130. Talking about a revolution: Webern, Six Pieces for orchestra

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

125. Ain’t no mountain high enough: Strauss, Alpine Symphony

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

110. Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, and how great art knows no borders. Tchaikovsky, The Tempest

Shakespeare reaches people across the world with his insights into our shared humanity and his plays have inspired countless composers to write music – providing their own way for us to connect to Shakespeare, each other and ourselves. Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest overture gives us a torrential storm, a big love theme that beats Romeo & Juliet, and one of the most atmospheric, goose-bump-inducing beginning and end to any piece of music. And almost no one knows it at all! Listening time 33 mins… Listen