Podcast: Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers receives a poignant Resurrection.

Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers was written between 1914 and 1917, during World War I, a conflict that killed more than 20 million people and injured even more. Kastalsky achieved poignancy in his memorial by using melodies and texts from many of the countries involved in the war — Russia, Serbia, Italy, England, Japan, Read More …

Podcast: Weinberg’s comprehensive keyboard catalogue.

In this week’s podcast, Raymond Bisha introduces a 4-CD collection of the complete piano works of Mieczysław Weinberg — from teenage mazurkas written in his native Poland through to his last works for the instrument composed in Moscow. En route, Tashkent, Shostakovich and the Head of the post-Stalin KGB all play a part in the Read More …

Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven. Works for chamber ensemble.

Raymond Bisha introduces a selection from the rich and varied catalogue of chamber works that Beethoven wrote throughout his life. It includes the ‘Archduke’ piano trio, examples of his violin and cello sonatas, and extracts from both his Octet for Wind Instruments and the Septet in E flat major, Op. 20, a work so popular Read More …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Podcast: A 20th-century troubadour. A 21st-century tribute.

Raymond Bisha introduces Michael Daugherty’s This Land Sings: Inspired by the Life and Times of Woody Guthrie. The work celebrates The Dust Bowl Troubadour’s folk songs of love, wandering and social justice through Daugherty’s own original songs and instrumental music. These were composed after he drove for several weeks along the desolate, barren and dusty Read More …

Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven. Music from his late compositional period.

Raymond Bisha introduces the latest release in the Naxos Beethoven anniversary digital album series. Ranging from a solo piano to the huge resources required for his final symphony, the programme comprises ten works that define the last ten years of Beethoven’s creative life, exemplifying his ever more technically challenging pieces, their novel structures, and the Read More …

Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven–the concertos

Beethoven’s concertos enjoy the spotlight in this podcast from Raymond Bisha. It serves as a companion resource to the latest digital album in our series marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The technical and musical demands Beethoven makes of his concerto soloists shine centre-stage in this compilation of wonderful performances of movements from Read More …