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On November 19th, the New Republic marked its hundredth anniversary. This week, the magazine fell into turmoil, and may be on the brink of collapse. Franklin Foer, its editor, was replaced, and much of the staff resigned in protest. I'm...

Old and new delights tonight

Alistair and Chapelle du Roi will be giving four world premieres tonight including my own Advent Prose plus new works by Norman Harper, David Braid and Jonathan Darbourne, plus Cecilia McDowall paired with music by Tallis, Sheppard and Victoria, at St John's Smith Square. Don't miss it. Further information from the earlier posting on this blog.

Alexander Armstrong and the Sixteen in Charity Christmas Single

Alexander Armstrong is best known nowadays for his hosting of the quiz show Pointless and as one half of the comedy duo, Armstrong and Miller. But his past hides a dark secret, he was a former choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and nowadays he also hosts a show on Classic FM. Show More Summary

England's Orpheus - Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny at Spitalfields

Iestyn Davies © 2012 Iestyn Davies and Marco Borggreve Dowland, Purcell, Handel; Iestyn Davies, Elizabeth Kenny; Spitalfields Music Winter Festival at St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Dec 5 2014 Star rating:...Show More Summary

Birthday wishes for...

Krystian Zimerman, 58 today. Here he is in a beautiful, fresh, witty and pure-toned performance of the Mozart Sonata in C, K330. Gloriously expressive eyebrows, a tone to die for, and much more. Don't miss the ending.Fans alert: he will be IN LONDON on 2 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 with the LSO and Simon Rattle at the Barbican. Show More Summary

Day 6: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You TOE TAPPER ALERT: The catchiest recit/aria combo since Puccini was ruling the stage is 20 years old this year. Opera is fun, you guys! I’ve listened to this approximately 87...

Aida Garifullina at Rosenblatt Recitals

Aida Garifullina and Iain Burnside the Wigmore Hall (c) Jonathan Rose Rimsky Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Delibes, Bellini, Rachmaninov, Gounod, Leoncavallo, Puccini; Aida Garifullina, Iain Burnside; Rosenblatt Recitals at the Wigmore...Show More Summary

Stop the yells

Do you know what you're doing when you yell BRAVI!! a split second into the final chord? Especially if there are microphones above the platform? The orchestra may be recording the piece. If you yell BRAVI - or indeed anything else - before the sound has quite disappeared, you are disrupting the recording. Show More Summary

The Mikado: Christmas fun at the Charing Cross Theatre

photo credit Scott Rylander Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado; Charing Cross Theatre Reviewed by Hilary Glover on Dec 2 2014 Star rating: 4.0 Christmas fun in a lively new staging of the G&S perennial This December, if you want a light-hearted...Show More Summary

Day 5: Happy Holidays (Beef Wellington)

This never fails to get the toes a-tapping. Sometimes remixes ruin everything. Other times, they make the original better than it ever have hoped to be. BONUS CONTENT ALERT – here’s another Christmas remix that keeps the boat afloat. Jimmy...

Day 3: Sans Day Carol

I think I’ve posted these guys every year, but they’re so charming I can’t help myself. These gents from the Holman Climax Male Voice Choir are singing the 19th century Cornish carol with the last verse in Cornish. Bless. Hear...

Day 2: The Three Drovers

To Australia for one of my favorite seasonal rarities: comfort and joy. Jokes! It’s the Three Drovers sung by the Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir. © Miss Mussel for The Omniscient Mussel, 2014. |

Day 4: Es wird scho glei dumpa

Today, a little German lesson. On the right, the high German text, in the middle, the Austrian dialect the boys are singing and on the right, literal English. © Miss Mussel for The Omniscient Mussel, 2014. |

Day 1: Jauchzet Frohlocket, Interwebs!

“Jauchzet Frohlocket” from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, Part the first Performed by: Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden at Frauenkirchen, Dresden. Christian Thielemann, baton. In other words, let’s get this party started, yo. Listen to the whole Advent 2014 playlist here. ©...

Free ZooNation! Mad Hatter's Tea Party to be LIVE STREAMED

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party: ZooNation in rehearsalPhoto: David Sandison I spent an utterly enthralling and invigorating few hours at the ROH the other week watching ZooNation rehearse its new family show for the Linbury, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and then writing about it. Show More Summary

Words I’ve Waited to Read My Whole Life

2 weeks agoMusic / Classical : PostClassic

From one of the anonymous readers’ reviews of my Concord Sonata book: There was a time when scholars would have dismissed an informal, personal tone for a work of scholarship, but I believe that those days are gone. Frankly, Gann has earned some license to write in whatever style he prefers. And even when the […]

Mitridate Re di Ponto

Mozat Mitridate Re di Ponto; Banks, Persson, Bevan, Zazzo, Devin, Classical Opera, Ian Page; Signum Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Nov 22 2014 Star rating: 4.0 Fine new recording and spectacular vocal fireworks in latest instalment...Show More Summary

Orchestras win tax breaks, we hope

In yesterday's autumn statement, the chancellor, George Osborne, announced (among other things) that orchestras in the UK may get tax breaks. A system was brought in for theatre and dance productions back in the summer and the idea is to extend this to their colleagues on the concert platform. Show More Summary

National Children's Orchestras

The National Children's Orchestras (NCO) returns to the Royal Festival Hall on 7 December 2014 when the Yorkshire-based Venezualan conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa conducts the Main Orchestra in music by Holst, Moncayao and Bernstein, including...Show More Summary

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