Thefullscore 23 BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE sensual and laid back but it also has a real depth to it. I tend to listen to his music generally rather than to specific songs – the extreme opposite, in fact, of contemporary classical music, where I tend to obsess over individual works. Moving from Brazil to Iceland, I often find myself returning to the music of composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. In particular, I enjoy her 2011 album Rhízoma. The titles of her pieces are often very to the point – Hidden: Stay and Hidden: Rain, for instance – and there’s something very simple and poetic about them. I visited Iceland a couple of years ago, and it was incredible to imagine the country’s composers being influenced by the very rich landscape they have around them. Since Oliver Knussen died last year, I’ve been listening to his music even more than I was before. In all of his music there is an incredible clarity and spark, and particularly his solo piano works. ★is Ophelia’s Last Dance is a piece that has been coming back and haunting me, partly because I am currently writing a piano work in memory of Olly that will be performed by Pierre-laurent Aimard this year at Aldeburgh, where he was so important. And also… I met the US writer Josh Weil at the Macdowell Colony in New ★ampshire. At the beginning of each chapter of his novel The Great Glass Sea, he has these delicate and intricate line drawings that sum up the mood of that chapter. It’s very unusual, but I love it. The world premiere of Charlotte Bray’s Germinate for Piano Trio and Orchestra will be performed at the Investec International Music Festival on 4 May jokingly say ‘Why can’t you play like that?’ We would just laugh because, while I was struggling with them for hours of practice, Ashkenazy made it all seem so effortless. It wasn’t just that it was technically perfect, but also the way it was so intensely musical. And also… Charles Barber’s Corresponding with Carlos gives an incredible perspective on conductor Carlos Kleiber, who was a very shy man. It consists of letters between Kleiber and a young conducting student who had written to him… and then was amazed when Kleiber wrote back. They then became penpals. The insights it gives into how Kleiber’s mind worked are quite exceptional. I’ve been listening to a broad range of music recently, including the Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer Cartola. Samba was the general genre that he is associated with, and I find his music very Samba king: Brazilian composer Cartola Alexander Joel conducts Puccini’s Tosca at the Royal Opera House from 24 May Charlotte Bray composer
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