Something for the weekend!
The clips, quotes and links we like…
What they've said…
'I love major chords, there’s a natural joy about them, but [tonal music] fills me with dread.'
Composer Jonathan Harvey reveals his secret fear
On this day…
… in 1951, the Russian composer and pianist Nikolai Medtner, whom Rachmaninov described as the greatest composer of their time, died in London, age 71. Despite being admired by his contemporaries, by the time of his death much of Medtner's music, including three late-Romantic piano concertos, was relatively unknown.
'The Romanticism of Rachmaninov and the mysticism of Scriabin caught on,' says pianist and Medtner champion, Yevgeny Sudbin, 'but no one could really place Medtner. He was just a great musician, composer and pianist.' We'll be talking to Yvegeny Sudbin about his latest Medtner recording next week on bbcmusicmagazine.com, and you can hear a clip of him performing the opening of Medtner's Second Piano Concerto above.
Questionable book covers:
In our mailbag this week: wrong sex, wrong instrument and, dare we say it, wrong cover?
Opera on 3
Saturday 14 November, 6pm
Ligeti's 'anti-anti-opera' Le grand macabre comes to Radio 3 in this broadcast from Le Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. Set in a timeless dystopian 'Breughelland', the anarchic opera centres on a set of 'stock' characters, including a pair of young lovers, a cuckolded husband and domineering wife, a drunk, a pair of corrupt politicians and a corpulent prince. Death visits them, promising the end of the world but, through drink and incompetence, fails to deliver.
And finally… a talking piano
Click play to see Austrian composer Peter Ablinger's latest creation