The eminent art critic David Sylvester always managed to catch the unexpected angle when he interviewed or analysed his contemporaries. This dazzling, surprising collection - planned and completed by David Sylvester himself shortly before his death in 2001 - includes key interviews recorded in London over the years. Some pieces focus on artists, conveying the urgent, changing movements of British art from early appreciations of Henry Moore and William Coldstream, to Bridget Riley, Malcolm Morley, Howard Hodgkin, Gilbert and George, Rachel Whiteread, Douglas Gordon and Tony Cragg. Other interviews turn to ballet, theatre, film and music, introducing us to the world and views of Leonide Massine, the inspired film-set designer Ken Adam or the composer Harrison Birtwistle - a moving late recording. Perhaps the most unusual of these final pieces, and one of the most resonant, is an interview with Mike Brearley, former English cricket captain. David Sylvester was himself an extremely knowledgeable and passionate cricket fan, and here he shows how sport can resemble art in its concern with timing, placing, and composition.
Deeply enjoyable, rewarding and thought provoking, London Recordings is a tribute to Sylvester's remarkable wisdom, humanity and humour as well as his enduring genius.
David Sylvester (1924-2001) was a critic of international standing, an authority on contemporary art, and author of key works on Magritte, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon, as well as the acclaimed collections of essays About Modern Art, Interviews with American Artists, and the short account of his early life, Memoirs of a Pet Lamb.