Archive for the ‘Music’ category

Classic FM HD stream

Sunday, 6 November 2016

For the latest post in my occasional series about digital radio, I was intrigued to receive an e-mail from Classic FM this week advertising “HD audio” in their mobile app. There are versions of the app for Apple and Android devices, and they allow users to listen to live broadcasts, as well as to a […]

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James Horner (1953–2015)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

In March, I was fortunate enough to see the première of Collage, which was to be James Horner’s last concert work, at the Royal Festival Hall. At the end of the performance, the composer came on stage to take his bow, the same smiling, bearded gentleman as in the pictures accompanying his many obituaries this […]

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Star Wars without the fanfare

Monday, 4 May 2015

As today is Star Wars Day, and marked with a public holiday in the UK, I’ll start with some reminiscing. When I was a child, the only place you could see a Star Wars film was on TV. The excitement and anticipation while waiting for it to begin were immense. Then finally, the screen faded […]

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Proms queue diversity

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Last week when I was taking a look at what people were saying on Twitter about the first night of the BBC Proms, I came across a tweet by someone called Gavin Dixon: Time, once again, to lament the lack of social diversity in the #BBCProms arena queue. Quite literally #middleclassproblems As he refers specifically […]

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Classical music poll descends into farce

Monday, 9 April 2012

Every year since 1996, British classical music station Classic FM has held a poll of the nation’s top 300 pieces of classical music, the Hall of Fame. Unlike the weekly charts that exist for both classical and other genres of music, the Hall of Fame is not intended to rank the best-selling recordings of the […]

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Classic FM streaming update

Friday, 6 April 2012

Ever since Classic FM’s owners made half-hearted attempts to stop overseas listeners from listening online a few years ago, people around the world have been listening quite happily to internet streams of the station. If the streams are accessed directly by URL, for example using a media player, there is no check of the listener’s […]

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Pointless Proms protest

Friday, 2 September 2011

Tonight I was at the Royal Albert Hall to hear the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta perform some of my favourite works, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, and the popular Bruch violin concerto with Gil Shaham as the soloist. Unfortunately, a small number of people in the audience chose to spoil the concert with protests […]

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Henryk Górecki (1933–2010)

Friday, 12 November 2010

I was sorry to hear that Henryk Górecki had died today at the age of 76. Earlier this year, I attended what should have been the world première of his 4th symphony. Unfortunately, the performance didn’t go ahead, we were told because ill health meant Górecki had been unable to complete the work. It was […]

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A tune with a familiar ring

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Question: which composer is the most popular when it comes to mobile phone ringtones? Just the other day when I was on the train, I heard someone’s phone ring with the familiar Nokia ringtone. My first thought was to wonder why so many people leave what is in effect a free advertisement for their handset […]

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Last Night of the Proms let-down

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Tonight was the annual Last Night of the Proms, the finale of the BBC’s famous concert series. While the Last Night featured the usual eclectic collection of music: the old, the newly commissioned and the bizarre (for example, Sir David Attenborough “playing” the floor polisher) the BBC managed to spoil it by messing about with […]

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