Classical Music

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    The Romantic era was a time where composers embraced virtuosity and expression. Many composers during this era tackled themes such as nature, the supernatural and the sublime through ever-expanding forms, taking inspiration from art and literature. Let's take a look at 15 of the best composers from this era and their works.


    1. Clara Schumann

    Clara Schumann was a gifted composer at a time where the profession was highly male-dominated. Her career began as a child prodigy pianist, taught by her father Friedrich Wieck who insisted on spending time teaching her harmony and counterpoint so she could go on to perform her own works.

    Her talent earnt her a prestigious place at the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna. Undoubtedly her marriage to Robert Schumann influenced her music. The couple were known for sharing musical ideas with each other, and their close friend Johannes Brahms


    Best works:

    Three Romances for Violin and Piano, 1853
    A display of sophisticated lyrical lines and daring complexity. 



    Piano Concerto, 1836
    This concerto was written when she was only 16. The bold first movement demonstrates her original voice.




    2. Franz Schubert 

    Schubert wrote over 600 songs in total, and was at the forefront of the Romantic Lieder tradition. He is also known for his thrilling orchestral and chamber works. Schubert had a gift for shaping a melody and creating beautiful themes. 


    Best works:

    Symphony No. 8 ‘Unfinished’, 1822:
    The first phrase comes from the cellos and basses playing low in register and pianissimo. After a few bars, agitated shimmering strings enter alongside a more lyrical oboe and clarinet line. This dark introverted opening is unlike other symphonies of the time which often open with a bold statement.



    Gretchen am Spinnrade, 1814: 
    This song depicts a girl, Gretchen, spinning yarn and worrying about her feelings for her new lover, Faust. The right hand of the piano accompaniment is busy yet flowing, capturing the spinning wheel but also Gretchen’s agitation. Above floats a fluid vocal melody. 



    3. Richard Wagner 

    Wagner was a revolutionary operatic composer. He worked according to his theory that music, poetry and drama are inseparable. He used Leitmotifs throughout his music. Leitmotifs are musical phrases that represent specific characters so listeners can identify physical action in the music.



    Best works:

    De Ring de Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle), 1876:
    An epic story of a magic ring spread across four full-length operas.

    WagnerThe Ring Cycle: Ride of the Valkyries



    Tristan und Isolde, 1865: 
    Based on a greek tragedy of two lovers, Isolde and Tristan mistakenly drink the elixir of love instead of death. This causes the pair huge trouble as Isolde is engaged to marry the King. 

    Wagner Tristan und Isolde, Prelude




    4. Johannes Brahms

    Brahms followed the principles of form and counterpoint that were familiar to composers of the Classical era. The spirit of his music is, however, much more Romantic. At times his music is intensely dark, and notoriously difficult to play.


    Best works:

    Violin Concerto, 1879: 
    This extremely virtuosic concerto, full of gypsy inflections, was written for violinist Joseph Joachim. Joachim advised Brahms while he composed the concerto, as Brahms had no experience of playing the violin. 

    Brahms Violin Concerto, 1st movement



    Ein Deutsches Requiem, 1868: 
    Written in response to his mother’s death, a full symphony orchestra plays with this setting of passages from the Lutheran bible. 

    Brahms Ein Deutches Requiem, 1st Movement 'Selig Sind'




    5. Giacomo Puccini

    Italian composer Puccini made his mark on opera. His music is effortlessly lyrical, influenced by Wagner and Verdi, and sharing similarities with more contemporary composers such as Debussy and Stravinsky


    Best works:

    La Bohème, 1895: 
    The tragic opera tells the story of a young poet who falls in love with a seamstress, but obstacles of poverty and illness get in their way.

    Puccini La Bohème, Musetta's Waltz



    Madam Butterfly, 1904:
    A story of unrequited love. The emotional score of Madam Butterfly reflects the heart breaking story of a young Japanese girl Cio-Cio San. 

    Puccini Madame Butterfly, Un bel di vedremo



    6. Hector Berlioz

    Berlioz’s music is often technically difficult. His use of harmony was seen at the time as unconventional. He treated harmony as a tool for expression rather than function. Other stylistic qualities are his use of irregular rhythms and long melodies, while still being clearly influenced by the Classical period. 


    Best works:

    Symphonie fantastique1830:
    Considered the first tone poem, the work's main theme is notably long, running for 30 bars. A tone poem is an orchestral form that was born in the Romantic era. It is a composition which is based around a story or programme, which the title usually alludes to.  

    Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, 4th Movement: 'March to the Scaffold'



    Les Nuits d’été, 1834-40:
    A song cycle set to the poetry of Gautier. Originally written for baritone and piano, it has also been arranged for soprano and orchestra. 

    Berlioz, Les nuits d'été, 'Le Spectre de la Rose'



    7. Antonin Dvořák

    Czech composer Dvořák was experimental in his early compositions. As his primary job was as a viola player, he did not rely on these works for an income. His style became more Classical as he became influenced by the works of Liszt and Brahms. His music from the mid 1870s has a more nationalistic feel, as heard in his Slavonic Dances


    Best Works:

    String Quartet in E minor, 1868-1869:
    The height of his experimental phase, this string quartet pushes Romantic tonality to its limits. 



    Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’, 1892-95:
    This symphony contains a range of memorable themes, hugely popular with audiences. Dvořák wrote this after taking the position as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York in 1892. The work incorporates influences from American music and culture. 

    Dvorak Symphony No. 9, 2nd Movement



    8. Jean Sibelius 

    When studying literature, the Finnish composer discovered Kalevala, a mythological epic about Finland. This influenced his composing as many of his tone poems are inspired by it, including the Lemminkäinen Suite. Sibelius’s music became very popular in Europe, and he received a salary from the government to allow him to live comfortably and keep composing. 


    Best works: 

    Violin Concerto, 1904:
    This work was one Sibelius wanted to play as he was a violinist himself. Sadly, he didn’t posess the technical ability to play it. 

    Sibelius Violin Concerto, 1st Movement



    Finlandia, 1899:
    A nationalistic tone poem calling for Russia to allow Finland to remain independent. Today, the piece is regarded as the country’s unofficial national anthem. 




    9. Felix Mendelssohn 

    Felix Mendelssohn was the most talented child prodigy of all time. At fifteen his teacher claimed Mendelssohn’s talents were equal to those of Bach, Haydn and Mozart. His music incorporates the elegance and balance of the Classical era, while still evoking the fantasy of the Romantic.


    Best Works:

    Piano Concerto No. 1, 1831: 
    The concerto was inspired by Mendelssohn’s trip to Italy (1830-31). The premiere of the work was a triumph, with Mendelssohn playing the piano himself. 



    Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, 1826:
    The music was written to accompany Shakespeare’s play, and its overture quickly became popular across Europe.




    10. Fanny Mendelssohn

    Fanny Mendelssohn was the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. Despite often being overlooked, she composed around 500 brilliant works. As a woman, she was not encouraged to pursue music as a career in the way her brother was, so did not get the same opportunities of travelling and education. Nevertheless, her music contains the complex virtuosity exhibited by her male contemporaries. Her work is light and poised in character. 


    Best works:

    String Quartet, 1834: 
    The quartet begins with short phrases being passed around between players creating an echoing effect. The second movement is the most lively and shows baroque influences. The final movement is the most moving of the three. 



    Overture in C: 
    Fanny Mendelssohn's only orchestral work displays her characteristic gracefulness alongside virtuosic string parts. 




    11. Gustav Mahler 

    Mahler is best known for his nine complete symphonies. His contemporaries did not have a high opinion of him, accusing him of being morbid, self-indulgent and derivative. But Mahler is actually a synthesiser of music. He brings together folk music, military marches, waltzes, chorales and Lieder. 


    Best Works:

    Symphony No. 2, 1888-94: 
    The symphony tells the story of life. It is huge in scale - an hour and a half long. It is written for symphony orchestra, two vocal soloists and a chorus. 

    Mahler Symphony No. 2, 1st Movement



    Symphony No. 9, 1909:
    This was Mahler’s last completed symphony. It expresses complicated feelings of someone nearing the end of their life, and is particularly poignant as Mahler himself died soon after composing it. 

    Mahler Symphony No. 9, 4th Movement



    12. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

    The Russian composer is known for his rich orchestration and tuneful melodies. He was hugely prolific, writing 7 symphonies, 11 operas and 3 ballets. He also wrote concertos and chamber music.  


    Best works:

    The Nutcracker, 1892:
    ’s third ballet is based on a story by the German fantasy writer ETA Hoffmann. The Nutcrackeris innovative in terms of the sounds Tchaikovsky uses in the orchestra. In Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairyhe uses a celesta. Tchaikovsky had heard one in Paris in 1891 and asked his publisher to buy one, hoping to keep it a secret so that no other Russian would compose music for the instrument before him.

    Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker, 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'



    Piano Concerto No. 1, 1874-75:
    The opening chords of this concerto are some of the most famous in history. The first movement is highly virtuosic, while the second is more focused on interplay between the piano and orchestra. The final movement is a powerful rondo.

    Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, 1st Movement




    13. Robert Schumann

    German composer Robert Schumann was known for his piano music, Lieder and orchestral works. Before his marriage, Schumann was mostly seen as a miniaturist composer due to his fondness for writing short piano pieces and songs. Most of his music is inspired by literature and poems. 


    Best works:

    Piano Quintet in E flat, 1842:
    Schumann's quintet for piano and string quartet is famous for its instrumentation which was later made popular by composers like Brahms and Elgar



    Kreisleriana, 1838:
    A set of eight pieces for solo piano. Schumann dedicated these to Chopin and saw them as his best work. They were inspired by stories by Romantic writer ETA Hoffmann. 




    14. Fryderyk Chopin

    The Polish composer was a virtuoso pianist, child prodigy and master of Romantic composition. Most of his musical output was for piano, writing 59 mazurkas, 27 études, 27 preludes, 21 nocturnes and 20 waltzes.


    Best works:

    24 Preludes, Op. 28:
    Similarly to Bach’s The Well-Tempered ClavierChopin moves through every key in sequence. The pieces are very short, yet filled with character. 

    Chopin Prelude No 15, 'Raindrop'



    Polonaise-Fantaisie, 1846:
    The opening to this ten-minute piece has an improvisatory feel. The middle section is a lullaby, which then returns to the main theme. The piece ends with a bold flourish, which suddenly fades away finishing with a couple of trills.



    15. Giuseppe Verdi 

    Verdi is best known for his 25 celebrated operas, including La Traviata and Falstaff. His career really took off after his first opera, Obertowhich was put on at the La Scala opera house in Milan in 1839. The La Scala opera house offered him a contract to put on three more operas directly after.


    Best works:

    La Traviata, 1853:
    La Traviata was based on Alexandre Dumas' play The Lady of the Camellias, and remains Verdi’s most popular opera. 

    VerdiLa Traviata, 'Brindisi' (The Drinking Song)



    Requiem, 1874:
    Milan's cathedral put on the first performance of Verdi's Requiem Mass. He composed it in tribute to the famous novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni, who died in 1873. The Requiem demonstrates Verdi's composing abilities outside of the field of opera.

    Verdi Requiem, Dies Irae e Tuba Mirum

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    Symphony No. 12 ‘The Year 1917’ Op. 112 (1961)

    Premiered: Leningrad, 1961

    Symphony No. 12, like the 11th, was written for a revolutionary commemoration, dedicated to Lenin. Shostakovich was invited to attend the 22nd Congress as a new Party member, where it was performed.

    VASILY PETRENKO: The Twelfth is probably the most cryptic of them all, and a big discovery for me. It’s a hugely powerful piece, especially if you understand what’s behind it. He makes use of the traditional “People of Russia” from Musorgsky.

    There’s a three-note theme representing the people, while Lenin is heard in a two-note theme (I subscribe to the view that he denotes a brutal leader or anti-human force in two note themes, and “humanity” in three-note ones). You can hear how Lenin moves the people towards catastrophe in the first movement. He then follows Lenin to Razliv in Finland, where he reflects on his strategy. 

    We hear a theme from Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen in Tuonela which deals with the hero’s death, when he is cut into pieces and thrown in a river – later his mother pulls out the pieces and only by her tears is he restored again. The message is clear. It’s one of the most clever calculations he made: firstly, to quote Sibelius – the necessary people would understand the message – and to put in the revolutionary songs as a cover. You can sense how songs start with a clear intention but are altered and warped.

     In the final part, “the dawn of humanity”, he was raising a question for himself: if the 1905 revolution had been successful, would a parliamentary regime have 
been established?



    Vasily Petrenko is, like Shostakovich, a son of Leningrad/St Petersburg, and grew up singing the composer’s songs in its Capella Boys Music School. In 1997 he won first prize in the Shostakovich Choral Conducting Competition and was made chief conductor of the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, during which time he took on the principal conductorship of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

    On his arrival in the city in 2006, at just 30, he launched a project with Naxos to record all Shostakovich’s 15 symphonies. The series has drawn international acclaim and, as the final instalment is released, he looks back on his nine-year journey. ‘To work with an orchestra on one composer for so many years has meant we could build a style, an approach to his language,’ he says. ‘At first, it felt like an exhilarating challenge: there are huge demands. Now, we are of one mind.’ 



    Petrenko, born a year after the composer’s death, grew up in the Soviet Union. A beneficiary of its uniquely rigorous teaching system, he witnessed its dissolution when he was 15, the re-writing of history books, and even the emergence of a nostalgia for that dark era. He’s in touch with those who remember Shostakovich, and the times through which he lived, but has experienced the Western view of this controversial figure.

    ‘When I conduct these symphonies in Russia, there’s still an unspoken understanding of the songs, the messages. We talk more about the composer’s personal life. When I conduct in the West, it’s important to give the historical context. There’s still so much we don’t know; the family destroyed many letters when Shostakovich died. The State would probably have requisitioned them anyway.’ 

  3. Ludwig van Beethoven

    We explore Beethoven's revolutionary nine symphonies. But not every piece he wrote is that well known today. So here's our guide to six of the great German composer's overlooked works.


    Wellington’s Victory/The Battle Symphony, Op. 91

    This 15-minute orchestral piece was composed in 1813 to celebrate the defeat of Joseph Bonaparte, king of Spain and brother of Napoleon, by British troops led by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Vitoria.

    Beethoven's music dramatises the battle, splitting the orchestra into two and incorporating live cannon and musket fire for added excitement. Well-known national tunes represent the two sides with God Save the King and Rule Britannia for the British and Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerrefor the French.

    Today the piece is often seen as a novelty, but at the time of his death it was publically considered one of his best works.



    12 German Dances, WoO 8

    Beethoven wrote these 12 German Dances in 1795, at the age of just 25, for the Redoutensaal, a salon frequented by the Viennese upper classes. This is Beethoven on a small scale, displaying concise craftsmanship – not one of the dances breaks the two-minute mark.

    Though Beethoven originally orchestrated the dances, they became popular enough for him to make a piano arrangement to be played at home.



    British folk song arrangements

    Beethoven’s 179 settings of folk songs earned him a substantial amount of money. He was commissioned by publisher and folk-song collector George Thomson, who paid the composer four ducats per song – twice as much as Haydn initially received. Thomson had transcribed many of the melodies on his travels around Great Britain and he also commissioned great British poets like Robert Burns and Walter Scott to write new texts for existing folk songs. 

    A mixture of simple solo, duet, and trio arrangements, the songs were suitable for social use in the houses and salons of the Viennese middle-class. The songs range from the jolly (Put round the bright wine) to melancholy (On the Massacre of Glencoe). There is even a lively arrangement of Auld Lang Syne(below).



    Cantata On the Death of Emperor Joseph II, WoO 87

    When news of the Emperor’s death reached Bonn, the University began preparations for a memorial ceremony that would take place just a month later. Theology student Severin Anton Averdonk wrote a text, and an open invitation was extended to composers in Bonn to set it to music.

    19-year-old Beethoven leapt at the chance to prove his talent as a composer. Established composers were reluctant to attempt the work on such a tight deadline, so Beethoven won the job. However, for unknown reasons, the initial performance was cancelled and it was never performed in his lifetime.



    Three Equale for Four Trombones, WoO 30

    Beethoven wrote this set of 'equale' works for All Soul’s Day in Linz Cathedral, 1812. They were later performed at his own funeral in an arrangement for male voice choir, with the words of the Miserere added by Ignaz von Seyfried.

    'Equale' or 'Aequale' is a Latin musical term that means 'for equal parts,' or put simply, for the same instrument. Beethoven writes for his four trombones in long, homophonic phrases, creating a rich sombre tone throughout the set. 



    Italian songs

    Beethoven wrote a great number of Italian songs while studying composition with Antonio Salieri, often as exercises. Very few of his early works have survived, but those he composed or revisited in later life are far better preserved. 

    The songs have a very different mood from Beethoven's famous song-cycle An die ferne geliebte. Some of the songs, the brief, lyrical Ecco quel fiero istante (WoO 124) for example, could almost be by Mozart.

    In questa tomba oscura (WoO 133) is entirely different. Here we can see more dramatic elements and the accompaniment contributes to the development of the song as it transitions from calm, slow chords to thunderous quaver-movement and back again. 


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    0161 907 5200

    The Royal Northern College of Music is a leading international conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors and composers from all over the world.

    Founded in 1973 through the merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music and Northern School of Music, the RNCM is home to around 320 teaching staff and more than 800 students from 60 countries.

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    Autumn, with its golden leaves and misty mornings, is here. To keep you company as the nights draw in, we present some of the best classical music inspired by the season.


    Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 'Autumn' (1723)

    What seasonal playlist could fail to include Vivaldi? From the Allegro’s post-harvest celebrations in 'Autumn', Vivaldi’s programmatic music transports us to the somewhat less vibrant morning after, where slow moving suspensions come as close to a musical hangover as anything you’ve ever heard. In the stately final Allegro, ‘The Hunt’, a virtuosic violin solo represents the hunter’s fleeing quarry, which they eventually catch and kill. Not so fun for the quarry, but a jolly old time for all the hunters.



    BaxNovember Woods (1917)

    Though ostensibly inspired by nature, Bax’s November Woods also acts as a musical portrait of his turbulent love affair with pianist Harriet Cohen. An often unsettling work, the tone poem fluctuates between stormy drama and quiet ecstasy, yet fades to a quiet and unresolved finish.



    Fanny MendelssohnDas Jahr (1841)

    Fanny Mendelssohn wrote the piano cycle Das Jahr as a musical diary of the year she spent with her family in Rome. The 12 months are represented by 12 individual movements. In 'September' a flowing accompaniment overlays a dark melody in the left hand. 'October' is a brighter, march-like song, but 'November' returns to introspection and a minor key. She instructs the performer to play sadly.



    Richard StraussFour Last Songs, ‘September’

    Sometimes considered Strauss’s own musical epitaph, all of the Four Last Songs are themed around death. ‘September’ is a shimmering and uplifting work, which calmly compares the passing of the seasons with the passing of life. Strauss also includes a poignant and wistful solo for his father’s instrument: the French horn.  



    Imogen Holst – The Fall of the Leaf (1963)

    The Fall of the Leafwas written as a study piece for Holst's friend, the cellist and pianist Pamela Hind O’Malley. It is based on a tune by Martin Peerson that Holst found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (1572-1651). Unified by this melody, all six movements expand on it using a variety of different string techniques, from pizzicato to double-stopping. 



    Massenet – Pensée d’Automne(1887)

    ‘The year slips away like a flowing stream,’ mourns the soprano soloist in the opening lines of Massenet’s Pensée d’Automne (Thoughts of Autumn). Based on a poem by Armand Silvestre, the song perfectly expresses the melancholy that comes as the summer ends.



    Listen to our playlist of autumnal music here:

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    Born in Helsinki in 1952, Kaija Saariaho did not come from a typically musical background. The daughter of a metal worker, her break into composition came after studying at the Sibelius Academy with Paavo Heininen, and later in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough. Her diverse repertoire includes operas, orchestral works and experimentation with electroacoustic music. Here’s our pick of six of her best pieces.


    L’Amour de loin 

    Saariaho’s first opera, L’Amour de loin tells the story of Jaufré Rudel, a troubadour longing for a ‘love from afar’. When a pilgrim tells him that such a love really exists in Tripoli, Jaufré begins his pursuit, becoming sick with anguish on the journey. A beautifully dark and brooding opera, L’Amour de loin received its premiere in 2000 at the Salzburg Festival, a co-production with the Théatre du Chatelet, Paris and the Santa Fe Opera. 

    Recommended Recording:

    Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin 

    Ekhaterina Lekhina (soprano), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (mezzo-soprano), Daniel Belcher (tenor); Berlin Radio Chorus; Berlin Deutches Symphony Orchestra/Kent Nagano Harmonia Mundi HMC801937/38  


    Graal théâtre

    Written as a concerto for violin and orchestra in 1994 and arranged in 1997 for chamber orchestra, Graal théâtre takes its name from the book by Jacques Roubaud. According to Saariaho, ‘the title expresses the tension between the efforts of the composer when writing music and the theatrical aspect of a performance.’ The piece’s two movements are characterised by the gritty and sometimes aggressive sound of the solo violin, originally performed by Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, to whom the piece is also dedicated. 

    Recommended Recording:

    Kaija Saariaho: Graal théâtre Château de l'âme / Amers 

    Dawn Upshaw (soprano), Anssi Karttunen (cello), Gidon Kremer (violin), Avanti!, BBC Symphony/Esa-Pekka Salonen Sony Classical G010001403109B




    This piece sees Saariaho experimenting with electroacoustic music by manipulating pre-recorded sounds on a tape, resulting in eerie textures. Verblendungen – commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company – was written in 1984 and used a tape produced in the GRM Digital Studio for treating sounds. Saariaho has created her own unique string orchestra by using two manipulated violin sounds which are layered over a chamber orchestra. 

    Recommended recording: 

    A Portrait of Kaija Saariaho

    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen BIS - BISCD307




    This haunting orchestral piece is inspired by the titular figure in Greek mythology, the mortal son of Poseidon whom Zeus placed in the sky as a constellation after his death. Split into three movements – Memento MoriWinter Sky and Hunter – Orion immediately seems to evoke the vastness of space through its drawn-out ethereal strings and sudden passages of dramatic orchestral eruptions, all of which come to an abrupt finish with a closing triangle chime. Composed in 2002 for Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, it is Saariaho’s largest purely orchestral work to date.  

    Recommended recording:

    Saariaho: Notes on Light / Orion / Mirage 

    Karita Mattila (soprano), Anssi Karttunen (cello), Orchestre de Paris/Christoph Eschenbach Ondine ODE11302  



    Petals – a 10-minute piece for solo cello and live electronics – is impressive, if a bit harsh on the ears. The performer utilises a whole range of different tones from airy harmonics to nail-bitingly rough bass notes, sharp tremolos and glissandos. Petals was composed in 1988 and is the natural stylistic successor to 1987’s Nymphea, a comparable work for string quartet and electronics. 

    Recommended recording: 

    Kaija Saariaho: Chamber Music 

    Scott Roller (cello), Thomas Neuhaus (electronics) Kairos KAI0012412


    Du Cristal … à la fumée 

    Du Cristal … à la fumée is a single orchestral diptych formed by two separately commissioned pieces – translated as ‘From crystal’ and ‘…into smoke’. The pieces can be played separately or together, with the closing cello trill of Du Cristal leading seamlessly into the introduction of its successorIn Saariaho’s own words, ‘to my way of thinking, Du Cristal … à la fumée is a single work, two facets of the same image, but both drawn in, living and independent.’ Du Cristal … à la fumée is deeply cinematic and, like other works such as Orion, is full of ghostly strings and sudden orchestral timpani-driven crescendos. 

    Recommended recording: 

    Saariaho: Du cristal - …à la fumée - 7 Papillons - Nymphéa 

    Anssi Karttunen (cello), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen Ondine ODE1047-2 


    Words by Gareth Thomas 


  7. Rating: 

    The Cat Concerto

    In this 1946 Academy-Award winning Tom and Jerry short film, Liszt’s virtuosic showpiece, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, provides the musical inspiration for a hilarious cat and mouse skirmish across the grand piano.



    What's Opera, Doc?

    Bugs Bunny meets Wagner in this six-and-a-half-minute cartoon from 1957 parodying the German composer’s operas. Rabbit-hunter Elmer Fudd singing the words ‘Kill the wabbit’ to the theme from the ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ is unmissable.




    With everything from elephants and ostriches dancing to Ponchielli’s The Dance of the Hours, the creation of the earth accompanied by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Mickey Mouse doing a turn as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Walt Disney’s 1940 full-length animated film has become a children’s classic.



    The Simpsons 

    When America’s favourite cartoon family head to Italy in The Italian Bob, they stumble across Krusty the Clown performing in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. You may recognise ‘Vesti la giubba’ as the aria sung to the words ‘No more Rice Krispies... we are out of Rice Krispies.'



    Peter and the Wolf 

    The first in Breakthru Films’s projected trilogy of classical music-inspired stop-motion animations (a technique made famous by Aardman Animations’s Wallace and Gromit) brings to life Prokofiev’s characterful orchestral score. With a soundtrack performed by the Philharmonia, Peter and the Wolf won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2008.


  8. 'Smith has at his command a technique fully equal to Marais's sometimes challenging demands and an astonishingly wide range of colours and moods'

    This week's free download is the sixth movement, Fantaisie, from Marais's Suite in A, performed by Robert Smith on viola da gamba, theorbist Israel Golani and harpsichordist Olivier Fortham. It was recorded on the Resonus label and was awarded four stars for both performance and recording in the November issue of BBC Music Magazine.


    If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.

    Once you've done that, return to this page and you'll be able to see a 'Download Now' button on the picture above – simply click on it to download your free track.

    If you experience any technical problems please email Please reference 'Classical Music Free Download', and include details of the system you are using and your location. If you are unsure of what details to include please take a screenshot of this page.

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    Every Monday, the BBC Music Magazine team choose their favourite new recordings of the past week. The tracks are compiled intoThe Playlist, which can be accessed via the BBC Music Magazine Spotify page. An alternative version of The Playlist can be found on the BBC Music Magazine curator page on Apple Music.


    This week's playlist:


    The listings for previous playlists are featured below.


