This week, we chat to the multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Cosmo Sheldrake from his home in Dorset. True to form, he recorded his side of the conversation outdoors in the countryside, so there are quite a few birds and woodland creatures keeping us company throughout this episode. He explains how he records the most intimate, low-level sounds of animals, fungi, rain and even tree sap, and how he goes about recontextualising them in his music. He also tells us all about his musical childhood with his mother, who was trained in Mongolian overtone chanting and who had previously lived and travelled with the pioneering electronic composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake https://www.amazon.co.uk/Entangled-Life-Worlds-Change-Futures/dp/B084T51RCY/
The Mystic Spiral: Journey of the Soul by Jill Purce https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mystic-Spiral-Journey-Soul-Imagination/dp/0500810052
Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World’s Music by Dust to Digital https://dust-digital.com/pages/excavated-shellac-an-alternate-history-of-the-world-s-music-1907-1967-tracklist
Smithsonian Folkways (ethnographic recordings and folk from around the world) https://folkways.si.edu/
Listen to all the music featured in this episode on our Spotify playlist:
Cuckoo Song (Cosmo Sheldrake, Wake Up Calls)
Teo (Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain)
Wriggle (Cosmo Sheldrake, The Much Much How How and I)
Rich (Cosmo Sheldrake, Pelicans We)
This week, we meet the star Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński to discuss the laborious process of recording previously undiscovered works, his passion for breakdancing and the music he listens to while he’s on the move. He also tells us about why he believes the post-pandemic concert format works surprisingly well, and why he prefers listening to ambient music when he travels as opposed to music by the likes of Palestrina and Tallis.
Listen to all the music featured in this episode on our Spotify playlist:
Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium (Choir of Westminster Cathedral/David Hill)
Mozart: The Magic Flute (Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Mackerras)
Hasse: Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena (Jakub Józef Orliński, Il Pomo d’Oro/Maxim Emelyanychev)
Handel: Rinaldo: Aria. Sibilar gli angui d’Aletto (Argante) (Christopher Purves, Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen)
Zijn er afleveringen die ontbreken?
Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski discusses his recent recording of music by Stanchinsky (out now on Ondine), discovering the music of Bacewicz and his downtime during the pandemic has seen him fall in love with the piano all over again.
Stanchinsky: Piano Sonata in E flat minor (Peter Jablonski)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Yuri Boukoff, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/Ljubomir Romansky)
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Martha Argerich , LSO/Claudio Abbado)
Chopin: Mazurka, Op. 6 No. 4 (Peter Jablonski)
Bacewicz: Children’s Suite – VII: Gavotte (Morta Grigaliūnaitė)
Reviews editor Michael Beek sits down for a chat with Hannah Rankin. The professional boxer and classically trained bassoonist discusses dividing her time between the worlds of sport and music, choosing the perfect ‘walk-out’ music for when she enters the ring and some of her most cherished works to play and listen to.
Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski)
Bill Conti: Rocky – Gonna Fly Now (DeEtta Little, Nelson Pigford (vocals); Studio Orchestra/Bill Conti)
Pierné: Solo de Concert, Op. 35 (Karen Geoghegan (bassoon), Philip Fisher (piano))
Mozart: Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K 191 – Rondo (Stepan Turnovsky (bassoon); Vienna Mozart Academy/Johannes Wildner)
Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel – Overture (Philharmonia Orchestra/Charles Mackerras)
Brahms: Hungarian Dances (Maxim Vengerov (violin), Vag Papian (piano); Virtuosi/Mikhail Parhamovsky)
British clarinettist Julian Bliss has an extremely wide breadth of listening tastes, from heavy metal to core classical via jazz and funk. In this episode, he tells us about his passion for Rachmaninov and Oscar Petersen and why he thinks wind band music should be taken more seriously in the UK. He also reflects on the last year of lockdown and what it meant for his practice and approach to performance.
Stranger on the Shore (Acker Bilk)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Martha Argerich, Berlin Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Alexandre Tharaud, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Alexander Vedernikov)
The Masquerade is Over (Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley)
Eric Whitacre: Equus
Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Maria Callas, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Herbert von Karajan)
Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (London Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink)
Glass: Etude No. 2 (Vikingur Olafsson)
Invaders Must Die (The Prodigy)
We speak to Radio 3 broadcaster and producer Georgia Mann, who recently took over the reins on the station’s morning programme, Essential Classics. She tells us all about the new musical discoveries she’s made so far in the job, her experiences of live music during lockdown, starting out as a singer in Gilbert & Sullivan musicals and how to be articulate live on radio when a performance blows you away.
