Podcast: Write It – Reflections on Sanctuary Road

WQXR radio host Terrance McKnight introduces the world premiere recording of an oratorio by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell. It’s a deeply moving tribute to the men and women of the Underground Railroad and to one heroic man in particular, railroad conductor William Still (1821-1902), a chronicler of the inspiring stories of its Read More …

Podcast: A merry, musical Christmas buffet

You’ll find it hard to resist joining in with the magical performances of popular Christmas repertoire on the latest release from the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Chamber Orchestra. From eternal classics to cracking new carols, this is an irresistible seasonal spread presented in a tempting tasting menu by your host Raymond Bisha. View album details Read More …

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

It’s difficult to think of examples in the arts where repetition is as acceptable, even essential, as it is in music. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans is about as far as I get. Repetition is so central to a composer’s tool box that we have a special term for a piece of music that specifically Read More …

Podcast: Cherished Christmas Classics

Raymond Bisha summons the seasonal spirit with a comprehensive 5-CD collection of music for Christmas on the Capriccio label. He makes his selection from the release’s one hundred classical Christmas titles, many featuring world-renowned choirs and orchestras from musical centres located throughout Europe, and notably Germany, including Dresden, Cologne, Vienna, Leipzig, Berlin and Regensburg. From Read More …

Mix of the month, November

The art of the arranger is, perhaps, under-appreciated. There are copious examples of the most famous composers having engaged in making arrangements of both their own and others’ works. Before the era of recordings, making arrangements was the only way you could practically communicate the essence of a composition, especially a symphonic work, to a Read More …

Podcast: The Music of Brazil Vol. 3. Villa-Lobos in full colour.

This latest release in Naxos’ ongoing series The Music of Brazil features chamber works and concertos by Heitor Villa-Lobos, one of Brazil’s best known and most prolific composers. He wrote more than two thousand pieces and was a major figure in the development of classical music in Brazil. Raymond Bisha introduces a colourful programme that Read More …

Remember, remember the 8th of November

I started musing on the date of the posting of this blog, 8 November, as its initial focus. But I soon found myself sidetracked by some interesting snippets that popped up en route. At least I ended up gathering some hopefully attractive music samples for you in my wake. If you’re ready to go walkabout Read More …