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Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony

In my music class on the rise of the Symphony we studied this week Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” symphony – composed after a visit to that country by the German composer. Our tutor explained that Scotland exercised a powerful romantic appeal in the 19th century. This was because it [...]

November 26, 2021 // 0 Comments

Age and perception

I sometimes feel sorry for the Beatles. So great was their musical excellence, so all-pervading their impact upon 20th Century culture around the world, that (perhaps alongside Elvis Presley, whom of course did not write his own songs) they occupy such an exalted position in the public [...]

November 7, 2021 // 0 Comments

Just about anything goes

We all eventually succumb to the ‘sense’ that the world isn’t fair – after which life becomes largely a matter of how we cope with the knowledge … and the effects. I came to the realisation quite early. I was five or six years old at the time and taking part in my [...]

November 1, 2021 // 0 Comments

What’s in a tune?

The other night I awoke at 1.00am with that uncomfortable feeling that I would not be getting back to sleep for some time. I came across an archived Desert island Discs featuring as the Castaway Andrew Lloyd Webber. He has written more memorable melodies – including Memory – than most [...]

October 30, 2021 // 0 Comments

What’s worth keeping (and what isn’t)

In recent times I’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate my past personal history with some fascinating results. Nearly thirty years ago now my first wife died of cancer and – for a change of scenery – my kids, then quite young, and I moved some seven miles as the crow flies to a new home in [...]

May 9, 2021 // 0 Comments

The genesis of a song

The creative process of composing a song has always fascinated me. From Schubert to Sheehan some people can compose, most cannot. Some 50 years ago on a family holiday in Rhodes Greece I met the  successful songwriter Peter Callander. His most famous composition was The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde. [...]

April 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

Woke frustration

One aspect of contemporary arts which consistently irritates me is the random woke application. A good example of this was a programme I saw recently on Channel Four entitled The 100 Greatest Musicals. I enjoy such programmes for the clips from the musicals and input from film historians and [...]

January 12, 2021 // 0 Comments

New Year’s Day Concert/Vienna Philarmonic

Yesterday I wrote of an institution little known in this country, Dinner for One.   Today I write of a concert known throughout the world, the traditional one of the Vienna Philharmonic on New Years Day, normally held at the Schoenbrunn Palace but this year in their concert hall. Tickets are gold [...]

January 2, 2021 // 0 Comments

Spotted on the internet

As we reach the silly stage of the festive season, here are some items of potential interest to regular Rusters that I came across during my overnight tour of the newspaper websites: SIR PETER JACKSON PROVIDES AND UPDATE ON FORTHCOMING BEATLES DOCUMENTARY Following on from his highly-acclaimed 2018 [...]

December 22, 2020 // 0 Comments

The day I finally got “The Boss”

This is another in my occasional series of musical items I have either discovered or returned to in the period since the Covid-19 pandemic began its tiresome journey around the world. Bruce Springsteen needs no introduction – he’s one of the USA’s all-time biggest musical icons and I’m not [...]

August 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

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