Notes beyond notes

We’ve just reached the time of year in New Zealand when arts organisations reveal their programmes for 2017. In the last few weeks, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Orchestra Wellington have launched new seasons. The programmes are ambitious and stimulating, an embarrassment of riches that will bring to audiences a mixture of outstanding local musicians, … More Notes beyond notes

Dynamic contrast

Part I The title of this post is taken from a frequently recurring comment on the grade sheets my pupils received after taking a variety of ABRSM exams this term. Sometimes they ‘attempted dynamic contrast’, sometimes they ‘achieved dynamic contrast’ and one even ‘demonstrated imagination in dynamic contrast.’ Examiners speak in riddles sometimes, but I … More Dynamic contrast

In the Wellcome Library: Stoddart and Smart

During today’s post-lunch recovery phase at the Wellcome Library, I found a short book by William Henry Butter Stoddart (1868-1950) an eminent practitioner in the field of ‘mental diseases’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His 1908 textbook The Mind and its Disorders was a key text for doctors interested in emerging ideas about psychology … More In the Wellcome Library: Stoddart and Smart

Rigoletto at ENO

In February I was part of a group visit by staff and students of OBERTO to Christopher Alden’s production of Rigoletto at the English National Opera.  Several of us wrote abut the production, and our varied impressions can be found on the OBERTO blog. It was an extraordinary production in many ways, and my first encounter … More Rigoletto at ENO