Scoring ten

Most people know about the curse of the ninth, but if you don’t, here’s a quick explanation. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Choral (8.550181) laid down a few benchmarks. Its influence was felt most recently, perhaps, during the dawn of the age … Read More →


1 out of 8: the BBC Proms opening week

Next Friday, 18 July sees the opening concert of the celebrated BBC Promenade Concerts, the world’s largest music festival. Planning the programmes for the daily schedule of concerts during the 8-week jamboree must be a headache. There will always be … Read More →


Multiplied by the power of one

There’s no doubting the thrill of hearing a pot-bellied orchestra going for climactic points in a score with all its might and dislodging the dust from concert hall rafters. Yet the other end of the textural spectrum can be equally … Read More →


The Magic Fruit

I expect many of us spend more time in supermarkets nowadays scrutinising the contents of packets of this and tins of that. Never before have we been made more aware of the devil being in the detail, and the fact … Read More →


My hero. Yours, too?

Where would we be without our heroes? Well, classical music would certainly be the poorer without the heroic thread that weaves through the catalogue. Works are branded heroic either by their general aura, the mention of the word in the … Read More →