    Vol. 38

    Stamitz Symphony Op. 3 No. 1: IV. Presto (Musica Viva/Alexander Rudin)

    Robert Schumann Fantasie in C Op. 17: II. Mässig. Durchaus energisch (Joseph Tong)

    Chabrier España – Rhapsody for Orchestra (L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande)

    Stephen Hough Madam and her Madam (Jennifer Johnston, Alisdair Hogarth)

    Trojahn Rhapsodie pour clarinette et orchestra: I. Rêverie (Annelien van Wauwe, Orchestre National de Lille/Alexandre Bloch)

    JS Bach Wo sol lich fliehen hin, BMV 5: III. Aria: Ergieße dich reichlich (arr. for viola) (Antoine Tamestit, Masato Suzuki)

    Bruch 8 Pieces, Op. 83 (arr. for violin, viola and piano): No. 6, Nachtgesang (Natalia Lomeiko, Yuri Zhislin, Ivan Martin)

    Handel Concerto Op. 7 No. 4 in D minor: I. Adagio (arr. for organ) (Thomas Trotter)


    Vol. 37

    Korngold Symphony in F sharp: II. Scherzo. Allegro molto (Sinfonia of London/John Wilson)

    Charpentier Les arts florrisants. H. 487, Scene 5: Charmante paix (Aaron Sheehan, Molly Netter, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble)

    Ravel Miroirs: IV. Alborada del gracioso (Imogen Cooper)

    Sibelius Violin Concerto: III. Allegro, ma non tanto (Christian Tetzlaff, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Robin Ticciati)

    Max Richter In the Garden (Angèle Dubeau, La Pietà)

    Gabriel Prokofiev Bass Drum Concerto: II. Largo Mesto (In the Steppes) (Joby Burgess, Ural Philharmonic Orchestra/Alexey Bogorad)

    Marais Suite in A: VI. Fantaisie (Robert Smith, Israel Golani, Olivier Fortin, Joshua Cheatham)

    Bartók Piano Quintet in C: II. Vivace. Scherzando (Vilde Frang, Barnabás Kelemen, Katalin Kokas, Nicolas Altstaedt, Alexander Lonquich)

    Gossec Symphony in D minor: II. Andante (German Chamber Academy Neuss/Simon Gaudenz)


    Vol. 36

    Beethoven Egmont, Op. 84: I. Overture (Live) (Elisabeth Breuer, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra/Aapo Hákkinen)

    Peter Lindroth Insensiblity (Yoriko Asahara, John Erik Eleby, Mats Jansson)

    Schnittke String Quartet No. 3: II. Agitato (Danish String Quartet)

    Stanford 4 Irish Dances, Op. 89, IV. Reel (Excerpts arr. Grainger (Alexander Karpeyev)

    Fogg Merok (BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba)

    Michael Nyman Concerto for Amplified Harpsichord & Strings (Jory Vinikour, Chicago Philharmonic/Scott Speck)

    Vaughan Williams L’Amour de Moy (Roderick Williams, Kitty Whately, William Vann)

    Stephen Hough Madam and her Madam (Jennifer Johnston, Alisdair Hogarth)


    Vol. 35

    Hartmann Concerto funèbre for Violin and String Orchestra: II. Adagio (Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Camerata Bern)

    Piazzolla Histoire du tango (version for flute and guitar): I. Bordel 1900 (Lisa Friend, Craig Ogden)

    Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2: I. Moderato (Dong Hyek Lim, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Vedernikov)

    Iiro Rantala September (Iiro Rantala)

    Handel Concerto grosso in A minor, Op. 6 No. 4: II. Allegro (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck)

    Gabriela Montero Piano Concerto No. 1 ‘Latin’: I. Mambo (Live) (Gabriela Montero, Orchestra of the Americas/Carlos Miguel Prieto)

    Donnacha Dennehy The Hunger – Black Potatoes (Alarm Will Sound/Alan Pierson)

    Sibelius Violin Concerto: III. Allegro, ma non tanto (Christian Tetzlaff, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Robin Ticciati)

    Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso (Live) (Elena Zilio, Alexia Voulgaridou, Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino)


    Vol. 34

    John Adams Short Ride in a Fast machine (Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal/Kent Nagano)

    DvořákIn Folk Tone Op. 73 (Kaspar Zehnder, Magdalena Kožená, Simon Rattle)

    Parry I Was Glad (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury)

    Myaskovsky Symphony No. 1: III. Allegro assai e molto risoluto (Ural Youth Symphony/Alexander Rudin)

    Phipps Clarinet Concerto: I. Adagio – Allegro moderato (Mark van de Wiel, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra/Christopher Warren-Green)

    Max Richter The Four Seasons Recomposed: Winter I (Fenella Humphreys, Covent Garden Sinfonia/Ben Palmer)

    Fauré Pavane Op. 50 (Sinfonieorchester Basel/Ivor Bolton)

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ‘Moonlight’: I. Adagio sostenuto (Igor Levit)

    Josquin des Prez Nymphes des bois (Dulces Exuviae, Romain Bockler, Bor Zuljan)



    Vol. 33

    Holst The Planets: IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton)

    Handel Riccardo Primo HWV 23: II. Volo così fido al dolce (Lucy Crowe, London Early Opera/Bridget Cunningham)

    Fanny Mendelssohn Capriccio in A-flat (Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson)

    Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto: I. Rhapsody (Nicola Benedetti, Philadelphia Orchestra/Cristian Măcelaru)

    Henze Englische Liebeslieder: VI. Sonett (Anssi Kartuunen, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oliver Knussen)

    Mason Bates Sirens: No. 1, From ‘The Odyssey’ (Book XII) (Cappella SF/Ragnar Bohlin)

    Dvořák Symphony No. 8: III. Allegretto grazioso (Bamberg Symphony/Jakub Hrůša)

    John Luther Adams Become Desert (Seattle Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Ludovic Morlot)



    Vol. 32

    José Ferrer Sérénade espagnole, Op. 34 (Jørgen Skogmo, Jens Franke)

    Laura Kaminsky A Christmas Story (Sasha Cooke, Kelly Markgraf, Fry Street Quartet)

    Dustin O’Halloran Op. 28 (American Contemporary Music Ensemble)

    Piazzolla Milonga del angel (arr. Benítez for guitar) (Rupert Boyd)

    Debussy La Mer: III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer (L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Ernest Ansermet)

    JS Bach Christ lag in Todesbanden: II. Christ lag in Todesbanden (Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour Broken Times (Darragh Morgan, Patrick Savage, Fiona Winning, Deirdre Cooper)

    Handel Brockes Passion: No. 5, Der Gott, dem alle Himmelskreise (Festspielorchester Göttingen/Laurence Cummings)

    Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’: III. Allegro molto vivace (Berlin Philharmonic/Kirill Petrenko)



    Vol. 31

    Honegger Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra and trumpet: III. Vivace non troppo (Baltic Chamber Orchestra/Emmanuel Leducq-Baromé)

    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27, Arr. for accordion and chamber orchestra: II. Larghetto (Viviane Chassot, Camerata Bern)

    Janáček On an Overgrown Path: No. 10, The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away! Andante (Jan Bartoš)

    Wolfram Buchenberg Dum medium silentium (Cantabile Regensburg/Matthias Beckert)

    Elgar Soliloquy for oboe and orchestra (Albrecht Mayer, Bamberg Symphony/Jakub Hrůša)

    Schubert Die schöne Müllerin: No. 8, Morgengruß (Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside)

    Heinrich Bach Ich danke dir Gott (Vox Luminix/Lionel Meunier)

    Erika Fox Café Warsaw 1944: I. Prologue (Goldfield Ensemble/Richard Uttley)

    Salieri Tarare, Act 5 Scene 4 ‘Atar, defends-nous’ (Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset)

    Korngold String Quartet No. 2: IV. Waltz (Finale) (Jerusalem Quartet)


    Vol. 30

    Verdi La Traviata – Act 1: ‘Libiamo ne’ lieti calici’ (Brindisi) (Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, The London Opera Chorus, National Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Ronynge)

    Philip Glass Vertigo (Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra)

    Britten A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: This little Babe (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Prokofiev Visions fugitives, Op. 22: XIV. Feroce (Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)

    Howells Te Deum and Jubilate ‘Collegium Regale’: Te Deum (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury)

    Hartmann Concerto funebre: IV. Choral. Langsamer Marsch (Fabiola Kim, Müncher Symphoniker/Kevin John Edusei)

    Praetorius Dixit Dominus (David Skinner, Stephen Farr)

    Gregson Sequence (Four) for Solo Violin and String Orchestra divisi (Mari Samuelsen, Konzerthausorchester Berlin/Jonathan Stockhammer)

    Bartók The Wooden Prince, Op. 13: IX. The Princess is Curious (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki)

    Get It Straight – Live(Dan Berglund, Charenee Wade, Iiro Rantala, Anton Eger, Ernie Watts, Angelika Niescier)


    Vol. 29

    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20: III. Allegro assai (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy)

    Elgar String Quartet in E minoe: Piacevole. Poco andante (Brodsky Quartet)

    Jonathan Dove Airport Scenes (Orchestral Suite from ‘Flight’): II. Storm (BBC Philharmonic/Timothy Redmond)

