Perfect Pitch

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Unlike Robin Daniels, who confesses to having been under the ‘Cardusian’ spell since boyhood, my relationship with Neville Cardus falls somewhat short of idolatry. Indeed I’m a little suspicious of a book which comes prefaced by six pages of tributes along the lines of ‘a magically observant writer … such magnificently sculpted prose’ (from Sir […]

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Folk Hero

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

When the two Voyager probes were launched in 1977 on an interstellar journey projected to last for a billion years, each was fitted with a gold-plated copper disc containing ninety minutes of music from planet Earth. Should extraterrestrial beings ever have the desire and capability to listen to these discs, half of the tracks they […]

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Heavenly Movement

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Ballet, Jennifer Homans rightly insists, is an ‘art of memory’ rather than history, recorded more profoundly inside the bodies of dancers than it can ever be on the flat page. Nevertheless, her survey of the 500 years over which this elusive art form has evolved brings us close to the heart of the matter. It […]

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Clockmaker & Pirate

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Roger Nichols has lived with the music of Ravel for a lifetime and has written and broadcast copiously about the composer and his works. For this impressive new biography, he has delved into a wide range of sources, among them the letters and diaries of many of Ravel’s contemporaries (notably his friend the pianist Ricardo […]

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