Peter Quantrill

Peter Quantrill  |  Oct 12, 2021  |  0 comments
A silly farce or a social experiment gone wrong? There are no right answers – though a few wrong ones – to the riddle of this dramma giocoso, says Peter Quantrill

Giochiam', says Don Alfonso, to set in motion Mozart's final collaboration with Lorenzo da Ponte: let's play a game. The nature of the game is a wager over feminine fidelity, laid with two soldiers to prove that, in the moral of the untranslatable title, 'all women are like that'.

Peter Quantrill  |  Sep 14, 2021  |  0 comments
You might want to think of the Bachianas Brasileiras like the mouth of the Amazon, says Peter Quantrill, because a flood of discoveries awaits the intrepid listener

European classical music arrived in the world's fifth largest country with the Jesuits, who brought with them the sacred polyphony of Palestrina and Victoria. Those young men who showed musical aptitude were trained not only as priests but as singers and composers.

Peter Quantrill  |  Aug 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Music among friends, written by a young genius at one of the happiest times in his troubled life... Peter Quantrill explores the history on disc of a feel-good masterpiece

Growing up in a one-room apartment in an overcrowded district northwest of the Ring, pupil then assistant to his schoolteacher father, Schubert was Viennese born and bred, a city boy with even more reason than Beethoven to seek pleasure and solace in the surrounding countryside. Lacking time or resources for more refined pursuits, Schubert in his early 20s relaxed principally by drinking (coffee and alcohol, both to excess), smoking (likewise) and walking.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jul 19, 2021  |  0 comments
'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.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  0 comments
A Passiontide masterpiece every generation of performers and audiences reinvents for itself... Peter Quantrill casts an ear back over more than half a century of recordings

In telling the life of Christ, the four Gospels of the New Testament all build towards his betrayal, his trial, his death on the cross and resurrection. The first three events are known together as Christ's Passion, from the Latin passio: I suffer. Church composers had treated the text with varying degrees of freedom and complexity – the season of Lent being a time for quietude and restraint in every respect of life including liturgical worship – for centuries before Bach made his first setting of the Passion, during the early months of 1724.

Peter Quantrill  |  May 21, 2021  |  0 comments
When the Russian composer Stravinsky died in April 1971, he left a legacy of definitive recordings. Half a century on, Peter Quantrill finds that his music lives beyond his time

Surely one mark of genius is that even your failures turn out to be successes in the end? The Rite Of Spring's infamous reception at its premiere in Paris in 1913 would have sunk the confidence of a lesser composer. Many of those around him were distraught, while the impresario Serge Diaghilev stoked the flames of scandal. At the centre of it all, Stravinsky kept his head.

Peter Quantrill  |  Apr 26, 2021  |  0 comments
A sensuously beautiful tribute to old Vienna, to the waltz and a fast-vanishing age of elegance. Peter Quantrill explores the opera's background and suggests recordings

The premiere of Der Rosenkavalier took place on the 26 January 1911, at the Royal Court Opera in Dresden. The success of the piece became an event in itself, perhaps the most glittering triumph in the history of opera. Special trains were laid on to ferry visitors from Berlin eager to attend extra performances. The work was immediately taken into the international repertory, and there it has remained.

X