Mastering the Music(k)

The longevity of the British monarchy is currently in the spotlight, with the official birthday of the 90-year-old Queen Elizabeth II being marked tomorrow and Prince Philip, her husband, celebrating his 95th birthday today, 10 June. The royal ceremonial displays for which Britain has become renowned rely to a large extent on the grandeur of Read More …

Podcast: Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5

The last three of Mozart’s five violin concertos have always been popular with recording artists, but there is always plenty more to be discovered in repertoire of such infinite variety. As soloist Henning Kraggerud has observed, “the true sign of a masterpiece must lie in the number of possible interpretations inherent in it.” Raymond Bisha Read More …

Podcast: The resurrection of a requiem. Randall Thompson’s choral masterpiece.

Join Raymond Bisha in a podcast of artistic discovery as he unveils yet another American classic—Randall Thompson’s Requiem. Reckoned by many to be his most ambitious work, the composer himself considered it to be his masterpiece, yet it has languished for decades on the periphery of the choral performance repertoire. This world première recording from Read More …

Podcast: John Rutter’s ‘Psalmfest’. A feast for the ears.

Although John Rutter’s musical upbringing was quintessentially British, the composer’s works today enjoy popularity on a transnational scale, not least his choral settings. Raymond Bisha gives both musical and historical context to this month’s release of Rutter’s Psalmfest: from the work’s textual inspiration to its place within the composer’s oeuvre, and the performers’ musical stewardship of Read More …

Podcast: Revueltas’ revived score for the classic film, ‘Redes’

The 1935 classic Mexican film Redes continues our series of early editions, for which the music scores have been restored and recorded in performances by the PostClassical Ensemble. This week’s podcast introduces the world première recording of the complete score by Silvestre Revueltas, which accompanies a restored print of the film, released this month on Read More …

Podcast: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3

Although it makes an immediate connection on a musical level, Rimsky-Korsakov’s First Symphony had a provenance to which few of us can easily relate today. Russia’s 19th-century societal hierarchy classed the young composer just ahead of peasantry, but Rimsky-Korsakov successfully managed to juggle his early leanings for both music and the Russian Navy, with a Read More …

Podcast: A legacy revived – Victor Herbert’s cello concertos.

Raymond Bisha puts Victor Herbert’s underperformed cello concertos under the spotlight in this week’s podcast. The two works form just a small part of the substantial legacy the Irish-American composer left behind, following his death in 1924. Herbert was feted in his time for his 40-plus operettas that enlivened Broadway and, as a founding member Read More …

Podcast: A dodgy deal. Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

Quirky, catchy and disturbing, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale is also one of his most immediately engaging works. Conceived as a rich procession of narration, acting, dancing and instrumental interludes, the work leaves the listener ruminating on its message long after the final shot from the percussion. Raymond Bisha introduces the work, from its individual parts Read More …

Podcast: Debut on disc. Orchestral works by Enrique Granados.

Enrique Granados was a Spanish nationalist composer and outstanding pianist whose orchestral works have remained understandably overshadowed by the popularity of his piano compositions. This imbalance is now redressed by Naxos with the release of three volumes of orchestral music to mark the centenary of the composer’s death in 1916. Raymond Bisha presents the works Read More …

Podcast: Making overtures. Haydn’s operatic openers.

Although Haydn’s operas are little-performed today, many of them were immensely popular during his lifetime and were staged far beyond the wealthy Esterhàzy court for which they were written. With subject matter ranging from very dramatic to very funny, Haydn sets the atmosphere for each of his stage works (including those for marionettes) with an Read More …