    Kaija Saariaho Ciel d’hiver (After ‘Orion’ Movement II) (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu)

    Josquin des Prez Nymphes des bois (La déploration de la mort de Johannes Ockeghem (Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini)

    Daniel Elms Islandia (Christian Barraclough, Jonathan French, Tomas Klement, Tereza Privatska, Julia Loucks, Tom Hankey, Adam Szabo)

    Vivaldi arr. Max Richter The Four Seasons Recomposed: Summer I (Fenella Humphreys, Covent Garden Sinfonia/Ben Palmer)

    Dvořák Piano Trio No. 1: IV. Finale. Allegro vivace (The Busch Trio)

    Suk Pohádka, Op. 16: III. Funeral Music (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Jiří Bělohlávek)

    JS Bach Es erhub sich ein Streit, BWV 19: I. Es erhub sich ein Streit (Gaechinger Cantorey, David Franke, Hans-Christoph Rademann)


    Vol. 28

    Qigang Chen The Joy of Suffering: IV. Thrilled by illusions (Maxim Vengerov, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra/Long Yu

    David Robertson Movement I. St Louis to New Orleans (Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra/David Robertson)

    Geminiani Concerto per flauto in G: I. Preludio. Adagio (Maurice Steger, La Cetra)

    James MacMillan Cecilia virgo (The Elysian Singers/Sam Laughton)

    Chopin Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor (Charles Richard-Hamelin, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal/Kent Nagano 

    Striggio Ecce Beatam Lucem à 40 (Armonico Consort, Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Christopher Monks)

    Weinberg Symphony No. 21 ‘Kaddish’: II. Allegro molto (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla)

    Wagner Siegfried: Siegfried’s Horn Call (Ben Goldscheider, Hallé/Mark Elder)

    Monteverdi Vespers of 1610: Deus in adiutorium meum intende (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Sibelius Lemminkäinen Suite ‘4 Legends: IV. Lemminkäinen’s Return (BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)


    Vol. 27

    Jón Leifs Edda Pt. 2 Op. 42 ‘The Lives of the Gods’: VI. Warriors (Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis, Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Hermann Bäumer)

    Philip Glass Perpetulum: Part 1 (Third Coast Percussion)

    Richard Strauss Violin Concerto: III. Rondo (Tasmin Little, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Michael Collins)

    Jolivet Serenade for Wind Quintet: II. Caprice (Jolivet, Les Vents Français)

    Beethoven Cello Sonata in F Op. 17: I. Allegro moderato (Leonard Elschenbroich, Alexei Grynyuk)

    Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2: III. Finale (Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Barockorchester/Pablo Heras-Casado)

    Corelli Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 5 No. 7 (arr. for harpsichord): III. Sarabande (Sophie Yates)

    Richard Rodney Bennett Symphony No. 1: III. Molto vivace (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/John Wilson)

    Fauré Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15: III. Adagio (Evgeny Kissin, Emerson String Quartet)

    Eric Vloiemans Crazy Witches (Calefax Reed Quintet)

    Rachmaninov 13 Préludes, Op. 32: No. 5 in G. Moderato (Boris Giltburg)


    Vol. 26

    Jonathan Dove Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars (Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha)

    Glière Horn Concerto: III. Moderato (Markus Maskuniitty, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)

    Porpora David e Bersabea: Dolce è su queste alte mie logge a sera (Giueseppina Bridelli, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu/Franck-Emmanuel Comte)

    Haydn Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, Hob. XX: I. Introduzione. Maestoso ed adagio (Ensemble Resonanz/Riccardo Minasi)

    Hindemith Violin Sonata Op. 11 No. 1: I. Frisch (Roman Mints, Alexander Kobrin)

    Schubert Rosamunde Op. 26: IIIa. Entr’acte No. 2 (Andante) (Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra/Lawrence Foster)

    Robert Schumann Liederkreis Op. 39: V. Mondnacht (arr. Clara Schumann) (Isata Kanneh-Mason)

    Debussy Préludes, Book 1: No. 8 La fille aux cheveux de lin (Lisa Friend, Rohan de Silva)

    Beethoven Triple Concerto: II. Largo (Laurence Equilbey, Alexandra Conunova, David Kadouch, Natalie Clein, Insula Orchestra)

    Clara Schumann 3 Romances, Op. 11: II. Andante – Allegro passionate – Andante (Eric Le Sage)


    Vol. 25

    Duruflé Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’ pour choeur de barytons et orgue, Op. 11: II. Gloria (Ken Cowan, Houston Chamber Choir/Robert Simpson)

    Mahler Symphony No. 10 (arr. Castelletti for chamber orchestra): II. Sherzo (Lapland Symphony Orchestra/John Storgårds)

    Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1: II. Intermezzo (Skride Piano Quartet)

    Tavener The Protecting Veil: I. The Protecting Veil (Matthew Barley, Sinfonietta Riga/Sukhvinder Singh Pinky)

    Gibbons The Silver Swan (Apollo5)

    Victoria Bond Instruments of Revelation: III. The Fool (Chicago Pro musica)

    Schumann Dichterliebe: VII. Ich grolle nicht (Stella Doufexis, Daniel Heide)

    Annie Lennox (Hesperiidae) (Annie Lennox)


    Vol. 24

    Offenbach Madame Favart: Overture (Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Howard Griffiths)

    JS Bach Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat: V. Bourée (trans. Rachel Podger for violin) (Rachel Podger)

    Björk Vespertine: Aurora (Live) (Women’s Choir of Nationaltheater Mannheim, Orchestra of Nationaltheater Mannheim)

    Gershwin Lullaby for String Quartet (Chiaroscuro)

    John Williams Hedwig’s Theme – from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Anne-Sophie Mutter, The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles)

    Khachaturian Cello Concerto: III. Allegro battula (Torleif Thedéen, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie/Daniel Raiskin)

    Debussy Chansons de Bilitis, L. 90: No. 1, La flute de Pan (Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton)

    Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1: II. Adagio ma non troppo (Andreas Ottensamer, Yuja Wang, Berlin Philharmonic/Mariss Jansons)

    Daniel Tarrab Prelude (Nester Marconi, Pablo Agri, Daniel Tarrab, Orquesta Filarmonica Nacional)



    Vol. 23

    Svante Henryson Black Run (Andrei Ionita)

    Schubert 4 Impromptus: No. 1 in C minor (Khatia Buniatishvili)

    Donizetti L’Ange de Nisida, Act 1: ‘Et vous Mesdames’ (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Mark Elder)

    Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’: II. Marcia funebre (London Philharmonic/Kurt Masur

    Richard Strauss Malven, TrV 297 (Arr. Rihm) (Lise Davidsen, Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    Gounod Symphony No. 2: III. Scherzo (Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier)

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 22: I. In tempo d’un menuetto (Jonathan Biss)

    Weinberg Capriccio Op. 11 (Quatuor Capriccio)

    Ives Piano Sonata No. 1: IVb. Allegro – Presto (Tamara Stefanovich)

    Prokofiev Cello Sonata in C Op. 119: II. Moderato – Andante dolce (Mstislav Rostropovich) 

    JS Bach Fuge G-Moll BWV 578 (Olivier Latry)

    Beethoven String Quartet No. 10: III. Presto (Cuarteto Casals)

    Howells Lady Audrey’s Suite, Op. 19: I. The Four Sleepy Golliwogs’ Dance (Dante Quartet)


    Vol. 22

    JS Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor: I. Allegro (Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck)

    Messiaen Preludes for Piano: VII. Plainte calme (Alexandra Dariescu)

    Purcell Hear My Prayer, O Lord (Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh)

    Mahler Symphony No. 7: III. Scherzo, Schattenhaft (Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer)

    Arensky Piano Trio No. 1: III. Elegia (Smetana Trio)
    Brad Mehldau The Garden

    Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps, Pt 1: L’Adoration de la Terre: Rondes printanières (New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden)

    Elgar Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, ‘Enigma’: XIV. Finale: Allegro Presto ‘E.D.U’ (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko)

    Massanet Le Poète et la Fantôme (Sandrine Piau, Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin)

    Esa-Pekka Salonen Cello Concerto: III. (Yo-Yo Ma, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    Britten 3 Divertimenti: II. Waltz. Allegretto (Doric String Quartet)


    Vol. 21

    Gesualdo O vos omnes(Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner)

    William Alwyn 3 Winter Poems: No. 1, Winter Landscape(Tippett Quartet)

    JS Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 (Transcribed by Rachel Podger for violin)(Rachel Podger)

    Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat: I. Allegro inquieto – Andantino(Martin James Bartlett)

    Shostakovich Symphony No. 7 ‘Leningrad’: II. Moderato (poco allegretto) (Live at Symphony Hall, Boston)(Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons)

    John Sheppard Missa Cantate: Gloria(The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Busoni Piano Concerto: II. Pezzo giocoso (Live)(Kirill Gerstein, Boston Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)

    JS Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue No. 15 in G(Steven Devine)

    Kaija Saariaho Petals(Wilhemina Smith, Kaija Saariaho)

