More readers' letters
If you'd like to write to M&V about any of the issues expressed
here, or on any other musical subject, please
complete our contact form and tick the box asking
Basil Ramsey to consider your comments for publication.
From: Bill Jones, USA
Just today I found your web site while surfing. I am writing a biography of my
dear friend and teacher, the great Russian pianist, Alexander K Borovsky (1889-1968) and
would appreciate hearing from anyone who studied with Borovsky. Borovsky was Koussevitzky's
most favorite pianist performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra more than twenty three
times. I began most of my research while studying with 'Mr B' and he knew I wanted to do
this for him.
From: Malcolm Walker, EMI Classics, London UK
In response to your
request for information:
Lorenzo Molajoli was born in Rome in 1868 and died in Milan in April 1939.
It is thought he conducted in North and South America and in the Italian provinces.
Claims that he conducted as La Scala between the wars are not substantiated by any
reference source provided by the theatre. He was very possibly a musical adviser to the
Columbia Graphophone Company and and such conducted nearly twenty complete and abridged
operas for the label in addition to providing the accompaniment to virtually all the
operatic arias and ensembles recorded in Milan between 1926 and 1935.
From: Maria Nockin, M&V
Reference Tom Hawkes' comparison
of Magda (in Puccini's La Rondine) with La Boheme's Musetta
readers may like to know that Musetta was actually fashioned after a real
person, Marie Christine Roux. This real life Musetta never threw her money away,
but saved it to retire to Algiers, where her sister and brother in law lived.
Unfortunately the ship on which she eventually departed for north Africa
sank in the middle of the Mediterranean and she drowned.
From: an opera fan from Essex, UK
I have just read your review
of Die Zauberflote at the
Royal Opera House and am fed-up about the Essex-girl comment. I watched this production
on television and to me the character Ailish Tynan portrayed seemed more Berlin than
Basildon. An idea has built up in the press that Essex is populated solely by this kind
of girl and her male equivalent, when in fact she can be found in most areas of the UK
if not the whole of Europe and the US. Programmes such as Holiday Rep often feature
people from the North of England who look and act exactly like the perceived 'Essex'
people. Only the accents are different. Please stop rubbishing Essex!
From: Ross Hardter, USA
I was really pleased to see the
with reference to Louis Moreau
Gottschalk and the new recording. Of course Gottschalk was not a 'great'
composer, but that certainly does not mean he was not a good one.
But it is not only some Europeans who look down upon American music. I think it is
only now that we can see the beginnings of a real interest in American composers (and for
which Naxos must be given a great deal of credit).
This is another example of why music should not be encumbered with political
arguments. Believe it or not, it was only a couple of years ago that I read in an
American paper that people should not listen to Gottschalk's music because he was not
(somewhat to paraphrase) 'black enough'. How stupid can some people be!
From: (name withheld)
I agree absolutely with Don Pilarz'
about your reviewer John Bellboy Young. It seems that Young's 'petty, biased views'
are not confined to the Yvgeny Kissin review -- I found several much worse
examples on your site. His
treatment of Chinese pianist Lang Lang is unbelievably
unfair, and his comments on several
young pianists at the Van Cliburn competition are nothing short of
From: Ellen Bacon, USA
I just wanted you to know that the Ernst Bacon Society, established in l995, has
had some success in putting my husband's music on the map. We sponsored several
chamber-vocal concerts in the centennial year, l998, and put out two CDs of his music:
CRI CD 779, 'Remembering Ansel Adams', which includes the cello sonata and some piano
works; and CRI CD 890, 'Fond Affection', with songs for soprano and baritone and the
violin sonata. Ernst Bacon's vocal music is now pretty well established in America;
and the chamber music is becoming more recognized. I'm focusing now on the orchestral
output, for which there's a real place, if only it could be known! His music is colorful,
picturesque, and full of imagination. If you have any suggestions of performers or
condcutors who are looking for American music of substance and appeal, I would welcome
The Ernst Bacon Society believes that Bacon is the 'dark horse' of the
twentieth century and that posterity will rank him with Copland and Ives in capturing
the American spirit. Just yesterday a performer emailed me that he is an 'American
From: Alberto Cobo, Spain
I am a Spanish composer, musicologist and classical piano performer.
I would like you to have a look at my web page where you can listen to the
two most important discoveries of Spanish musicological history: two operas by
Carnicer and Maximo Lopez.
You can also listen to some of my compositions and piano performances
(Beethoven, Liszt, a Schumann video, among others).
From: Alex and Gyuzel, South Korea
Hi! We are duet called Accordiomania! Our names are Alex and Gyuzel. We are
from Russia. At present we play on tour in Seoul, South Korea.
We play the accordion and we would like to correspond with those who do this
kind of creative work or simply love accordion music. We hope to find friends
with joint interests, to share our experience and compare notes with them.
We are full of life and energy,
we will be happy to answer you! You will not regret it!
From: Padmanabha Bapu, India
I'm a musician who plays the North Indian bamboo flute (classical).
I'm interested to perform and conduct workshops on the Indian flute
and its music. Here I've performed in music festivals, and
played for recordings, radio and TV. Shortly I'm planning to release my
own instrumental CD -- different kinds of music for meditation and relaxation.
I've also played with different groups for fusion music.
I'm willing to teach Indian flute to dedicated students. I love to share
the richness of our Indian music with you people, and also love to learn and share
your music tradition. It'll be a nice experience if you arrange some concerts and
workshops for me.
Please click this link to know more about my musical journey.
From: Edward McCafferty, USA
'My country is the world, and my religion is to do good' -- Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
from The Rights of Man.
An American born in England I believe. Words that are still ahead of their time,
regarding Iraq or other campaigns in mankind's future. [see the previous 'Editor's inbox']