Hear more. Feel more. Be more!
Come with me and dive into some great classical music. For over 1000 years great musicians have explored what it means to live, love, die and everything in between: asking all our deep and universal questions. Escape the cacophony – the noise of your brain and daily life; tune into the music, your feelings and emotions ‘good’ and ‘bad’
…and find the space, stillness and love that underpins everything.
NB: May include loud noise, surprises, challenges, cacophonous racket
May cause shock, comfort, discomfort, smiles, tears, peace, transcendence
Why is Beethoven – perhaps – the greatest composer of them all? One thing he does is expand everything – the volume goes up to 11 and down to almost nothing. Also, he cared deeply, about music and humanity. In his Coriolan Overture he makes us care about an obscure Roman general intent on [self-]destruction… and it’s fab. (14 mins)… Listen
When Tristan & Isolde take a magic love potion it’s not exactly happy ever after. Love wins in the end, it’s just they’re both dead. Passionate, overwhelming, transformative music from Richard Wagner sends them on their way and leaves us all in a state of transcendent bliss. Listening time 30 mins… Listen
Democracy and our rights, that earlier generations fought and went to prison to obtain, are fragile and always need to be looked after closely. Ethel Smyth’s life and terrific music serve as a good reminder to us all that we need to be ready to stand up and make our voices heard in order to make change happen. (19mins)… Listen
The song goes that life is a rollercoaster, baby, and few can give us all the emotional ups and downs as well as Tchaikovsky. The first part of this ride is stormy, turbulent, passionate and full of loss and yearning, as Tchaikovsky is battered by what fate and life throws at him. As the other song [almost] goes: He gets knocked down, but he gets up again! Listening time: 31 mins… Listen
Punchy, gut-churning and wow-inducing: Miserere by Scottish composer James MacMillan reflects deep religious faith and 1000 years of church music tradition, with music to move all of us, regardless of belief. (Listening time 16 mins)… Listen
Sometimes the best things happen by accident! Allegri’s ‘Miserere’ is famously beautiful, ethereal and transports us out of ourselves – or maybe deeper within. But the ‘best bit’, when one of the singers soars high above the others, wasn’t actually composed at all – could it be music’s greatest mistake? How did it happen…? (Listening time 20 mins: podcast 8′, Music 10-12′)… Listen
I’m always a bit surprised to find myself humming bits of Ma Vlast – My Country by one of the Czech’s favourite sons. I guess I must really love it!
Feared by the Nazis, loved by the Czechs, this is the acceptable face of nationalism, and its full of great tunes and causes deep satisfaction.
Listening time 32mins