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Articles by Michael Stuart

About Michael Stuart

After university, Michael spent twelve years working for MELODY MAKER before going freelance. He claims to keep doing it because it is all he knows. More Posts

From there to where?

As I contemplated this post earlier this morning I considered beginning it with “Some Rusters may remember Saint and Greavsie …” because I wanted to reference the catch-phrase of Jimmy Greaves (“It’s a funny old game …”) in the context of my intended theme-for-the-day of Life being [...]

March 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

Covert Cornwall

I cannot be totally sure but I believe I heard the folk group A Fisherman’s Friend sing their sea shanties at the little quayside of Fowey South Cornwall some 6 years ago. I say I cannot be sure as, although I videoed the performance, it does not entirely marry with those of the folk group based [...]

March 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

Wagner and somnabulance

Yesterday in our opera class my neighbour fell asleep as we listened to Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. I immediately thought of the judge censured for falling asleep at court. Of course there is a world of difference between sleeping on duty and sleeping in a class. In both cases though it [...]

February 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

Richard Wagner

Yesterday and for the next three weeks we are studying the life and works of Richard Wagner in our opera class. As our tutor correctly opined no one divides people more than Wagner. The class was asked to give its views, some admired his operatic prowess, others were intimidated by it. I said I was [...]

January 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Back to term, part two

I too went back to the same learning centre as Alice for an opera course. Of all the musical arts I came to opera the latest. I was put off by its rich corporate image – an opera bore is the worst bore of all – and there seemed little ground between those that are passionate and those [...]

January 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

Stranger on the Shore

It’s funny how once you get a tune in your head you cannot readily dispel it. Yesterday being an unexpectedly clear and sunny day I took a long stroll by the sea. Not altogether unlinked, the instrumental Stranger on the Shore by the clarinetist Acker Bilk lodged in my brain. On the Rust we [...]

December 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

“It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”

Whether one likes or loathes Bob Dylan and his music, there is no escaping the fact that he will go down in history as one of the greatest and most influential figures in popular music during the 20th Century – and quite possibly ever. It might be said that the mark of a great musician and [...]

December 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

Time for reflection

No apologies today as I return to a what is commonly known as The White Album, a classic and often under-rated Beatles offering recently in the news for being re-released in an anthology version. Here’s a link to a piece by David Lister, setting the album in its historical context as a [...]

November 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

A musical milestone remembered

As a fiftieth anniversary ‘remastered’ anthology edition of the flawed but brilliant Beatles’ White Album is being issued accompanied by with all sorts of analysis, out-takes and different demo versions – I cannot help but reveal myself as owning an original issue of it [...]

November 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

Wigmore Hall

Last night I was invited to a recital at Wigmore Hall by the violinist James Ehnes and the pianist Andrew Armstrong. They played 4 violin sonatas by Robert Schumann, Maurice Ravel, Johannes Brahms and John Conigliano. The Wigmore Hall with its excellent acoustics is a celebrated venue for chamber [...]

September 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

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