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JDCMB Top 12 Posts of 2014

A little recap on some of the JDCMB highlights of 2014Mourning, anxiety, flashmobs, victimisation of one sort or another and an April Fool's joke proved dominant in this year's reader stats. Glad to say that also scoring highly (so to speak) are a certain wonderful tenor, a great composer to whom I love talking, and a very gifted young conductor. Show More Summary

Gender roles in baroque opera

Harry Nicoll as Eryka in Cavalli's L'Ormindo at the Globe Theatre © Stephen Cummiskey Have you noticed that we are developing our own little modern group of quirks and conventions when it comes to the casting in baroque operas and oratorios, particularly those of Handel. Show More Summary

Spitalfields Winter Festival: this year’s midnight and phantom voices

Simon Callow Fretwork, Simon Callow, Clare Wilkinson, The Clerks; Spitalfields Winter Festival Reviewed by Hilary Glover on Dec 15 2014 Poems by John Donne and musical hallucinations inspire two contrasting concerts Clare Wilkinson An...Show More Summary

Irving Fine, Here and There

At Brandeis University, where I went to college, we heard the name Irving Fine pretty regularly, because he'd been an important early member of the music department and because of the annual concert in his memory. I therefore have absolutely...Show More Summary

Peter Cook: A Life In Pieces

Now that Niklaus, Santa and the Christkind have gone, we’re stuck in that pleasant limbo before the Three Kings turn up and plunge us all back into usefulness. Languid days, pleasant though they are, benefit from a least a slight...

Paul Renzi

Paul Renzi, longtime principal flutist of the San Francisco Symphony, died on December 6 at 88. He had a remarkable career: appointed to the principal seat by Pierre Monteux at age 18, played with Toscanini in the NBC Symphony, came back to SFS, and retired a decade ago. Show More Summary

The Life Alice Herz-Sommer Led

The pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who died earlier this year at 110, is in the NY Times's annual The Lives They Led issue of the Magazine.

Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning

Promised for several Christmases and never quite delivered thanks to a variously infuriating string of technical malfunctions. This year, I’m going to Leipzig to hear the piece performed live. With real people. And hopefully real serpents. But. For the restivus,...

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year from everyone at Planet Hugill

Christmas Eve (and Gigli)

While all of you are busily listening to J.S. Bach or G.F. Handel (and yes, that really is Jon Vickers not quite cleanly negotiating "Every Valley," but it certainly is impressive to hear a sound like that in Handel), I put on my own favorite, very, very secular, Christmas Eve music: the first two acts of Puccini's La Boheme. Show More Summary

Day 25: Carols From King’s DVD Preview

Not only do we have a free download of Once In Royal David’s City, there is also a peak at part of the 2014 Christmas from King’s 9 Lessons & Carols service DVD. Good tidings of great joy, which shall...

George Dyson - Paul Spicer attempts to get beneath the brusque Yorkshire exterior

Paul Spicer Sir George Dyson: His Life and Music; The Boydell Press Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Dec 23 2014 Star rating: 4.0 Important biography of a neglected 20th century composer and theorist Sir George Dyson Sir George Dyson's life-story could read as a prime example of a working-class Yorkshire boy made good. Show More Summary

Yehudi Menuhin on Holding the Violin

I was so happy to hear this discussion on the 8th DVD of the Bruno Monsaingeon Edition devoted to films about (and of) Yehudi Menuhin. The first thing I teach my students about holding the violin or the viola is to place the top of the instrument on the collarbone, because it's what I do. Show More Summary

Train Into Cologne Main Station

The other night I was coming home late from a concert and thought it would be good to get a bit of video practice in. The journey was not nearly as introspective and full of the feelings as the music...

Day 24: Free Download from King’s

Once in Royal David’s City is traditionally the first sung at the King’s College 9 Lessons & Carols service. It builds from a single treble to full choir, organ and descant. In a home listening situation, it is at its...

I Was Hoping for a Slightly Weirder Program...

SFS finally announces (most of) the full program for the MTT 70th Birthday Bash. There's Lizst's Hexameron, which Teddy Abrams will conduct, with MTT, Yuja Wang, Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Marc-Andre Hamelin, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, plus:...Show More Summary


WITH LOTS OF LOVE FROM JDCMB (and huge thanks to the lovely Sally Olson, who had some fun with Photoshop and the kitten pic)

London A Cappella Festival

The London A Cappella Festival returns to Kings Place and the Cadogan Hall from 28-31 January 2015, with a line-up with includes the King's Singers, Accent, as well as the American group Straight No Chaser. The event celebrates all things a cappella and is co-hosted by the Swingles who will be presenting their latest album Deep End. Show More Summary

Un ballo in maschera at Covent Garden

Dmitri Hvorostovsky The Royal Opera © ROH. Photograph by Catherine Ashmore, 2014 Verdi Un ballo in maschera; Calleja, Monastyrska, Hvorostovsky, Cornetti, Gamberoni, dir: Thoma, cond: Oren; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Reviewed by...Show More Summary

Day 20: Hysterical Christmas

Merna, Alex Ross’ favourite organist on crack and that train wreck of an O Holy Night. Because Christmas isn’t Christmas without schadenfreude. Merna & Henrietta – Go Tell It On The Mountain | Messiah Organist On Crack Steve Mauldin –...

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