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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Schubert's Winterreise: Part Two

This post is the second of two in which we’re looking at Schubert’s great song cycle, Winterreise (Winter Journey). This was composed in...

Schubert's Winterreise: Part One

People who know me well will know that, as a rule, I am rather dismissive of attempts to draw parallels between the external...

Fireworks

The article which follows is based on a radio script which marked the 400th Keys To Music program. I decided to celebrate with fireworks...

Rondo Form

Music is usually cast by composers in some sort of form or structure, and one of the simplest and most commonly used structures is...

The Mass: Agnus Dei

In this post we conclude our five-part series on music for the Mass. In previous instalments we’ve looked at composers’ settings of the...

The Mass: Sanctus and Benedictus

Let's start right away with music designed to put you into another realm entirely. [listen] The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, composed...

The Mass: Credo

In the last two posts we have looked at the way in which composers have set the first two sections of the ordinary of the Mass to music....

The Mass: Gloria

This post continues our journey through the texts of the Ordinary of the Mass, and how these have been set to music by composers over the...

The Mass: Kyrie

Whatever one's personal opinions regarding religion, it can't be denied that the Christian church has given to western civilisation some...

The Symphonies of Robert Schumann

In many ways, Robert Schumann (1810-56) is an enigma. He doesn't quite fit the template for a Romantic composer like Chopin or Liszt do,...

The Life and Work of Henry Purcell

When I was ten my parents bought me an LP record. It was a popular coupling of works: Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Britten's Young...

Schubert, Death, and the Maiden

There's something about Schubert which terrifies me. I've been trying to put my finger on it and I think it has to do with words. I spend...

A Ceremony of Christmas

Today’s offering is one which explores some less-trodden byways of the classical repertoire. If we think of major works which are...

Not the Four Seasons: Vivaldi's Concertos

As you might have gathered, I find Vivaldi endlessly fascinating. Two earlier posts in this blog focus on the famous “red priest”; one is...

Moonlight Sonata

There are some pieces of music which are so popular that we can all too easily forget the reasons for their popularity, or the reasons...

Mozart's Clarinet Quintet

The clarinet is an instrument which is so universally known these days, it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Yet in western art music,...

O Magnum Mysterium

Today I'm going to share with you some music from the Christian tradition which is mostly calm and meditative. It was written to...

Japanese Composers

Part One In 2011, feeling a bit jaded with the music I knew well, decided to go on a journey of discovery, with a view to sharing what I...

 

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