    Mozart Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-flat ‘Linz’: I. Allegro(Lars Vogt)


    Vol. 20

    James MacMillan Saxophone Concerto: III. Jigs(Amy Dickson, Adelaide Symphony Orchetra/Nicholas Carter)

    Steve Reich Clapping Music (Live(Colin Currie, Steve Reich)

    Stravinsky Three Movements from Petrushka: II. Petrushka’s Room(Alexander Ullman)

    Raaf Hekkema Dido’s Lament(Eric Vloeimans, Calefax Reed Quintet, Jasper van Hulten, Gulli Gudmundsson)

    Gabriel Jackson The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: II. Anointing at Bethany(Emma Tring, Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas)

    Poulenc Flute Sonata (arr. for flute and organ): I. Allegretto malincolico(Erica Nygård, Niels Burgmann)

    Roxanna Panufnik Love Abide – I. Love is the Master(Colla Voce Singers, London Mozart Players)

    Niels Rosing-Schow #ViolaSounds(Rafael Altino)

    Eric Whitacre Sainte-Chapelle(The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Couperin Pièces de viole, deuxième Suite: III. La Pompoe funèbre(Christophe Rousset, Atsushi Sakaï, Marion Martineau)


    Vol. 19

    Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2: III. Finale. Presto scherzando(Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Braockorchester/Pablo Heras-Casado

    Mahler Symphony No. 3: Part II, No. 5. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck(Sara Mingardo, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/François-Xavier Roth)

    Bach BWV 974 – II Adagio (Rework)(Víkingur Ólafsson, Ryuichi Sakatmoto)

    Bach Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R: III. Allegro(Isabelle Faust, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck)

    Bruckner Locus iste(Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha)

    Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor: I. Molto allegro (Live)(NDR Radiophilharmonie/Andrew Manze)

    Myaskovsky Cello Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 12: I. Adagio – Andante(Bruno Philippe, Jérôme Ducros)

    Falla La vida breve, Act 1: Ah, ande la tarea, que hay que trabajar!(Gustavo Pena, Cristina Faus, Spanish Radio and Television Chorus, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Juanjo Mena)

    Victoria Alma redemptoris mater(I Fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth)

    John Harle RANT!(Jess Gillam, BBC Concert Orchestra/Jessica Cottis)


    Vol. 18

    John Williams The Raiders March (from ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’)(Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)

    Robert Schumann Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70(Richard Watkins, Julius Drake)

    Edmund Finnis The Air, Turning(BBS Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov

    Will Todd Songs of Renewal: I. Me renovare(Bath Camerata, Benjamin Goodson

    Rachmaninov String Quratet No. 1: I. Romance(Orava Quartet)

    Richard Barbieri Vibra(Richard Barbieri)

    Offenbach Les Bavards, Acte I Scène 3: Air d’Inès ‘Ce sont d’étranges personnages’(Jodie Devos, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Laurent Campellone)

    Caroline Shaw Plan & Elevation: IV. The Orangery(Attacca Quartet)

    JS Bach Oboe Concerto in D minor (Performed on Recorder): I. Allegro(Lucie Horsch, The Academy of Ancient Music/Bojan Cicic)

    Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ, Pt. 3 ‘L’arrivée à Saïs’: Trio des Ismaélites(Prudence Davis, Sarah Beggs, Yinuo Mu, Andrew Davis)

    Henry Cowell Banshee(Wilhem Latchoumia)


    Vol. 17

    SibeliusSymphony No. 1: III. Scherzo(Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Santtu-Matias Rouvali)

    Brahms Die schöne Magelone: Traun! Bogen und Pfeil sind gut für den Feind(John Chest, Marcelo Amaral)

    Danny Elfman Violin Concerto ‘Eleven Eleven’: III. Fantasma(John Mauceri, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Sandy Cameron)

    Verdi Macbeth: Patria oppressa! (Live)(Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Riccardo Muti)

    Camus Airs, à deux et trois parties: Laissez durer la nuit, impatiente Aurore(Anna Reinhold, Les Arts Florissants/William Christie)

    Schubert Piano Sonata in B, III. Scherzo Allegretto(Paul Lewis)

    Britten Five Flower Songs: IV. The Evening Primrose(RIAS Kammerchor/Justin Doyle)

    Schumann Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor ‘Concerto Without Orchestra’: IV. Prestissimo possibilie(Jean-Efflam Bavouzet)

    Rameau Hippolyte et Aricie: ‘Espoir, unique bien…’(Karine Deshayes, Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet)

    Janáček String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’: I. Andante(Wihan Quartet)

    Lutosławski Partita: V. Presto(Maksim Štšura, Michael Foyle)


    Vol. 16

    Handel Concerto Grosso for Oboe and Strings in D minor: V. Allegro(Le Consort, Marta Paramo, Emilia Gliozzi, Johanne Maitre)

    Michael Nyman The Diary of Anne Frank (arr. Richard Boothby): If(Iestyn Davies, Fretwork)

    Reger Piano Concerto, Op. 114: III. Allegretto con spirito(Markus Becker, NDR Radiophilharmonie/ Joshua Weilerstein)

    Gabriel Jackson The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: VI. Crucifixion(Emma Tring, Guy Cutting, Choir of Merton College, Oxford)

    Karl Jenkins The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace: XII. Benedictus(Karl Jenkins)

    Liszt Sardanapalo: Sotto il tuo sguardo(Joyce El-Khoury, Airam Hernández, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits)

    Musorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition: No. 10, The Great Gate of Kiev(London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda)

    Bruno Sanfilippo Doll(Bruno Sanfilippo)

    Liszt Ständchen (transc. From Schubert’s Schwanengesang No. 4)(Khatia Buniatishvili)

    John Williams The Imperial March (from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back)(Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)


    Vol. 15

    Florence Price Symphony No. 1: IV. Finale(Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Chopin Mazurka in B, Op. 56 No. 1(Maurizio Pollini)

    Berlioz Le Carnaval Romain: Overture(Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Paul Paray)

    Reinecke Cello Sonata No. 1: III. Finale. Allegro molto ed appassionato(Martin Rummel, Roland Kruger)

    Mozart Piano Sonata No. 2: III. Presto(Peter Donohoe)

    Nils Frahm Sweet Little Lie(Nils Frahm)

    JS Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor: I. Allegro(Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Bernhard Forck, Academy for Ancient Music)

    Zemlinsky Clarinet Trio in D minor (Version for Violin Cello & Piano): III. Allegro(Stefan Zweig Trio)

    Jean Français Imromptu for Flute and Strings: III. Scherzando(Ransom Wilson, BBC Concert Orchestra/Perry So)

    Robert Schumann Phantasiestücke, Op. 88: II. Humoreske. Lebhaft (Live)(Gautier Capuçon, Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon)

    Max Bruch Die Loreley, Op. 16, Act I: Ave Maria!(Michaela Kaune, Philharmonischer Chor Prag, Müncher Rundfunkorchester/Stefan Blunier)

    Anon Ther is No Rose of Swych Virtu(The Telling)


    Vol. 14

    Mozart Symphony No. 13: I. Allegro(Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen/Johannes Klumpp)

    Roxanna Panufnik The Sweet Spring(Blossom Street, Annabel Thwaite, Hilary Campbell)

    Robert Schumann Cello Concerto: III. Sehr lebhaft (Live)(Gautier Capuçon, Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Bernard Haitink)

    Weber Piano Sonata No. 2 in A-flat: II. Andante. Ben tenuto(Paul Lewis)

    Janáček String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’: II. Adagio – Vivace(Wihan Quartet)

    Sibelius Symphony No. 3: III. Moderato – Allegro (ma non tanto)(Orchestre de Paris/Paavo Järvi)

    André Campra Achille et Déidamie: ‘Timbales et trompettes’(Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet)

    Corelli Concerto grosso in F: IV. Allegro(Marco Scorticati, Estro cromatico/Sara Campobasso)

    Trio Tapestry Sparkle Lights(Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi)


    Vol. 13

    Berlioz Symphonie fantastique: II. Un Bal (Transcribed for piano duet)(Jean-François Heisser, Marie-Josèphe Jude)

    Schubert Octet in F, III. Allegro vivace – Trio(OSM Chamber Soloists)

    Schumann Three Romances: I. Nicht Schnell(Stephen Waarts, Gabriele Carcano)

    Bernstein Mass: No. 2, Hymn & Psalm. A Simple Song (Arr. for voice, flute, electric guitar, harp and organ)(Anne Sofie von Otter, Sharon Bezaly, Fabian Fredriksson, Margareta Nilsson, Bengt Forsberg)

    Juan Crisostomo de Arriaga Médée: Hymen, viens dissiper une vaine frayeur(Berit Norbakken Solset, BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena)

    Rzewski Four North American Ballads: No. 1, Dreadful Memories (After Aunt Molly Jackson)(Adam Swayne)

    Johannes Ciconia O rosa bella, o dolce anima mia(The Telling)

