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(2004 Archived Page)


Welcome to the Classical Music Page of Rainlore's World of Music. This page covers all types of classical and related music, from ancient and medieval to contemporary.




Good news for those who either missed the splendid Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush with the BBC Concert Orchestra concert back in February or would like to repeat this extraordinary experience. The concert is to be repeated on Thursday, 3rd February 2005, 7.30pm at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, West Sussex. Full details can be found on the newly set up 2005 Jewish Music UK Calendar page. This repeat performance is part of the BBC Concert Orchestra's new residency at Chichester, comprising five concerts between October 2004 and February 2005 as well as a series of education workshops and broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3. Details of the other concerts in this series are also listed on the calendar pages. A price reduction is available for those attending all five concerts, and the BBC CO have also set up a special discounted room rate with The Ship Hotel in the centre of Chichester for those visiting for the occasion and wishing to stay overnight. Full details are in the BBC CO's new season brochure and shortly on the BBC CO web site.

Slowly catching up on the backlog of CD reviews - I'm doing the best I can. There are another six albums reviewed in the Jewish Music, Jazz, and Other World Music categories, and what an outstanding crop they are!

The next site update will include an illustrated review of the fabulous Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers in concert at London's Purcell Room late last month, and, also from the Nomadica - Roots Revisited concert series,  the excellent The Soul of the Fiddle concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall will follow shortly, with more illustrated live reviews coming up soon.

Staying with the latter topic for a moment, if tangentially, whenever an illustrated review goes online I tend to get a good few emails from aspiring music photographers asking about how they could make a start photographing live music events, gaining access to events and permissions, and what equipment and film I use and other technical matters. It is obviously impossible for me to answer such inquiries individually apart from a brief polite acknowledgement. So, if you're one of those people please accept my apologies but it simply can't be done. This site is dedicated to music, not photography, so an article addressing these kinds of queries would be rather tangential, and certain aspects of such queries would be difficult or impossible to address without mentioning brand names, which further disinclines me to engage in this matter. After all, that would practically amount to free product/brand advertising, something that goes totally against the grain as far as I am concerned.

Finally, the Other World Music page is active as of now. This will cover anything that broadly falls into the world music category and that generally isn't already covered in the Jewish Music section of this site.

More soon.

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More computer problems, including the best part of two weeks offline, have unfortunately delayed this update further. (A proper replacement computer is now being sought, and then a few weeks will be taken up installing applications and migrating data - argh! The joys of computers!) A temporary "migration" from home was alas also necessitated by a major utilities crisis and resultant lack of heating and cooking (still no proper heating, if at least electric cooking of sorts now).

A little delayed then, we have the review of The Burning Bush with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler, concert at the Royal Festival Hall at last. Lavishly illustrated as usual, this one is spread out over two pages, with extra photos on the second page. The concert itself was a sensation. And after having heard recordings of the other events in this BBC Radio 3 series of East Meets West concerts, the BBC CO / The Burning Bush one stands out even more as clearly and far and away the best and most successful of them, which certainly also seems to be born out by audience reactions on various online message boards. Perhaps the less said about the other concerts in this series the better, and instead to concentrate on the positive side and the BBC Concert Orchestra with The Burning Bush event. It was a most memorable occasion indeed, where East really did meet West in a musically productive and meaningful way, with an excellent selection of orchestral pieces by Jewish composers or on Jewish themes, an orchestral arrangement of traditional Sephardi pieces by conductor Robert Ziegler, traditional Yiddish songs, klezmer tunes, Ladino songs and Chassidic nigunim from Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush, and a world premier of a specially commissioned work by Roderick Skeaping, The Vanished Shtetl, for band and orchestra, and more.

Associated with this splendid concert was a series of pre-concert performances in the Royal Festival Hall foyer, presented by the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of Concert Connections / BBC CO Learning under the title Vessels of Sound. Featuring a number of performances by students who were the beneficiaries of the BBC CO's learning programme as well as a spoken word poetry performance by the most excellent Leah Thorn, one of the facilitators in the learning programme, Vessels of Sound was an outstanding event celebrating Jewish culture and surely an occasion for Jewish pride. This delightful celebration is therefore given its own illustrated review.

The Classical Music Reviews index page is now also active and lists all reviews of music broadly falling into the classical category or overlapping with it.

More soon.

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Just a quick interim update. Regrettably, I've been falling further behind, not least thanks to an uncooperative computer that insists on being on its last leg (a couple of its aging disks have been failing intermittently). However, things are running reasonably smoothly again now (for now!), and coming up very shortly is an illustrated review of the Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush with The BBC Concert Orchestra concert, with conductor Robert Ziegler, at London's Royal Festival Hall last week. If you missed this outstanding performance of orchestral music on Jewish themes or by Jewish composers and traditional Jewish music performed by the Burning Bush, as well as the Burning Bush with the BBC CO (including a world premiere of of a specially commissioned work by Roderick Skeaping) you can listen to it on BBC Radio 3 90-93 FM (also online at the BBC web site) on 10th March, 7.30pm (BST). Presented alongside the main concert was an excellent series of free pre-concert recitals in the Royal Festival Hall main foyer as part of the BBC Concert Orchestra's Concert Connections, the BBC CO Learning Programme, entitled Vessels of Sound, and there will be seperate review of this as well. The Vessels of Sound performances will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the wekk of 8-12 March as part of the BBC Radio 3 'Diverse Orchestras' Project. Taken altogether, the evening was a superb celebration of Jewish culture on which the BBC CO really cannot be congratulated, and indeed thanked, enough.

