Tag Archives: music

Santa Sabina

When we were in Rome, a couple of weeks ago, I insisted we go and see “my favourite church in Rome”.  The first church I ever liked, to which I owe my introduction to, and love for, early sacred music. … Continue reading

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A Soundtrack to Growing Up

Not long ago – I forget where – I read an article in which several writers listed the most influential books of their childhood; books that changed their lives and inspired them to become writers. Inevitably, I thought back to my own … Continue reading

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The Busker

It was a voice carried by the wind through the semi-deserted streets of a Norwich Sunday afternoon. A voice that sang not into your ear but into your heart. I started walking towards it. He was standing outside NatWest Bank, … Continue reading

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Pandolfi’s Violin

There’s a twinkle in the eye of the violin in Pandolfi’s sonatas.  He teases, provokes, confuses – then bursts out laughing.  An impish laugh, part-threatening,  part-joyful.  Now, he plays the notes  measuredly, mathematically, in deference to the accompanying continuo, and now … Continue reading

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The Sweet Sound of Pear Wood

It had lain in its case, on top of the CDs, since I moved here last April.  Occasionally, I would pick it up and blow the dust off the black cloth case, but never open it, even though I longed … Continue reading

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Turandot – A Story of Redemption

One of my favourite operas – if not my actual favourite – is Turandot.  Inspired by the Persian fairy tale Turan-Dokht, it was Giacomo Puccini’s swansong, left unfinished at his death and completed by Franco Alfano. There is something profoundly different about … Continue reading

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Deciphering the Music Code

Saturday morning.  My friend L. and I are on the ‘phone, arranging one of our brunches in Notting Hill.  Her soft Irish tone turns businesslike.  “Now do you want to come up for your lesson before or after brunch?” I … Continue reading

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Review: Scandal, Lyres and Audiotape

Take a lyre.  Take a harp.  Both string instruments, right? Well, not just string instruments.  The lyre and the harp have been heroines of the music stage since the dawn of times.  Since Orpheus first charmed his way in and … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: ‘Hushabye Mountain’

As many of you will have heard, Robert B. Sherman passed away, last week, aged 86.  With his brother Richard M. Sherman, he wrote songs for films many of us will remember from their childhood, such as – among others – … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: A Green Pillar Candle

I am warming my stiffened fingers on the green pillar candle on my desk.  Forest green.    I bought it from Robert Sayle’s.  The flame is dancing on the sloped ceiling of my attic room.  The East Anglian wind is … Continue reading

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