Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms, a composer who died alone But left to us in melody and tone, Out of plain themes, seamless transformations Into complex, Baroque variations. He mastered the technique of counterpoint And perfected a lyrical viewpoint.   The Schumanns first recognised his talent, Clara thought the blue eyed beauty was sent From God, and so… Continue reading Johannes Brahms


On Laughter

There are many health benefits To a full laugh, more than a smile. Endorphines are released, and stress Hormones like cortisol reduced. Many tensions of modern life Can be broken with an outburst Of laughter at a comedy.   It’s also one of the finest Expressions of one’s liberty In the face of your enemy.… Continue reading On Laughter

Top 3 Favourite Landscape Paintings

Landscape painting has long since captured the imagination like no other genre. To begin with, from the rural scenes in Pieter Brueghel the Elder to the classically inspired settings from Claude Lorraine and Nicolas Poussin, mankind was always at the heart of the paintings. There were exceptions, such as Jacob von Ruisdael, who depicted mankind’s… Continue reading Top 3 Favourite Landscape Paintings

Top 3 Ludwig van Beethoven Recordings

The modern day approach of interpreting Beethoven is to perform the symphonies either with ‘authenticity’, i.e. period instruments, or with a small scale orchestra that mirrors the size of early nineteenth century orchestras, or both. And so, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner and others are lauded for their approach. Certainly there is a transparency and… Continue reading Top 3 Ludwig van Beethoven Recordings

My Desert Island Books

Robert Burton - The Anatomy of Melancholy (NYRB Classics, 2001) First published in 1621, it is still a fairly accurate medical treatise, in spite of modern advances beyond the 'four humours’. The melancholia here corresponds to modern day clinical depression, but chiefly it's a fascinating, informative and entertaining account of those afflicted, an analysis of… Continue reading My Desert Island Books

City Lights (1931): Chaplin’s Masterpiece

Charlie Chaplin’s comedies, to the juvenile and the inner child alike, are the epitome of magic in the movies. An eternally youthful hyperbole, very few artists could elicit such a sensation, from a well of tears to pangs of laughter no remedy can cure, as Chaplin did with his immortal Tramp. True, he had a… Continue reading City Lights (1931): Chaplin’s Masterpiece