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BBC Music Magazine

BBC Music Magazine

August 2021

BBC Music Magazine is a must for anyone with a passion for classical music. Classical music connoisseurs and new enthusiast alike will enjoy the fascinating features and reviews of over 120 new works in every issue. Please Note: Our digital edition does not include the cover mount items or supplements you would normally find with printed copies

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
Monthly
$11.84
$98.81
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
this month’s contributors

Jessica Duchen Author and journalist ‘My jealous cat tried to push over my computer. There I was, writing about other animals – musical ones! – while grinning broadly and googling “history of the glass harmonica”. All for the sake of Saint-Saëns.’ Page 26 Simon Broughton Writer and documentary maker ‘Nightingales are celebrated in folk myth as nature’s greatest musicians! Going to hear them with folk musician Sam Lee opens your ears not just to the birds, but to the forest and the nature of music itself.’ Page 50 Leah Broad Writer and academic ‘Ruth Gipps is such a fascinating composer that writing about her is a real pleasure. I’m delighted her music is having a renaissance and am looking forward to hearing it performed at this year’s BBC Proms!’ Page 56…

1 min
welcome

Working on this month’s issue involved a visit to the back of the garage to hunt through my dusty old vinyls. Lurking among my once-cherished Tenpole Tudor and Madness albums was, as I’d hoped, the first classical music LP I can ever remember listening to: Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals (see p26), played by pianists John Ogdon and Brenda Lucas with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Louis Frémaux. I don’t suppose my six-year-old self spotted how various rogue beasts had randomly sauntered onto the album cover – there are no rhinos, tigers or cows in the Carnival – though I’m sure I must have giggled at the apt name of the writer of the sleeve notes: Leonard Duck. What I do recall is that I played it obsessively…

1 min
letter of the month

Tennstedt gets the bird I have been interested in your article and subsequent letters about unwanted recording-studio noise. There was a similar occurrence when the London Philharmonic Orchestra was recording Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, with Garrick Ohlsson as soloist and Klaus Tennstedt as conductor, for HMV in the 1970s. A sparrow had somehow gained access to Studio 1 at Abbey Road, and cheeped at certain points during the finale, as though certain notes triggered an auto-response. At first, the matter seemed comical, until the conductor’s patience expired. The producer offer two possibly solution: ‘Either I send for a man who has an air-gun, or we ignore it and edit it out later’. The orchestra were horrified by the former option, so Tennstedt was ‘persuaded’ to carry on. At the mixing, mastering…

4 min
have your say…

Cage on stage It was good to read about Julius Eastman in your July issue. The story about John Cage being angry with Eastman’s performance in Song Books is important, but when Claire Jackson writes ‘… surely this is the very essence of chance performance’, that is to misunderstand Cage’s ideas. John Cage said he used chance operations in composition so that nothing would be left to chance in performance. Eastman was actually trying to out Cage as being gay, but John considered his sexuality a private matter. Petr Kotik, of the SEM Ensemble, told me that on that occasion John furiously thumped the table and said to Eastman: ‘Of course, anything goes; but you can’t just do what you want.’ Think about it; it makes great sense. Robert Worby, London Joint ventures In…

2 min
gihoon kim wins bbc cardiff singer of the world

Gihoon Kim has been crowned the winner of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021. The 29-year-old South Korean baritone won over this year’s judging panel with performances of arias from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Andrew Litton. Kim competed against an otherwise all-female line-up: English mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones, Austrian soprano Christina Gansch, Georgian mezzo Natalia Kutateladze and South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Ranwanasha, who won the competition’s Song Prize earlier in the week with moving renditions of Lieder, South African songs and spirituals. Speaking to presenter Josie d’Arby after he left the stage, Kim said he was ‘50 per cent happy, 50 per cent disappointed’ with his performance, so when head judge Aidan Lang, general…

1 min
manchester camerata adapts to its new monastic life

The Manchester Camerata has set up shop in one of its home city’s more unlikely venues. The Monastery in Gorton started life in the 19th century as a friary before falling into disrepair in the 1970s when its congregation dwindled. It was placed on a list of the world’s 100 most endangered sites, along with the Taj Mahal and Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, until a hardy group of volunteers brought it back to life at the turn of the century. After 20 years of renovations, the building is now home to the Camerata, which kicked off its first season in its new stomping ground with a programme of works chosen specifically for how they would sound in the natural acoustic of the Great Nave of the building.…