    Liszt Sardanapalo: Vieni! Risplendono festive faci(Damen des Opernchores des Deutschen Nationaltheaters Weimar, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits)

    Florence Price Symphony No. 4: IV. Scherzo(Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Hoffmeister Double Bass Quartet No. 3 in D: I. Moderato(Niek De Groot, Minna Pensola, Antti Tikkanen, Tuomas Lehto)



    Vol. 12

    Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2: III. Finale. Presto scherzando(Ronald Brautigam, Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens)

    Haydn Concerto per il Corno da caccia in D: I. Allegro(Premysl Vojta, Martin Petrák, Haydn Ensemble Prague)

    Dvořák Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’: III. Molto vivace(Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa)

    Vivaldi Tito Manlio: ‘Combatta un gentil cor’ (Cecilia Bartoli, Serge Tizac, Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi)

    Giuseppe Sammartini Recorder Concerto in F: II. Siciliano(Lucie Horsch, The Academy of Ancient Music/Bojan Cicic)

    CPE Bach Solo in G: II. Allegro(Anaïs Gaudemard)

    Robert O’Dwyer Act I Scene I: An tráth a mbíonn an spéir fá scáil(Imelda Drumm, Irish National Opera Chorus, RTE National Symphony Orchestra/Fergus Sheil)

    Ami Maayani Toccata(Elisa Netzer)

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake: Act III. No. 17 Scène: Entrée des invites (Fanfares) et la valse (Allegro)(London Symphony Orchestra/Anatole Fistoulari)


    Vol. 11

    Piazzolla Tango para una ciudad(Quinteto Astor Piazzolla)

    Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor: II. Langsam(Sol Gabetta, Kammerorcheser Basel/Giovanni Antonini)

    Schumann Zwölf Gedichte, Op. 35 No. 5, Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend(Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber)

    Bruch Concerto for Clarinet and Viola in E minor: III. Allegro molto(Dimitri Ashkenazy, Anton Kholodenko, Royal Baltic Festival Orchestra/Mats Liljefors)

    Schoenberg Drei Klavierstücke Op. 11 No. 1: ‘Mässige Virtel’(Jeremy Denk)

    Verdi et al. Messa per Rossini: 11. Agnus Dei(Veronica Simeoni, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Riccardo Chailly)

    Ethel Smyth Violin Sonata in A minor: IV. Finale. Allegro vivace(Tasmin Little, John Lenehan)

    Berlioz Harold en Italie: 3. Sérénade d’un montagnard des Abbruzes à sa maîtresse(Tabea Zimmermann, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth)

    Xenakis Pléïades: IV. Mélanges(DeciBells, Domenico Melchiorre)

    Schubert Symphony No. 3: IV. Presto vivace(City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner)



    Vol. 10 

    Vivaldi Il Giustino, Act II: Scene 1. Sento in seno ch’in pioggia di lagrime (Anastasio)(Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone, Silke Gäng)

    Gulda Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band: I. Overture(Edgar Moreau, Raphaël Merlin, Les Forces Majeures)

    Roxanna Panufnik Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: I. Magnificat(Richard Johnson, Exultate Singers/David Ogden)

    Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4: IV. Finale(London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda)

    Weber Piano Sonata No. 2: III. Menuetto capriccioso. Presto assai(Paul Lewis)

    Francis Lai Love Story – Theme (Arr. Campbell)(Jess Gillam, BBC Concert Orchestra/Ben Dawson)

    Berlioz Harold in Italy: II. Marche de pèlerins chantant la prière du soir(Tabea Zimmermann, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth)

    Arthur Lourié A Phoenix Park Nocturne(Vladimir Feltsman)

    Ramin Djawadi The Rains of Castamere (Arr. Lawson)(VOCES8)

    Philip Glass Etude No. 2(Jeremy Denk)

    Tallis Suscipe quaeso Domine (prima pars)(The Gentlemen of HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace/Carl Jackson)

    Debussy Livre I: II. Pour les tierces(Roger Muraro)



    Vol. 9

    Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 No. 5 (Live at Philharmonie, Berlin)(Yuja Wang)

    Stravinsky The Firebird: Tableau II, XIX: Disparition du palais et des sortilèges de Kastchei, animation des chevaliers petrifies. Allegresse génerale(Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko

    Amy Beach Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 34: II. Scherzo. Molto vivace(Tasmin Little, John Lenehan)

    Hauscha Dew and Spiderwebs(Hauschka)

    Frank Horvat The Thailand HRDs: No. 5, Boonsom Nimnoi(Mivos Quartet)

    Trad. Deep River (Arr. Coleridge-Taylor, Kanneh-Mason)(Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Braimah Kanneh-Mason)

    Mendelssohn Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 19: No. 6 in G minor (Andante sostenuto) ‘Venetian Gondola Song’(Jan Lisiecki)

    Wim Henderickx Nostalgia(Boho Strings)

    Mozart Così fan tutte, Act 1: Aria ‘Come scoglio’(Héloise Mas, Alexander Sprague, Nazan Fikret, Francesco Vultaggio, European Opera Centre, Biagio Pizzuti, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Laurent Pillot)

    Philip Glass Melodies for Saxophone (arr. for trumpet): No. 3(Craig Morris)

    Giovanni Paisiello Partimento in F minor(Nicoleta Paraschievescu)

    Ramin Djawadi The Rains of Castamere(VOCES8)

    Triumphal Parade(Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Tommy Smith)


    Vol. 8

    Josquin Des Prez Miserere mei, Deus, IJ. 50: I. Miserere mei, Deus(Cappella Amsterdam/Daniel Reuss)

    Scriabin Sonata N. 10, Op. 70(James Kreiling)

    Kaija Saariaho Cloud Trio: I. Calmo, meditato(Jennifer Koh, Hsin Yun Huang, Wilhelmina Smith)

    Dowland Flow, my tears(Stile Antico)

    JS Bach Keyboard Partita in D, BWV 828: VII. Gigue(Federico Colli)

    Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, III. Allegro ben marcato(Joseph Swensen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra)

    Bellini Norma: Casta Diva… Fine al rito(Orchestra E Coro Del Teatro Massimo Di Palermo, Jader Bignamini, Marina Rebeka)

    Lyatoshinsky Symphony No. 3 ‘To the 25th Anniversary of the October Revolution’: III. Allegro feroce(Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kirill Karabits)

    Handel Armida abbandonata, HWV 105: ‘Ah crudele! E pur ten’ vai’(Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d’Astrée, Sabine Devieilhe

    David Lang Mystery Sonatas: No. 1, Joy(Augustin Hadelich)

    Antheil Archipelago ‘Rhumba’(BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgards)


    Vol. 7

    Thea Musgrave Loch Ness(Daniel Trodden, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/William Boughton)

    Cheryl Frances-Hoad Love Bytes(Verity Wingate, Philip Smith, Beth Higham-Edwards, Anna Menzies, George Jackson)

    Lutosławski Symphony No. 1: III. Allegretto misterioso(Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu)

    Purcell King Arthur, Z628, Act 1: ‘I Call, I Call’(Stefanie True, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Finzi Violin Concerto: I. Allegro(Ning Feng, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlos Miguel Prieto)

    Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79 No. 2 in G minor – Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro(Charles Owen)

    Copland Letters from Home (Version for Chamber Orchestra)(BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/John Wilson

    Szymanowski Nocturne and Tarantella in E minor, Op. 28: I. Nocturne(Jennifer Pike, Petr Limonov)

    Beethoven Fidelio, Op. 72: O welche Lust(James Gaffigan, Zürcher Sing-Akademie, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester)

    Liszt Études d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini: No. 1 in G minor(Elisa Tomellini)

    Corelli Violin Sonata in C Op. 5 No. 3 (transcribed for viola da gamba): III. Adagio(Lucile Boulanger)

    Mozart String Quintet No. 5: IV. Allegro(Klenke Quartett, Harald Schoneweg)


    Vol. 6

    Saint-Saëns Ascanio, Acte I, Tableau 1: Scène 1 ‘Très bien!’(Jean-François Lapointe, Joé Bertili, Chœrs de la Haute École de Musique de Genève/Guillaume Tourniaire

    Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 III. Allegro con fuoco(Xiayin Wang, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Peter Oundjian

    Purcell Come Ye Sons of Art (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary): ‘Strike the Viol, Touch the Lute’(Tim Mead, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien/François Lazarevitch)

    Aleksander Sedlar Savcho 3(Nemanja Radulovic, Double Sense, Stéphanie Fontanarosa/Aleksander Sedlar)

    Barbara Strozzi Arie, Op. 8 No. 2: ‘Che si può fare’(Emoke Baräth, Il Pomo d’Oro/Francesco Corti)

    Josef Suk 6 Piano Pieces, Op. 7: No. 1, Liebeslied (arr. for violin and orchestra)(Eldbjørg Hemsing, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra/Alan Buribayev)

    Scheidemann Pavana Lachrymae in D minor(Yoann Moulin)

    Beethoven String Quartet in E minor ‘Razumovsky’: III. Allegretto(Elias String Quartet)

