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Musical cheer for a Happy New Year!

New Year in the Gregorian Calendar has become a point in time for both public celebrations and private moments of reflection and resolution. These days we don’t associate New Year festivities and music so much with churchgoing, but in 18th-century … Read More →


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Christmas Contrasts

Christmas has probably inspired a more diverse musical commentary than any other subject. So, hold on to your Santa hat as we take a flying tour around a selection of contrasting styles, genres and instrumental combos inspired by the seasonal … Read More →


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Podcast: A hero’s life. A song of strife.

Raymond Bisha presents a new recording of two works written only three years apart at the very end of the 19th century: Albéric Magnard’s Chant funèbre (Funeral Song) and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life). The former may have … Read More →


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A Comedy of Terrors

I’ve just finished reading Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. It’s another gripper from the American author, involving ancient symbology revolving around Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem The Divine Comedy. The last word of that title signals that it ends happily, not … Read More →


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Podcast: Mayr’s remarkable Requiem

Being a contemporary of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven was both a blessing and a curse for Simon Mayr: while he was able to deftly assimilate and rival the triumvirate’s output, he became overshadowed by them in posterity. Raymond Bisha presents … Read More →