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BBC Music Magazine

BBC Music Magazine January 2019

BBC Music Magazine is a must for anyone with a passion for classical music. Classical music connoisseurs and new enthusiast alike will enjoy the fascinating features and reviews of over 120 new works in every issue. Please Note: Our digital edition does not include the cover mount items or supplements you would normally find with printed copies

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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13 Números

en este número

1 min.
this month’s contributors

Kate Bolton-Porciatti Writer and critic ‘Vivaldi melds the transient and the eternal in The Four Seasons : in microcosm, with fleeting violin solos punctuated by ritornelli ; in macrocosm, with an evergreen musical journey through the year’s cycle.’ Page 28 David De Roure Professor, University of Oxford ‘Ada Lovelace was a gifted mathematician and computer programmer, but the more I studied her, the more I discovered how very important music and creativity were to her too.’ Page 42 Roger Thomas Writer and critic ‘Nina Simone’s career tends to be reduced to bullet points: jazz-performer-by-default, civil rights activist, classically trained, temperamental. The reality was more subtle and complex, and her catalyst was Bach.’ Page 48…

1 min.

So, musically, how was 2018 for you? This issue, Richard Morrison (p27) takes a look at his own standout moments and performance highlights from the past 12 months. On p38, however, we’ve invited a clutch of renowned artists to share their hopes – and fears – for the year ahead, from personal ambitions to general concerns for the music world. It makes for fascinating reading. My 2018 highlight was back in June when I had the opportunity to give recitals on the organs of Arnstadt’s Neue Kirche and Mühlhausen’s Divi Blasii – Thuringian churches where the young JS Bach cut his teeth. Both modern instruments are close in build and sound to the organs Bach would have played (the Arnstadt organ still contains around 20 per cent of its original pipes)…

1 min.
letter of the month

Woodland wonders In Into the woods (Dec issue) Malcolm Hayes writes that ‘[music about] forests did not always need to suggest metaphysics’. This applies even in the Romantic 19th century, when symphonies were composed simply about forests themselves. Many say Bruckner’s ‘Romantic’ Fourth Symphony (1874-88) is a painting of the German Romantic forest and before this, in 1870, Raff premiered his Symphony No. 3, ‘Im Walde’ (In the Forest), in which he describes a 24-hour woodland stay. Even in countries not known for their extended woodland, compositions about forests were written. In Zweers’s Third Symphony, ‘To my Fatherland’ (1890) the first movement is titled ‘In Dutch forests and woodlands’. No metaphysics involved. Nor, in the 20th century, is there anything metaphysical about Shostakovich’s cantata The Song of the Forests, in which…

5 min.
have your say…

Tasty cheese Richard Morrison, in deriding amateur choirs’ performances of pop numbers (Christmas issue), misses the point. We have all seen ‘the whining schoolboy… creeping like a snail unwillingly’ to his instrumental lesson where an ageing and inflexible tutor insists upon him practising yet again a classical piece with which he is thoroughly bored, until he gives up playing altogether, and the difference engendered when another tutor encourages the same schoolboy to play some John Williams film themes which he and his family know well. The analogy with the amateur choir is apposite: the objective in each case is to encourage participation, performance and enjoyment by the player/singer. If that involves a choir accepting an occasional piece of ‘musical cheese’ in its repertoire, so be it. If the performers find it…

1 min.
composers celebrate a year of inventive excellence

A colourful and gloriously varied clutch of works has been recognised at the latest British Composer Awards. These included music for a purpose-made large bell, singing funeral urns, dances for disabled amateur musicians to play on iPads and laptops, and a piece for jazz band with poetry slam-style recitation. The shortlists of 36 works featured several well-established composers, including Harrison Birtwistle, winner of this year’s Orchestral category – his eighth British Composer Award in all – with Deep Time; and the late Oliver Knussen, whose O Hototogisu! was pipped in the Chamber Ensemble category by James Weeks’s beautiful, if technically challenging, Libro di fiammello e ombre for six solo voices. Among the less familiar composers to come away from the ceremony at the British Museum clutching a coveted trophy was Dominic Murcott,…

1 min.
sunderland welcomes the sitting-room string quartet

If the most you’ve ever won in a raffle is a bottle of alcohol-free wine or a box of chocolates well past their sell-by date, look away now. David and Elaine Hannington recently struck extra-lucky when their tickets for a prize draw earned them a performance by four players from the Royal Northern Sinfonia in their own home. With dining table and sofas presumably stashed elsewhere, the Hanningtons, regular Royal Northern Sinfonia concert-goers who had been entered for the draw by contributing to the orchestra’s 60th Anniversary Appeal, found room in their Sunderland house not just for their quartet of performing guests but also a handful of admiring friends as well. ‘It was a wonderful, magical experience to hear such beautiful music close up in our own home,’ says David.…