Hélène Grimaud The Messenger Deutsche Grammophon French pianist Hélène Grimaud is a risk-taker and a concept-maker, creating albums that pull from different styles and eras, and push into place new understandings, new beginnings even – here, with The Messenger she seeks to compare and contrast Mozart with the contemporary classical composer Valentyn Silvestrov.
Ken Ara, Piano – Mozart: Rondo D-Dur – Klaviersonaten B-Dur, KV 570 – A-Dur, KV 331 – Fantasie D-Moll (1972) I’m always curious to look through the chuck-out bins for classical music – but it’s so often utterly fruitless. This one though? This was a good score! Solo piano – I always feel like that’s […]
Mozart: Private Collection (1977) Was having a wee ramble with my father-in-law just the other night about how Mozart really was the great pop-song melody writer even before we had “pop songs” – and that, in fact, that was exactly why I got hooked on Mr Wolfgang Amadeus. A book or two and a movie […]
I’m usually on RNZ once a month to have a chat about some new albums. But the other day I got the call up to present a Music Feature for the Afternoons show. The topic was Music Feuds – and so I discussed The Beatles/Yoko Ono, Simon & Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye’s divorce from Anna Gordy […]
I’m going to tell you a bit about my background with classical music; some of my early touchstones, how I educated myself and explored options, and some of the favourite pieces I’ve collected and my go-to composers. That sort of thing. And then you can do the same. Seem reasonable? Otherwise we’ll be here all […]
Mr Dompling’s Secret was one of my favourite books when I was young. It told the story of a classical cellist, keen on Mozart. It had themes of overcoming fears, of being comfortable in your own skin – and of course there was music. Lots of music. It was my introduction to classical music – […]
V/A, Beethoven (?) This giant box-set of Beethoven on vinyl has been with me for about 20 years now…I started listening to classical music at the end of my high-school years, I was convinced it might help me with study. It didn’t. But I did get hooked onto all those key composers: the big names […]
Bobby McFerrin, The Voice (1984) I keep thinking about that line from This Is Spinal Tap – “it’s a fine line between stupid and clever” – whenever I think of Bobby McFerrin’s music. Most remember him as the one-hit-wonder of Don’t Worry Be Happy but I saw this video performance of him – a concert […]