Music

David Latham reviews 'A Pure Drop: The life and legacy of Jeff Buckley' by Jeff Apter

David Latham

Jeff Buckley is a man frozen in time, not just by virtue of being elevated into the pantheon of ‘died-too-early-rock-gods’. Before his untimely drowning in 1997, Buckley appeared to exist in a sort of musical and emotional stasis: a young fogey caught among the cultural ruins and vestiges of his estranged father, who died aged twenty-eight from a heroin overdose ... More

Michael Morley reviews 'The Political Orchestra: the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics during the Third Reich' by Fritz Trümpi, translated by Kenneth Kronenberg

Michael Morley

This study, which first appeared in German in 2011, was hailed at the time as definitive: properly so, as it incorporates so many aspects from so many areas of research. It marks a significant contribution to such fields as musicology, cultural history, the relationship between art and politics – not just in the Nazi era, but the periods preceding that, which saw ... More

Gareth Hipwell reviews 'Strict Rules: The iconic story of the tour that shaped Midnight Oil' by Andrew McMillan

Gareth Hipwell

In July 1986, an ascendant Midnight Oil joined forces with the Northern Territory’s trailblazing, predominantly Indigenous Warumpi Band and embarked on the joint ...

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Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'No Way but This: In Search of Paul Robeson' by Jeff Sparrow

Andrew Fuhrmann

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 – ... More

John Rickard reviews 'Divas: Mathilde Marchesi and her pupils' by Roger Neill

John Rickard

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 ...

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David Larkin reviews 'Franz Liszt: Musician, celebrity, superstar' by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Stewart Spencer

David Larkin

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 ... More

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews 'Virtuosi Abroad: Soviet music and imperial competition during the early Cold War, 1945–1958' by Kiril Tomoff

Sheila Fitzpatrick

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 ...

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Des Cowley reviews 'Conversations in Jazz: The Ralph J. Gleason interviews' edited by Toby Gleason

Des Cowley

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 ...

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Anwen Crawford reviews '1966: The year the decade exploded' and 'England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and punk rock' by Jon Savage

Anwen Crawford

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 ...

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Geoff Page reviews 'Iron in the Blood: A musical adaptation of Robert Hughes’s The Fatal Shore' composed by Jeremy Rose

Geoff Page

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 ...

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