Merry Christmas

I haven’t been listening to classical music the last few weeks, hence the silence. I’ve been into podcasts and Spotify playlists. But yesterday I was in my car for a fair amount of the day and was able to listen to some lovely pieces on the radio.

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Fire dance!

I was relatively uninspired today, after my extremely uninspired day yesterday. Yesterday was not a good day music wise for me – I couldn’t enjoy anything. I probably needed an entire day of foot-tapping, heart-racing music to accompany my work. I didn’t get it – barely anything. And today was almost as bad, but I did get three things to particularly enjoy. Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slave” – talk about multiple buses coming along at once – and a double bill of Arturo Márquez.

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We Will Remember Them

Two years and two days ago, I had the privilege of being part of a “Come and Sing” day and concert at Gloucester Cathedral. The concert was put on by Gloucester Choral Society, and the singing day involved learning, along with many other day singers and the more practised society, Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man”.

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Finally, thank you Mr A

Today’s piece ticks every box. My favourite composer. A big orchestral piece. Lots of brass. Lots of drums. Lots of power. Russian. But somehow a relatively unknown piece. I suppose there are lots more famous works by Tchaikovsky, and this one isn’t quite as mainstream as some. But it’s probably my favourite piece by him, unless I’m REALLY in the mood for some cannons. Although this piece isn’t entirely without cannons, or suggestions of the, anyway.

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Oh yes, now it’s Beethoven

I’m not ashamed to say that Beethoven is a bit like Marmite for me (which, by the way, I love). Some of his music is – to my Tchaikovsky loving ear – quite frankly boring. Although I don’t exactly love every piece Tchaikovsky wrote. For that reason, I would always claim not to be a fan of Beethoven. He’s a little early for me – but as he changes his style over time, the more I like his music. And that’s probably because he’s well known for showing the influence of composers like Haydn and Mozart at the beginning of his career, and apart from some of Mozart’s choral work, I’m not likely to be discussing either of those composers in this blog.

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A day of yays

Hello!

Today, I heard a delightful piece of music on the radio for the first time since I started writing this blog. Although I thought I’d already chosen my favourite piece for today and was working out how to find the translation of words in Puccini’s “Tosca”, Anne-Marie Minhall started talking about Wagner and I thought, “Will it be? Surely I can’t be that lucky?”

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Ten glorious minutes

This morning, I had just made a cup of tea and was about to go and sort out some breakfast (it was 10:30 but I tend to have breakfast late!) when the piece that Classic FM was playing came to an end. I decided to wait to see what the next piece would be before going to make my breakfast, and was rewarded for my efforts. John Suchet said it was more modern than the last one (I can’t remember what the last one was, but I was glad because I knew that the piece he was about to play wouldn’t be anything older than 19th century unless he was being ironic about the word “modern”. A few more words in and I knew it was to be Sibelius. Could it be the finale of the 5th symphony? It could! What if I’d gone to make my breakfast – it doesn’t bear thinking about.

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A moment of calm

I had a bit of a dilemma today. I’ve not listened to much music recently, and I was looking forward to a full day of the radio. It didn’t quite work out that why – when does it ever – and next week I hope to share a piece with you that explains why. But this afternoon I heard two wonderful pieces played, both a similar length but very different in tone. It’s the first time I’ve heard the final movement of Sibelius’ 5th Symphony on the radio since I decided to write this blog, and I always knew that the first time I would definitely write about it.

But I’m not, today! And please be rest assured that’s not because I didn’t enjoy it, today or any day, and I am still very much in love with it, enough to not ever regret choosing it for the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2020. But today I chose a different piece, for two reasons.

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