Podcast: Orchestral works by Christopher Rouse. Intensely active. Wonderfully lyrical.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new release of orchestral music by American composer Christopher Rouse, who died in September 2019. It’s a fitting tribute to one who led the revitalisation of contemporary orchestral music with works that ranged from intensely active to wonderfully lyrical. As both a Pullitzer Prize and GRAMMY Award winner, his personal mission Read More …

Sounds Interesting: Leaving a legacy.

Composers can’t always hang around waiting for a visit by Euterpe, the ancient Greek Muse of music, to sow a seed of inspiration for their next composition. Commissioning agents have a long and much-appreciated record of standing in for when that vital role of providing a creative impetus is required and this podcast from the Read More …

Podcast: Johan Smith performs his dream guitar recital programme

Raymond Bisha introduces Johan Smith, winner of the 2019 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, in a recital that the Swiss artist has described as his dream programme: “It’s an exceptional album in many ways: the music is engaging, the playing is outstanding, and the recorded sound is first-rate. And the artist himself is uniquely intriguing, Read More …

Wordsworthy.

Many of us are currently gorging on recordings of Beethoven’s music, with this year marking the 250th anniversary of his birth. If you’d like a brief change in anniversary diet, however, then read on. 2020 also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the English poet, William Wordsworth (1770-1850). We’ll take a three-pronged approach Read More …

Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven. Works for solo piano.

Raymond Bisha introduces a programme of Beethoven’s music for solo piano that contains some of his most visionary, groundbreaking and memorable works. Drawn from the Complete Edition boxed set (Naxos 8.500250), the selected movements from Beethoven’s best-known piano sonatas illustrate his dynamism as a composer/pianist, his gift for flowing melodic beauty, and the range of Read More …

Podcast: Unpacking the unusual, unfamiliar and unknown. French piano rarities.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new release from Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat of French piano rarities by Boulez, Debussy, Messiaen and Ravel: “I heard Ralph play this same repertoire at a concert in Carnegie Hall a couple of years ago, and it was amazing. Ralph says his aim is to convince people of the ‘immense Read More …

Timeless text. Evolving expression. Glory be.

Six centuries. Ten composers. One text. This week’s blog is a journey that savours the flavours of settings of Gloria in excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the highest), the opening text of the Gloria section of music that has been written for use during the celebration of the Mass in churches down the ages. Read More …