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Category: top 10

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Listening to Liszt

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    Franz LisztLiszt’s piano music is often incredibly difficult to play. It can also be difficult to listen to. It's ambitious, complex and often very intense. It can also be discordant, disconcerting and ugly. There are other problems too. Liszt was as prolific as he was virtuosic, so there’s the question of how to approach such a large body of work. Liszt was also a compulsive rewriter, meaning we might ask which version of a piece it is we should even be listening to.

    Happily, these problems are not intractable. Just as Liszt composed challenging music so too did he write music of great simplicity. And whilst it's true that some pieces are not always melodically straightforward or pretty, others are sumptuously romantic with the most elegant and loving of melodies.

    I offer some pointers below on how to begin listening to Liszt and then provide a list of 10 works that can act as signposts for any beginner starting out on their own journey or pèlerinage into his work. 

  2. The top 10 videogames that have shaped me as a gamer – Part 2

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    In part 1 of my countdown of the 10 videogames that have shaped me as a gamer I focussed on titles from earlier platforms, including the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the NES. In part 2 I turn to those games I’ve encountered more recently, beginning with those that appeared on the N64 through to those I now play on my Nintendo Switch.

  3. The top 10 videogames that have shaped me as a gamer – Part 1

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    I’ve recently been thinking about all the different videogames that I’ve played over the years. I’ve been thinking especially about the games that have shaped me as a gamer and nerd.

    The result of all this thinking was a list of 10 games that have been important to me, which I posted to Twitter. It struck me that the list formed something like my gaming autobiography. I thought it would be fun to go into a little more detail about each of my picks here.

    What follows, then, is part 1 of my top 10 videogames that have shaped me as a gamer.