Is it surprising that Jeff Sparrow should write a book on Paul Robeson, the great American singer who was also a civil rights activist, a man of the left, and the most celebrated Othello of the twentieth century? Sparrow is a broadcaster and columnist, but he is also the immediate past editor of Overland, a literary journal dedicated to a mixed diet of – ...
Finding the right teacher is always a challenge for young singers, and the relationship between student and teacher can see the formation of a lifelong bond. By the same ...... (read more)
David Larkin reviews 'Franz Liszt: Musician, celebrity, superstar' by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Stewart Spencer
A century before Beatlemania there was Lisztomania. The symptoms were similar: fans driven to near delirium by their proximity to their musical idols, this mass hysteria finding involuntary physical release during performances. The Beatles may have been mobbed during their 1964 American tour, but Liszt left Berlin in March 1842 ‘not like a king, but a ...
Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews 'Virtuosi Abroad: Soviet music and imperial competition during the early Cold War, 1945–1958' by Kiril Tomoff
The Soviet violinist David Oistrakh made a triumphant tour of Australia in 1959, a few years after his wildly successful New York début. Along with pianist Emil Gilels and cellist ...... (read more)
It is a testament to Ralph J. Gleason’s standing in the jazz community, at the time these interviews were made, that a composer of the stature of Duke Ellington would consider ...... (read more)
Anwen Crawford reviews '1966: The year the decade exploded' and 'England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and punk rock' by Jon Savage
In March of 1966, Los Angeles rock group The Byrds released their sixth single, a song called 'Eight Miles High'. It was, writes Jon Savage, a song that combined 'two staples of sixties ...... (read more)
Geoff Page reviews 'Iron in the Blood: A musical adaptation of Robert Hughes’s The Fatal Shore' composed by Jeremy Rose
Iron in the Blood is jazz musician Jeremy Rose's ambitious and heartfelt tribute to Robert Hughes's The Fatal Shore (1986). Although some academic historians may demur ...... (read more)
Brett Dean, perhaps Australia's pre-eminent composer and certainly one of its most productive, is personable, witty, and engaging. He talks with heartfelt eloquence about ...... (read more)
Paul Kildea reviews 'Beethoven for a Later Age: The journey of a string quartet' by Edward Dusinberre
There is a moment early in the 'Heiliger Dankgesang' movement of Beethoven's Quartet Op. 132 when, without ceremony, an alien, courtly trio is plonked down ...... (read more)
Kate Hennessy reviews 'The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic' by Jessica Hopper
Chicago-based music critic Jessica Hopper disdains introductory tedium. Were I to mimic her style, we'd be off and running by now, or grappling with a question ...... (read more)