Now hear this…
(If I’m whispering or shouting, don’t forget that you can turn me down or up or even – heaven forfend! – off, whenever you need to…)
To start at a specific movement just click on its title.
Going back to the days when every orchestral concert had to start with one – an overture! This one, a diminutive version, is for brass quintet and by Witold Lutosławski (note the different tone colours that all the muting and unmuting that goes on, produces):
The Nielsen Wind Quintet is, I think, one of the finest of its kind. In the last movement, watch out for the dark writhings of the cor anglais in the Praeludium. The theme of the Tema con variazioni is one of Nielsen’s own hymn settings (My Jesus, make my heart to love thee) and is followed by 11 variations.
I must confess to not being minimalism’s greatest fan, but Steve Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood is a fascinating study in (almost) pure rhythm, and – if it doesn’t send you screaming out of the room – has a strange kind of mesmeric effect…
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 95 in f. Beethoven said of this quartet that it was only for the connoisseur (that’s us!) and should never be played to the general public. It’s an intense experience; music that presages the world of the late quartets – even the scherzo is marked ‘very fast, lively but serious’. Hence its nickname Quartetto Serioso.
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