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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

Still Standing

When self-posting our blogs to the Rust via the administrative website and – thereby ticking the ‘category’ boxes to tag our occasional offerings to ensure that regular readers and others become aware of them – we have one designated to ‘Lists’. Here’s a [...]

September 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

Food for thought

Two aspects of modern life that reoccur in most people’s reflections upon modern life are: Firstly, the various ways we acquire knowledge, keep in touch with what is happening around us and across the world and choose to spend those proportions of our free leisure (or non-working) time that are [...]

August 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) R.I.P.

What a singer, what an interpreter of other people’s songs! Since the news of her death hit the media yesterday I’ve been wallowing in the tributes coming in from all sides, listening to and/or watching some of her performances on YouTube and listening to the contributions of people who [...]

August 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

Some things never change

From time to time we all ponder the mysteries of mortality, the purpose of life and indeed what’s it all about, Alfie? Overnight I spotted this piece by John Lister using the occasion of Madonna reaching her 60th birthday to salute those female musicians/artistes past the first flush of youth [...]

August 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

Saul/Glyndebourne

Producing Handel’s oratorio Saul sets challenges but offers opportunities too. Like most oratorios, biblical music composed for rendition in a church or chapel, there was initially nothing more than the music so any director has total licence. There is no composer or operatic tradition on his/her [...]

August 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

Weimar Cabaret /The Barbican Theatre

In my last post I reviewed a nonogenerian still going strong (Burt Bacharach) and now an octogenarian Barry Humphries, still performing with aplomb. Born in Melbourne in 1934, law and philosophy graduate Humphries is something of a renaissance man. He starred in Oliver! as Fagin in the sixties but [...]

July 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

Walking on the spot

Most people will have heard Walking In Memphis, the 1991 multi-Grammy award song by American Marc Cohn, a 59 year old, twice divorced, singer-songwriter. I know I have, but until this week – my problem rather than anyone else’s, I admit – neither his name nor his connection to said ditty had [...]

July 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

Burt Bacharach in concert

Perhaps the most tellling thing about the legend that is Burt Bacharach is that aged 90 he is performing at all. I had expected that rather like another ageing maestro Otto Klemperer he would be going though the motions with some conducting but no over 2 hours he presented, played, sang and I was [...]

July 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

A soul legend rocks the Union Chapel

The Grade 1-listed Union Chapel in Islington/Highbury, built in the late 19th Century in Gothic-revival style, is both a working Congregationalist church and a charity drop-in centre but perhaps best well-known to irreligious bums like me as a corking-good live music venue. Somehow its combination [...]

July 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

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