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In our regular Friday Pianos and Pianists feature, our Consultant Editor (keyboard), BBC Music Magazine critic Ates Orga profiles Jan Ladislav Dussek:

'Admired for his tonal palette, "enchanted" touch, innovative (shifting) legato fingerings prophetic of Chopin ("to hold the vibration and to tie or bind one passage to another," he called it), pedalling (in which area he was far in advance of Hummel), and emotionally intense artistry, for his fanciful way with fioritura elaboration, Dussek, le beau Dussek, was among the first of the great travelling showman pianists, a generation or more in advance of Liszt.'


Also featured are details of the 1999 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, the 1998 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, memories from Ivor Newton and of Smetana the pianist, and the regular three-weekly round-up of piano concerts in the United Kingdom.

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Do you want your music to be heard on the Internet? Billabong Media specialise in editing and processing the best sounds on the Web in RealAudio and Windows Media. All formats accepted, negotiable rates. John Hayward-Warburton, .


Continuing our series of CD reviews illustrated with streaming Real Audio and numerous hyperlinks to other sites, John Hayward-Warburton explores a new Naxos release of music by Hummel, and music for string quartet by Nielsen, Puccini and Catalani.

'Despite his outliving Beethoven by ten years, Hummel's work does not form any part of a bridge between Classicism (as it was already called in his lifetime) and the Romantic Era. Perhaps it was the demands of a hungry publisher, his employers at Eisenstadt (the Esterhazys) and Weimar, or his business as one of Europe's finest pianists that kept the spark of great compositional genius hidden? Perhaps it was an intermittent yet life-long rivalry with Beethoven that caused his output to be silent in some aspects, notably the symphony?'


Other CD reviews feature the music of Pizzetti, Bentzon and two new CDs of American song (all reviewed by Peter Dale), CDs by contemporary composers Lior Navok and Emilian B. Sichkin (reviewed by Patric Standford) and CDs by two British Organists - Paul Ayres and Kevin Bowyer (reviewed by Basil Ramsey).


Richard Graves continues his fascinating series of short articles about music, 'By the way', with episodes entitled 'What's in a Name - or Neyme?', 'First Verse' and 'The Street Singer', and these articles will continue each Thursday for the next few weeks.

'It can't have been much fun being poor old Charles Martin. He had spend most of his life wandering round the streets of Victorian London singing "Tom Bowling" and "The Death of Nelson" in the hope that someone would toss him a coin or two. Perhaps it wasn't so bad in the summer - but you had to eat during the winter as well.'



Mark Valencia compares productions of 'Candide' and 'Paul Bunyan' in London, putting off painful comparisons until the end of his article.

'It all depends how you take your opera. Straight? A splash of operetta fizz? Maybe you go for cocktails with snazzy names like "music theatre". Of course, no self-respecting connoisseur would so much as sniff at a musical: nasty, sickly things, strictly for the uneducated palate.'


Patric Standford visited York University's New Music Festival and makes some cutting remarks about how music in Britain often goes unrecognised:

'... to the amazement of everyone attending the final concert last Saturday, there was neither BBC Radio 3 presence nor even its apparent interest. Organiser and Professor of Music at York, Nicola LeFanu, was at a loss to know what more to do in trying to enthuse the BBC pundits who, having abandoned their expertise in Manchester, seem to believe there is unlikely to be anything new and worthwhile in the north unless they have a hand in making it.'


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