James Fletcher

James Fletcher is a saxophonist and composer who lives in London.

Writing in Haydn Studies of the composer’s reception during the 19th century, Leon Botstein tells an interesting story about Felix Weingartner, Mahler’s successor as conductor at the Imperial Opera in Vienna. In 1909, he was asked to provide something that could be part of the centenary celebrations of Haydn’s death. ‘Weingartner expressed his dismay that the Festival...

Most people think birds just go pi-pi-pi

James Fletcher, 4 April 1996

By spring 1940 France and Britain had been at war with Germany for more than six months; Belgium was already occupied by the Nazis. On 9 June some fifty divisions Of the German Army under von Rundstedt, a commander so formidable that even Hitler is said to have treated him with considerable respect, struck southwards from Belgium towards Rheims. The French forces behind the Aisne resisted heroically, but were far outnumbered. On 11 June they began a strategic withdrawal south across the Marne, then east into the Vosges. But the situation was hopeless, and on 22 June they were forced to surrender.



20 July 1995

It is kind of Alan Gabbey (Letters, 5 October) to suggest that the editors of the LRB rather than I should be held responsible for my having, in a moment of étourderie, unsexed la note. I checked inégal in Petit Robert, missed the only feminine plural example, panicked, and made them inégaux in spite of knowing quite well that they are, of course, always known as notes inégales. I am making arrangements...
Daniel Eisenstein (Letters, 20 July) asks if Nicholas Spice is seriously suggesting that we should abandon the attempt to discover more about musical languages of the past in favour of ‘anything that comes into our heads’. Apart from misrepresenting what Nicholas Spice said (if only by exaggeration) this seems to me to make some very unsafe assumptions about ‘authenticity’.In the first place...

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