Music

Confessions of an illegal downloader

24 January 2015 9:00 am

I’ve never been into shoplifting, though I once had a friend who was. And, no, before you ask, I’m not…

His lyrics are hopeless, his covers are catastrophic, yet I still love Bryan Ferry

10 January 2015 9:00 am

There were two new albums I wanted for Christmas — the Bryan Ferry and the Pink Floyd — and to…

Does anyone have the balls to bring back castrati?

3 January 2015 9:00 am

One of the most complete bars to the authentic performance of both baroque opera and some renaissance polyphony is the…

Why we love hating the music we hate as much as we love loving the music we love

13 December 2014 9:00 am

It’s all gone now, of course. Not just the magazines themselves, but the legendary bile of old-school rock criticism

Why Church music is back in vogue - and squeaky-gate music has had its day

6 December 2014 9:00 am

One of the growth areas of contemporary music is in setting sacred texts. It might be thought that I had…

Is this 65-year-old British pianist the next big thing in classical music?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Earlier this month the Wigmore Hall was sold out for a Schubert recital by a concert pianist whose only solo…

Is there anything a gospel choir can't cheer up?

8 November 2014 9:00 am

‘I’m starting to think that all of the world’s major problems can be solved with either oyster sauce or backing…

Peter Phillips is mugged by a gang of Praetorius-loving six-year-old girls in China

1 November 2014 9:00 am

We have read about the remarkable opening up of China in recent years: how many people live there and how…

The drunk conductor who ruined Rachmaninov’s career

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Would musical history have turned out differently if Alexander Glazunov hadn’t been smashed out of his wits when he conducted…

Why Yes are still the funniest rock band in the world (although Radiohead are catching up)

11 October 2014 9:00 am

My favourite comment about the Scottish referendum came from the eminent comedian and novelist David Baddiel. ‘What if Yes wins,…

Consummately psychotic: Mark E. Smith of The Fall

If the idea of disturbing kraut-punk sung by a troll appeals, you'll love The Fall

4 October 2014 9:00 am

I had a fair idea of what I was in for when I went to see The Fall at Brixton’s…

Christopher Hogwood: the absolutist of early music

4 October 2014 9:00 am

The death of Christopher Hogwood has deprived the world of the most successful exponent of early music there has ever…

Wedding music lives or dies at the hands of the organist

20 September 2014 9:00 am

A few weeks ago I was at the perfect wedding. My young friend Will Heaven, a comment editor at the…

The secret to a long and happy pop career? Don’t die

13 September 2014 9:00 am

As everybody in the world except me seems to have seen Kate Bush’s live shows — against all apparent arithmetical…

Enough ‘themes’ at festivals

6 September 2014 9:00 am

One might have expected the streets of Edinburgh, especially at festival time, to bear some evidence of the political struggle…

Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo review: Still crazy after all these years

30 August 2014 9:00 am

It says something about Kate Bush’s standing in the music world that, perhaps uniquely in the history of long-awaited live…

‘Ashtray’ Annie Fischer was a piano giant. Why didn’t more people realise this?

23 August 2014 9:00 am

This year marks the centenary of a pianist whom London orchestral players nicknamed ‘Ashtray Annie’. Only at the keyboard did…

My daughter wants to know why you haven't heard of the Jayhawks

9 August 2014 9:00 am

One of the many delightful aspects of having children is that you can get them to do things you are…

Was Elgar’s The Kingdom an attempt to write a religious Ring Cycle?

2 August 2014 9:00 am

To go from the second day of the England v. India Test match at Lord’s to the Albert Hall for…

Is Handel’s Messiah anti-Semitic?

19 July 2014 9:00 am

The Hallelujah Chorus crops up in the most unexpected places, says Michael Marissen in his new book about Handel’s Messiah.…

How do you like your pop: clean, dirty or downright soap-shy?

12 July 2014 9:00 am

I am still listening to the new Coldplay album, and liking it more and more, and not just because everyone…

Roger Wright's legacy at Radio Three – and his one big mistake

5 July 2014 9:00 am

Roger Wright’s precipitate departure from both Radio Three and the Proms came as a surprise. At first the news was…

A Glastonbury adventure with Led Zeppelin, Lana del Rey, drug dealers – and my son

5 July 2014 9:00 am

‘Charlie. E. Powder,’ said the friendly, helpful man working his way through the crowd during the mindblowing Friday-night headline set…

I think I've found the new Alfred Brendel

21 June 2014 8:00 am

Can you tell how intelligent a musician is by listening to him play? Last year I discovered a recording of…

Has any band of the past 20 years been as consistently irritating as Coldplay?

14 June 2014 8:00 am

It’s a long time, a very, very long time, since I bought a Coldplay album. Has any band of the…