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Showing posts from January 27, 2019

The Pocket Paderewski : The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill

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In light of the enthusiasm for the new fashion exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams which opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London on 2 February 2019, I thought I might mention my recently published biography of the concert pianist and Chopin 'specialist' Edward Cahill (1875-1975). Also relevant is the recently published and highly popular and entertaining  The Quest for Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy (Hugo Vickers ed.)  Hodder London 2018. Both the exhibition and the book deal with the very same society in which my great uncle moved as a celebrity. As Pope-Hennessy  points out, a largely forgotten generation today. Apart from time spent giving the first recitals of Chopin  in 1919  to Maharajahs in India and the King of Siam, he gave recitals in London, Paris and the French Riviera during its golden age. Under the patronage of his supporter Dame Nellie Melba, for a long period of his life he befriended and entertained members of this same dazz

Yu Kosuge / Paul Goodwin - National Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw - 25 January 2019

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Snow was falling in Warsaw, the night punishingly cold. The ground was covered in ice and slush thoughtlessly thrown up from the tarmac by black Mercedes speeding past. How pleasant to arrive for a concert with time in hand and able to look forward to a warming cup of green tea and the best  Napoleonka  in the world. This traditional indulgence of mine consists of a small square of deliciously thick Polish vanilla custard cream sandwiched between two layers of  puff pastry and dusted with icing sugar. Also known as a  krem√≥wka,  the combination with green tea is a perfect relaxed emotional preparation for a winter concert in the warm Philharmonic concert hall. I have given in to this sensual, indulgent ritual for years. The concert was an attractive programme of classical symphonies and a Mozart piano concerto with the the gifted and acclaimed young Japanese pianist Yu Kosuge. She has played with all the major Japanese orchestras and worked with leading European orchestras under gre