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Paul Kilbey

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Paul is a freelance classical music writer and editor who lives in Germany. Read more about him on http://paulkilbey.co.uk/.
“Always a great conductor, his performances in these last years were transcendent, and we all feel privileged to have witnessed them,” Rattle described.
There are certain things that every opera needs to have. One is brilliant music, of course. And another is an enthralling plot. But where do opera’s stories come from?
The start of a year, the end of a century: Francis Poulenc was born on January 7, 1899.
“As obscure as it is strange,” was how Mozart’s first biographer, Franz Xaver Niemetschek, described the story of his Requiem in 1798.
From gruesome tale to Christmas tradition, follow Hansel und Gretel on their journey into the woods and onto the opera stage...
“We must at least keep the fee secret,” wrote Verdi in June 1870, about his latest project: Aida.
Classical music has such a long, storied history, that it can be difficult to know where to start. Each week, we’ll be exploring an important event that left its mark. This week? The death of a man whose work is today the stuff of legend and whose...
Classical music has such a long, storied history, that it can be difficult to know where to start. Each week, we’ll be exploring an important event that left its mark. This week? A recognizably "American" work written by a Czech master...
Strauss’s opera Salome scandalized the musical world in 1905—and again in May 1906, when, as Ross vividly describes, the Austrian premiere in Graz drew together an astonishing array of musical luminaries, from Mahler to Schoenberg to Puccini. “Like a flash of lightning,” Ross writes, “it illuminated a musical world on the verge of traumatic change. Past and future were colliding; centuries were passing in the night.”
Hugely renowned in his native Europe, the young Béla Bartók can hardly have imagined that he would receive perhaps the most important commission of his life while languishing with an unknown disease on a hospital bed in New York, after several barren years. But the final chapter in Bartók’s life story was full of surprises.