88. Funeral for a friend: Heinrich Schütz, Funeral Music

Asked to write funeral music for his friend and patron during the middle of a war, with millions dying all around plus a shortage of musicians, Heinrich Schütz finds hope, beauty and joy among the devastation. His Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music) is a 400-year old masterpiece that still works its magic. 39 mins (Podcast 11′, music 28′)… Listen

77. Music’s greatest mistake? Allegri – Miserere

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

73. Time for a short break? 3 perfect Intermezzos by Brahms

What’s in a name? Not much it seems. An ‘Intermezzo’ is often a short piece that breaks up something bigger… but Brahms used it as his go to name for any short piano pieces where nothing else came to mind! In any case, these three Intermezzos for solo piano from late in Brahms’s life are beautiful, wistful, dreamy and give us a perfect break from whatever you’ve got going on… Like all Brahms pieces they’re musically perfect too. [21′]… Listen