251 episodes

Rethink music with The Listening Service. Tom Service presents a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works

The Listening Service BBC Radio 3

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 142 Ratings

Rethink music with The Listening Service. Tom Service presents a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works

    What's the point of Listening?

    What's the point of Listening?

    Isn’t it great to be able to listen to so much music, to be able to search and scroll and find anything you want…? Or to have tracks suggested for you without even thinking about it…? Or is it? Perhaps you miss the days when you had to save up to buy a recording, and you loved it so much you listened over and over again. Or you waited for something to be played on the radio, knowing it might be the only chance you’d have to hear it.
    Tom Service explores how we listen today in the digital age and reflects on the pieces of music that changed his life when he heard them first, and then really listened to them, again and again.
    Producer: Ruth Thomson

    • 28 min
    Needle Drop: the power of classical music in film

    Needle Drop: the power of classical music in film

    Tom Service discovers the mighty musical power of needle drop - the use of pre-existing music in film soundtracks.
    From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Barbie, from The Shining to Maestro, Tom listens in to some of the most iconic film scenes using needle-dropped classical music. He explores how directors harness the resonance and meanings of a piece of music to enrich the film's storytelling, and how a successful fusion of sound and image can leave such a deep impression in viewers' minds that music and film become inextricably entwined in popular consciousness.
    Plus, Maggie Rodford - one of the film industry's most sought-after music supervisors - pulls back the curtain on the processes and thinking behind choosing the right needle drop for the right scene to make the most meaningful movie.
    Producer: David Fay

    • 28 min
    Impassioned argument: Elizabeth Maconchy's string quartets

    Impassioned argument: Elizabeth Maconchy's string quartets

    "For me, the best music is an impassioned argument". So said one of Britain's greatest 20th-century composers, Elizabeth Maconchy.
    Who?? Despite her many awards and medals - including a damehood in 1987 - and a lifetime spent promoting new music, Elizabeth's work slipped out of fashion and out of view in the latter part of her remarkable career. With concertos and symphonies, vocal music, chamber works, five operas, an operetta and three ballets to her name, Elizabeth's voice is that of economy, elegance and rich expression. And it is in her century-spanning 13 string quartets that her development - and musical outlook - as an artist are most closely expressed.
    With a cultural resurgence in all things mid-century, Tom Service chats to Janell Yeo of the Bloomsbury Quartet and considers whether the time is now ripe for a reclamation of Elizabeth's place at our musical top table.

    • 28 min
    Songs of the Moon

    Songs of the Moon

    Many of the most instantly recognisable works in classical music are inspired by the Earth’s moon – Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, Dvořák’s ‘Song to the Moon’. Tom Service takes us on a musical voyage to the moon (and back), from the cosmic-scale classical to the lesser known music invoking and inspired by our mysterious celestial companion.
    With Professor Monica Grady CBE, leading British space scientist.
    Producer: Lola Grieve

    • 28 min
    'Pathétique'

    'Pathétique'

    Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony is given the subtitle "Pathétique", the use of the French word removing some of the negative connotations that the word pathetic has in English, which is the literal translation. Pathétique suggests something of great passion with perhaps a sense of great sadness too. Tom Service examines how this word might apply to one of Tchaikovsky's most profound and intense works.

    • 28 min
    Turangalila!

    Turangalila!

    It made Pierre Boulez want to vomit: Francis Poulenc thought it was atrocious: and Igor Stravinsky said all you needed to write it was enough manuscript paper. But its composer wrote all 80 minutes of it as a love song, and a hymn to joy. So just what is Olivier Messiaen’s epic Turangalila Symphony, premiered in 1949 by Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, why did it divide opinion so much, and what does it mean today?
    Producer: Ruth Thomson

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
142 Ratings

142 Ratings

Hokeykokey ,

Always fascinating

I love this programme. Very informative. It opens windows in my mind.

mola-freak ,

Love it. Thank you

Very passionate and interesting, always cheer me up. Follow from Friday radio and very glad to have all episodes in podcast. Thank you for the great work !

TheMightyWire ,

Great

If you like music, you will love this podcast

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