This blog is designed to promote significant recordings that have appeared over the years, as well as significant literary discoveries


Bio: Born April 14th 1948. Consultant reviewer of The Gramophone magazine. Main interests - Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, William Blake, Kathleen Raine, sketching, compulsive note-taking, sundry historic recordings and my gorgeous family (wife Georgina, daughters Francesca and Victoria and granddaughter Elizabeth, as well as two brothers).

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8 thoughts on “This blog is designed to promote significant recordings that have appeared over the years, as well as significant literary discoveries

  1. Kevin Frank

    Hello, my name is Kevin Frank, and I’ve been enjoying your blog very much. Recently I purchased a digital download of the Decca Monteux Beethoven symphonies (from, and was disappointed that it did not include a PDF booklet, which I understand consists primarily of notes written by you. Any chance I could get a copy of those notes? My search for a copy online has proved unsuccessful.

    Best wishes,
    Kevin (


  2. Greetings, Rob

    I’ve just – only now! – read your notice in Gramophone 10/95 about Reger’s solo violin sonatas, and lost no time in ordering the (subsequently issued) CD-Twofer of all seven sonatas. You absolutely hit the nail on the head, these works are a “must-hear” for fans of Reger, Bach or the violin!

    Indeed, one week late (!), I have now ordered the original two individual CD releases, since – once one has slipped them together in a slim double-CD jewel case (something I do with almost every single CD issue involving the same artist(s) in the same cycle) – the 2 CDs take up less space than the Twofer album, elegantly though it is presented. And secondly, there are even more alluring photos of the maestra with the separate CDs – and, I understand, some notes about the music and its composer and not just – as in the Twofer release – about the artist, fascinating as her biography is…

    Indeed, had the CD sleeve been illustrated beside your original review, who knows…? I certainly would not have forgotten reading the review at the time it appeared – as I seem to have done. Well, better (22 years) late than never…

    What caught my attention, inter alia, in your notice was the reference to some of the distinguished – but nowadays largely forgotten – violinists who were the sonatas’ dedicatees was of course the name Henri Petri. an exact contemporary of another musician that must have known Reger, the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld (dedicatee of Brahms’ Quintet, Trio and Sonatas for that instrument); like both Brahms and Reger, Mühlfeld was closely associated – as first clarinettist – with the Meiningen Court Orchestra (q.v in wikipedia), indeed in the fascinating museum in Meiningen Castle, it is possible to view Mühlfeld’s clarinet, Reger’s baton – or was it von Bülow’s – and manuscripts by both composers, only paces away from each other.

    Petri did enjoy a certain well-deserved fame in his own era; after engagements in London as a soloist, he became leader, successively, of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (being concurrently a member of the Gewandhaus Quartet) and the Dresdner Hofkapelle. But he is likely best remembered as the father of the celebrated pianist Egon Petri.

    Ah, perhaps I should let slip that I too am a Reger fan, and even get as far as playing some of his (easier!) organ music… Please allow me sign off with one of his least complex, but most beautiful, creations – even here, the characteristic (and almost unique to the composer) Regerian paradox of sheer power rubbing shoulders with the utmost delicacy, grips one to the core): (more under “miliggi reger”)

    Kind regards


    1. Brilliant that you order those CDs Douglas – for me Reger is a sort of ‘return to home’, so much going on in the music, harmonically, that chimes with my own musical imagination! What a genius he was. Will check out the link. Best. Rob


      1. An absolute genius, as you say!

        I did obtain the Fugue State Films video at the time of its release (indeed I helped with funding for its production) but have not yet had time to view it!! However I did see the trailer, and was mightily impressed.

        That’s the rub (no near-pun intended) in being an executant artist – one rarely gets enough time to listen to the work of one’s colleagues – and organists are even worse served through having little opportunity even to meet their colleagues (outside of organists’ societies – which attract quite a lot of organ crawlers in much the way that railway societies attract loco-spotters).

        And to add insult to injury, I was a senior accountant in the banking sector until age 60…. A Gramophone reader, however, since 1960, and a subscriber for most of that time (ah, another pearl let slip…during my three-year stint with British Rail in Marylebone Road – now transformed into a luxury hotel – I used to slip over to the public library during lunch-break to read the latest Gramophone (often being second or third in a queue for same. I wonder whether any reader that had to wait until I was through reading it is also still on board. But I doubt he is still reading it in Marylebone… )


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