Who doesn’t love gazing at the sea? It’s something that brings out the meditative in all of us as we stare at it and think deep thoughts. Claude Debussy didn’t want us to think too hard – just to listen. In La Mer, he brings The Sea to us wherever we are, in all its beauty and wonder.
Total listening time 36 mins (podcast 11′, music 25′)… Listen
An epic and spiritual adventure for choir, Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles captures the hope, the expectation and the moments of overwhelm (both positive and negative) of travellers on the ancient and still popular pilgrimage trail the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James).
Simon Clark, scientist, author and singer joins me to share his passion for the piece and guide us on a journey of musical and maybe spiritual fulfilment! Listening time: podcast 24 mins, music 62’… Listen
At a time when everything seemed on the brink and the old ways no longer looked fit for purpose, Anton Webern was part of a musical revolution – giving us new ways of hearing music and seeing the world. His six pieces for large orchestra are. Whole worlds compressed into a few minutes of bleak beauty, terrifying dissonance and even more disturbing silence. It’s compelling. Listening time 22mins… Listen
Eternal source of light divine is three beautiful and brilliant minutes of Handel, as effective at setting us up for the day as any yoga routine (though you can do that too of course)! It’s a quietly awe-filled salute to the sun. Listening time 10mins… Listen
In his Cello Suites, JS Bach catapulted the instrument into the solo spotlight and discovered new worlds of sound and possibilities, full of riches to explore. Nominally it’s dance music but its depth and beauty bring us stillness and solace. Listening time 25 mins… Listen
With the wonders of our imagination and some great music to help, all things are possible – so let’s enjoy the views from the top of a mountain: leaving the house (or even getting out of bed) is entirely optional. Richard Strauss takes us over the top (in every sense) in his epic, excessive, exuberant Alpine Symphony, with great views and plenty of thrills but also moments that inspire deeper contemplation on the glories of nature. It’s a trip you don’t want to miss. Listening time 62mins.… Listen
Heat, danger, emptiness and space. Plenty of all of this in Peter Sculthorpe’s excellent Kakadu – inspired by northern Australia but featuring universal themes of humanity, life, death, and timelessness. Listening time c22 mins… Listen
So much more than just a famous TV theme tune, Prokofiev’s music for Romeo and Juliet is full of intensity, drama, passion, wit and the occasional brilliantly pure dance number. Simultaneously draining and energising it’s a fabulous demonstration of the sheer power of music. I love it. Listening time 41 mins.… Listen