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Marc Rochester
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The Problem with New Music
Why do musicians feel the need to apologise about presenting
modern music?   In Singapore, where there
is clearly an appetite for the music of our time and where mostly young
audiences should not be hung up on the prejudices and pallid tastes of the
past, i...

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Hong Kong's Revolving Ring
From the very opening moments it is clear
that this is going to be a particularly fine Walküre.   The Hong Kong
Philharmonic may have had a chequered past on disc (as well as in the flesh, it
has to be said) but it has landed firmly on its feet with their c...

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Distinction Secrets
“Some Believe That to Get Distinction You Need To Be Special.   We Believe That To Get Distinction You Need
To Know The SECRETS!” I came across that (or something very close to it)
pasted to a window of a small private music studio tucked away in an ill-lit...

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A Mainstream Concert With Attitude
Under a blazing sun and in the wilting mid-afternoon
heat I made my way to a non-descript glass building, more a short corridor,
stuck on a glorified traffic island in the middle of town.   With traffic surrounding it and a metro
station underneath - its ex...

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Page Turning Technologies
If this is a sign of things to come, I, for one, am
all for it, but there are implications which we are in danger of overlooking. Yesterday I attended a recital given by the Stradivari
Quartet.   They performed two of Schumann’s
quartet’s and Janáček’s Inti...

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A Performing Has-Been
Sitting in on an open rehearsal conducted by Charles
Dutoit I was next to my friend and Straits
Times reviewing colleague, Chang Tou Liang.   For two uninterrupted hours we watched the tireless maestro barely break
into a sweat over Stravinsky’s Firebird –
...

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CD Review - Upo and Down the Violin, Round and Round the Piano
  Augustin Hadelich (violin) and Joyce Yang
(piano), recorded in New York June 2015 AVIE AV2347 [67:25]   In whichever order you
listen to the works on this disc, you will end up feeling completely
shell-shocked by the unyielding barrage of emotions and mus...

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CD review - Chinese Chamber Music
JIA
Daqun (b.1955) Ensemble
Les Amis Shanghai, Han Quartet recorded in Shanghai, November 2015 NAXOS 8.579011 [70:07]   The history of Western
classical music in China dates back barely a century.   Several Chinese composers emerged in the
middle years of t...

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CD Review - A Noble Calling
Thomas Tertius
NOBLE (1867-1953) John Scott Whiteley on the organ of  York Minster (recorded  April 2015) PRIORY PRCD1152 [77:00]   Among those composers
who are remembered today just for one single work is Thomas Tertius Noble,
former organist of both York...

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Rare hearings of Karg-Elert and Franck
A Piano, A Karg-Elert and a Harmonium   It’s not often that I go to an organ recital in which
I come across music I have never heard before and which I would move heaven and
earth to hear again.   Such a thing has
never, ever happened to me in Singapore bef...
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