The road not taken

Smyth, Bantock and Holbrooke; or, more familiarly, Ethel, Granville and Joseph (aka Josef). That familiarity, however, doesn’t extend – for most people, anyway – to a knowledge of the music of these three. So, this week, we’re going to explore an alternative history, to acquaint (or reacquaint) ourselves with the works of these distinguished composers. w […]

The unusual suspects

Mugshots of a triumvirate of nineteenth century musical knights; from left to right Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir Hubert Parry. OK, ok, so only one of them is actually an Anglo-Saxon (and even he has a suspiciously Welsh sounding name!) Together – their mostly celtic origins notwithstanding – they presided over what has been described […]

Krzysztof Penderecki

Serialism, sonorism, aleatoricism, indeterminism… the musical avant-garde of the last century and their followers generated a breathtaking gaggle of isms of which these four are just a sample. This week we examine a work which bridges several worlds (and quite a few isms), Penderecki’s Saint Luke Passion. Penderecki was one of the major modernists of the mid twentieth […]

God jul! Hyvää joulua! Glædelig jul! and a Merry Christmas, too

To finish, a look at (and a listen to, of course) some of Scandinavia’s exports: three second generation American composers whose parents hailed from Norway, Sweden, Finland or Denmark. And then maybe – just maybe, you understand – we’ll let the Yuletide Spirit take over and hear where it leads us… Any copyrighted material on these pages […]