music

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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Green Room: Michael Shmith interviews Brett Dean

Michael Shmith

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 ...

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Paul Kildea reviews 'Beethoven for a Later Age: The journey of a string quartet' by Edward Dusinberre

Paul Kildea

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 ...

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Kate Hennessy reviews 'The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic' by Jessica Hopper

Kate Hennessy

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 ...

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Ian Dickson reviews 'On Sondheim: An Opinionated guide' by Ethan Mordden

Ian Dickson

Do we really need another slim volume on the great Stephen Sondheim? Along with innumerable reviews, essays, and articles, we have Craig Zadan's account of Sondheim's early career, Sondheim & Co (1974), Meryle Secrest's Stephen Sondheim: A Life (1998), and the promise of a definitive biography from the critic David Benedict. If that were not en ... More

Doug Wallen reviews 'Yodelling Boundary Riders' by Toby Martin

Doug Wallen

The history of country music in Australia is in many ways the history of the specialisation of a genre,' writes Toby Martin, explaining how the style evolved from copying the American singing-cowboy model of the 1930s to incorporating Australian bush ballads and staking a 'unique claim to national authenticity'.

Notions of authenticity are among the many lin ... More

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