Archive

In Search Of Ruth Gipps
Simon Brackenborough on a fearsomely determined child prodigy turned composer and conductor.

The Art Of Rejection
Kate Romano on how receiving a ‘no’ can be both an obstruction and a force for creativity.

Cultivating Ignorance
How well do you know classical music?

Pilgrim Songs: Spiritual And Musical Journeys Through The Ages
Joseph Camilleri looks at the long and enriching relationship between music and pilgrimage.

Piobaireachd: The Classical Music Of The Great Highland Bagpipe
Chris Bissell on Scotland’s distinctive and complex classical bagpiping tradition.

An English Hymnal
Simon Brackenborough on why The English Hymnal is one of his favourite music books.

The Music That Time Forgot
The story of Arnold Bax’s once-popular third symphony, and a love affair spanning four decades.

Snakes And Ladders
Simon Brackenborough on what board games and musical scales can tell us about the music of Gloria Coates.

Sir Andrzej Panufnik – A Symphonic Life
John Paul Hardy takes an in-depth look at the life and works of an émigré composer.

Rethinking Sexual Agency In ‘Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix’
Emma Kavanagh on the female empowerment in Saint-Saëns’s 1877 opera Samson et Dalila.

How Do You Curate Sound?
Kate Romano on the rich and varied ways of listening to music in our times.

Music And Memory Part 3
To finish his series on music and memory, Young-Jin Hur looks at how memory is embodied in musical forms themselves. 

As I Lay On Yule’s Night
Eleanor Parker on a Medieval carol whose simple tune belies a text of theological richness.

Music And Memory Part 2
Young-Jin Hur on how longing for the past is an important aesthetic category in its own right.

Music And Memory Part 1
Young-Jin Hur on music used for commemoration and expressing thoughts of passing.

Sounds From The North: Tonality And Nordic Composers
Owen Burton looks at the use of tonality in symphonies by three Nordic composers: Sibelius, Nielsen and Rautavaara.

André Caplet: Portrait Of A Forgotten Artist
Clare Wilson on the life and works of the Prix de Rome winner and friend of  Debussy.

National Music, Folk Music, And Street Music In Eighteenth-Century Oxford
Alice Little on the tunebooks of 18th-century Oxford music collector John Malchair.

Beauty In The Slow
Young-Jin Hur explores the effects of slowness in music on the listener.

A New Revolution In Music: Gossec’s Sabinus
Alina Tylinski explores François-Joseph Gossec’s ‘revolutionary’ 1773 opera.

Malcolm Arnold: A Life In Symphonies
The extraordinary story of a neglected symphonist, on the 10th anniversary of his death

Applauding Audiences
From Victorian mega-concerts to post-war housing, Kate Romano considers how we can put people at the heart of artistic planning.

From Darkness to Light
Young-Jin Hur explores the role of light and darkness in music from Beethoven to Ligeti.

Sounds of Horror
Joseph Camilleri on the Gothic in classical music

Wine of Summer
Simon Brackenborough on the meeting of Oscar Wilde’s former lover and maverick composer Havergal Brian.

Of Illness and Creativity
Young-Jin Hur explores how ill-health and composition have been linked throughout the ages.

Connection and Perfection
Annabelle Lee examines the use of social media in classical music.

On Neglected Music
Kate Romano on the implications of ‘neglected’ repertoire.

Silence: A Fertile Soil
Young-Jin Hur on silence as a musical, literary and aesthetic idea.

Musical Borders
A reflection on identity in music and politics.

The Sea – A Musical Sublime
Young-Jin Hur on Edmund Burke’s conception of ‘the Sublime’, and music inspired by the sea.

Different Heroes
From David Bowie to Radiohead, Bobby Jewell looks at how popular musicians have influenced modern composers.

Shakespeare in Scandinavia
Leah Broad looks at the various influences of Shakespeare’s plays on twentieth-century Nordic composers.

Become Ocean
On John Luther Adams’ unexpectedly popular orchestral work, and the creeping reality of climate change.

Nowell Sing We 
Eleanor Parker looks at a medieval Christmas carol that rejoices in the act of singing.

In Pursuit Of The Ondes Martenot
Peter Asimov on his mission to meet the musicians who play the strange instrument that inspired Olivier Messiaen, and to learn it for himself.

Ravel’s Piano Concerto For The Left Hand
Ian Fleming tells the remarkable story of Ravel and the wounded pianist who commissioned his left-hand piano concerto.

Rarities of Piano Music
Frances Wilson explores some of the overlooked gems from a festival in a North German castle.

Opera’s Gender Problem: Diversity And The Battle For Relevance
Edward Qualtrough on the persistent gender inequalities in the opera world.

The Many Ghosts of Holst’s Psalm 86
Gustav Holst’s austere choral work has intriguing connections to Medievalism and the Gothic aesthetic

Walter Willson Cobbett and the Chamber Music Phantasy
The extraordinary story of a wealthy industrialist who invented his own chamber music form.

The Fall Of The Leaf
How composers and poets have responded to the season that can be sad, unsettling and beautiful in equal measure.

Through The Looking-Glass: Alice Mary Smith, And What The Victorians Did For Us
A pioneering woman composer and her neglected contemporaries.

‘The Impassioned Pursuit Of An Idea’: Elizabeth Maconchy And The String Quartet
What do the contrasting fortunes of Elizabeth Maconchy and Barbara Hepworth tell us about how classical music treats women composers?

The Call Of The Wild
Rautavaara, McEwen, Bax, Murail, and the concept of ‘rewilding’.

Parochialism is Universal
A personal reflection on Englishness in music.

Music of Ecstatic and Contemplative Qualities
John Tavener’s Mahãshakti and the question of whether classical music needs to be ‘exciting’.

‘His Poetry Has Always Meant More To Me Than All The Music Of The Centuries’
A personal tribute to Arnold Bax, whose rich and highly personal music rewards repeated listening.

A Kaleidoscope Symphony: Edmund Rubbra’s Path To Transcendence
Edmund Rubbra’s 11th symphony, and why his music has something important to say to our hurried, cynical times.

Vaughan Williams’ Fen Country
A strangely little-known marvel of orchestral impressionism.

Illuminating Classical Music