Musical discoveries U–Z

We reach the final instalment of our alphabetical collection of composers whose music has been somewhat neglected as the years have rolled by, with this blog casting a spotlight on Galina Ustvolskaya, Francesco Maria Veracini, Peter von Winter, Iannis Xenakis, Isang Yun and Joaquim Zamacóis. Galina Ustvolskaya was born in Petrograd in 1919, educated in Read More …

Podcast: Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy (1744-1824). Piano sonata premieres.

Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy ran one of the finest salons in pre-revolution Paris. She was well educated and well connected, with a circle of friends that ran from Luigi Boccherini to Benjamin Franklin. She was also a fine composer. Because of the social norms of the day, however, her role within Parisian culture was restricted, Read More …

Podcast: Liszt’s musical makeovers.

From composer to transcriber to performer — less instantaneous than modern transmissions, but it’s how many works first came to be known by music lovers before the dawn of the age of technology. Around half of Liszt’s 800 compositions were transcriptions of other composers’ works. In this week’s podcast, which was first broadcast in July Read More …

Musical discoveries P–T

Continuing our alphabetical spotlighting of less well known composers and their works, this week’s blog visits Italy, Poland and Guatemala and presents music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. We start with the first of three Italians — Giovanni Benedetto Platti (pre 1692-1763). Although his presence as a young man is recorded in Venice Read More …

Podcast: Dancing elegance, melodic flow. Overtures by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber.

Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (1782-1871) was one of the most famous composers of the 19th century. Working with his lifelong collaborator, the renowned dramatist and librettist Eugéne Scribe, he gave definitive form to the uniquely French genres of grand historical opera (La Muette de Portici) and opéra-comique (Fra Diavolo). His overtures were famous all over the world, Read More …

Musical discoveries K–O

Karłowicz, Lipiński, Magnard, Nepomuceno, Ohzawa. These are the composers who give us our next alphabetical tranche of unfamiliar names and neglected outputs that deserve a more frequent airing. Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876–1909) was born into a wealthy academic family at Wiszniew (in what is now Lithuania). He initially trained as a violinist but, after his arrival Read More …

Podcast: Introducing guitarist Mabel Millán. From lyrical beauty to dramatic virtuosity.

Raymond Bisha introduces Spanish guitarist Mabel Millán in her debut album for Naxos. A fast-rising star in the guitar world, she has already appeared at international festivals and prestigious Spanish venues, and gained numerous awards at international competitions. Her combination of nuanced musicality and technical ease illuminate her programme, from the Andalusian rhythms and atmosphere Read More …

Musical discoveries F–J

This is the second instalment in our alphabetical sifting through composers whose profiles are sadly more obscure than their quality compositions often deserve. Our selection focuses on surnames beginning respectively with F, G, H, I and J. The American composer Arthur Foote (1853-1937) studied at Harvard University where he was a student of the eminent Read More …

Sounds Interesting: Alma. Her life, loves, lieder.

This podcast from the Naxos Sounds Interesting series focuses on Mahler’s wife, Alma. Her life was as multi-faceted as her several talents, that ranged from competent composer to sizzling socialite. Richard Kennedy peels back the intriguing layers beneath the common perception of her as simply the hard done by wife of the illustrious Gustav. For Read More …

Podcast: Music networking on the Inca Trails.

In this podcast, Raymond Bisha takes us on a journey across South America, making musical stops in the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. The Inca Trails that connected these lands and their people produced a sharing of ideas and cultures: ancient traditions of indigenous sounds and rhythms fused with cultural influences Read More …