Dating in April

Surfing the press and the Naxos archives recently threw up several dates corresponding to the week ahead. Never one to turn down an offer from serendipity, I thought we could bring them to life with a few audio extracts. The US Presidential race has been engaging the world’s attention with the unexpected demeanour of some 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 …

A fascination of forests

It may have passed you by, but Monday of this week marked the UN’s International Day of Forests, observed each year on 21st March. Covering nearly a third of our planet’s landmass (for the time being) and home to incredibly diverse ecosystems, I reckon it’s a resource well worth acknowledging in this way. Forests and 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 …

Time deposits

A few weeks back we considered the contribution made by people who commission new works from composers. This week’s blog takes a quick look at the equally valuable role played by institutions that become guardians of the manuscripts of such works. Maybe you read a recent report in The Guardian about the performance of a 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 …

Leaving a legacy

Have you ever commissioned a new work from a composer? I’ve been through the process a number of times. No work longer than twenty minutes. But when you get the brief of the commission right, which encourages the composer to turn up a bit of magic, it can be one of the more satisfying experiences 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 …

Going Gothic


Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/naxosu5/public_html/blog.naxos.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.photon.php on line 346

The Romantic period in classical music wasn’t only about expressions of love and depictions of nature. There was also a fascination with the occult. From the world of opera, think Weber’s Der Freischütz and Marschner’s Der Vampyr for starters. These dark pathways accompanied a renewed fascination with awesome Gothic architecture and the proliferation of horror Read More …

Podcast: Ravel’s treasured time piece – L’heure espagnole

Ravel’s opera L’heure espagnole combines an improbable plot with impeccable melodic charm and orchestral transparency. Raymond Bisha introduces this month’s new recording from Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon, which is coupled with the last work Ravel composed, the song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée. View album details of Maurice Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole Read More …