipline and Russian fire. Wow.


I'm catching up on episodes of 'House' (can't believe it's Hugh Laurie!), 'Frasier', 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit', 'Match of the Day' and the BBC Proms.


I saw 'Pan's Labyrinth' on DVD. Not what I expected. Violence, menace, whimsy, and fantasy. Beautiful.


I saw Rossini's 'Zelmira' at the Pesaro Festival in Italy. Astounding singing.


I've just finished reading Benvenuto Cellini's autobiography. A thrill a minute. Can it all be true? Now reading a bio of Lorenzo Da Ponte. What a life, what a scoundrel, what an artist.

Also interviews with Francis Bacon. The power of the "accidental" in art. Chance, freedom; relating this to music? This book has got me thinking a lot about art in general and how one must be open to letting go of the reins. Hard to explain.

The disc of Antonio Pappano conducting a new recording of Verdi's 'Requiem' is out now on EMI Classics