GRAHAM'S MUSIC

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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Beethoven's Diabelli Variations

Composers often get asked to do strange things; I know conductors and music educators do. In 1819 Ludwig van Beethoven received an odd...

Handel's Roman Cantatas

During the 17th century - in parallel with the development of the new forms of opera and oratorio - a form of secular (and occasionally...

Handel Before England: Part 3

In this article we conclude our three-part series exploring the life and work of George Frideric Handel before he went to England. The...

Handel Before England: Part 2

If you think this music sounds as though it was written by a young man out to impress his foreign hosts, you’d be right. It’s pretty...

Handel Before England: Part 1

During my later years with the ABC I had the privilege of indulging my passion for the life and work of Handel on a number of occasions....

The Music of Einojuhani Rautavaara

Here’s a some music to get us started. [listen] Mention the nation of Finland to most music lovers and the one name which will probably...

In Praise of Queens

Some time I ago I offered in this blog a pair of articles on the composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd under the heading Writing for...

Satie at the Piano

Some time ago in this blog I shared an article on the life and work of the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. Pachelbel was one of...

The Life and Work of Richard Wagner

Part One This pleasant but unremarkable music would almost certainly have been long forgotten had it not been composed by a man who later...

The Life and Work of Jean-Baptiste Lully

This music was composed by an Italian-born French composer who worked - and some would say sleazed and back-stabbed - his way to the top....

The Intimate World of CPE Bach

This music was composed by a young man and copied by his stepmother into a musical scrapbook prepared for her by her husband. The proud...

The Life and Work of Giuseppe Verdi

Part One This orchestral piece was most likely given its first performance in the small town of Busseto in northern Italy on 27 February,...

Australian Heritage: Alfred Hill

This bright and breezy tune was written by a man who was born in Melbourne, grew up in New Zealand, studied in Leipzig, and who in later...

Brahms: A German Requiem

How, and more importantly why, does a man in his early 30s write music intimately concerned with death, mourning and comfort for the...

On the Fringe: Erich Korngold

In a recent article I wrote about four European composers who had later careers in the United States as composers of film music. In the...

Australian Heritage: Arthur Benjamin

A few times over the years I've written about composers who were so-called "one hit wonders" (see this post, for example), and I've...

Johann Pachelbel: Beyond the Canon

I’d like you to start by taking a few moments to listen to this. This music was written by a composer who these days is regarded as a...

Dancing at the Opera

It's perhaps a telling aspect of musical etymology that the words opera and ballet have very different origins. Opera is an Italian word,...

 

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