Miles Davis: Lift to the Scaffold
Trad: Blow the wind southerly (Sheku Kanneh-Mason)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 ‘Pathétique’ (Igor Levit)
Peggy Granville-Hicks: Sinfonia Pacifica (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Richard Mills)
Ruth Gipps: Symphony No. 2 (BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rumon Gamba)
Hannah Peel: Sunrise Through the Dusty Nebula
Bach: Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude (Yo-Yo Ma)
Rossini: The Barber of Seville – Largo et Factotum (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vittorio Gui & Sesto Bruscantini)
Verdi: Requiem: Dies Irae (London Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis
Ella Fitzgerald: Cheek to Cheek
Serge Gainsbourg: Les goemons
Mozart: Laudate Dominum (Felicity Palmer, Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, The Wren Orchestra/George Guest)
The Montenegrin guitarist talks about falling in love with the guitar in Montenegro, ‘growing up’ in London, his favourite guitar to play, the healing power of Mozart and his latest album The Moon & The Forest.
Joby Talbot: Ink Dark Moon – Luminoso (Miloš Karadaglić)
Howard Shore: The Forest (Miloš Karadaglić)
Albéniz: Suite Española – Asturias (Andres Segovia)
JS Bach: Suite No. 4 in E major BWV 1006a - Prelude (John Williams)
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Finale (Vienna Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein)
Mozart: String Quartet No. 2 in D major, K 155 (Armida Quartett)
This week, we have the delightful composer-librettist duo Héloise Werner and Octavia Bright on the podcast. The pair worked together on a one-woman opera The Other Side of the Sea and spoke to us from their respective London homes at the end of the UK lockdown, discussing themes of grief and isolation, as well as the role music plays in their lives and the ever-changing emotional responses they’ve had to it over the last year. They also share stories of carnival music and the human compulsion to dance.
Héloïse Werner: Coronasolfège for 6 (The Gesualdo Six)
Britten: Peter Grimes (Bergen Philharmonic/Edward Gardner)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto (Yehudi Menuhin, Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler)
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto (Sabine Meyer, Berlin Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado)
Bach: St Matthew Passion (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury)
Bach: Violin Partita No. 3 in E (Christian Tetzlaff)
Rebirth Brass Band: Do Whatcha Wanna
Teresa Cristina: Para Não Contrariar Você
Beverly Glenn-Copeland: Ever New
Errollyn Wallen: Concerto Grosso (Chineke! Orchestra/Anthony Parnther)
Megan Thee Stallion: Body
Beyoncé: Sweet Dreams
Listen to all the music featured in this episode on our Spotify playlist:
Author and Indian classical singer Amit Chaudhuri talks to BBC Music Magazine about his relationship with western and Indian classical music, the allegories and narratives that can be created within music and his experience of working as the librettist on Ravi Shankar’s opera Sukanya.
His latest book, Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music, was published recently by Faber, and is part memoir/part essay, focused on his enduring love for Indian classical music and the power of the voice.
Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Chile Blues
Ustad Dilshad Khan: Raga Todi
Kishori Amonkar: Raga Shuddh Kalyan – Khyal In Drut Teental
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi: Sun Surat Rangili
Vishmadev Chatterjee: Bamana De Bata
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (Berlin Philharmonic/Herbert von Karajan)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 7 (Jonathan Biss)
Ravi Shankar: Sukanya (London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Murphy)
Listen to all the music featured in this episode on our Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3j2hzTzleS7cTs6GdIyDwa?si=dfca6ff7b9354707
As he turns 70 years old, the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber tells us about his remarkable life in music, from growing up in one of Britain’s most famous musical families to performing on the world’s finest stages and his unending passion for helping to create tomorrow’s great players.
