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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 Song of the Earth

In the summer of 1906, Gustav Mahler composed his massive eighth symphony, a vast musical canvas requiring hundreds of singers and...

The Couperin Family

Perhaps the most famous musical family in the history of western music is the Bach family. There were musical Bachs (I've counted 77) all...

Stravinsky's Symphonies

In modern musical parlance, the word "cycle" is used to denote a complete batch of something. So even though he didn't describe the Ring...

Piano Trio: Part Three

In our last two posts we've been charting the history of the piano trio. In the first instalment we explored the piano trio's origins in...

Piano Trio: Part Two

At the start of the 19th century, chamber music was still regarded as something of a domestic form of music making. Chamber music did...

Piano Trio: Part One

I don't spend anywhere near enough time listening to (or writing about) chamber music. It's been many decades now since I was skilled...

Rachmaninov's Vespers

Most of us who love classical music would be familiar with the long-standing western European tradition which combines voices and...

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