BBC Music Magazine December 2020

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
USD 8.24
USD 68.79
13 Números

en este número

1 min.
this month’s contributors

Andrew Green Broadcaster and writer ‘Returning in March from lecturing on The Lark Ascending in Australia, I knew there was much more to be uncovered about this remarkable piece. Lockdown gave me the time and space to explore it.’ Page 26 Jeremy Nicholas Writer, critic and actor ‘Cyril Scott’s career as a musician began with a bang and ended with a whimper. I’ve always found the character and ambition of this polymath of equal interest as his fecund and various output as a composer.’ Page 42 Claire Jackson Music journalist and critic ‘Mozart’s First Flute Concerto isn’t exactly a forgotten work, yet I can’t remember the last time I heard a live performance of it. Exploring recordings of this elegant music was a timely and welcome tonic.’ Page 62…

1 min.

I used to drive past Shirehampton Public Hall on the way back from Bristol Airport (not much flying happening these days), and never gave it a great deal of thought. But, as you’ll read at the start of Andrew Green’s wonderful feature (see p26), this unassuming building on the outskirts of Bristol turns out to have been the venue for the very first performance, in 1920, of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending – six years after the work’s completion. Its premiere wasn’t a grand affair. Played in a version for violin and piano, the accompaniment was drawn from the orchestral score. Small-scale premieres were often a way of inexpensively testing the water. Most of Holst’s The Planets was originally scored for two pianos and Stravinsky performed a solo piano version of…

1 min.
letter of the month

Last call for Arnold Following the reaction to demands to reform parts of the Last Night of the Proms, one way to approach this issue next year might be to reprise the excellent Fantasy for Audience and Orchestra by Malcolm Arnold, commissioned for the Last Night in 1970 – even 50 years ago, it was felt that there was a case for some flexibility in the traditional second half. This ingenious work consists of a medley of ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’, ‘The Sailor’s Hornpipe’ – but with a different rhythm to the Henry Wood version to confuse the clapping of the audience – and ‘Rule, Britannia!’, each made all the more entertaining with Arnold’s brilliant orchestration. He possessed a great facility to compose in a variety of musical styles from…

4 min.
have your say…

The wider picture I was left with mixed feelings about BBC Four’s interesting documentary Black Classical Music: the Forgotten History. On one hand, Suzy Klein and Lenny Henry both made valid points about certain works by various black classical composers such as Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Florence Price deserving more attention in the repertoires and recordings of orchestras and performers – such inclusiveness provides positive role models to encourage a greater number of black people into classical music. However, I think that their notions of deliberate ‘exclusion’ and ‘erasing’ of black history in classical music is overstated. Any of the 29 thick volumes of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians reveals extreme competition, with the relative handful of black classical composers merely struggling to be heard above the cacophony of the…

2 min.
bristol beacon lights the way forward

Colston Hall is no more. When Bristol’s largest concert venue re-opens after a major refurbishment, audiences will instead be welcomed to the Bristol Beacon, with a new name having been revealed at the end of September. The change brings to an end the hall’s connection with the slave trader Edward Colston, a controversial issue that has been particularly brought under the spotlight in recent months. ‘It was important to come up with a name that meant something, and I think we have done that,’ says Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, which runs the hall. ‘We want it to be a symbol of hope and our purpose is to spread unity and joy through live music. The trustees took the decision back in 2017 that when we reopened we…

1 min.
freelance musicians bring war to parliament square

Parliament Square resounded to the music of Holst in October, as 400 freelance musicians gathered to raise awareness of their financial plight during the coronavirus crisis. Joined by the likes of violinist Tasmin Little, who warned of a ‘cultural desert’ should musicians be forced to quit the industry, the 400’s demonstration included a performance of one fifth of ‘Mars, The Bringer of War’ from the Planets. This precise fraction was intended to represent the 20 per cent of the players’ usual income that they receive through the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.…