32 episodes

Conversations from the world of classical music hosted by Presto Music's Paul Thomas. Guests have included artists such as Jess Gillam, Anna Lapwood, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and respected writers and critics like Rob Cowan, David Hurwitz, