Frank Bridge died 70 years ago as his country was coming close to defeat by Nazi Germany. It seems ironic that such a committed pacifist should die before the outcome of this second great conflict became known. Like many of the founding fathers of 20th-century music, including Bartók, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, Bridge began writing within the post-Romantic idiom. All these composers had an early style, which the public usually prefers, and then they moved towards a more exploratory idiom.
Otto Klemperer enjoyed a remarkable Indian Summer thanks to his work with the Philharmonia Orchestra – whose principal conductor he was from 1959 until his death in 1973 – and the numerous recordings they made together for EMI (including the Beethoven symphonies, piano concertos and Fidelio , Mozart and Wagner operas, and symphonies by the great composers including Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner and Schumann).
The first 35 years of the European Union Youth Orchestra will be celebrated in an exhibition of photographs opening in London tomorrow (Wednesday July 6)...
On this day in 1865, the French composer Albéric Magnard was born. He was a prolific composer, though he was little concerned with ensuring performances of his music during his life.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, a work that took 47 scholars seven years to translate from the Greek (for the New Testament) and from the Hebrew (for the Old). As a work of literature, the King James Bible stands on a par with the greatest works of the English language, and it has inspired millions of people down the ages, including numerous musicians. Ed Breen reflects on its remarkable power to draw extraordinarily powerful music from the composers who set it.
‘To have a letter printed in The Times is the duty of the distinguished and the ambition of the obscure.’ So wrote the late Bernard Levin. Falling decidedly into the latter category, I finally achieved my ambition with a letter about, of all things, an organist: Edwin Lemare.
The generation of composers born around 1450 used to be known as the ‘Josquin-generation’ after their most famous member, but in the last 20 years or so it has been recognised how many of them were creative personalities of quite comparable stature. This generation is significant too in that, for the first time, the number of truly first-rate composers whose fame has survived down to us can no longer be counted on the fingers of one hand: here is a group of musicians to match what Renaissance painting, sculpture and architecture have to offer.