Whilst on the topic of broadcasts, also don't miss Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers live on Charlie Gillett's The Sound of the World show on BBC London Radio (94.9 FM) on Saturday, 13th March, 8-10pm. If you're not in the London area, you can listen anywhere on the planet online anytime during the week following the broadcast.

Finally, anybody I owe email, please accept my apologies, I'll try and catch up as quickly as I can after the weekend. I estimate I should be more or less up-to-date with mail by the end of next week, with a bit of luck.

More soon.

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Back in 1984, a remarkable performance of Shostakovich's song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, Opus 79, took place in London as part of the first London Festival of Jewish Music. What was so remarkable about this performance was that the songs had been translated back into Yiddish from Russian. Fortunately, this performance in Yiddish was recorded shortly afterwards with the same performers and released on audio cassette by B'nai B'rith Recordings. The performers were Helen Lawrence, soprano (now mezzo), Carole Rosen, mezzo, Louis Garb, tenor, Louis Berkman, baritone, and Antony Saunders, piano. In addition to the Shostakovich cycle, the recording included extracts from Samuel Alman's Yiddish opera King Ahaz, with piano accompaniment. This historical release is still available in limited quantities and is now reviewed, along with another historical B'nai B'rith Recordings release from the same year, featuring Sybil Michelow, soprano (now alto) and the late Master of the Queen's Music Malcolm Williamson In Recital. This features an outstanding selection of songs covering the period from the late Romantic to the late 20th century, all by Jewish composers or on Jewish themes. Both of these historic releases are available from Jewish Music Distribution UK, and CD re-issues are being contemplated.

Also reviewed is Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise's album Inner Noise, an outstanding work of monumental proportions. Sirkis is perhaps best known as the drum genius in phenomenal world jazz band Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble, but here is playing with his own trio comprising in addition to the drummer, organist Steve Lodder on church organ and guitarist Mike Outram. Inner Noise is one of those impossible to confine to any genre works, blending elements of jazz, progressive rock, classical music and Middle Eastern music in a fantastic (in the original sense of that word as well as the common) fusion for the 21st century. Influences range from Olivier Messiaen to Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and the recording took place at St. Michael's Church, Highgate, North London.

More soon.

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The reviews pages are one of the major features of this site. Generally, reviews feature CD albums, but they will by no means be limited to CD releases. Previews and live performances, and even the odd demo, will also be covered as and when opportunities present themselves. Also, reviews are not necessarily of the latest releases only, rather, I aim to generally cover the best of what's around and that will often include reviews of older releases. Also, there is a page listing all CD reviews available on Rainlore's World of Music, which includes reviews of music from other genres, for example Jewish music, steel pan music, Jazz, in fact just about anything, and another one listing all live music reviews.

Latest reviews as of 2004/04/13:

BBC Concert Orchestra, Cond. Robert Ziegler, with The Burning Bush : In Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, 25th February 2004 (2004/02/26)

The BBC Concert Orchestra Presents as part of Concert Connections/BBC CO Learning :  Vessels of Sound - A pre-concert programme in the main foyer, Royal Festival Hall, London, 25th February 2004 (2004/02/26)

Latest reviews as of 2004/02/04:

Helen Lawrence et al :  Shostakovitch - Song Cycle: From Jewish Folk Poetry / Alman - King Ahaz - Opera Excerpts (2004/01/27) (Audio Cassette)

Sybil Michelow & Malcolm Williamson :  In Recital (2004/01/27) (Audio Cassette)

Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise :  Inner Noise (2004/01/18)
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Previous classical reviews:

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen : Mayn Fayfele - Songs of Gebirtig (2003/12/31)

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen : Brikele - A Concert Of Yiddish Songs (2003/12/29)

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen :  Benkshaft - Yiddishe Lider (2003/12/17)

The World Quintet (formerly known as Kol Simcha) :  Live at Union Chapel, Islington, London, 20th November 2003 (2003/11/26)

Lloica Czackis and Tangele :  Tangele - The Pulse of Yiddish Tango at Union Chapel, Islington, London, 9th November 2003 (2003/11/12)

The Giora Feidman Quartet :  TangoKlezmer: Giora Feidman Quartet at Union Chapel, Islington, London, 23rd October 2003 (2003/10/24)

Daphna Sadeh :  Out of Border (2003/06/30)

Shirim Klezmer Orchestra :  Klezmer Nutcracker (2003/04/01)

Adrianne Greenbaum, Alissa Lieser :  Sounds of America (2003/02/20)

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Artists' Pages

Another major feature, the artists' pages consist of brief profiles, complete with discographies, contact/booking and other useful information, for artists whose work has been reviewed on Rainlore's World of Music, or that have been given a special feature or profile. Additionally, in some cases, these pages may be styled to serve as the artist's or band's home page if they don't have a web site/page of their own yet; these are identified accordingly.

Previous profiles:

Adrianne Greenbaum

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Articles & Features

An index of both formal and informal articles, both on as well as off site, on all manner of topics relating to classical music. Titles are accompanied by brief descriptions of the content.


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