Classical Companion

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Christopher Breunig  |  Dec 06, 2019
The First had an immediate world acclaim not mirrored after the Second was premiered. Only recently did non-UK recordings appear, says Christopher Breunig

We have to admit that, at present at any rate, Elgar does not travel,' noted the much respected Gramophone reviewer Trevor Harvey, in 1964. He was writing about one of Sir Adrian Boult's less well known recordings of the Symphony No 2, made with the Scottish National Orchestra and issued on the Waverley label.

Christopher Breunig  |  May 13, 2020
The Hungarian boy who wanted to play football became a good pianist and acclaimed opera and orchestral conductor. Christopher Breunig on a musical dynamo

Certainly one of the most extraordinary film clips of a conductor in action that you will ever see is Georg Solti recording Wagner in the Vienna Sofiensaal [YouTube]. Fuzzy black and white the excerpts may be, but the physical energy is almost shocking – you could have driven a ten ton truck into this man but it wouldn't have stopped him!

Christopher Breunig  |  Dec 18, 2020
The most urbane of English podium figures, he delighted audiences as much as he antagonised orchestral players. Christopher Breunig ponders his relevance today

Herbert von Karajan? A sort of musical Malcolm Sargent.' It was a typical Beecham putdown, even though he admired his younger colleague's skill with choral forces, and was assisted by him in 1932 when Beecham was creating his London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Christopher Breunig  |  Nov 08, 2019
Held back from performing in the West until he was 45, the Odessa musician could be idiosyncratic or sound overwrought. Christopher Breunig looks at his life and legacy

Wait until you hear Richter' was the reaction to praise when Soviet pianist Emil Gilels made his 1955 States debut. And whereas he and violinist David Oistrakh both performed with American orchestras that year, audiences had to wait a further five before the authorities allowed Gilels' Ukrainian colleague to appear at Carnegie Hall, New York, and in Boston and Chicago.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jul 19, 2021
'The fourth man' on the stage of the biggest classical music concert in history. A 60-year career from Bombay to Rome via Vienna, surveyed by Peter Quantrill

India has a classical music tradition of its own: does it need the European sort? The British imperial colonialists thought not, and hired Italian salon orchestras to play in their clubs and hotels without fostering any programme of music education.

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