Search found 34 matches

by Susan de Visne
Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:23 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Another example of why the death penalty should be abolished
Replies: 24
Views: 3508

It does indeed seem unbelievable that "honour killings" exist anywhere, but they aren't legal in Britain, any more than any other murder is, so it has little to do with the argument.
by Susan de Visne
Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:59 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Another example of why the death penalty should be abolished
Replies: 24
Views: 3508

Forgive me for joining in where I'm sure I'm not wanted, but it seems unbelievable to me that any country that dares to call itself civilised should have the death penalty. In Britain in the 1950s when I was a teenager, I used to hear about the latest execution with disbelief, and say, "One day we w...
by Susan de Visne
Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:07 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Good DVDs of Britten Operas/Operettas?
Replies: 8
Views: 2462

Re: Good DVDs of Britten Operas/Operettas?

[quote="KenazFilan"] (What I wouldn't give for a film of Pears singing the Madwoman in [i]Curlew River[/i]...)[/quote] Just noticed this bit. Have you seen the DVD "Benjamin Britten: A Time There Was"?, Tony Palmer's film from 1979 (I think)? There's a bit of Pears in Curlew River in that. Very styl...
by Susan de Visne
Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:28 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Good DVDs of Britten Operas/Operettas?
Replies: 8
Views: 2462

The 1969 BBC television performance of Peter Grimes with Peter Pears (in colour, by the way) was available on DVD for a while, but I don't think it's still around - it turns up on eBay from time to time, and there's a clip on Youtube. It's the real thing, conducted by Britten, straightforward produc...
by Susan de Visne
Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:52 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: November 22: Names and Notes in Music
Replies: 7
Views: 2100

Benjamin Britten would have been 93 today - he could easily have still been alive, but has been dead for 30 years on December 4th. I wonder what he'd have composed had he lived?
by Susan de Visne
Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:41 pm
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Jay Greenberg, Composer (age 14)
Replies: 11
Views: 3359

Certainly it's rare among people in general, but is it rare among composers, who are the people I was talking about? The names of Mozart (obviously), Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn, Britten come to mind at once, and I'm quite sure many others were similar - not to mention, of course, many who were eventua...
by Susan de Visne
Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:19 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Jay Greenberg, Composer (age 14)
Replies: 11
Views: 3359

I don't know anything about this boy, but it's not all that unusual, is it? Very many famous composers had plenty of compositions to their name by the age of 14, even if they weren't actually played at that age.
by Susan de Visne
Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:10 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Sir Benjamin Britten
Replies: 14
Views: 6214

[quote="davidreece"]I think Britten's music is genius. I've performed many of his works, but the closest to my heart is the cantata 'St. Nicolas' which I think is an overlooked masterpiece. There are two excellent recordings and one of historic note. The original Decca release is interesting to hear...
by Susan de Visne
Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:41 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Sir Benjamin Britten
Replies: 14
Views: 6214

A quibble maybe - but he was never Sir Benjamin. He refused a knighthood. Six months before his death he was made a Life Peer, and so was officially Lord Britten, though it is said he only accepted this because his beloved nurse said she would never speak to him again if he didn't!
by Susan de Visne
Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:36 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Sir Benjamin Britten
Replies: 14
Views: 6214

As well as the operas, all the song cycles are great works - not only the Serenade. Try the Michelangelo Sonnets, John Donne Sonnets, Les Illuminations, Nocturne, Winter Words, On this Island. It does help if you like and understand poetry, and for Michelangelo and Illuminations Italian and French p...
by Susan de Visne
Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:34 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox May 2006 to Feb 26 2007
Topic: Brendel on Rattle
Replies: 11
Views: 7596

Very interesting. I must say I've been surprised by the Rattle-bashing. I haven't been to many Rattle concerts, and none in Berlin, but the ones I have been to have been very, very memorable for the sheer vivacity and LIFE he brought to the music - and, one must add, to the players. I have never see...
by Susan de Visne
Tue May 16, 2006 11:10 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Which of these three cellists do you prefer?
Replies: 15
Views: 9550

