Musical Times

A quarterly publication that covers topics in classical music and includes an extensive archive of obituaries of leading musicians.

Articles from Vol. 140, No. 1866, Spring

Acts of Grace
With Scotland well on the way to devolution, NICHOLAS WILLIAMS offers a timely appraisal of recently published James MacMillan scores IF SIR HARRISON BIRTWISTLE has proved to be the towering compositional presence in British music of the 1990s, and Thomas...
Butterworth's Housman Re-Assessed Lad Culture
PAUL LE ITCH reappraises the marriage of words and music in George Butterworth's settings of AE Housman The fate which Housman's poems deserve, of course, is to be set to music by English composers and sung by English singers, and it has already overtaken...
Cock and Bride
Survival is in the air. At least that was the message which seemed to be coming from the stage of the new Sadler's Wells, where the Royal Opera has taken up residence for a season. The previous autumn, Verdi in Edinburgh had a certain mournful magnificence...
Confit Des Canards
Saint-Saens: Le carnaval des animaux Edited by Peter Jost Breitkopf tir Hartel, full score L27.10 Chabrier: Melodies vol.2 Edited by Roger Delage Heugel/UMP, L23.40 Faure: Sonata no.l op.l3 for violin and piano Ellgie op.24 and Sicilienne op.78 for cello...
Das Dorfchen and the 'Unsinnsgesellschaft': Schubert's Elise
RITA STEBLIN traces the relationship between Schubert's Elise (Ferdinand Dorflinger) and the origins of his celebrated male quartet 'Das Dorfchen' (D.598) THERE WERE TWO MEN who dressed up as women in the 'Unsinnsgesellschaft', the nonsense society of...
Endangered Species
Richard Strauss: man, music, enigma Michael Kennedy Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1999); xvi, 451pp; L25. ISBN 0 521 58173 7. This is a highly enjoyable book. Kennedy gives a sensitive and judicious account of Strauss's life, and when he writes about the...
From the Musical Times 150, 100 and 50 Years Ago
The Musical Times, March 1849 THE Lobgesang, or Hymn of Praise is one of the most ambitious and profound of Mendelssohn's productions. In it art has made all its strength and beauty subservient to the noblest purpose; it has lifted up its voice to magnify...
Improving Carmen
JULIAN RUSHTON Bizet: Carmen Rossini: The thieving magpie Opera North Grand Theatre Leeds, Winter Good box-office though it is, Carmen can also be an artistic headache, a malady from which Opera North has not proved immune. Happily the new direction,...
In Memoriam: Gerard Grisey
Gerard Grisey Generously gifted, and a man of wit and charm besides, Gerard Grisey was a composer who looked set to become France's leading creative figure of the middle generation in the first decade of the new millennium, and whose early death, aged...
In Memoriam: John Addison
John Addison While for many composers the need to write for the cinema may involve a painful compromise of conscience with grander ambitions to succeed in abstract concert-hall works, it was John Addison's good fortune to have taken to the medium naturally,...
In Memoriam: Robert Shaw
Robert Shaw For over five decades, Robert Shaw was a towering figure on the American choral scene. In many ways, he defined the standards of accomplishment expected from amateur and professional choirs, and provided the stimulus for major works from...
In Memoriam: Rolf Liebermann
Rolf Liebermann Though a composer himself, with a number of major operas to his credit, Rolf Liebermann is likely to be remembered as one of the more important musical administrators of the second half of the 20th century. He was a man who commissioned...
Key Conversions
ANN BOND 16th-18th century English organ music Thurston Dart (organ) JMSCD1 Bach: 'French' suites Thurston Dart (clavichord) JMSCD4 Froberger: Keyboard works Thurston Dart (clavichord) JMSCD5 The late Thurston Dart was as outstanding as a keyboard player...
Letters
Sing up I was enormously encouraged by your correspondent Philip Newton's letter `Through the looking class' and its reference to `over-subscribing to the importance of instrumental playing' (Winter MT). With a caveat in the direction of our estimable...
Mistaken Identity
CINEMA has always had a yen for portraying the torments of the flawed, tormented genius, whose art is bought at the cost of a tragic downfall. Remember Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh, staring wild-eyed at the Provencal landscape as he flails at his canvas,...
Modes of Enquiry
RICHARD DRAKEFORD Ralph Vaughan Williams: in perspective Edited by Lewis Foreman Albion Press for the Vaughan Williams Society (Illminster, 1998); xii, 240pp; 25. ISBN 0 952 870614. Under the auspices of the RVW Society this new anthology about the composer...
Mostly Mozart
DAVID WYN JONES surveys a range of recent Mozart literature en route to the composer's 250th birthday THERE ARE only seven more writing years to 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. At a point roughly half way between the bicentennial and 2006...
Multivalent Late-Modernist
Andrew Toovey: Red icon; the silvery yesclowns tumble!are made per!form; Shining forth; The moon falls through the autumn Zoe Martlew (vlc), Jonathan Powell (pno), Ixion, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins Largo 5139 Andrew Toovey: The juniper...
Newish Berlioz
Messe solennelle Edited by Hugh Macdonald Barenreiter BA5463, full score L145 Choral Music with Orchestra 2 Edited by David Charlton Barenreiter BA5452, full score (sold with Choral Music with Orchestra 1) L320 Benvenuto Cellini Edited by Hugh Macdonald...
Origin of the Species
ANN BOND The clavichord Bernard Brauchli Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1998); xix, 384pp; L70. ISBN 0 521 63067 3. There has long been a lack of a good monograph on the clavichord in English (has the historical English preference for virginals and spinet...
Paying Pity's Price?
ARNOLD WHITTALL Wagner: Parsifal English National Opera London Coliseum, 17 February On the one hand, instability and restlessness: on the other resolution and rootedness. If we characterise the Wagner paradigm in this way, we can easily proceed to the...
Pushkin and Music: A Poet's Echoes
THIS YEAR marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Russia's greatest poet, Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin, who was born in Moscow on 26 May [6 June new style] 1799. As may be imagined, it is an event which is being celebrated throughout the world in...
Robin Orr at 90: Age of Gold
THERE AREN'T many composers or even professors of music - let alone chairmen of opera companies - of whom one could say they have charm. Robin Orr is the exception: he has it in abundance. Of this, he himself may not be wholly aware but he has certainly...
Shades of Grey
The Cambridge companion to the piano Edited by David Rowland Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1998); xiv, 244pp; 45 / 14.95 pbk. ISBN 0 52147470 1 / 0 52147986 X. The twelfth and most recent of the Cambridge Companions (to instruments and their literature as...
Snatches of Memory
Alma Mahler-Werfel: diaries 1898-1902 Selected & translated by Antony Beaumont Faber Fr Faber (London, 1998); xix, 494pp; L25. ISBN 0 571 19340 4. My life with Janacek: the memoirs of Zdenka Janackova Edited Sz translated by John Tyrrell Faber &...
So French
French masters of the organ Michael Murray Yale UP (New Haven Er London, 1998); 245pp; 20. ISBN 0 300 072910. Decadent enchantments: the revival of Gregorian Chant at Solesmes Katherine Bergeron University of California Press (Berkeley lir Los Angeles,...
Vox Pop
Vocal authority: singing style and ideology John Potter Cambridge UP (Cambridge, 1998); xvi, 217pp; 35. ISBN 0 52156356 9. Like many other valuable academic publications, this one originated in the author's personal need - urgent inclination at any rate...