79. Life’s a rollercoaster: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.4 [Part 1/2]

The song goes that life is a rollercoaster, baby, and few can give us all the emotional ups and downs as well as Tchaikovsky. The first part of this ride is stormy, turbulent, passionate and full of loss and yearning, as Tchaikovsky is battered by what fate and life throws at him. As the other song [almost] goes: He gets knocked down, but he gets up again! Listening time: 31 mins… Listen

70. Blast your ears into the New Year at some Roman Festivals

If you’ve got any new year sluggishness, sweep all that away with a blast of Respighi’s Roman Festivals – four vivid musical pictures featuring love songs and folk dances, wine, religion and state-sponsored violence (lions eating Christians)! Listening time c32 mins [8′ podcast, 24′ music]… Listen

68. An unheard masterpiece from a forgotten master: Henriëtte Bosmans

You almost certainly won’t have heard this great piece or have heard of its writer. Henriëtte Bosman’s wrote her Concert Piece for violin and orchestra for her fiancé, who died before he could play it. Violinist Marina Solarek, tells the story of an amazing, passionate woman, a life and career interrupted by the Nazis, her intense and passionate concerto, and why it’s still so hard to hear great music by women composers. And the great music shows us that we’re missing out. Listening time 36 mins… Listen

67. Bad trip. Berlioz – Fantastic Symphony Pt3

In the dramatic final part of our drug-fuelled adventure with composer Hector Berlioz, the dreams turn to nightmare visions of murder, execution, witches and demons. It’s loud, exciting, brilliant, a bit crazy and I love it. Listening time: 21 mins … Listen