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Discovering and Engaging Wagner

Born on this date. It’s worth giving a listen to this curated bunch of podcasts presented under the auspices of the BBC’s “Composer of the Week” series. As the one and only Bernard Williams wrote: “You can have a well-formed, deep relation to Western music while passing Wagner’s works by, finding them boring or not…

Wagner and German Idealism

Scruton, Grayling, Janaway, Tanner and Deathridge each present a short episode on the philosophical influences on Wagner.   anthony graylingchris janawayClassical musicGerman Idealismmichael tanneroperaRichard WagnerRoger Scrutonromanticism

Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth

Alongside Booker and Martha Argerich, Bernie (“The Wizard of Woo”) is my favourite keyboard genius. I’ve been wanting to see this documentary for some time and am pleased that someone has made it available — at least for the time being. Like Booker, an absolutely authentic character and the most synesthesiac musician I can think of.…

Bayou Maharajah: James Booker Story

I’ve been anticipating seeing this for quite some time now and today was the day. The DVD packaging is superb and of course features a “who’s who” of the NOLA music scene. Two of my favorite clips include the 1973 Don Kirshner Rock Concert with Mac, the Harry Connick Sr. (and 12 y.o. Jr.) segments, and the Scott Billington segment featuring…

Missa Solemnis

Perhaps this rates (see video below) as the greatest musical performance that I’ve ever witnessed — crikey, has it really been almost 30 years? (12th Sep, 1986). That year I think I attended some 30 concerts as a promenader but still never made it into the hard core club (not even close). Read the very excellent Peter…