Category: Music

  • See the Nutcracker at the Cinema this Christmas

    If you can’t make it to the Royal Opera House to see The Nutcracker this Christmas, you need not miss out. Opus Arte, the ROH’s multi-platform arts production and distribution company, is bringing The Nutcracker to cinema screens across the country, filmed in a high-definition recording from the Royal Opera House itself. To promote the […]

  • Leonard Bernstein: From Mahler to the Beatles

    For our discussions on The Beatles’ Revolver album I dug out the clip below from Leonard Bernstein’s celebrated lecture series The Unanswered Question, Six Talks at Harvard. This short extract is from Lecture 5: The 20th Century Crisis, in which he focuses on Mahler’s 9th Symphony. He sees this great symphony as a prophetic vision […]

  • The Beatles’ Revolver and the Universal

    In his book The Sixties, an exhaustive history of the 1960’s, Arthur Marwick introduces his subject as follows: If asked to explain the fuss, both survivors of the decade and observers of the repeated attempts subsequently to conjure it up again could probably manage to put together a list of its most striking features, which […]

  • Free Downloads of Classical Symphonies by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, one of the finest in the world, is offering free downloads of 10 great symphonies to celebrate its 120th anniversary. Registration is required, and the symphonies will remain online until the 24th November. The recordings feature world-class conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Mariss Janson, so this is quality […]

  • Video: Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’

    Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic perform the entire Eroica Symphony by Beethoven. This was part of the Berlin Philharmonic’s 100th year celebrations. [googlevideo=]

  • The Beatles’ Yesterday and the Nature of Belief

    As a non-religious person, I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘faith’. It’s not that I disagree with it or oppose it, it’s just that I’ve never been able to fully understand it. Whenever religious people talk of their ‘belief’ and their ‘faith’, they seem to mean it in a different sense to the way […]

  • Free Download: Tasmin Little, The Naked Violin

    The Guardian Media reports that Tasmin Little will be offering her next recording as a free download: Top violinist’s free digital download targets classical elitism. From the article: Little also hopes her recording, The Naked Violin, will be educative as well as enjoyable, and has recorded spoken introductions to the pieces to give technical and […]

  • Gustav Mahler: Alienation and Spirituality

    Mahler’s spirituality was defined by his personal inner demons and psychological struggles. He was a typical late Romantic in this respect. With Mahler’s music there is none of the objective contemplation of God that we see in the music of J.S. Bach, for example; everything Mahler wrote was highly subjective. His contemporary, one-time friend and […]

  • Mahler and Hesse: What the Water Tells Me

    Mahler’s composing hut in Steinbach. (Photograph courtesy of Alex Ross) Gustav Mahler was working on his Symphony No. 2 in 1894 when he decided to build a composing hut in a lakeside meadow in Steinbach. The builder who constructed the hut was a man named Franz Lösch, and in an interview with a Viennese journal […]

  • J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Albert Einstein and Universal Spirituality

    Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor is not only a religious work, but a spiritual one. In other words, it transcends the theology of Christianity on which it is based and applies itself to a broader category of feeling that we call ‘spirituality’. This is what the eminent music scholar Yoshitake Kobayashi meant when […]