132 episodes

BBC Music Magazine’s brand new podcast, Music to my Ears, features a series of interviews with well-known classical musicians and composers about their musical passions and discoveries. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to ensure you never miss an episode.

Music to my Ear‪s‬ Immediate Media

    • Music Commentary

BBC Music Magazine’s brand new podcast, Music to my Ears, features a series of interviews with well-known classical musicians and composers about their musical passions and discoveries. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to ensure you never miss an episode.

    Paul Morley | Journalist

    Paul Morley | Journalist

    In this week's episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we speak to Paul Morley, the pop journalist and musician and, more recently, classical music devotee . 
    Brought up in Stockport, Paul cut his teeth in music journalism in Manchester. He then went on to write for the New Musical Express, where he rapidly became one of the paper’s most respected critics, leading to regular appearances on radio and TV.


    In 1983, Morley and producer Trevor Horn founded ZTT Records, which soon hit both the top of the charts and the headlines with the release of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome album. In the same year, they also formed the group The Art of Noise, which had a string of hits including a cover of Prince’s Kiss, featuring Tom Jones.
    In more recent years, however, Paul has turned his attention towards classical music, and in 2010 took part in a BBC Four documentary called The Art of Composing, which saw him study at the Royal Academy of Music for a year. In 2020, he charted his developing interest in a new book called A Sound Mind: How I Fell In Love with Classical Music, which has now been published by Bloomsbury.
    Paul talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during the second period of lockdown in England, and told him how, from his pop and rock background, he gradually fell under classical music’s spell.


    Recordings featured:
    Brian Eno: Fullness of Wind (Variation on Pachelbel's Canon in D)
    Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande: 'Je les tiens dans le mains'
    London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle
    LSO Live LSO0790
    Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2: I. Overture
    Borodin Quartet
    Decca 4834159
    Janáček: Words Fail
     
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    • 36 min
    Caroline Shaw | Composer

    Caroline Shaw | Composer

    In this week's episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we talk to the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, violinist and producer Caroline Shaw about the music that underscores her day-to-day life and how she balances the various facets of her fascinating career. Orange, her album of string quartets recorded and performed by the Attacca Quartet, was nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award earlier this year. Freya Parr spoke to Caroline over Zoom from her home in Amherst, Massachusetts.


    Recordings featured:
    Verdi: La Traviata ‘Dite alle giovine’ ­– Anna Netrebko, Vienna Philharmonic/Carlo Rizzi (DG 475933)
    Tune-Yards: Water Fountain
    Bach: Partita No. 2: V. Chaconne (Itzhak Perlman (violin) – Warner Classics 2564612981
    Bach: Brandenburg Concerto (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) (Erato 5615522)
    The Bangles: Eternal Flame
     
     
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    • 27 min
    Vasily Petrenko | Conductor

    Vasily Petrenko | Conductor

    This week, reviews editor Michael Beek sits down with the Russian-British conductor Vasily Petrenko. Vasily recently said farewell as chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and is about to embark on final season as chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
    Speaking from his father’s home in St. Petersburg, Vasily talks about returning to the condtuctor’s podium after months in lockdown, saying goodbye to the RLPO and his new appointment with the Royal Philharmonic in 2021.


    Recordings featured:
    Bernstein: West Side Story – Mambo (New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein)
    JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I – Prelude No. 1 in C major (Sviatoslav Richter, piano)
    Sounds of Nature
    Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133 (arr. string orchestra) (Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Peter Oundjian)
     
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    • 29 min
    Debbie Wiseman | Composer

    Debbie Wiseman | Composer

    This week, reviews editor Michael Beek sits down with the award-winning British film and television composer Debbie Wiseman OBE (Wolf Hall, Father Brown, Wilde) for a chat about her work. Debbie shares insights into her methods, conducting, her favourite music to listen to and a sneak preview of her latest film score, To Olivia.


    Recordings featured:
    Chopin: Preludes Op. 28 – No. 4 in E minor
    Eric Lu (piano)
    Warner Classics 9029529234


    Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K364 – Presto
    Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Bruno Giuranna (viola); Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
    Warner Classics 7543022


    Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony – III. Turangalîla I
    Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra/Alexander Soddy
    Oehms OC472


    Joseph Horovitz: Oboe Concerto – Lento Moderato
    Nicholas Daniel (oboe); Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Joseph Horovitz
    White Line CDWHL2114


    Debbie Wiseman: To Olivia – An Everlasting Gobstoppper and a Shivery Smile
    National Symphony Orchestra/Debbie Wiseman
    Decca
     
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    • 30 min
    Alan Rusbridger | Journalist

    Alan Rusbridger | Journalist

    In this episode, BBC Music Magazine’s editor Oliver Condy talks to the former Guardian editor and now principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Alan Rusbridger.
    While the editor of a national paper during the Arab Spring, Wikileaks controversies, the newspaper hacking scandal, riots in the UK and more, Alan Rusbridger found time to learn and perform Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, a feat he describes in his book Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible.


    Recordings featured:
    Chopin: Ballade No. 1
    Murray Perahia (piano)
    Sony Classical 


    Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
    New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein
    Sony Classical 


    Bach arr. Busoni: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
    Alfred Brendel (piano)
    Decca


    Beethoven: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
    Takacs Quartet
    Decca 


    Schubert: Variations on an Original Theme
    Andreas Staier & Alexander Melnikov (piano)
    Harmonia Mundi
     
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    • 31 min
    Karina Canellakis | Conductor

    Karina Canellakis | Conductor

    In this episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, BBC Music Magazine speaks to Karina Canellakis, who is currently chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and has been recently appointed as principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


    Karina was born and brought up in a very musical family in New York. She initially studied and began her career as a violinist and played in a number of the world’s leading orchestras, and it was while she was playing with the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of its Orchester-Akademie that she was encouraged to take up conducting by Sir Simon Rattle. From that moment, she has never looked back, and has since led top ensembles across the globe, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where she held her first post, as assistant conductor. She is equally at home in opera, and has conducted major productions of works by composers ranging from Mozart to Maxwell Davies.


    Karina talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during the second period of lockdown, and talked to him about the thrill of of working with contemporary composers, the rarity of female role models and the sheer joy of Wagner.


    Recordings featured:
    Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 No. 5
    Alexander Armstrong (narrator), Richard Casey, Ian Buckle (piano duet)
    Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko
    Warner Classics 9029575952


    Wagner: Die Walküre: Prelude
    Wolfgang Windgassen (Tristan), Birgit Nilsson (Isolde), Christa Ludwig (Brangäne), Martti Talvela (King Marke), Eberhard Waechter (Kurwenal), Peter Schreier (Seemann Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Karl Böhm
    DG 4497722


    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act III): 'Denn einer nur freie die Braut'
    Vienna Philharmonic/Georg Solti
    Decca 4786192


    Stephen Sondheim: Sweeney Todd
    Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Paul Daniel
    DG 4778554
     
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    • 34 min

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