National airs and graces

One of the side discussions during the Scottish independence referendum held last month focused on what that country’s national anthem might be, should the majority vote to separate from the United Kingdom. Following the outcome of the referendum, the question … Read More →


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Podcast: Twists and turns

In this week’s podcast, Raymond Bisha explores works by the Italian musical adventurer Gian Francesco Malipiero, the fascinating 20th-century composer who trod his own prolific path, often defying tradition with his idiosyncratic flair. Album details… Naxos 8.573291   Podcast: Download (Duration: … Read More →


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Playing on one’s name

Many instruments evolved over centuries, their names changing in tandem with their timbre. The lute became the guitar, the viol progressed to the violin and the sackbut got transformed into the trombone. Just occasionally, however, an inventor introduces a brand … Read More →


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Podcast: Shostakovich 13

Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra bring their brilliant cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to a stupendous conclusion with the release of the Thirteenth Symphony, Babi Yar. It’s a work the Russian conductor has inhabited since his teenage … Read More →


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The devil’s in the detail

“Why should the devil have all the best tunes?” … or something along those lines. The exact quotation and its source have long been the subject of speculation. But the devil certainly has attracted the attention of many fine composers … Read More →