2 May 2021

Book review: Ina Lohr (1903–1983): transcending the boundaries of early music

Smith Anne, Ina Lohr (1903–1983): transcending the boundaries of early music, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Scripta 9 (Basel: Schwabe-Verlag, 2020), Edward Breen

Early Music, caab012, https://doi.org/10.1093/em/caab012
Published: 15 April 2021

Described by the composer Sven-Erik Bäck as ‘much more glamorous than her French counterpart, Nadia Boulanger’ (p.297), Ina Lohr is little remembered today. Yet she was vital to the musical life of Basel, in her roles as ‘co-founder and pedagogical inspiration for the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and musical assistant to Paul Sacher, a major patron of contemporary music in the 20th century and conductor of the Basel Chamber Orchestra’ (to quote from the book under review, p.xvii). Anne Smith’s new biography is a rich and engaging study which does much to secure Lohr’s legacy.

Smith places Lohr’s musical activities within the context of other aspects of her family and spiritual life. As is often the case in...

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

1 May 2021

Music for the King of Scots

Music for the King of Scots: Inside the Pleasure Palace of James IV
The Binchois Consort, Andrew Kirkman (conductor)
Hyperion CDA68333

This latest release from The Binchois Consort represents early ‘musicking’ at its finest: the programme is built around music from the Carver Choirbook through to be associated with the seat of the Royal Chapel in Stirling and an important source of pre-Reformation music in Scotland. There is, however, another layer: this is a historically informed performance within an historic performance space – Linlithgow Palace - itself recreated in virtual reality. Musicology and music production triangulate James IV’s visits to Linlithgow palace with veneration of Saint Katherine and the Carver Choirbook in this very clever project. There’s even an accompanying app which enables you to listen with and without the VR chapel acoustic. What feels at first to be an intense claustrophobia quickly reveals itself to be the intimate, tapestried space of a private chapel where every detail of the singing is clear and close.


To read the full text of this article please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (May 2021)