Posts

Showing posts from April, 2022

Nicolas Angelich (14 December 1970 - 18 April 2022) - Such a great artistic, musical and pianistic loss .....

Image
Nicolas Angelich (14 December 1970 - 18 April 2022 )  (Photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot) Such a pitch black third week of April 2022 as the grim reaper gathered on the dark banks of the Styx the great musical artists  Radu Lupu, Nicolas Angelich and Harrison Birtwistle. I can only offer my review of Angelich playing Brahms as part of the Chopin i jego Europa F estival (Chopin and his Europe) 2012. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) 25 August 2012 - Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall - 19.00 Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor Op. 15 Nicholas Angelich (piano)  Sinfonia Varsovia - Jacek Kaspszyk What an embarrassment of Brahmsian riches - two of the greatest piano concertos ever written on the same evening performed by exceptional pianists. The Brahms House in Baden Baden visited on my recent research trip for a book I am engaged upon. It is the only original dwelling that survives associated with the composer. During her concert tours Clara Schumann discovered this beautiful resort and her presence

Concert Attendance and Reviews Suspended

Image
Ruins of the Mariupol Theatre, Ukraine after the deadly strike. Associated Press (AP) now estimate some 600 people died there when it was bombed (Reuters) Ruins of the 'House of Culture', Izyum, Donbas Region, Ukraine after missile strikes Inside the Mariupol Theatre, Ukraine after the deadly strike (Reuters) Depression with the human suffering and cultural losses in Ukraine continue unabated. Unfortunately I have also had Covid-19 for a couple of weeks (remember the pandemic?) and have not been able to attend concerts and write reviews since the extraordinary Actus Humanus Festival in Gdańsk this April. Inside the extraordinary (restored after WW II destruction)  Dwór Artusa,   Gdańsk where many of the  Actus Humanus Festival concerts take place. Let us hope the Italian offer to restore the Mariupol Theatre is taken up after this senseless Ukrainian conflagration ceases - but they cannot restore tragically and senselessly murdered lives * * * * * * * * * * Musical cu

ANZAC DAY 2022 - 107th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings - 25th April 1915 - 'A Viking at Gallipoli' - The Diaries of Captain Nikolai Theodor Svensen of A Company 15th Battalion (Australia)

Image
  I have always felt that the broad notion of 'allies betrayed' has bound Poles, Australians and New Zealanders together in spirit however complex and many-sided the actual historical truth.  The husband of my great-aunt Lillian was the eccentric Lieutenant Nikolai Theodore Svensen ('Theo' to the family). Lililan was  the sister of the subject of my recently completed biographical project, the forgotten Australian concert pianist Edward Cahill. She was also a fine pianist.   Originally from Norway (born in Larvik), Svensen emigrated to Australia and completed his schooling in Brisbane and became a survey draughtsman.  Major N.T. Svensen (his final rank) was an incredibly eccentric yet highly talented  gentleman . I use the word advisedly as he was descended from a distinguished Norwegian shipping and ship-building family who fell on hard times and emigrated to Australia when steamships supplanted sailing vessels.  He first served in the Boer War with the 1st Queensland

79th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 19th April - 16th May 1943

Image
And so the circles of brutality resume their merciless course….. Will humanity never change its self-destructive, murderous, imperial urges ? Collective narcissism of the most ruthless, paranoid and evil kind. Surely the grimmest of ironies today is that Zelenskyy is Jewish ….. Mariupol, Ukraine 2022 or Warsaw, Poland 1943 ? Early this morning lying in bed and feeling rather sorry for myself (I have contracted mild Covid-19 and had to truncate a holiday break). I was forced to return to Warsaw. I had attended two wonderful concerts in  Gdańsk   as part of the magnificent annual  Actus Humanus Festival  over Easter .  A sublime  performance of that great work  Leçons de ténèbres  by  François Couperin  - William Christie and Les Arts Florissantes. The following evening, the desperately moving perfection of   Lamentations   by Orlando di Lasso - Paul van Nevel and the Huelgas Ensemble. Oh and a quite extraordinary carillion Bach concert in the Old Ratusz. More on these later.  The perfor