Music of the Skull: Observations of his Mind

I continue my journey of getting to know the music of André Tchaikowsky – and therefore indirectly the man behind it. The post-modernist sound world from which he fashioned his own musical language does not seem to only follow the group as it were, but thinking up and rethinking his own ideas. Even though his music shows influences of composers …

Yorick’s Dream – To Be or Not To Be…

It has been quite some time since I had last written a blog post. After my stint at the Edinburgh Festival with Between Empires I dashed off to South Africa to coach some wonderful singers at the University of Pretoria as well as the Tshwane University Technicon. A weekend away in the Maluti Mountains was a golden opportunity for my sister and …

David and the Bird

When David heard that Absalom was slainHe went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, and thus he said: my son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee! II Samuel 18:33 As part of the Lewisham Choral Society’s concert programme for 6 July in Cadogan Hall is Eric Whitacre’s setting of the above text …

Hommages revisted

Having acquainted myself with some of Australian composer John Carmichael’s works last year I decided to included three solos from his Hommages for solo piano in the upcoming performance in Cadogan Hall this coming Saturday. I previously wrote about having met John to play his compositions to him before my performance in South Africa last September. I wanted to get …

When Roses Bloom

Recently I was asked by Leeds Lieder+ to provide some programme notes for the recital by the Kathleen Ferrier Competition Winner Recital. One of the sets of songs to be performed by Natalya Romaniw and Elizabeth Rossiter in Leeds on 6 June 2013 will be Edvard Grieg’s Sechs Lieder, op. 48. At the end I include a recent performance by the …

Painted in Honey

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Les Plaisirs du Bal Following the death of the Louis XIV of France (Le Roi-Soleil – The Sun King) aristocracy abandoned the grandeur of Versailles for the intimacy of the townhouses of Paris. In this more relaxed environment, the aristocratic revellers could flirt and play, and act out scenes of the commedia dell’arte. In its essence commedia dell’arte creates …

Would you climb up a lamp post?

I recently stumbled across a video clip that has stayed with me since. An unsuspecting public in Sabadell, Spain is going about their own business. What seems to be yet another street musician with a double bass and a “tip” hat turns into an ensuing spectacle that makes it a heartwarming and exciting experience. Watch this exciting performance now!  The …

Of Pomegranates and Nightingales

Nestled Sounds  When I was in primary school I learnt the name of a piano suite, which sounded exotic, conjuring up otherworldly sounds and images. More so the composer’s name reminded me of the Afrikaans word for pomegranate, a colour and fruit I have always marvelled at. My piano teacher, Dr. Johan Cromhout, introduced me to Granados’ piano suite Goyescas …