109. When personal pain becomes universal: Shostakovich String Quartet No.8

How is it that when an artist shares their pain we can all feel it? And how does listening to music full of suffering make us feel better? I don’t know how or why, but I know that it does. Dmitri Shostakovich knew all about war, loss, and suffering. His 8th string quartet is desperate but defiant and deeply moving, bleak but often beautiful and whilst it doesn’t provide any answers it somehow gives consolation to us all. Listening time 28 mins… Listen

0
108. A short break for bread and Beethoven

We’ve all got pieces of music that instantly remind us of special times and places in our lives. What are yours I wonder? (Tell me!) We’re in Sri Lanka at the moment and, bizarrely, the piece of music we’ve heard more than any other in the last few months has been Beethoven’s perfect little piano piece, Für Elise, but perhaps not as we’re used to hearing it… Here’s the story of why, and how it’s in the ears of everyone Sri Lanka. (Listening time 8 mins: podcast 5′, music 3′)… Listen

0
107. Made in America: Florence Price, Symphony No.1

Individual, passionate, soulful music rooted in the southern states, Florence Price’s Symphony No.1 was the first by a black woman composer to be played by a major US orchestra back in the 1930s. A Moment of History, but those ‘twin handicaps’ [her words] meant that her music has hardly been played since and we’ve been missing out on great music from a distinctive voice – it’s time to put that right! (Listening time 47 mins: podcast 8′, music 39′)… Listen

0