The perfect book

24 July 2010 12:00 am

Like Nelson Eddy, Devon Malcolm and the composer Havergal Brian, the critic Greil Marcus has one of those names that is all the more memorable for being obviously the wrong way round.

The sound of eternity

30 June 2010 12:00 am

The Ninth is not necessarily Beethoven’s greatest symphony.

High priest of bop

23 June 2010 12:00 am

In the Rainbow Grill in New York one evening in 1971, according to Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Southern California, Duke Ellington  halted his band in mid-flow and announced: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the baddest left hand in the history of jazz just walked into the room, Mr Thelonious Monk.'

Fate, death and Alma

23 June 2010 12:00 am

Gustav Mahler is the most subjective, the most autobiographical, of composers.

Kurt’s my man

28 April 2010 12:00 am

This week I am handing over the column to David Vick, who has contributed what I regard as the best (so far) of all the Top Tens I have received.

No example to follow

3 February 2010 12:00 am

Ahundred years ago, a character in a novel who was keen on music would, like E.M. Forster’s Lucy Honeychurch or Leo- nard Bast, be as apt to stumble through a piece at the piano as listen to it at a concert.

Mum, dad and the music

21 October 2009 12:00 am

Bob Geldof is quoted on the cover of Gary Kemp’s autobiography with untypical succinctness: ‘Great bloke, great band, great book’.

The ex factor

9 September 2009 12:00 am

At first, the plot of Nick Hornby’s new novel, Juliet, Naked, seems too close to that of his first novel, High Fidelity (1995).

Sounding a different note

20 May 2009 12:00 am

Midsummer Nights, edited by Jeanette Winterson

One out of five

6 May 2009 12:00 am

Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Antidote to Berio

15 April 2009 12:00 am

I was going to devote this column to the wilder shores of music, by which I mean not the latest hip sounds zooming up the charts but the dire drivel modernist composers, writing for orchestras and chamber ensembles, have seen fit to inflict on their audiences for many decades now.

Mighty Bach

15 April 2009 12:00 am


Pete suggests

18 December 2008 3:26 am

Humph swings

3 December 2008 12:00 am

Last Chorus: An Autobiographical Medley, by Humphrey Lyttleton

But where is Colonel Blimp?

3 December 2008 12:00 am

The Triumph of Music, by Tim Blanning

Enchanted forest

26 November 2008 12:00 am

Hänsel und Gretel
Royal Academy of Music Jenufa
Birmingham Hippodrome Pelléas et Mélisande
Sadler’s Wells

Michael Henderson suggests

27 September 2008 12:00 am

Theatre  It promises to be a wonderful autumn for London’s theatre-goers. Ivanov, Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Chekhov’s early play, has…

Clemency suggests

14 July 2008 5:23 pm

FestivalsIn only its third year, the laid-back Latitude (17-20 July) has gained a reputation for being one of Britain’s finest…

Liz suggests

7 June 2008 12:00 am

MUSIC Proms: Get booking now for this two-month season (18 July to 13 September). Highlights include the Berliner Philharmoniker with…

Pete suggests

7 May 2008 2:29 am

BOOKS If you’re looking to keep up-to-speed with all things Web 2.0, then you could do worse than read Clay…

Matthew suggests

1 April 2008 5:09 pm

THEATRE I can strongly recommend God of Carnage, the new play by Yasmina Reza, which tracks the descent into madness…

Clemency suggests

10 March 2008 5:33 pm

FILM One of the most remarkable things about Africa is how rare it is to see Africans cry. You meet…

Pete suggests

29 February 2008 12:34 pm

BOOK I’m just coming to the end of The Last Titan: A Life of Theodore Dreiser – Jerome Loving’s critical…

And Another Thing

13 February 2008 12:00 am

How one extraordinary talent may be the key to genius

Clemency Suggests

14 December 2007 5:44 pm

It seems bizarre to me that book shopping at this time of year should be about negotiating your way through…