Voices

The Labour leader has been rightly scorned for music that merely ticked boxes. He could so easily have been a lot less boring…

Obituary: Elisabeth Abercrombie

Elisabeth Abercrombie had a short but rewarding career as an operatic soprano, appearing at Glyndebourne before the Second World War, with Sadler's Wells Opera during, and at Covent Garden after, the war.

CLASSICAL MUSIC London Philharmonic SBC, London

Future surveys of musical tastes and trends in the latter part of the 20th century will have to balance record sales most carefully against the programmes presented in our concert halls. The music of Vaughan Williams, for instance, has gone through a lean period since his death in 1958 to judge by the live concerts given by our symphony orchestras, but nearly all of his major works have been consistently available on disc, which must reflect a powerful need.

Classical Song recitals London

One person's description of a voice may be unrecognisable to another. Still, it seems fair to describe Sarah Leonard's soprano as small, though it projected quite adequately in the Purcell Room on Wednesday. The grain, or texture, is soft, with a silvery bloom, and she didn't have the edge, or punch necessary for "Let the Florid Music Praise!", the opening song of Britten's Auden cycle, On This Island. The lower register of "Nocturne", the fourth song, suited her, and the chest voice on the line "Or revolting succubus" was effective. This was a rare example of colouring, for she didn't do much in that way with Frank Bridge's three songs to poems by Rabindranath Tagore - she left it to Andrew Ball, playing the sumptuously Bergian piano part.

Classical Music: Love is in the air

Three days at the Proms: Knussen and Woolrich premieres and a Gerhard revival

Payne's pleasure

Bayan Northcott offers a 60th birthday tribute to Anthony Payne - a composer not quite like any other

Obituary: Helen Glatz

Helen Glatz's catalogue of composition is extensive and ranges over solo pieces, chamber music and brass ensemble to incidental music for Dartington College of the Arts' Barn Theatre, Shakespeare plays and puppet theatre.

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THE CRITICS MUSIC: Where George F meets John F

If this is the New Glyndebourne, I'm all for it

Classical Music: The whole picture

As the Barbican hosts a weekend of all seven Sibelius symphonies, Stephen Johnson wonders whether, in musical terms, more may not mean less

Northern footlights

As the first recording of a major unpublished score reveals, Sibelius's music for the stage was more than merely incidental to his output. By Bayan Northcott

They never had it so weird

Radio 3 round-up

OBITUARY: Peter Stadlen

Bayan Northcott [obituaries, 23 January] does not mention Peter Stadlen's enforced wartime sojourn in Australia. Like thousands of other German and Austrian refugees, Stadlen was interned in the summer of 1940 and shipped under atrocious conditions to Australia. The Home Office, reacting to an application signed by Thomas Mann, Yehudi Menuhin and Eleanor Roosevelt, amongst others, had actually ordered his release, but, by the time it did so, Stadlen was already on the high seas.

On another planet

Radio 3 round-up

Music / Judith Weir premiere CBSO / Sir Simon Rattle Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Even before last Wednesday's world premiere of her first work for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in her role as "Composer in Association", Judith Weir has proved a benevolent presence in the city. Last March, her instrumental work Musicians Wrestle Everywhere was premiered by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and in their new season Weir has been providing articulate, commendably jargon-free introductions to selected pieces. Her new composition for CBSO raises expectations.

Lest we forget

Radio round-up
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