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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On the Fringe: Louis Spohr

Posthumous fame is a fickle thing. So is fame in your own lifetime, I guess. There are many figures in the arts who were not appreciated...

Writing for Oriana 2: William Byrd

"Power" is a word much used, and possibly abused, in the English language. In music, what seems to be powerful to some people can be a...

Writing for Oriana 1: Thomas Tallis

I imagine any of you who are movie and TV buffs would know what Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Judi Dench, Quentin Crisp, Helen Mirren and...

Schubert's Swansong

In the last few years of his life, Franz Schubert - probably the greatest composer of art song in western music - composed two...

The Life and Work of Béla Bartók

It's common for people to look at European art music in the early 20th century as being divided into two major streams: those who...

Vaughan Williams and the Voice

I have to confess up front that this post is a complete indulgence for me, one of those surveys in which I want to share with you some...

On the Fringe: Michael Haydn

Early in the 19th century, Franz Schubert visited a famous musician's grave in Salzburg. With tears in his eyes he is reported to have...

Who was Carlo Gesualdo?

There are two words which are guaranteed to arouse a voyeuristic, if not morbid, curiosity in most people. These words - murder and...

Monteverdi's Vespers

Foremost among the musical minds active in Italy around 1600 was Claudio Monteverdi. Born in Cremona in May 1567, Monteverdi took up a...

Purcell in the Theatre

It's an enormous understatement to say that the 17th century was one of the most turbulent times in English history. The reign of...

Australian Heritage: Miriam Hyde

I was a tertiary student in the late 1970s. "New music" in those days was, virtually by definition, atonal. To write conventional chords...

The Life and Work of Frederick Delius

Music is an artform which doesn't easily fit into pigeon holes. This doesn't stop us trying, though, and it has to be admitted that our...

Bach at Easter

In the general western mindset, "Easter" is a term which takes in the long weekend spanning Good Friday to Easter Monday, and maybe even...

Messiaen and the End of Time

It's the night of 15 January 1941, and at Stalag VIII-A, a prisoner-of-war camp in Görlitz in Silesia, a group of a few hundred prisoners...

From Europe to Hollywood

In 1903, a plaque containing a poem by Emma Lazarus was attached to the inside of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York....

Bruckner in Church

Anton Bruckner is a composer who tends to divide people. His life covered most of the 19th century (he lived from 1824 to 1896) and...

Weber Metamorphosed

The German composer Paul Hindemith was born in 1895, which means that in 1919, when the Weimar Republic replaced the German monarchy...

Sun Music

When I was at the end of what is now called Year 10 I attended my first music camp, run by the NSW Department of Education Music Branch....

It Ain't Necessarily So

In Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess there's a shady character called Sportin' Life. He gets the second-most famous song in the piece...

 

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