Rethink music with The Listening Service. Tom Service presents a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works
Tom Service explores the music of Sibelius as a force of nature with 'Wild' writer Jaye Griffiths.
The inspiration for Sibelius's Fifth Symphony - the famous flight of sixteen majestic swans across the lake from his house north of Helsinki was, in the composer's words 'one of my greatest experiences. Lord God, that Beauty...' It's a well-known story, but in today's Listening Service Tom argues that Sibelius's music isn't just a prettified depiction of nature, it's a wilderness itself, with its own teeming, wild ecologies: from the pagan creationism of Luonnotar, to the primeval forest gods of Tapiola, and the elemental forces of the Oceanides.
With writer Jaye Griffiths on wilderness as freedom, listening to a woodlouse, devotion to absolute life, and silence as extinction.
How to Sing Classical - Vibrato!
Good vibrations or horrible wobbling? Why do singers use vibrato?
Tom Service goes to the wobbling heart of the matter of vibrato in singing. Why does it induce such visceral reactions - love and hate? Is it a matter of classical-singing artifice or is it a welcome and naturally occurring phenomenon in the healthy workings of our vocal cords, in the way our bodies make the sounds we call singing?
Two, three and four beats in a bar are pretty standard in music. But what happens when a composer decides to go with 7 or 5 or 13 as the underlying structure? And why would they do that?
Tom Service talks to composer Anna Meredith and conductor Martyn Brabbins about the fascination and challenge of the off-beat beat.
Latin America: It Takes Two
What is it about the Tango that has enabled it to transcend its origins in the late 19th-century slums of Buenos Aires to become one of most popular dances in the world's glittering ballrooms and beloved of gymnasts, figure skaters and synchronized swimmers? How did Tango escape the sparkle of the glitter ball and the borders of Argentina to be taken seriously as art music?
It may take two to Tango but there's a trio here to tease out the complex, multiple strands of this beguiling dance, as Tom Service is joined by Tango historian John Turci-Escobar and Buenos Aires-born Tango dancer Carla Dominguez. Part of Radio 3’s focus on the music, history and culture of Latin America.
David Papp (producer)
What makes the organ so mighty?
Tom Service takes on the largest instrument created by human hands: the organ. With the help of organist Anna Lapwood, Tom asks: what makes the organ so mighty? Why has it fascinated musicians from Bach to Procol Harum? Along the way, Tom will delve into the Delphian roots of the organ and we’ll hear what its ancestor the Hydraulis sounded like, created in ancient Egypt. And we’ll drop in on Madison Square Garden where Gladys Gooding entertained huge audiences at sports events for over thirty years, starting in the 1930s. Finally, we’ll hear what makes the organ timeless and immortal in music by John Cage and Olivier Messiaen. All hail: the organ!
Tom Service looks under the bonnet at musical climaxes and crescendos. How do composers negotiate musical drama to often devastating beauty and power?
The best podcast about classical music
By far. Both by national and international standards. Than k you bbc! Please keep and do not cut.
A lot of humour, erudite, always interesting topics.