Music

shape-note singing

The shape of things

June 1, 2020 10:16 pm

On shape-note singing and my friend Stephen

dion

Meet Dion, one of the last living links to the earliest days of rock ’n’ roll

May 28, 2020 2:13 pm

Doo-wop’s elder statesman on Buddy Holly, Dylan and King David

berlin petrenko

I’m still not wholly convinced by Kirill Petrenko: Berlin Phil’s Digital Concert Hall reviewed

May 28, 2020 1:14 pm

The orchestra’s online archive offers an impressive spread of performances, including Rattle conducting Tom and Jerry and a Karajan concert that is appalling and magnificent

abba bands

From ABBA to Pet Shop Boys: how bands got their names

May 28, 2020 11:40 am

The Ramones were paying tribute to Paul McCartney, who used the pseudonym ‘Paul Ramon’ when checking into hotels

beastie boys

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

May 14, 2020 4:59 pm

I came away wishing the Beastie Boys were my friends, and feeling glad they still care for each other

anton bruckner

The best recordings of Bruckner’s Eighth, the greatest symphony

May 14, 2020 4:17 pm

Some of the old-timers who you might expect to be in tune with Bruckner’s Eighth now seem rather superficial, including Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer

salvant

Salvant grace

May 13, 2020 5:38 pm

Cécile McLorin Salvant’s shock of the new

livestream

Livestream-hopping is just as irritating as being at a real festival

April 30, 2020 7:26 pm

Recreating the feel of a festival from your sofa — complete with terrible sightlines and not enough actual music — is disconcertingly easy

bayreuth

Bayreuth, the greatest musical experience of his life

April 23, 2020 4:38 pm

The first performance of Parsifal at the 1962 Bayreuth Festival remains unforgettable, as some of my patient and weary friends will agree, having heard me fail to forget it

passion

The best recordings of my favorite Passion

April 9, 2020 3:56 pm

The St Matthew is all about drawing us in closer, giving us time to reflect, feel, interject, to doubt even

haydn

The joy of Haydn’s string quartets

April 2, 2020 3:40 pm

Haydn survived smallpox, saw his house burn down (twice) and narrowly escaped castration

taylor swift

Taylor Swift is fascinating — but you really wouldn’t want to be her

April 2, 2020 3:25 pm

My tip for maximum pleasure is to avoid the rockumentaries about musicians you are interested in

kinks

Even in the Swinging Sixties, Ray Davies was feeling nostalgic

March 26, 2020 7:43 pm

The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached by Mark Doyle reviewed

benny golson

Tenor badness

March 22, 2020 5:01 pm

Benny Golson, last legend of bebop

banjo

Finger pickin’ good

March 21, 2020 1:39 pm

Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has reinvented his instrument and retraced its roots

mccoy tyner

The real McCoy

March 9, 2020 9:36 am

In memory of McCoy Tyner

dave brubeck

The good boy of jazz: Dave Brubeck’s time has come round at last

March 5, 2020 10:58 am

Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time by Philip Clark reviewed

luke haines peter buck

‘All rock ’n’ roll starts and ends with Lou Reed’

March 3, 2020 1:57 pm

Our rock critic has made an album with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. Here he explains how...

kraftwerk

Uniform beats

March 3, 2020 9:29 am

Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany by Uwe Schütte reviewed

Chuck D and Flavor Flav public enemy

Bernie $anders is a public enemy

March 2, 2020 9:33 pm

I’m voting for Flavor Flav

cyrus chestnut

Cyrus the Great

February 22, 2020 8:17 am

A night at Blues Alley with the mighty Chestnut

taylor swift

The sad conformity of Taylor Swift

January 31, 2020 2:21 pm

Where is the bravery in saying exactly what your industry wants you to say?

birmingham

Prepare to be amazed: the story of Birmingham’s Symphony Orchestra

January 30, 2020 1:43 pm

Forward: 100 Years of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra by Richard Bratby reviewed

kinks

Land of hope and Victoria: The Kinks’ lost empire

January 29, 2020 4:54 pm

By 1969, Churchill was dead and the Kinks, as an album group, were toast

beethoven

Beethoven or bust

January 24, 2020 7:11 pm

Reflecting on the hard-thinking, beer-drinking spiritual gambler