Rethink music with The Listening Service. Tom Service presents a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works
The Viola - Music's Secret Fire
Describing it as 'music's secret fire', Tom Service explores the world of the viola. Speaking to Lawrence Power, one of the world's great viola players who has commissioned numerous works for his instrument and Sally Beamish, viola player and composer, Tom sets out to unlock the key to the viola's elusive sound and to understand how it can drive the energy of the orchestra.
The Feasibility of Studies
Studies began life as an aid in the struggle to master the piano within the human limitations of two hands and ten fingers. But from being the bane of many a pianist's life and a means of selling more pianos, these arid technical exercises flowered into some of the greatest music written for piano from Chopin, though Debussy to György Ligeti. And in Conlon Nancarrow's studies for player piano, they even inspired the greatest set of keyboard works beyond any human ability.
To find out how and why studies evolved to transcend their original function, Tom Service is joined by musicologist Katy Hamilton and talks to Pierre-Laurent Aimard who worked closely with Ligeti on his extraordinary series of studies, widely regarded as some of the greatest piano music of the 20th century.
David Papp (producer)
What gives away a composer's personal style? How can we spot their musical signatures? And having done so, could they be convincingly copied?
Tom looks for clues in the potentially similar music of Mozart and Haydn, and in the English styles of Vaughan Williams and Elgar, and speaks to art historian and discoverer of lost masterpieces, Dr Bendor Grosvenor.
Tom Service explores some of the most successful working partnerships in music. Mozart and Da Ponte wrote some of Mozart's most famous operas but what came first, the music or the words - what's more important? With the help of librettist and translator Amanda Holden, Tom discovers what makes a musical spark.
Produced by Calantha Bonnissent
Baroque, Classical and Romantic... the big categories of music history all have their big-name composers. But what about the composers less easy to categorise, the ones who fall in between the gaps? Tom Service goes in search of the Inbetweeners from all eras and, with the help of CPE Bach aficionado Andreas Staier, discovers how these once hugely influential figures still speak directly to us now.
David Papp (producer)
What if...? Tom's Marvellous Musical Multiverse
As we move from one year to the next, Tom indulges in some speculative musical time travel.