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

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

60 Burgeoning Spring, Love and Fortune: Carmina Burana

Burgeoning Spring, Love and Fate: Carmina Burana
They say you never forget your first loves and one of mine was Carmina Burana – it’s immediate and high impact. Even before I was properly into music I was into this… and you will be too! There’s really nothing like the sound of a huge choir and orchestra: it’s awesome stuff! Listening time: 35mins … Listen