151 episodes

Hear more. Feel more. Be more! Come with me and dive into some great classical music.
For over 1000 years great musicians have explored what it means to live, love, die and everything in between: asking all our deep and universal questions. Escape the cacophony - the noise of your brain and daily life; tune into the music, your feelings and emotions ‘good’ and ‘bad’ …and find the space, stillness and love that underpins everything.

NB: May include loud noise, surprises, challenges, cacophonous racket
May cause shock, comfort, discomfort, smiles, tears, peace, transcendence

CACOPHONY - Great classical music that makes life better‪!‬ Cacophony - Steve Thomas

    • Arts

Hear more. Feel more. Be more! Come with me and dive into some great classical music.
For over 1000 years great musicians have explored what it means to live, love, die and everything in between: asking all our deep and universal questions. Escape the cacophony - the noise of your brain and daily life; tune into the music, your feelings and emotions ‘good’ and ‘bad’ …and find the space, stillness and love that underpins everything.

NB: May include loud noise, surprises, challenges, cacophonous racket
May cause shock, comfort, discomfort, smiles, tears, peace, transcendence

    124. Heading North by Southwest with Willie Ruff: Strayhorn, Suite for the Duo

    124. Heading North by Southwest with Willie Ruff: Strayhorn, Suite for the Duo

    Brilliant and meaningful, North by Southwest may have been the initial name for Billy Strayhorn's Suite for The Duo, a brilliant, late work for horn and piano: it's a title that suggests confusion and conflicting ideas about the dying composers direction of travel. It's a great piece: virtuosic but raw and written with a total understanding of both horn and piano and what they can do.

    It's a longer episode than normal because (amazingly) I was able to speak with Willie Ruff, the horn player for whom it was written. Willie, now in his nineties, joined me from his home in Alabama and he talked about his life and career, the Mitchell-Ruff duo, Strayhorn and how Suite for The Duo came to life.

    Listening time 37 mins (podcast 25', music 12')

     

    The Suite for The Duo can be found here on Apple Music, Youtube and Spotify.

     

    Other music clips in the episode: Take the A-Train [Strayhorn], All the things you are [Jerome Kern], Serenade for tenor, horn and strings [Benjamin Britten]

     

    Willieruff.com has further info on Willie as well as links to buy this and other recordings on cd and his biography A Call to Assembly.

    Another episode of Cacophony will feature more from Willie in due course!

     

    Are you a horn player or fab pianist? You can buy the sheet music for the Suite too. Get this in your repertoire! (Be sure to buy parts 1-4, the other edition is incomplete.)

     

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

     

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode with someone you know

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

     

    Photo credit: Vincent Oneppo (pic from WillieRuff.com)

    • 25 min
    123. Emptiness and space: Sculthorpe: Kakadu

    123. Emptiness and space: Sculthorpe: Kakadu

    Heat, danger, emptiness and space. Plenty of all of this in Peter Sculthorpe's excellent Kakadu - inspired by northern Australia but featuring universal themes of humanity, life, death, and timelessness. 

    Listening time c22 minutes (podcast 6', music 16')

    Music here: on Youtube, on Spotify or Apple Music played by the Queensland Orchestra, conducted by Michael Christie with William Barton on didgeridoo. 

    You can buy this recording as a download here (though you have to buy a whole album, but this recording is the one that I think does best justice to the piece and gives the didgeridoo proper prominence).

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

     

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

    • 5 min
    122. The height of passion? Haydn, Symphony No.49

    122. The height of passion? Haydn, Symphony No.49

    It's not about that sort of passion, but this symphony La Passione is intense, dark, thrilling, and one of Haydn's best!

    Listening time c30 minutes (podcast 5.5', music 23')

    Music here: on Youtube, live in concert with video, on Spotify or Apple Music (Apple Music is a link to the first track only, sorry) played by Il Giardino Armonico, conductor, Giovanni Antonini.

     

    You can buy this recording as a download here. 

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

     

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

    • 5 min
    121. An unbearable lightness of being? Robert Schumann, Symphony no.4

    121. An unbearable lightness of being? Robert Schumann, Symphony no.4

    One of my favourite joyful but heavyweight quick fixes, Robert Schumann's original Symphony no.4 is an intense and inventive stream of consciousness full of light and life. It's a thrill. Shame Schumann didn't see it that way...

    Listening time c35 minutes (podcast 10', music 25')

    Music here: on Youtube, Spotify or Apple Music (Apple Music is a link to the first track only, sorry) played by the brilliant Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (from London!) conductor, John Eliot Gardiner.

    The later version of the symphony is out there too (earlier in the same youtube clip).

    You can buy this recording as a download for less than £9 here. Be careful to get the right version!

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

     

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

    • 10 min
    120. A forgotten French flower: Bayon Louis, Overture ’Mayflower’

    120. A forgotten French flower: Bayon Louis, Overture ’Mayflower’

    Another forgotten gem from a late 18th century woman composer, Marie Emmanuelle Bayon Louis's overture to d'Épine is boisterous and brilliant.

    You can listen to the piece here played by the excellent and stylish Academy of Ancient Music.

    Listening time 11 minutes (podcast 5', music 6')

     

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

     

    If female French composers are your thing check out others on Cacophony, Lili Boulanger (featuring an interview with champion of female composers, Diana Ambache) or Louise Farrenc.

     

    The picture isn't a Mayflower...but does look a bit like one...

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

    • 5 min
    119. Dancing into Immortality: Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet (Suite No.2)

    119. Dancing into Immortality: Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet (Suite No.2)

    So much more than just a famous TV theme tune, Prokofiev's music for Romeo and Juliet is full of intensity, drama, passion, wit and the occasional brilliantly pure dance number. Simultaneously draining and energising it's a fabulous demonstration of the sheer power of music. I love it.

    Listening time 41 minutes (podcast 11', music 30')

    There's a mistake: Tybalt is Juliet's cousin, not her brother. Oops! There goes my GCSE English grade!

     

    Here are complete performances of Prokofiev's 2nd suite from Romeo and Juliet on Youtube and Spotify and (maybe only a link to the first track?) on Apple Music, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi. You can buy the recordings as a download here.

    What do you think? Let me know with an easy voicemail or comment at Cacophonyonline.com, Facebook or Twitter.

    If you'd like to support Cacophony there are easy, great, ways:

    - share this episode

    - share the 100 second trailer

    - buy us a cuppa at ko-fi.com

    - subscribe/ review and keep listening!

     

    Thanks for listening!

    • 10 min

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