Podcast: Mapping a musical monument. Giltburg’s Beethoven 32.

Raymond Bisha presents an overview of Boris Giltburg’s project to learn and record all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which are now released in a 9-CD box set edition following their inception as critically acclaimed digital releases. The recordings reflect only one facet of Giltburg’s gem of an undertaking, in that performances were also filmed Read More …

Podcast: Versatilité sans frontières. Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint–Georges (1745–1799).

Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was a brilliant swordsman, athlete, violin virtuoso and gifted composer, with a claim to being the most talented figure in an age of remarkable individuals. He was an early and important exponent of the hybrid symphonie concertante, a genre that draws on both the symphony and concerto traditions. In this Read More …

Podcast: The string quartets of Jurgis Karnavičius (1884–1941).

Raymond Bisha introduces the second volume of string quartets by the Lithuanian composer Jurgis Karnavičius (1884–1941), recorded by the Vilnius String Quartet on the Ondine label. Their first volume comprised the composer’s romantic, folk-music inspired first two quartets. Volume 2 presents the Quartets Nos. 3 and 4, which are more expressive and modern in style. Read More …

Podcast: Jazz idioms, classical structures. Symphonic works by Nikolai Kapustin (1937–2020).

Significantly influenced by his experience of playing in some of the earliest Soviet jazz bands, Nikolai Kapustin trained as a pianist at the Moscow Conservatory but subsequently devoted himself to composition. His output includes many works for piano, two of which are featured on this new album — the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Concerto Read More …

Podcast: Music of Brazil. The Villa-Lobos violin sonatas.

Raymond Bisha prefaces his latest podcast with this introduction: “Heitor Villa-Lobos, the prolific Brazilian composer of some 2,000 works, conductor, cellist, guitarist and music educationalist, wrote his three violin sonatas between 1912 and 1920. When he wrote the first sonata, he was still a struggling young composer trying to make a name for himself, while Read More …

Podcast: Camille Saint-Saëns. A symphonic collection.

French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) is remembered as someone who could spin melodies as easily as he breathed. Naxos is marking the centenary of his death with a 3-CD box set that comprises all his symphonies and a sequence of atmospheric and dramatic symphonic poems, including Phaéton and the ever-popular Danse macabre. Raymond Bisha presents Read More …

Podcast: The Power of Tower

With multiple GRAMMY nominations and wide critical acclaim to her credit, Joan Tower’s latest album in the Naxos American Classics series demonstrates why she is so often performed, and why she is such a respected person among American composers. Raymond Bisha presents the programme on her new release that comprises four world premiere recordings. Soloists 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 …

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 …