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto (Mstislav Rostropovich, Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy)
Bernstein: Mambo (Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela/Gustavo Dudamel)
Elgar: Cello Concerto (Julian Lloyd Webber, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Yehudi Menuhin)
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 (Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner)
Listen to all the music featured in this episode in our Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/66e9JwhBV5O8zYtbiamw06?si=YzaczmkxQi2M-MXiB3P7aw
We speak to DJ, broadcaster and presenter Edith Bowman about her fanatical love of film music and the scores that have shaped who she is today. A former Radio 1 DJ, Bowman has spent the last few years presenting the Soundtracking podcast, in which she talks to directors, actors and composers about the use of music in their films.
She tells us about the origins of this podcast and the musical discoveries she’s made through it, the scores she returns to time and time again, and the opportunities lockdown has afforded to independent cinema.
‘Hand Covers Bruise’ from The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
‘Just Us’ from Soul (Trent Reznor and Atticus)
‘Welcome to Lunar Industries’ from Moon (Clint Mansell)
‘Bathroom Dance’ from Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir)
‘Cavatina’ from The Deer Hunter (John Williams)
‘The Way of the Ghost’ from Ghost of Tsushima (Ilan Eshkeri)
Listen to all the music featured in this episode in our Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4UztfCiREQVMqDOV1oi4mA?si=i73QlVMETeG3tXDT8n6gUQ
Introducing the third season of the Music to my Ears podcast, where we sit down with artists, musicians, broadcasters and writers to find out about the music that has made them who they are today. This season, we hear from guests including DJ Edith Bowman, who tells us about the power of watching films with live orchestras; musician Como Sheldrake, who describes the process of recording the sounds of nature with ultra-high sensitive microphones; and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, who shared stories of his bohemian musical upbringing alongside his brother Andrew.
In this week's episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we speak to Paul Morley, the pop journalist and musician and, more recently, classical music devotee .
Brought up in Stockport, Paul cut his teeth in music journalism in Manchester. He then went on to write for the New Musical Express, where he rapidly became one of the paper’s most respected critics, leading to regular appearances on radio and TV.
In 1983, Morley and producer Trevor Horn founded ZTT Records, which soon hit both the top of the charts and the headlines with the release of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome album. In the same year, they also formed the group The Art of Noise, which had a string of hits including a cover of Prince’s Kiss, featuring Tom Jones.
In more recent years, however, Paul has turned his attention towards classical music, and in 2010 took part in a BBC Four documentary called The Art of Composing, which saw him study at the Royal Academy of Music for a year. In 2020, he charted his developing interest in a new book called A Sound Mind: How I Fell In Love with Classical Music, which has now been published by Bloomsbury.
Paul talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during the second period of lockdown in England, and told him how, from his pop and rock background, he gradually fell under classical music’s spell.
Brian Eno: Fullness of Wind (Variation on Pachelbel's Canon in D)
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande: 'Je les tiens dans le mains'
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle
LSO Live LSO0790
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2: I. Overture
Janáček: Words Fail
In this week's episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we talk to the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, violinist and producer Caroline Shaw about the music that underscores her day-to-day life and how she balances the various facets of her fascinating career. Orange, her album of string quartets recorded and performed by the Attacca Quartet, was nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award earlier this year. Freya Parr spoke to Caroline over Zoom from her home in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Verdi: La Traviata ‘Dite alle giovine’ – Anna Netrebko, Vienna Philharmonic/Carlo Rizzi (DG 475933)
Tune-Yards: Water Fountain
Bach: Partita No. 2: V. Chaconne (Itzhak Perlman (violin) – Warner Classics 2564612981
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) (Erato 5615522)
The Bangles: Eternal Flame
This week, reviews editor Michael Beek sits down with the Russian-British conductor Vasily Petrenko. Vasily recently said farewell as chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and is about to embark on final season as chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Speaking from his father’s home in St. Petersburg, Vasily talks about returning to the condtuctor’s podium after months in lockdown, saying goodbye to the RLPO and his new appointment with the Royal Philharmonic in 2021.
Bernstein: West Side Story – Mambo (New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein)
JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I – Prelude No. 1 in C major (Sviatoslav Richter, piano)
Sounds of Nature
Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133 (arr. string orchestra) (Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Peter Oundjian)
This week, reviews editor Michael Beek sits down with the award-winning British film and television composer Debbie Wiseman OBE (Wolf Hall, Father Brown, Wilde) for a chat about her work. Debbie shares insights into her methods, conducting, her favourite music to listen to and a sneak preview of her latest film score, To Olivia.
