One of that select band of British pianists to achieve international recognition, Bernard Roberts was in constant demand as a recitalist, chamber musician, accompanist, concerto soloist and teacher. He was acclaimed by audiences and critics, the remarkable breadth of his industry bringing greater recognition for the instrument itself and proving pivotal in inspiring generations of aspiring performers.
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Sunday 17 November 2013
Britten’s sole violin concerto is constructed from simple scales rising and falling expressively over exotic Spanish rhythms, but within this framework, from the opening silken thread to passages of great passion and profundity, the concerto unfolds into a piece of great magnitude.
Friday 15 November 2013
The German composer was a confirmed anti-Semite – but that didn't deter our correspondent, who loves his music, from wanting to write a play to celebrate his bicentenary
Sunday 10 November 2013
Of all the many great works by Britten revisited live and on disc for the centenary of the composer’s birth this month, perhaps none packs the punch of his War Requiem, the words of the Latin Mass for the dead punctuated by the frank front-line poetry of Wilfred Owen.
The Conversation: Last Tango in Halifax star Annie Reid on getting naked with Daniel Craig and writing letters to Woody Allen
Saturday 09 November 2013
You recently completed filming the second series of Last Tango in Halifax. How was it? Well, you know, you can't tell until the cake comes out of the oven. But it was great. I'm just the luckiest person in the world to have all these wonderful parts at an age where one might not be working. My career just seems to go on and on, touch wood.
Friday 08 November 2013
Kit Downes and Stan Tracey riff on the state of their art ahead of the London Jazz Festival
Sunday 13 October 2013
Or, as it might have been called, “Sex, Lies and Fabulous Capes”. If this skewed biopic of Liberace turns out to be Stephen Soderbergh's swansong (as he has threatened), the director leaves on a high.
Friday 11 October 2013
Hits such as Snooker Loopy, Rabbit and Gertcha established Chas & Dave as two of the towering figures of the 1980s light entertainment-pop cross over world. Now, 18 years since their last album the Rockney duo are being re-launched as the credible grandfathers of British rock n’ roll.
Tuesday 08 October 2013
Otto Sander carved out a career as one of the foremost actors in postwar German theatre, in particular with the director Peter Stein. He had a flair for comedy and was equally at home in classical repertoire and the avant-garde but was best known internationally for his work in films. In Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire and Faraway, So Close! he played the ironically detached and tragic angel Cassiel, and in the epic Second World War U-boat drama Das Boot he was a troubled lieutenant.
Monday 07 October 2013
How far has ‘new music’ progressed since the Fifties? On the evidence of two magisterial Southbank concerts, scarcely at all. John Lennon’s borrowing (for “Strawberry Fields”) from Stockhausen’s “Gesang der Junglinge” was an indication of how deeply that pioneering electronic work had penetrated mid-century culture, and to listen to it now is to experience anew the freshness of its invention. This is best done with eyes shut, because what Stockhausen’s collage does is create a landscape bursting with events of an almost tactile nature. One’s initial impression is of being painlessly dive-bombed from all angles by flocks of excited birds, but that is just one of many evanescent effects emerging from the speakers round the auditorium.
Sunday 06 October 2013
With its satisfyingly fat vinyl platters, audiophile-friendly downloads and imaginative catalogue of rediscovered gems (plus new recordings), LP specialist Gearbox is becoming one of the wonders of the age.
Friday 04 October 2013
Her Cold War song cycle ‘Oh Moscow’, written with Sally Potter, was performed round the world
Wednesday 02 October 2013
Amy Dickson, the Australian musician who elevated the saxophone from the nightclub to the concert hall, has been named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Brits, marking the first victory for the instrument.
Wednesday 02 October 2013
The summer of 2013 saw the belated release of what was effectively Sathima Bea Benjamin's third "debut" recording. African Songbird came nearly a decade and a half after the first. In 1959 she had taped what would have been the first jazz LP made in South Africa, but My Songs For You was shelved.
Tuesday 01 October 2013
Gravenhurst is the musical project of Nick Talbot - a Bristol-based singer-songwriter who coaxes gorgeous tones out of his guitars, but whose gentle tunes wrap up an often dark and melancholy lyrical heart. He's got the satisfying well-balanced melodies, the ever-so-pretty fingerpicking and the lush harmonising to rival many a modern folk act - Gravenhurst call to mind Kings of Convenience or early Iron and Wine, and have been compared to Simon and Garfunkel even - yet mysteriously Talbot's star has never risen so high.
Sunday 29 September 2013
It’s not unusual for jazz artists to have a late-career renaissance, even one that – Claude Monet-style – demands a reassessment of everything that went before.
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