César Franck’s Cello Sonata

  After the Paris Commune came to an end in 1871 and right up to the First World War, Paris enjoyed a period of frenzied reconstruction and renewal. Paris’s renaissance is referred to today as la Belle Epoque (The Beautiful Era). Most memorable were the universal exhibitions that took place during this period of great optimism,…

Past presence: Dead Space Chamber Music and Kate Arnold

Two brilliantly-timed records that for me sum up the word ‘spirit’: both in the eerie, evocative atmospheres they conjure up, and the sheer inventive brio with which the music was created. * Dead Space Chamber Music are an intriguing collective from Bristol, UK, who seemingly belong to all genres or none. Within the first few…

Hoffmeister’s Magic Flute

Franz Anton Hoffmeister was surprisingly absent from my Oxford Companion to Music when I tried to look him up for the purposes of this review. This is surprising as his musical output at the end of the 18th century – early 19th century showed him to be quite prolific. He produced a total of sixty-six…