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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Incidental Beethoven

In Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries the middle class emerged as a major social stratum in its own right. This large...

The Music of Eugene Goossens

It's a sad reality that a person's achievements, even their greatness, can be overshadowed by a single event which serves to blot out so...

The Waltz

This music is a minuet, a movement from one of Haydn's symphonies. The elegant minuet was the most popular and pervasive courtly dance of...

On the Fringe: John Field

It's interesting how a new century can make things happen. The start of the 19th century is a case in point. In 1801 Mozart was dead,...

The Latin American Baroque

The European discovery of the New World in 1492 changed the world for ever. More than five centuries later the impact of that discovery...

Sullivan with Gilbert

Not long ago I devoted a post to the life and work of Sir Arthur Sullivan. Sullivan is of course remembered today mainly for his...

Pierrot Lunaire

It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I'm somewhat obsessed with the history of the arts in general, and of music in...

Bach's Mass in B minor

In November 2008 I presented a series of three Keys To Music programs on ABC Classic FM (now ABC Classic) covering one of the “Everests”...

Puccini's Operas

This is one of those “bird’s eye view” surveys. What I’d like to do is to give you an overview of a part - a rather large part - of the...

Swan Lake

In 1875 the composer Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky was living in Moscow and he received what was for him an unusual commission, a request to...

Stabat Mater

Today we’re going to take a journey through a range of widely-differing church music spanning several centuries. All the extracts we’ll...

Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

There’s no doubting that in the form of music known as Lieder - German-language art song - the name of Franz Schubert reigns supreme. In...

Film Music

The impact of cinema on our lives in the past 120 years or so is quite amazing. From its beginnings as an offshoot of vaudeville, where...

Vivaldi in Church

In some respects the composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) needs no introduction. His more than 400 concertos are fertile ground for...

The Planets

The English composer Gustav Holst was born in 1874. He was a prolific composer, a visionary, inspired by influences as diverse as English...

Haydn's Creation

In 1791 the most famous composer in Europe, Joseph Haydn, made his first trip to England. He was 59 and had spent virtually all his...

The Soul of Wit

In the second scene of the second act of Shakespeare’s Hamlet there’s a delicious scene which always brings a smile to my face because of...

One Hit Wonders?

We’re covering the familiar and the little-known today. Lots of composers whose music we know are known for lots of pieces; just think...

 

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