Chopin: Preludes Op. 28 – No. 4 in E minor
Eric Lu (piano)
Warner Classics 9029529234
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K364 – Presto
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Bruno Giuranna (viola); Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
Warner Classics 7543022
Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony – III. Turangalîla I
Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra/Alexander Soddy
Joseph Horovitz: Oboe Concerto – Lento Moderato
Nicholas Daniel (oboe); Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Joseph Horovitz
White Line CDWHL2114
Debbie Wiseman: To Olivia – An Everlasting Gobstoppper and a Shivery Smile
National Symphony Orchestra/Debbie Wiseman
In this episode, BBC Music Magazine’s editor Oliver Condy talks to the former Guardian editor and now principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Alan Rusbridger.
While the editor of a national paper during the Arab Spring, Wikileaks controversies, the newspaper hacking scandal, riots in the UK and more, Alan Rusbridger found time to learn and perform Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, a feat he describes in his book Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible.
Chopin: Ballade No. 1
Murray Perahia (piano)
Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein
Bach arr. Busoni: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
Alfred Brendel (piano)
Beethoven: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
Schubert: Variations on an Original Theme
Andreas Staier & Alexander Melnikov (piano)
In this episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, BBC Music Magazine speaks to Karina Canellakis, who is currently chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and has been recently appointed as principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Karina was born and brought up in a very musical family in New York. She initially studied and began her career as a violinist and played in a number of the world’s leading orchestras, and it was while she was playing with the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of its Orchester-Akademie that she was encouraged to take up conducting by Sir Simon Rattle. From that moment, she has never looked back, and has since led top ensembles across the globe, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where she held her first post, as assistant conductor. She is equally at home in opera, and has conducted major productions of works by composers ranging from Mozart to Maxwell Davies.
Karina talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during the second period of lockdown, and talked to him about the thrill of of working with contemporary composers, the rarity of female role models and the sheer joy of Wagner.
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 No. 5
Alexander Armstrong (narrator), Richard Casey, Ian Buckle (piano duet)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko
Warner Classics 9029575952
Wagner: Die Walküre: Prelude
Wolfgang Windgassen (Tristan), Birgit Nilsson (Isolde), Christa Ludwig (Brangäne), Martti Talvela (King Marke), Eberhard Waechter (Kurwenal), Peter Schreier (Seemann Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Karl Böhm
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act III): 'Denn einer nur freie die Braut'
Vienna Philharmonic/Georg Solti
Stephen Sondheim: Sweeney Todd
Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Paul Daniel
Poet Wendy Cope joins our editorial assistant Freya Parr over Zoom from her home in Cambridgeshire to discuss how her enduring relationship with classical music has changed throughout the course of her life, with various careers as a primary school teacher, journalist and now poet. Introduced to the piano at the age of five, music has been a constant in Wendy’s life, with many of her poems having now been set by the UK’s leading composers. She tells us all about this fascinating process, and how it feels to hear your words set to music.
Mozart: Serenade No. 13 ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’: I. Allegretto (Vienna Philharmonic/Herbert von Karajan Warner Classics 4768762)
Bach: ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ Cantata BWV 140 (English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner Deutsche Grammophon 4807512)
Bach: Concerto for Two Violins and Strings in D minor (2nd movement): Isabelle Faust, Bernhard Forck (violins), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin Harmonia Mundi HMM90233536)
Schubert: Im Frühling (Ian Bostridge (tenor), Julius Drake (piano) Warner Classics 5563472)
Peter Maxwell Davies: Farewell to Stromness (Peter Maxwell Davies (piano) Naxos 950161)
Tibetan Singing Bowls and Ocean Waves Sounds for Relaxation
Irish soprano Ailish Tynan talks to BBC Music Magazine's editor Oliver Condy about her musical experiences in lockdown, recent streamed performances at the Royal Opera house and at Wigmore Hall and at home with her family, as well as the music that has inspired her throughout the year.
John McCormack (tenor), Edwin Schneider (piano)
Schubert: Die Forelle
Ailish Tynan (soprano), Iain Burnside (piano)
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Ablösung im Sommer
Christiane Karg (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Harmonia Mundi HMM905338