Yes, more Chopin...
If you missed Tom Service's terrific Music Matters programme on R3 devoted to Chopin, you can download it as a podcast. In-depth interviews with "Maurizio and Krystian" take centre stage, but there's also fascinating material about the exhibition at the British Library 'Chopin, the Romantic Refugee' (free, til May) and much more... I'm not sure if the download works outside the UK, but for those who can get it, here's the link: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio3/musicmat/musicmat_20100313-1300b.mp3
Meanwhile "Yundi" - who has dropped his "Li" for reasons unknown - is playing at the Southbank Centre tonight. Changing your name has an unfortunate way of being a dead-end; it didn't work for Nigel, who changed to "Kennedy" but changed back again, and will never really be anybody but "Nige"; and whatever anybody says, Yundi is simply not Kylie. Frankly I'm Chopined out and am going to see our friends Graham and Alice [as per Nige interview] and their new dog instead, but would be very interested to hear from anyone who attends the concert - please send in your impressions!
Ditto for Anne-Sophie Mutter's Brahms concerto with the LPO tomorrow. After I last heard her live, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto a few years back, I vowed that wild horses would not drag me into a concert hall to hear her again. I don't believe that being a Great Star or an 'Artist of Extremes' or having the world's finest violin technique - as she has - is any excuse for presenting an interpretative travesty of a work like the Beethoven. So for the Brahms, I don't want to know. The concert is, of course, sold out... If you're there, let us know what it's like.
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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