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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The Life and Work of Antonio Vivaldi

Historical study and countless near-perfect recordings have probably given us all a squeaky-clean view of music in 18th century Italy. It...

On the Fringe: Luigi Boccherini

Something which really gets on my nerve in this business is the notion of the "one hit wonder". So many really fine composers are only...

Handel's La Resurrezione

Ambition is a driving force which propels many people; others seem to be propelled by accident and circumstance. With most of us I...

The Life and Work of Gustav Mahler

This post invokes the name of a composer whose work is the stuff of dreams for some, and of nightmares for others. For me the music of...

Monteverdi's Madrigals

Part 1 I’m looking forward to this! In this post (derived from a pair of radio programs) we're going to look at a body of work which took...

Brahms's Clarinet Quintet

This was a tricky script to adapt for the blog. In the original version for radio I included a commentary on each movement, pointing out...

On the Fringe: Dieterich Buxtehude

Musicians at the start of their careers often travel great distances to study with acclaimed teachers or experience the work of inspiring...

On the Fringe: Antonio Salieri

If I told you this music was written by Mozart or the young Beethoven, or even Schubert, there wouldn't be anything in it to immediately...

No Strings Attached

In the world of orchestral music we've become accustomed to stringed instruments being not only the largest but also the most ubiquitous...

Miserere

Today we're going to enter a calm, meditative, certainly beautiful, and some might even say "dark" space. This post will include a...

The Symphonies of Antonín Dvořák

It seems that the words "Dvořák" and "symphony" really go together. The Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (who lived from 1841 to 1904) wrote...

The Music of Leonard Bernstein

In The Sound of Music, when asked how they might solve a problem like Maria, one of the nuns asks, "How do you catch a cloud and pin it...

Bach's Wives and Children

It's interesting that when we study a subject as children, certain facts stick in our heads which never leave us. I can still recite the...

Symphonic Poems

What follows is a compilation of two radio scripts designed as an overview of the history of the symphonic poem. It's not intended to be...

Scottish Connections

Let’s start by listening to something you may never have heard before… [listen] This music is Scottish and it serves to introduce my...

On the Fringe: Alexander Zemlinsky

It goes without saying that for every so-called great composer there must be a dozen moderately talented composers...and probably a...

The Story of the Symphony

What follows is a compilation of three radio scripts designed as an overview of the history of the symphony. It's not intended to be an...

Beethoven's Folksongs

One of the things I love to do is to introduce people to a lesser-known corner of the repertoire, and usually this is the result of...

An Introduction to Maurice Ravel

If ever there was a piece of music which needed little or no introduction, just mention Ravel’s Bolero. Composed in 1928, it’s one of...

 

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