I'm sitting at a cafe in a suburb of Vienna with an elderly American called Walter Arlen - except his name isn't really Arlen but Aptowitzer, and he was born not in the USA but in a Viennese suburb much like this where his parents owned and ran a department store. Until it was taken away from them in 1938.
The Elgar Society has ensured Sir Edward Elgar's 1844 Broadwood square piano will be maintained and tuned for at least the next five years by...
When I sat with David Zinman in Zurich last September, chatting in the warm autumn sun and swatting away unseasonal wasps, what animated him most was the prospect of his forthcoming series of concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, under the banner 'The Modern Beethoven'. The NYPO’s music director Alan Gilbert, he told me, wants to ‘put another way of thinking into that orchestra’, by inviting guest artists with ‘not the usual view of the classics’.
I first heard Kathleen Ferrier from a choir-stall in Westminster Abbey in 1943. My memories of her work with the Bach Choir over the next ten years, together with a feeling that her achievements in the earlier half of her career are not always valued at their true worth by critics and record collectors, must be my excuse for adding to what has been written about her in these columns.
The death of Kathleen Ferrier has bereft music-lovers and her friends of a consummate artist and of a rich, lovable and warm personality. She rose from obscurity in an incredibly brief span of time and achieved an international reputation rarely accorded to English singers. For two years she well knew the nature of the painful illness from which she suffered, and she also knew that there was little hope of cure or recovery. But she was undismayed. The crisis came last February when she was appearing for the first time in the Orfeo of Gluck at Covent Garden.