Monthly Archives: May 2011

Venice and Naples – optional excursions

‘Have you ever been to Venice? Have you ever glided on the sleepy waters in a black gondola down the length of the Grand Canal or along the banks of the Giudecca?… Have you seen the moon cast its pale … Continue reading

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Abandon hope , all ye who enter here – unless your octaves are up to speed…

Liszt’s ‘Dante Sonata’, Après une lecture de Dante, takes its title from the poem by Victor Hugo, but its subject matter from Dante’s La Divina Commedia, in which Dante and Virgil travel through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. Liszt started composing it … Continue reading

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Cambridge Union Debate -This House believes that classical music is irrelevant to today’s youth.

Thank you, Radio 4 Today programme, for mentioning this event  this morning, and to BBC 1 News in the East for the pre-debate interview with Kissy Sell Out and Stephen Fry. When did the ‘classical music debate’ last get such national publicity?! Breakfast on Radio … Continue reading

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Music for which you’d climb down the ladder

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a piece of music? Something that made you abandon what you were doing to listen, or stay in the car after you’d reached your destination in order to hear the end of … Continue reading

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Liszt played in Ipswich? Yes – and my two recitals there this week

Liszt’s travels in Britain in 1840-1841 were extensive. He made four visits during that time, including two extensive tours, organised by an impresario, Louis Lavenu. Joining Liszt on the first tour were a motley crew of other musicians and singers, including … Continue reading

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Stanford in 51

Room 51(now 116) in the Royal College of Music contains a Steinway, a table, some chairs, a cupboard and a wardrobe. The fireplace is covered over with a wooden panel, painted blue like the walls; the windows overlook the roof … Continue reading

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