Music

Here comes the son: Baxter Dury

Baxter Dury on London going to the dogs, his acclaimed new album and his dad

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Michael Hann talks to Baxter Dury about his acclaimed new album – and the challenges of being Ian Dury’s son

The Chinese classical-music revolution up close

25 November 2017 9:00 am

On a bullet train out of Shanghai, a nuclear family catches my eye. The father, weather-beaten and wearing an ill-fitting…

Embarrassing – but electrifying: Bernstein 100 reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

‘There is something enviable about the utter lack of inhibition with which Leonard Bernstein carries on,’ wrote the critic of…

Two great pianists – but who was the headstrong youngster and who was the veteran?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune begins with a sigh: a long, languorous exhalation played on the lower notes of…

Partying like it’s 1899: two lieder recitals reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

If a symphony is, as Mahler famously put it, ‘like the world’, then songs and lieder are like seeing that…

Was Richard Strauss the greatest film composer that never was?

21 October 2017 9:00 am

An opera without singers, a Strauss orchestra of just 16, and an early music ensemble playing Mahler: welcome to the…

I’d rather miss a season of Proms than the London Piano Festival

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If two concert pianists are performing a work written for two grand pianos, there are two ways you can position…

Painted more shades of grey than a Farrow & Ball catalogue: The Judas Passion reviewed

7 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven?’ screams the publicity for The Judas Passion, transforming a Biblical drama into a…

Simon Rattle’s Rite of Spring was the best I’ve ever heard

30 September 2017 9:00 am

I was going to start with a little moan. About the shouty marketing, the digital diarrhoea, the sycophantic drivel, which,…

Forget Bowie – our times are ripe for Black Sabbath’s worldview

30 September 2017 9:00 am

To get a reminder of how strange the 1970s were, there’s no need to plough through lengthy social and political…

Simon Rattle’s job title has less clout than a viscountcy

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Much fuss has been made of the title given to Sir Simon Rattle on arrival at the London Symphony Orchestra.…

The music snobby London critics love to ignore

16 September 2017 9:00 am

A fortnight ago, the debut album by a young British guitar band entered the chart at No. 6. You might…

Could the new head of the Berlin Phil be a game-changer?

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Two summers ago, the BBC were offered a Proms visit by the Bavarian State Orchestra with its music director, Kirill…

The BBC Proms broadcast a piece of gloriously subversive new music – without realising it

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem, performed at the Proms on Sunday, isn’t about Brexit. The composer had to make this…

Haydn would surely have approved of Simon Rattle’s repackaging of the symphonies

22 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!’ wrote Elgar, quoting Shelley, at the top of his Second Symphony. He should…

I had to watch through my fingers: Aurora Orchestra play Brahms One from memory

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Playing in an orchestra that disintegrates mid-concert is not an experience you forget. One moment everything’s motoring along nicely. Suddenly…

Glam is back

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Late on the Friday afternoon of The Great Escape — the annual three-day event for which the London music industry…

Flower power: the members of Geranium Pond

The legacy of Sgt. Pepper that’s really worth celebrating is toytown pop – not prog rock

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Pop’s counterfactuals tend to be built on questioning mortality: what if Jimi Hendrix had lived? Or Buddy Holly? Rarely does…

Harpsichordists at war

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Harpsichordists are supposed to make love, not war: Sir Thomas Beecham famously compared the sound they make to ‘two skeletons…

How the KGB infiltrated classical music

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Spare a thought for Emil Gilels, still revered today by Russians as the foremost pianist of the Soviet era. The…

The finest Wotan around: Latvian bass-baritone Egils Silins

I still have no idea what the LPO’s Belief and Beyond Belief season was about

6 May 2017 9:00 am

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ season is drawing to a close, without making it in any degree…

I didn't think playing all Scriabin's piano sonatas in one afternoon was possible

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Just before Peter Donohoe played the last of Alexander Scriabin’s ten piano sonatas at the Guildhall’s Milton Court on Sunday,…

This is how you reimagine Bach’s St John Passion

22 April 2017 9:00 am

‘The dripping blood our only drink/ The bloody flesh our only food…/ Again, in spite of that, we call this…

London’s orchestral scene is dead. Time to change the music – and some CEOs

15 April 2017 9:00 am

For much of the past half-century, London has been the world’s orchestral capital. Not always in quality, but numerically without…

Meet the founder of the Boring Music Society (and possible neglected genius)

1 April 2017 9:00 am

It’s always promising when the orchestra won’t fit on the stage. For the UK première, some 97 years after it…