Closing comments. Another quick quiz.

Here are the final bars of 15 well-known works. Can you name the composer and the title of the work? Scroll down the page to check your answers. Question 1   Question 2   Question 3   Question 4   Question 5   Question 6   Question 7   Question 8   Question 9   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 …

Haydn peek

One of the Naxos label’s distinguishing features is the sustained effort it applies to promoting the music of lesser-known composers, those who are undisputed craftsmen, but have been sadly overshadowed by greater names in the course of music history. Spare a thought, then, for such a composer who was born on the same date as Read More …

Summery executions

As July turns to August many of us will be enjoying the sunshine and thinking of vacations past and present, so here’s a clutch of examples of classical music seasoning to set the mood. Once heard, never forgotten: few melodies conjure the languid spirit of the season as effectively as Summertime by George Gershwin, from Read More …

Exercising choice

So, with the festive season’s excesses not long past and New Year resolutions on our minds, it doesn’t take much of a leap to imagine that many of us will be thinking about taking more exercise. Going to the gym these days seems to demand the heavy beat of pop music as a constant companion. Read More …

Podcast: Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5

The last three of Mozart’s five violin concertos have always been popular with recording artists, but there is always plenty more to be discovered in repertoire of such infinite variety. As soloist Henning Kraggerud has observed, “the true sign of a masterpiece must lie in the number of possible interpretations inherent in it.” Raymond Bisha Read More …

The barbers of the quill

Papa Haydn’s morning routine probably wasn’t quite so bothersome as for many of us today. No dithering over which tie to match with which shirt, shoes, suit, and the rest. His obligatory Esterházy Court livery decided itself. Bad hair days must also have been less of an issue with courtly wigs at his disposal. But Read More …