    Mozart Violin Sonata in D Major, K306: III. Allegretto(Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov)

    Moteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine: VIII. Paslmus 126. Nisi Dominus a dieci voci(Bruno Boterf, Ludus Modalis)


    Vol. 5

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Act 1 (1877 Version): No. 8, Danse des coupes. Tempo di polacca(State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’/Vladimir Jurowski

    John Harbison Requim, Pt. 1: II. Sequence I. Dies irae(Nashville Chorus, Nashville Symphony/Giancarlo Guerrero)

    Richard Strauss 5 Lieder, Op. 41: No. 1, Wiegenlied(Arabella Steinbacher, WDR Symphony Orchestra/Lawrence Foster)

    Parry English Lyrics, Set 12: No. 7, The Sound of Hidden Music(Sarah Fox, Andrew West)

    Andrzej Panufnik I Kwartet smyczkowy: III. Postlude(Apollon Musagete Quartett)

    Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2: II. Scherzo (Live)(Eric Lu)

    Szymanowski Nocturne & Tarantella in E minor, Op. 28: II. Tarantella(Jennifer Pike, Peter Limonov)

    Einaudi Life (Live)(Angèle Dubeau, La Pietà)

    Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli 6 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo, Op. 3: Sonata No. 2 ‘La Cesta’(Elicia Silverstein, Mauro Valli)

    Dvořák Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor: II. Poco adagio (Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt)

    Florence Price Symphony No. 4: III. Juba Dance(Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 16: III. Allegro di molto(Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Gábor Takács-Nagy

    Haydn Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 30 No. 5: I. Allegro con brio(Roman Rabinovich)

    Johann Strauss I Radetzky-Marsch, Op. 228(Christian Theilemann, Vienna Philharmonic


    Vol. 4

    Arvo Pärt Passacaglia (Victoria Mullova, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi)

    Michael Higgins The Angel Gabriel(Sonoro/Neil Ferris)

    Debussy Cello Sonata in D minor: I. Prologue. Lent. Sostenuto e molto risoluto(Jean-Guiden Queyras, Javier Perianes)

    Massanet Hérodiade, Act 1: ‘Celiu dont la parole efface… Il est doux, il est bon’ (Salomé)(Elsa Dreisig, Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie/Michael Schonwandt

    Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor: I. Andante (Live)(James O’Donnell, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

    Schumann Fantasiestücke Op. 72: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck(Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou)

    Gurney Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty(Teberae/Nigel Short)

    Peter Gregson Bach: The Cello Suites: Recomposed by Peter Gregson – Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007: I. Prelude(Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Reinoud Ford, Tim Lowe, Ben Chappell, Katherine Jenkinson)

    JS Bach Concerto in D minor, BWV 974: III. Presto(Víkingur Ólafsson)

    Purcell King Arthur, Act 1: ‘Come If You Dare’(Robert Buckland, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Messiaen La Nativité du Seigneur: V. Les enfants de Dieu(Richard Gowers)

    George Onslow String Quartet No. 29 in E-flat, Op. 73Elan Quintet)

    Cécile Chaminade Arabesque No. 1, Op. 61(Mark Viner)

    Enescu Strigoii, Pt. 3:Bătrânu-și pleacă geana și iar rămâne orb(Alin Anca, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Gabriel Bebeșelea)

    Max Richter Mary Queen of Scots: The Shores of Scotland

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Act II (1877 version): No. 13a, Danses des cygnes I. Tempo di valse



    Vol. 3

    Emilie Mayer Symphony No. 4: IV. Presto (Neubrandenburg Philharmonie/Stefan Malzew)

    Weber Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major: IV. Rondo - Allegro giocoso (Julian Bliss & Carducci String Quartet)

    John Hess Vous, qui passez sans me voir (Julien Behr, Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon/Pierre Bleuse)

    John Francis Wade Adeste fideles (arr. M Suzuki for Choir and Organ) (Bach Collegium Japan Chorus/Masato Suzuki & Masaaki Suzuki)

    Schumann Fantasiestücke: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck (Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou)

    Domenico Sarro Messa a 5 voci: 'Laudamus te' (Maxim Emelyanychev, Jakub Józef Orliński, Il Pomo d'Oro)

    Holst Invocation Op. 19 No. 2 (Guy Johnston, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Davis)

    Dowland Come, Heavy Sleep (Grace Davidson, David Miller)

    Schumann Humoreske Op. 20: II. Hastig (William Youn)

    RO Morris Love Came Down at Christmas (arr. Stephen Cleobury) (Stephen Cleobury, Henry Websdale, Choir of King's College, Cambridge)

    Tchaikovsky The Seasons Op. 37a: XII. December. Christmas (Barry Douglas)

    Berlioz Roméo et Juliette: Pt. 3, Finale - Oath of Reconciliation (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Michael Tilson Thomas)

    Elgar Chanson de nuit (Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder)

    James Burton Tomorrow Shalle Be My Dancing Day (Jack Hawkins, Michael Bell, James Adams, Joseph Wicks, Choir of St John's College, Cambridge)


    Vol. 2

    Julian Anderson Heaven is Shy of Earth: III. Gloria (With Bird) (Susan Bickley, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Oliver Knussen)

    Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1: III. Rondo. Allegro (Live) (William Caballero, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck)

    Derek Bermel Murmurations: I. Gathering at Gretna Green (ROCO)

    Frank Martin Ballade for Flute & Piano (Bridget Bolliger, Andrew West)

    Debussy Violin Sonata in G minor: III. Finale. Très animé (Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov)

    Anonymous Now May We Singen (ORA Singers/Suzi Didby)

    Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5 (Live at Philharmonie, Berlin/2018) (Yuja Wang)

    James Newton Howard Violin Concerto: II. Andante semplice (James Ehnes, Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Cristian Măcelaru)

    Sally Beamish In the Stillness (Sonoro/Neil Ferris)

    Parry Suite moderne (arr. J Dibble for Orchestra): III. Romanza. Lento (BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rumon Gamba)

    Jonathan Dove A Brief History of Creation: X. Whales Return to the Sea (Hallé Children's Choir, Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder)

    Purcell King Arthur, Act 1: 'Come if You Dare' (Robert Buckland, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 (Live at Kimmel Center, Philadelphia) (Daniil Trifonov, The Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

    Fagerlund Höstsonaten, Act 1: charlotte Andergast! Vilken konstnär! (Krista Kujala, Mari Sares, Jere Martikainen, Jarmo Ojala, Finnish National Opera Chorus, Finnish National Opera Orchestra/John Storgards


    Vol. 1

    Julian Anderson Heaven is Shy of Earth: III. Gloria (With Bird) (Susan Bickley, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oliver Knussen)

    Zemlinsky Albumblatt (Erinnerung aus Wien) (William Youn)

    Schreker The Birthday of the Infanta: Suite I. Reigen (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta)

    Mozart Violin Concerto No. 1 K.207: III. Presto (Nikolaj Znaider, London Symphony Orchestra)

    Tchaikovsky The Seasons, Op. 37a, TH 135: XII. December. Christmas (Barry Douglas)

    Holst In the Bleak Midwinter (Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason)

    Glazunov The Seasons ‘L’été: No. 9, Scène de l’été (Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Kitayenko

    JS Bach Prelude & Fugue BVW 855a: Prelude No. 10 in B minor (Vikingur Ólafsson)

    Magnus Lindberg Tempus fugit Pt. 1 (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu)

    Gurney Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty (Tenebrae/Nigel Short)

    Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker Act 1: No. 6 Clara and the Nutcracker (Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)

    Ravel Ma mère l’Oye Suite, M. 60: V. Le jardin féerique (Prague Philharmonia/Emmanuel Villaume)

    Eric Whitacre Deep Field: Earth Choir (Eric Whitacre Singers, Virtual Choir 5, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Eric Whitacre)

  10. Rating: 

    How do you follow Pelleas et Melisande? The opera was first produced in Paris in 1902 and won Debussy many admirers; it even created a cult of ‘Debussyme’. 

    But the following year found Debussy determined to resist being pigeonholed.

    La mer was his new way forward. Here was something with relatively clear lines, rhythmic strength and robust structure.



    La mer has been variously described as ‘the best symphony written by a Frenchman’, and ‘the musical equivalent of Monet’s impressionist paintings, and those delicate, feathery prints by Hokusai’.

    It is all of these and more. As a musical ‘motion picture’ of marine phenomena, it has no equal.



    But it is a mistake to imagine that La mer is merely a collage of ‘cinematic’ opportunities, and that no harm is done by over-admiring the wonderful view in one p lace, or prematurely whipping up a storm in another.

    Debussy’s translation of the ever-changing and apparently formless into a structure of shape, purpose and expression is a finely balanced miracle of musical technique, each detail scrupulously considered and placed.


    Two great recordings from the past…


    NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini
    RCA Victor Gold Seal GC 60265



    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan
    DG 447 426-2



    And a recent one to listen out for…


    New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden
    Decca Gold 481 7981




    Original text by Jonathan Swain