Jacqueline du Pre always seemed to me to be a one-off true genius, in a quite different class from any other player. The analogy made earlier with Callas is apt - not always perfect, but finding some musical truth denied to others.
by Susan de Visne
Tue May 16, 2006 8:32 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Intellectual snobbery that we can do without ...
Replies: 30
Views: 15023

I was probably a little hasty! Classic FM does drive me mad, though I was grateful for it at the dentist this morning when the alternative might have been something far worse! I hate the sloppy presenting style, and the commercials, but what I dislike most is the unadventurousness - nothing challeng...
by Susan de Visne
Tue May 16, 2006 7:16 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Intellectual snobbery that we can do without ...
Replies: 30
Views: 15023

Who can do without it? I agree with every word.
by Susan de Visne
Mon May 15, 2006 5:58 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Lebrecht: Britten Was a Poufter, Not a Pedophile
Replies: 8
Views: 8334

I didn't realise that the British (of whom I'm one) were "squeamish" about Britten. I've always had the impression that he was regarded by many as our greatest composer, and his love of children has had some very remarkable musical results. Funny how times change - in his lifetime it was his lifelon...
by Susan de Visne
Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:44 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Who is William Walton?
Replies: 11
Views: 2825

I find some Walton a bit shallow. I've sung in Belshazzar's Feast many times, and at first it seems exciting, but after repeated exposure you realise it's somewhat hollow excitement, based largely on making a lot of noise. It doesn't have a lot of meaning under all that bluster. More in common with ...
by Susan de Visne
Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:01 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Boy Soprano Singing Mozart's "Queen of the Night"
Replies: 16
Views: 4396

[quote="jbuck919"] Sometimes the transformation works. The boy who sang the premiere of Amahl and the Night Visitors went on to become a very fine baritone (I cannot remember his name, but heard him sing as an adult in a radio performance). [/quote] Yes - Many (I might even say most) well known Engl...
by Susan de Visne
Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:48 pm
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Boy Soprano Singing Mozart's "Queen of the Night"
Replies: 16
Views: 4396

On the video there are messages with comments, and now there's one from someone who obviously knows what he's talking about. He (or she, I suppose) says the boy is called Robin Schlotz, and it was recorded at a concert for parents given last July by the Tolz Boys' Choir. I looked around the net a bi...
by Susan de Visne
Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:06 pm
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Boy Soprano Singing Mozart's "Queen of the Night"
Replies: 16
Views: 4396

Ah. one of the messages/comments with the video points out that he is wearing the logo of the Toelzer Knabenchor (famous German boys' choir), so I was right.
by Susan de Visne
Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:48 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Boy Soprano Singing Mozart's "Queen of the Night"
Replies: 16
Views: 4396

Not exactly in tune, but pretty amazing, though I would rather a boy of obvious talent wasn't put through performing-monkey tricks like this. Does anyone know who he is? Is he perhaps German or Austrian? (The clothes look a bit like the sort worn by German boys' choirs, and there is obviously a choi...
by Susan de Visne
Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:41 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Great Christmas Music
Replies: 12
Views: 4639

Looks as if I don't understand how to do quotes!. Sorry.
by Susan de Visne
Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:35 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Great Christmas Music
Replies: 12
Views: 4639

Re: Great Christmas Music

[quote="jbuck919"][quote="Cyril Ignatius"] 5) A couple of Vienna Boys Choir CDs (both on Philips) are among my very favorites. "Christmas Angels" has many standard carols along with Britten's Ceremony of the Carols. "Christmas in Vienna" has a variety of carols, and good number of these tracks featu...
by Susan de Visne
Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:56 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Favourite Classical Christams Song/Carol
Replies: 51
Views: 16855

Britten's Ceremony of Carols for me too, but it must be sung by boy trebles with harp (even though I wouldn't have wanted to miss the experience of singing in it myself).
by Susan de Visne
Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:07 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: Exciting songs to perform
Replies: 10
Views: 3388

Britten did occasionally accompany singers other than Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Schubert and the song cycle BB wrote for him"Songs and Proverbs of Wiiliam Blake", and also Kathleen Ferrier and Janet Baker, but not often. He also played in chamber concerts sometimes. But you are right, almos...
by Susan de Visne
Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:57 am
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: A Tip of the Hat to Tippett
Replies: 7
Views: 3790

