Special arrangements have been made

NOW AVAILABLE As many of you know, all of us at the English Symphony Orchestra are busy gearing up for our 2015 Elgar Pilgrimage from the 7th-10th of October, with concerts in some of Elgar’s favourite haunts: Hereford, Malvern and Birmingham (on October 9th and 10th) One of the highlights of the festival promises to […]

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Req Mike Brown

Thoughts on the Saint Louis Requiem Protest

Via the Saint Louis Dispatch “Michael Brown protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday night, causing a brief delay in the performance at Powell Symphony Hall. The orchestra and chorus were preparing to perform Johannes Brahms’ Requiem just after intermission when two audience members in the middle aisle on the main floor […]

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CD Review- Fiona Maddocks, The Observer on Brahms and Schoenberg with Epomeo and Swan

“Few, though, will have heard this nonet version of the Serenade, reconstructed by Alan Boustead in the 1980s, for strings, flute, two clarinets, bassoon and horn. In this live recording a slightly chubby ugly duckling in its orchestral format suddenly achieves lightness and clarity. Thanks to this aptly named Stratford-based ensemble, it has turned into […]

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CD Review- Classical CD Reviews on Verklarte Nacht and Brahms Serenade no. 1

The textures are appropriately bass heavy, and the two cellos dominate, but every line comes through with exceptional clarity. This gives the piece a new profile, with the complex but now clear counterpoint driving the music and leading the ear through the harmonic web. There is atmosphere here too, and much warmth in the ensemble’s sound, but that is never at the expense of the individual lines..

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What’s in a name? Depends on whether it’s the right name.

Reformist musicologists with a politically-correct worldview might find themselves raising an eyebrow at this week’s Surrey Mozart Players concert, where, with blatant disregard for all the latest scholarship, the orchestra and I will be playing Johannes Brahms’ “Variations on a theme of Josef Haydn.” We will not be playing the now-ubiquitous “Variations on the Saint Anthony Chorale.” […]

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Another perspective- KW chats with Jonathan Pasternack about Brahms Symphony no. 1

It’s Brahms 1 week here at Vftp, and to bring in some fresh perspective, I thought I would get some thoughts on the work from another Brahmsian, my friend, the American conductor, Jonathan Pasternack. Jonathan and I met when we were both based in Oregon- he as Assistant Conductor to the Oregon Symphony, me as […]

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Did Brahms Kill Sibelius? (Brahms 1 meets Sibelius 7)

    Many knowledgeable musicians consider Schoenberg to be the musical successor of Brahms. Schoenberg himself thought so too. (You’ve got to hand it to Schoenberg- he managed to position himself pretty convincingly as the heir to both Brahms and Mahler, grabbing a chunk of Wagner’s legacy for good measure). Of course the comparison is […]

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UPCOMING CONCERT- Surrey Hills Music Festival, Benedetti, Elschenbroich, Woods

Surrey Hills Music Festival June 9-11, 2011 Final Gala Concert 7:30 PM Saturday, June 11, 2011 Mairlot Hall St Teresa’s School, RH5 6ST Surrey Mozart Players Kenneth Woods, Music Director     PROGRAMME Saint-Saen’s Cello Concerto no. 1 Leonard Elschenbroich- cello Glazunov’s Violin Concerto Nicola Benedetti, violin INTERVAL Brahms Symphony No.1.   Nicola Benedetti- violin “Benedetti […]

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In praise of the imperfect

Perfection It’s a powerful word. Can it apply to music? Should it? Even when it does, is it the point? Is perfect music inherently better music? I don’t think a performance can be perfect. Technically flawless- yes. Magical- yes. Perfect? No. All too often, the price for technical accuracy is too high- a Coke can […]

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