Picturing Music

  Today Mahlerman looks at composers who also painted, or painters who also composed... The overlap and admixture of musical composition and painting was not something I had even considered until, quite recently, I heard a piece of music (thank you Radio 3) by the Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Ciurlionis - ... Read More...

Lord Berners – The man who left Lesbos

Steerforth remembers one of the more flamboyant dabblers of the 20th century... One of the most colourful and unjustly forgotten characters of the last century is Lord Berners. Born Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson in 1883, Berners went to Eton and worked as a diplomat until he inherited his title. For the remainder of ... Read More...

Academic Ears

  This week Mahlerman considers musicology, and the difference between knowledge of music, and mere knowledge about music... Most Dabblers will know that when a sociologist goes to a strip-club, he watches the audience. Similarly, as the great Lancastrian Sir Thomas Beecham reminded us, a musicologist can write music but he can't ... Read More...

1685 – An Annus Mirabilis

  Mahlerman celebrates one of the most important years in musical history, when three great composers entered the world... In this post we looked at 1934 and discovered that within a few short months of each other, three great British composers slipped off the coil; a bad year by any measure. Today we journey ... Read More...

Four Great Female Composers

Is serious music a man's game? Not necessarily, says Mahlerman... Back in 2006 Nicholas Kenyon, then Controller BBC Proms, received an unmerciful kicking in the press and elsewhere for not including a single work by a woman in that season's programmes.  And even when the compositions of women do appear, they ... Read More...

Apollo and Dionysus

Mahlerman explores the idea that music can be a balance between order and freedom, control and intuition, between the Apollonian and the Dionysian... What is important for the lucid ordering of the work - for its crystallisation - is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist ... Read More...