A lovely early evening spent at the Steinway shop meeting not only Melanie Spanswick – author of So You Want To Play The Piano?– but a whole host of other music-loving types who when asked the question ‘How do you know Melanie?’ mostly replied, ‘via Twitter’. Take it from me, Melanie Spanswick, (pianist, blogger and author) has social media nailed.
The evening invitation included the opportunity to try out the many grand pianos in the next door Steinway Hall, a prospect which filled me with fear and dread when I arrived. One glass of wine later however, and I felt a little more daring.
I just wished I’d been encouraged as a kid to play the piano from memory. Not having the music in front of me mean I spent most of my time just playing scales up and down a £121K keyboard, badly. Still, maybe it’s time to give the piano at home a tune.
So You Want To Play The Piano? is available via Amazon
Melanie Spanswick writes about the piano and music education on her blog.
Minutes after his death, Davis’s name began trending on Twitter. Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour party wrote: “Colin Davis made a historic contribution to music – in this country & worldwide. Condolences to his family”. Katherine Jenkins, the Welsh soprano, was one of hundreds of fans who expressed their sadness.
Unexpectedly, I was drawn to the radio an hour or so after I discovered of Davis’ death, first expecting that Radio 3 continuity would make reference to it in between the end of Drama on 3 and the beginning of World Routes. When Classic FM tweeted they’d be playing a special selection of Davis-related recordings from midnight, it was then I realised how much I wanted to pay homage. Radio 3 picked up the baton at Breakfast between 6 and 9 the following morning with Petroc Trelawny introducing a selection of notable Davis recordings too. Classic FM changed their scheduling for a ‘Full Works’ concert with an interesting programme of works conducted by Davis.
This blog post curates some of that programming throughout the year and includes links to catch-up and download material (where available). Links to material which has fallen outside of the 7-day catch-up window is still included in case a subsequent re-broadcast makes them available again.
This list isn’t exhaustive but will grow over time. It’s drawn from BBC press releases and programme information, archived material still available, chance listens and a trample through past schedules. Surprisingly, there’s no one signal destination which curates this stuff on bbc.co.uk. A topic on the BBC’s /programmes site must surely be in order.
The New York Philharmonic Digital Archive may possibly be my most favourite thing in the world right now.
The most obvious explanation is that it offers an online experience of something I longed doing when I was in my first job as an orchestral librarian in the mid-nineties. Back then, I’d sit at my desk and spend hours looking over old sets of orchestral manuscripts, almost drunk with pleasure at the thought of touching documents that had been used in performances long before I’d even been born. Transferring conductor’s markings from score to orchestral parts was the librarian’s equivalent of jostling with musical celebrities.
Impressed with the LSO’s bold picture-led advertising on the Bakerloo Line at Charing Cross, in a walkway somewhere underneath Trafalgar Square.
Puts the critically acclaimed brand at the heart of London, juxtaposing an iconic location in the capital with a world-renowned orchestra.
The copy gives an otherwise anonymous player a clear voice amid a busy metropolis, telling us about an exciting event from last year’s Open Air Classics season. The overarching message is that the LSO programmes popular accessible live events which bring audiences together.
The messaging about mainstream populist programming doesn’t undermine the brand: a clearly signposted URL will reveal to a new visitor the breadth of the orchestra’s output.