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Classical Music Demystified

Graham Abbott writes about classical music and shares its inside stories. Many of these stories will be based on scripts broadcast in "Keys To Music" on ABC Classic between 2003 and 2017. Many thanks to the ABC for permission to use this material.

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The Composer's Muse

The idea of "inspiration" is one we use a lot in music. Without thinking much about it, we often say a piece or a composer was inspired...

Crowd Scenes

This blog has been focusing on opera in recent posts, looking at aspects of musical storytelling which opera does particularly well. So...

Love Scenes

This post is the third in a series of four in which I'm looking at opera from a slightly different perspective, focusing on the sorts of...

Death Scenes

In 1987, Peter Conrad, an Australian-born academic now based in the UK, published a book called A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of...

Mad Scenes

In 2015 I presented a series of four Keys to Music programs under the general heading of Focus on Opera. These looked in turn at mad...

Bach's Other Masses

If I said the words "Bach" and "Mass" in the same sentence, I think most music lovers would assume I was referring to Johann Sebastian...

Purcell's Contemporaries

This music [listen] is by one of the best-known of all English composers, Henry Purcell. It's unthinkable to consider English music of...

Schubert's Last Year

This music [listen] is the final song in Winterreise - Winter Journey - a song cycle composed by Franz Schubert in 1827. Winterreise is...

Mozart's Last Year

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is so central to western musical culture that it's easy to forget how important he is and how unique he was. Like...

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