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Monday 13th December 2010

It's been a dizzying time, this Balkan tour. Sorry for lack of reports on the road, but I spent every spare moment catching up on sleep, which was in short supply. And I didn't even have to play an instrument. I don't know how they do it.

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Monday 6th December 2010

Everyone's recommending Christmas presents at the moment, believe it or not...so here are my top five suggestions for gifts.

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Friday 3rd December 2010

It's that time of year when you start stocking up on earplugs if, like a few of us, you've heard the standard Xmas fare just too often. But hey, we need a bit of festivity and excitement to cheer us all up, and it's not as if there's nothing out there except Messiah: here are three of the best alternatives.

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Thursday 2nd December 2010
Tableaux d'une exposition Grande porte de Kiev

I made it to Paris and back, despite snow, to see a mesmerising world premiere. JDCMB favourite Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy, one of the more inquisitive and creative types on the piano circuit, discovered that in 1928 the ever-musical artist Wassily Kandinsky had been commissioned to design a theatrical version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Some watercolours, drawings and detailed instructions survived (above, The Great Gate of Kiev, complete with Kandinsky's annotations) and Micha decided to rework them with the help of an expert animation company into a new vision for a new century. They screened the results for the first time on Tuesday night and he performed the music live together with it. Kandinsky's paintings came to life and danced... If Kandinsky had designed Fantasia it might have looked something like this: a 1920s fairytale, cool, ironic, fun and satisfying. I hope it'll run and run. I'm writing more about the evening in a new year edition of International Piano magazine.

Update: more about Kandinsky and music here...

 

 

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Saturday 27th November 2010

...in other words, a round-up of the latest caboodles in the music world, to brighten your weekend. Here are my top five.

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Friday 26th November 2010

Several people have written or tweeted to ask for a report on my chat with Helene Grimaud last weekend at the Institut Francais. Delighted, my dears. I didn't record the interview, so this is a summary rather than a transcript (but the IF did have some cameras in, so if they do anything with the film I shall let you know).

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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