The aims of the Music Section of the Critics’ Circle are: a) to promote the art of criticism and to uphold its integrity in practice; b) to foster and safeguard the professional interests of its members and to provide opportunities for social intercourse among them; and c) to support the advancement of the arts. Though the Circle is decidedly not a trade union, it tries to encourage best practice.
We meet to discuss and decide bread and butter matters twice a year. Occasionally we host meetings with a leading figure from the music world. We also hold luncheons or dinners to celebrate the lifetime achievement of some very special artist, writer, composer or instrumentalist. The music section has about 80 members. At present, it consists overwhelmingly of classical music and opera critics, though we welcome critics of other kinds of music (jazz, pop, and world music).
News & Reviews
Mommie dearest By Paul Levy Among my regrets is that I am old enough to have seen and heard Maria Callas perform at Covent Garden, but young enough at the time to feel I could not afford the tickets. It goes some way to make up for this lapse that I have seen Joyce...read more
Bizet’s Carmen is a good example of the dark/fair contrast introduced to Romanticism by Walter Scott: here, Carmen’s (Virginie Verrez) smoking, drinking and all-round bad-girl mezzo v. Micaela’s (Anita Watson) clean-living soprano. The task for the fair-haired woman...read more
Brahms and Rachmaninov: the acceptable face of conservative programming? These two composers, each representing his own kind of retro-chic, make for a nice balance of sensual and intellectual, a celebration of the Romantic orchestra, of virtuosity and earnestness....read more
Playground for Paladins by Fiona Hook Robert Carsen’s 2011 staging of Handel’s Rinaldo eschews both Handel’s patriotic subtext about the war England was then waging with France, and more contemporary echoes, in favour of a jolly romp taking place in the imagination of...read more