Six Sounds of Shakespeare

March 21 marks the European Day of Early Music. By way of a slightly contorted response to the occasion, I thought we might take a look at William Shakespeare’s influence on composers, not through the contemporary contributions they made to performances of his plays (he lived from 1564 to 1616), but by taking stock of Read More …

Podcast: Richard Danielpour’s oratorio The Passion of Yeshua

Raymond Bisha introduces Richard Danielpour’s oratorio The Passion of Yeshua, a 105-minute work for large chorus, six soloists and orchestra that takes the listener back to Jesus’ final day on earth, removing as much as possible the accretions of history since that moment in an attempt to provide a fuller understanding of the connection of Read More …

Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven. Works from his middle years.

Raymond Bisha presents an overview of works written by Beethoven during his middle years period. It’s a companion resource to the latest release in Naxos’ monthly digital album series featuring the music of Beethoven in this 250th anniversary year of his birth. February’s compilation album (9.30206) presents a programme of works written between 1802 and Read More …

Reicha’s rich reach

You have to pity those composers who got air-brushed out of the limelight during their time for no other reason than they were contemporaries of the acknowledged masters, and so had to live under the long shadows of composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and so on. Or, at least, it seems to us that Read More …

Podcast: The symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven

  Raymond Bisha presents an overview of Beethoven’s nine symphonies as a companion resource to the first of Naxos’ monthly digital albums presenting the music of Beethoven in this 250th anniversary year of his birth. January’s compilation album (9.30209) spotlights the symphonic journey and stylistic progression from Beethoven’s Second Symphony to his Ninth Symphony, ‘Choral’. The Read More …

Swiss roles

Naxos has travelled far since its founding in 1987 as a budget label with a compelling business model, a chairman of great foresight and a DNA oozing innovation. It has developed into a web of avenues that link art music with music lovers. The Naxos label is now just one of the constituents of the Read More …

I can zing a rainbow

I never tire of listening to the voice of Peggy Lee (1920-2002), the American jazz and popular music singer who was also a songwriter, composer and actress. And with an active career that spanned some six decades, it seems I’m not the only one in her fan club. Her unique vocal timbre was apposite to Read More …

Podcast: Nino Rota’s works for solo piano. A magical melting pot.

Raymond Bisha introduces this new release from the Grand Piano label. It’s the opening volume in what is to be the first complete series of recordings of Nino Rota’s works for solo piano, performed by Eleanor Hodgkinson. Nino Rota embraced neo-Classical, neo-Romantic and even neo-Baroque affiliations. His music prized melodic directness and communicative generosity, so Read More …