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In Praise of Music

‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. To soften rocks, or bend the knotted oak’  William Congreve. Music never ceases to astonish me. With its power to sweep listeners …

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Louise Farrenc, reluctant revolutionary

I’m working towards a performance of the Clarinet Trio by nineteenth century musician, Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) https://www.emmajohnson.co.uk/concerts/ It’s a sparkling piece, well written for clarinet, piano and cello and dating …

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Songsters

Does Birdsong Have the Same Origins as our Music? It’s always a privilege to work towards a performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, as I currently am …

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Resonance

Sometimes wind players are under the impression that the sound they make is purely due to their instrument. They create  oscillations in air flow by blowing across a reed, or …

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One-hit Wonders

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the Beethoven scholar, Jonathan del Mar. I was just about to give a performance of Vittorio Monti’s Czardas, so we fell to …

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Why Vienna?

Mozart, Haydn, Gluck, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner, Schoenberg – it reads like a roll call of the great and good in classical music – but the amazing thing …

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Running Commentary

Running commentary (A few light-hearted lessons learned training for a half marathon) When you tell people you’re going to train for a half marathon they divide into two groups: the …

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