The Exploded Bow-SOUNDBOX 12th January

January 7, 2010

 SOUNDBOX Tuesday January 12th 1230pm String Gallery, Royal Academy of Music Museum, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5HT (02074805145) http://www.ram.ac.uk/  The Exploded Bow (A preview) The Bow in use over timeAny bow bears the marks of its usage, from the constant fraying away of the bow hair, to the less recognised indications […]


December 27, 2009

Moses One of the most instantly recognisable, and most imitated of Pagnini’s show pieces, has become known as the Moses Fantasy. This work has inspired imitations by composers from Lindley to Martinu. Our understanding and knowledge of the piece was totally refracted through modern practice, and most particularly, the redefining of Paganini, which accompanied his […]

Coffee, Libraries, Losses and Gains.

December 27, 2009

  Coffee, Libraries, Losses and Gains. 27-12-09  I have found myself the perfect cup of coffee, in the old market quarter of Sarajevo, the Bašaršija. It’s early in the morning, and I am sitting outside at a pavement table, as the sun begins to warm the paving stones. It is going to be a hot […]


December 26, 2009

Calumnies  Violinists have often been assumed to be feckless wastrels. In 1802, Wilhelm Triest wrote a pen-portrait of this popular cliché, one which Paganini seemed far from anxious to contradict, but maybe to uphold, perhaps pre-empting the adage that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity.’ Triest’s list of the common solecisms of the debauched […]

Paganini Capriccio No 16

December 26, 2009

The G minor Capriccio No 16 is where I feel most in the presence of Bach, or at the very least, that Paganini was very aware of Bach’s legacy for solo violin. This can be more obviously witnessed in the elegant chordal writing of the Capriccio No 11. But the Bach-ian allusion in the 16th […]

Paganini Caprice No 9

December 22, 2009

On Paganini – Capricci Op 1 No.9 E Major  Caprice No 9 seems to take place in a forest, though of course this is not stated. This piece is the only place in Paganini’s cycle where the composer demands mimesis. Heoffers tools to achieve this. The ‘imitation of flutes’ is achieved by playing the upper […]

Mozart and the divine Bohemian

December 21, 2009

Mozart and the Divine Bohemian Talk given prior to performance of Mozart-Quintets in D Major, E Flat Major, and Adagio K411. Wilton’s Music Hall September 2008  In 1782, Mozart wrote an Adagio K411 for five wind instruments. Very little is known of its purpose, but, quite apart from its extraordinary beauty, it provides a window […]

Mozart and the Quintet, thoughts on…

December 21, 2009

  Mozart and the Quintet, thoughts on…   Bishop Joseph  Hurdalek (Mozart’s album) ‘When Orpheus’ magic lute rings out, Amphion to his lyre sings, The lions tame, the rivers quiet grow, The tigers listen, rocks a-walking go. When Mozart masterly music plays And gathers undivided praise, The Quire of Muses stays to hear, Apollo is […]

Trockne Blumen-Schubert (an appreciation)

December 18, 2009

Trockne Blumen ‘Variations on an Original Theme for Flute and Piano’ Und Lenz wird kommen, und Winter wird gehn Und Blümlein werden in Grase stehnn Und Blümlein liegen in meinen Grab, Die Blümlein alle, die sie mir gab. Wilhelm Müller “What I produce is due to my understanding of music and to my sorrows; that […]

Mendelssohn-Sextet Op 110

December 17, 2009

Sunday’s concert offers a very rare opportunity to hear Mendelssohn’s early Sextet. This ebullient piece, written in 1824, was first performed at one of the Mendelssohn family Sunday morning concerts. These concerts had acquired an almost mythical status on the Berlin musical scene-as the list of guests shows. Spohr, Spontini, Hummel, Weber and Moscheles all […]