I agree with Karlhenning's use of the words "self-indulgent", though perhaps I would use "self-centred", and I don't think it applies only to his dreadful librettos. It was central to his character, I suspect - it is exactly the quality that comes across in his autobiography. He could have done with...
by Susan de Visne
Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:20 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Classical Music Chatterbox March-August 05
Topic: A little Sarah Brightman discussion :)
Replies: 7
Views: 22452

I think her voice is quite sweet, and would be all right in a choir - otherwise, no. Real singers don't need microphones, and a bit of good taste and humility doesn't harm, either. I have been in a concert with Ms Brightman, and we, the humble choir members, were instructed by her and her entourage ...
by Susan de Visne
Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:25 pm
Forum: ARCHIVED: Classical Music Chatterbox August 2005 to May 31, 2006
Topic: What are your views on PIANO ROLLS?
Replies: 17
Views: 13711

My grandmother had a Pianola, and shelves and shelves of piano rolls. (They took up a lot of room.) As a small child I used to love "playing" the Pianola, pretending to be Rachmaninov or whoever. But best of all was to stop "playing", and watch the piano keys move all by themselves! I was too young ...
by Susan de Visne
Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:26 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Classical Music Chatterbox March-August 05
Topic: Pizza Won't Like Julian Lloyd Webber's Take on Barenboim
Replies: 6
Views: 4544

I agree with Michael that there isn't a really good concert hall in London - apart, as he says, from the Wigmore for chamber music and lieder. One is certainly needed. There are, however, superb halls elsewhere in Britain - the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Snape Maltings in Suffolk, Symphony Hall...
by Susan de Visne
Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:03 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Corner Pub March-August 05
Topic: French Poet Arthur Rimbaud
Replies: 7
Views: 8993

The difficulty with these wonderful poems, if you don't speak French, is that they are just about impossible to translate, since they are sound-pictures and the sound of the language is essential to them. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Anyone who doesn't know the Britten song cycle should try it - it m...
by Susan de Visne
Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:35 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Corner Pub March-August 05
Topic: Trafalgar Bicentennial
Replies: 35
Views: 6225

I think that there are groups who re-enact battles in England, too, though I have never come across them. I see it as a very immature, naive occupation for people without imagination. Ralph, I do have heroes - but not people whose primary purpose is killing, whether directly or indirectly. There wer...
by Susan de Visne
Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Forum: ARCHIVED Corner Pub March-August 05
Topic: Trafalgar Bicentennial
Replies: 35
Views: 6225

I'm English, and I find it interesting to read your comments. The commemorations offend me. However much people say it isn't a celebration of "victory", that is exactly what it is. The whole atmosphere is festive, carnival-like. For goodness' sake, this was a BATTLE. Thousands of people on both side...
by Susan de Visne
Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:26 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Classical Music Chatterbox March-August 05
Topic: John Rutter - some insights
Replies: 6
Views: 3377

That's interesting - I didn't know he'd been in the Highgate choir. What an experience! On the latest re-issue of the War Requiem, there are extracts from rehearsals, with Britten talkng to the performers. To the boys he says, "Don't make it sound NICE. It isn't nice, it's horrid. It's MODERN music!...
by Susan de Visne
Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:25 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Classical Music Chatterbox March-August 05
Topic: "Springy" songs
Replies: 13
Views: 4993

Britten's Spring Symphony certainly isn't suitable! Large orchestra including a cowhorn, vibraphone and two harps, big choir, boys' choir, and three top-notch soloists - there wouldn't be room!


There's a nice Spring Carol in his Ceremony of Carols, though.
by Susan de Visne
Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:12 am
Forum: ARCHIVED Classical Music Chatterbox March-August 05
Topic: The Met Needs To Garner More Top Voices!
Replies: 10
Views: 4204

I would echo Nigel here - I do think the Met is seen in Europe as being very conservative. I've never been there, though I have heard broadcasts and read reviews - I'm just recording the general impression of opinion I get here in England.