I am off to the Manuscripta Book Festival in Amsterdam tomorrow where Philippe Graffin and I are launching Hungarian Dances in Dutch. If any Amsterdam-based readers want to come and say hi, you can find us at the 'Flex Bar Stage' at 4.30pm. (There are no Aston Villa colours on the Dutch edition, incidentally, nor on Philippe's matching CD. Philippe prefers Arsenal because it is largely French...)
I missed Friday Historical yesterday, so let's hear one of Holland's great singers, the lovely soprano Elly Ameling - who isn't exactly historical, being very much alive and immensely distinguished, but is no longer singing. I always used to attend her London recitals at the Wigmore Hall with my parents, and learned much of the song repertoire listening to her recordings, not least her fantastic Faure with Gerard Souzay on EMI. We loved her freshness and charm and the distinctive purity of her timbre. Here is one of Chausson's most beautiful songs, Le Colibri - written, unusually, in 5 - filmed in recital in 1980.
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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