Features

Alfred Hitchcock with a sleepy Bernard Herrmann (Paramount/The Kobal Collection)
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When Hitchcock met Herrmann

This year the Sight and Sound film journal selected Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) as the best film of all time, knocking Citizen Kane (1941) that favourite of 50 years standing into second place. Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) was the composer of both titles as well as two films further down that list, Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1975) and another Hitchcock title, Psycho (1960).

Tori Amos uses the Metropole Orchestra's full forces in 'Gold Dust'
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Tori Amos embraces the orchestra for ‘Gold Dust’

To Tori Amos , her songs aren’t just songs – they’re women. ‘They’ve only ever been women,’ she says emphatically. ‘Some of them might have different sexual preferences, but they’re always female.’ Not only that, you wouldn’t want to mess with any of them: ‘Mutiny will happen if I choose a favourite,’ Amos says, in all seriousness.

Vladimir Horowitz c1950 (Photo: Tully Potter Collection
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Vladimir Horowitz remembered – on his birthday

Vladimir Horowitz was a unique presence, one which set the musical and, more particularly, the pianistic world ablaze. Composers and performers, creators and recreators alike vied to define his quality and status and usually ended lost in a sea of hyperbole. For Rachmaninov he was, quite simply, the 'only player in the world of my Third Concerto'. Prokofiev listened in amazement to Horowitz's recording of his Seventh Sonata, and Samuel Barber reeled under the impact of Horowitz's 'first' performance of his Sonata.

Sony announces the arrival of CD
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The CD is 30 years old today

Today’s a significant anniversary in the history of recorded music, writes Andrew Everard : the world's first CD players were announced in Japan on October 1st, 1982. And despite the rearguard action fought by some record companies – and some audiophile reviewers who went into full, barricade-manning denial at the time – it’s still with us as a highly successful medium for recorded music, the antecedent of modern DVDs and Blu-rays and the precursor of today’s digital download trend.

Adrian Boult's recording of Butterworth's Shropshire Lad Rhapsody
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George Butterworth

George Butterworth famously claimed ‘I’m not a musician, I’m a professional dancer,’ and commented that dancing gave him more artistic fulfilment than anything else. In 1911, Butterworth’s passion led him to become a co-founder of the English Folk Dance Society along with Cecil Sharp, who was 16 years his senior, and the sisters Helen and Maud Karpeles. The society’s purpose was to preserve and promote English folk dances in their original forms, and in 1912 and 1913 Butterworth devoted much of his time to collecting morris and sword dances with Sharp.

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