Haunting and melancholy music from my hometown, Vaughan Williams’s Norfolk Rhapsody No.1 features the old songs of fisherman and the last days of a way of life. Like the local landscape it’s bleak but beautiful!
Total listening time 18 mins (podcast 7′, music 11′)… Listen
Packed with memorable Czech songs about pigeons, nightingales, love, life and unploughed fields, Vítěslava Kaprálová’s Rustic Suite mixes countryside charm with the confident orchestral swagger of a 23 year old receiving acclaim in Paris and London. Music full of life and good tunes! Listening time 21mins… Listen
Small but perfectly formed, Germaine Tailleferre’s Little Suite is seven minutes of innocent delight from a composer looking to escape from the trials of a difficult life. It may be short, but it’s packed with memorable tunes and a joyous spirit. Irresistible!
Listening time c14 minutes … Listen
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
Music that seems to conjure all the tastes, smells and senses of Spain – or my expectations of them (as someone who’s hardly been there): Spanish dances for piano by Enrique Granados. Perfect music if you just want to feel warmer, but it’s also an opportunity to bask (Basque? [sorry]) in some gloriously wistful melancholy that seems to underpin all six of these pieces. Somehow it’s not a melancholy that makes one feel sad – it seems as uplifting and nourishing as the warm sun on a cold winter’s day. Listening time: podcast 12 mins; music 25′.… Listen