The intensity, joy, heartbreak and thrills of great sporting moments are almost unmatchable… except by those in great music. The magic of the Olympics is transformed by the alchemist John Williams into four minutes of musical, life-affirming perfection. Olympic Fanfare and Theme is one of my favourite Williams pieces, and that’s really saying something! (Listening time 11′)… Listen
Why is Beethoven – perhaps – the greatest composer of them all? One thing he does is expand everything – the volume goes up to 11 and down to almost nothing. Also, he cared deeply, about music and humanity. In his Coriolan Overture he makes us care about an obscure Roman general intent on [self-]destruction… and it’s fab. (14 mins)… Listen
American composer Amy Beach was so popular that her followers held ‘Beach Clubs’ to play and listen to her music!
Her Quartet for strings is lean and powerful, as well as being a great jump-off to the world of string quartets: a place fraught with danger for the players, where composers go to bare their souls. Take a listen and join the Beach Club! (21 mins)… Listen