Features

Glyndebourne's Hänsel und Gretel
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Children in Opera: Glyndebourne's Hänsel und Gretel

This week Hänsel und Gretel returns to Glyndebourne. Boasting a dizzying array of confectionary, the requisite child-eating crone and, of course, a singing and dancing children’s chorus, Laurent Pelly’s 2008 staging speaks to the kid in all of us. And it has me thinking about that unique cocktail: children and opera.

Klaus Tennstedt (Photo: Lauterwasser)
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Klaus Tennstedt: captured in concert

For a precious handful of concert seasons, Klaus Tennstedt (1926-1998) dominated the orchestral scene on London’s South Bank. As principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra between 1983 and 1987 he built up a loyal following and his performances of the so-called “core” Austro-German repertoire were widely regarded as yardsticks.

Eric Whitacre: virtual choir, real talent (photo: UM Imaging Serices)
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Choir Master

Feature by James McCarthy What is the special appeal of Eric Whitacre’s music? Since 1991 the American composer has been writing choral works that have proved immensely popular in the US. But his recent online project, the Virtual Choir , has taken that popularity beyond the choral world and, indeed, American shores.

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Important update to Gramophone.co.uk

A number of you will have experienced problems registering or logging in to Gramophone.co.uk recently. We've now fixed this, but it has changed the way you log in to the site. Instead of typing in your email address to the first box, you now need to type in your username (which, importantly, is case sensitive). If you have recently had problems validating a new account, then please 'request a new password' - you'll be sent a mail at the address you registered with, which will allow you to login and reset your password once more.

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Harry Christophers and the Handel & Haydn Society (photo: Stu Rosner 2007)
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Boston's oldest musical resident

Question: which is America’s oldest continuously active music institution? Clue: it’s not one of the most famous. It’s not even the most famous in its own city. Think of Boston and, in music terms, you think immediately of the glitzy symphony orchestra with its big-name music director James Levine, then of Tanglewood, the BSO’s famous summer festival home a little way outside of town. But did you know that the founding of that orchestra was inspired by the now comparatively little-known Handel & Haydn Society?

Music to manikins: a record store finds a new role
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The record shop – an endangered species

When did you first suspect that record shops might be sinking in the uncharted waters of digital downloads, online sales and the stack ‘em high-flog ‘em cheap attitude of supermarkets who, actually, couldn’t care less about music?

Pears in Britten's Alvis, 1970 (photo: Courtesy of the Britten Pears Foundation)
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Art and soul - the legacy of Peter Pears

Pears as a singer of Britten, that’s one thing; Pears as a singer is another. His association with Britten – so close that his voice seems to be written into the music composed for it – gives him a unique position among all the singers of his time and ours. In as far as there can be a definitive performance of anything, his performances of the songs and in the operas and other large-scale works by Britten are what the composer wanted. There are other ways of singing Britten, but this is “his” voice, and it sounds infallibly right.

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