Stuff for the Weekend…

For those lucky people who have time to sit and read things, or listen to them, at the weekend, here are a few bits and pieces:

First, the new edition of Standpoint is out now and on the newsstands. My column this month is called Chopin Overkill (surprise surprise). Here it is. I’m currently attempting to find out the answer to the question posed by my lone anonymous commentator.

Also a piece in the JC interviewing the charming and intelligent Russian maestro Semyon Bychkov, who will be conducting the LSO for the first time tomorrow at the Barbican.

And some Wagner for yesterday’s Indy as adjunct to Stephen Fry’s confessions, due soon on TV. (Meanwhile, Mr Lebedev has now bought the Independent and the Independent on Sunday…)

Last but by no means least, I went on Friday night to hear the LSO and Robin Ticciati – who was conducting them for the first time too – with Simon Trpceski as soloist in the Grieg Piano Concerto. As you’ll know by now, I think Trpceski’s recording of the Rachmaninov 2nd and 3rd Concertos with the Royal Liverpool Phil and Vassily Petrenko is an absolute knockout – it’s currently the recording I go back to every time I need a cheering influence, because its freshness, spontaneity, genuineness and balanced, unpretentious gorgeousness makes me feel glad to be alive. Trpceski did it again with the Grieg, which I doubt I have ever enjoyed more (usually I have a slight allergy to Grieg, but never mind). So instead of Friday Historical, here he is playing Debussy’s ‘Mouvement’. Enjoy!

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens
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