Tag Archives: advent 2009

Musical surprises #26: The Csárdás from Coppélia is not by Delibes

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A bit unseasonal this, since ‘musical surprises’ was the theme of my 2009 Advent Calendar. But I just couldn’t wait til next year to share my excitement at this one. It seems that not only is the theme of the … Continue reading

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Musical surprises #25: A bit of Tooting history

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Happy Christmas! Today’s revelation is not strictly a musical surprise, except that it vaguely concerns me and I’m a musician. But it’s quite surprising all the same, and I love this bit of my family’s part in Tooting history. I … Continue reading

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Musical surprises #24: What Rumanian dances sound like without the Bartók

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I love Bartók’s Rumanian Dances, and indeed, I’ve just recorded them with the violinist Gillon Cameron on the album  After Class 2. But I was gobsmacked when I heard my favourite band, the Romanian Taraf de Haïdouks playing them as … Continue reading

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Musical surprises #23: Vauxhall, Strauss & Tchaikovsky

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Although the light and popular dance rhythms of Johann Strauss II seem a sociocultural world away from the ‘classical’ Tchaikovsky, they’re not. It’s our own snobbery that obscures the connections in the music, for what is Tchaikovsky most famous for … Continue reading

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Musical surprises #22: There’s a psychopomp in my barcarole

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Next time you get to a slow bit of a ballet where there’s something a bit wafty and barcarole-ish in 6/8, look out for a psychopomp. A psychopomp, explains the scholar Rodney Edgecombe in a fascinating article ‘can be either … Continue reading

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Musical surprises #21: If you want to play for children’s ballet, study semiotics

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Thanks to the musical semiotician Raymond Monelle and his wonderful book The Sense of Music, I am happily aware that there is a concept in music of a horse which is unique to music – it’s not a representation of … Continue reading

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