The BBC Music Magazine team’s current favourites
Oliver Condy Editor
The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble made up of some of the finest players from around the world, celebrates its first decade this year. I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Qatar’s capital Doha back in March and to attend its performance of Berlioz and Haydn at the Katara Opera House. There’s no doubt that this is an ensemble with a bright future.
Jeremy Pound Deputy editor
The date on which this we are sending this issue to press – 29 March – seems to have been in the news quite a bit of late! It has also been marked in my diary for a very different reason: a concert of Vivaldi’s Gloria, performed by one of my favourite local choirs. I’ve been preparing for the occasion by refamiliarising myself with the 1966 recording by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, complete with Janet Baker (left) as the mezzo soloist. Glorious, in all sorts of ways.
Rebecca Franks Managing editor
Clara Wieck was only a teenager when she wrote her Piano Concerto in A minor, and we’re in luck that she wrote it at that age because later on, in short, life took over and composing fell by the wayside. As one of those prodigies with far more than their fair share of the musical talent pool, the young Wieck knew how to write a brilliantly pianistic piece, both virtuosic and poetic. I’ve enjoyed Howard Shelley’s lively new recording of it for Hyperion.
Michael Beek Reviews editor
I was in Cologne recently and took a train to Bonn. I was so looking forward to soaking up all things Ludwig, especially the Beethovenhaus museum. Unfortunately it was closed for refurbishment, as was Bonn Cathedral. Things brightened up with a jolly parade by the city’s Cadette Corp, however, which oom-pahed its way through some delightful brass ditties and, yes, a bit of Beethoven.
Freya Parr Editorial assistant
Nothing signals the start of a British spring quite like sitting shivering in a dingy pub with an overpriced beer and a group of bearded blokes singing tunes about the sea. That was exactly what March had in store for me …and I loved it. The Harry Browns of Bristol were a great discovery, winning me over with their musical and sartorial charm. Ten points for their matching handkerchiefs too.