Monthly Archives: March 2013

Warlock, the fiddler and the indefinite article

A recent short exchange of comments with kurtnemes concerning Peter Warlock, got me to thinking about the poetry of W B Yeats, and song settings thereof. Since I lived in Ireland for much of my youth, Yeats has always meant

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Classical music, Popular music

I wanna hear Caravan with a drum solo

Ten years ago, I was in Nazareth (the city that is, not the rock group), and found myself with a group of people (my colleagues from London plus our hosts in Nazareth) in a very plush, spacious and comfortable bar

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Popular music

Kodály’s orchestral gem

Some years ago, unable to sleep in the early hours of the morning, I switched on BBC Radio 3 in the hope of finding something soothing and soporific. The music on offer that night, was neither. It was, however, revelatory. 

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Classical music

The Songs of Joni Mitchell

For more than three decades it has been customary, if not quite obligatory, for pop music journalists to compare all blossoming female singer-songwriters  to Joni Mitchell.  Perhaps it is an indication of Mitchell’s greatness that so few songstresses seem able

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Popular music

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet

It is perhaps unsurprising that one of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s early champions should have been Elgar. Taylor had a way with a tune, and not a few of his tunes sound distinctly Elgarian. In a letter to his publisher, August Jaeger,

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Classical music

Music for string orchestra

The string orchestra has been peculiarly well-served by composers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  Composers who take easily to the large-scale orchestral palate somehow find another facet to their creative personalities when approaching these slimmed-down forces. Take, for example,

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Classical music