Pianists

After the rough and tumble of full orchestral Berlioz and Wagner, I thought it was about time for some piano music.  So here are two of my favourite living pianists with a mind-blowing encore thrown in. The Leeds International Piano Competition has enriched our lives by “finding” a succession of truly great pianists.  Even […]

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Fantasias

I have three Fantasias, two films and an encore, which acts as a brief apology to those who think I should have included something from Toutes Les Matins du Monde last week.  And I include something to give us all hope for the return of live music soon soon soon. The word Fantasia itself […]

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Maestros

John Adams wrote his orchestral fanfare “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” in 1986.  His description of it was suitably postminimalist: “You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn’t?”   For me, it conjures up a jalopy ride in Kansas or some such […]

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Brief Encounter

Lawyers love Brief Encounter for all the right reasons, of course.  But also for the magical passage where Trevor Howard’s cut-glass voice lists the appalling diseases that shaped 20th and 21st century jurisprudence on causation: pneumoconiosis, anthracosis, chalicosis and silicosis.  Mesothelioma was not mentioned as it was not identified for another 20 years.  There is nothing […]

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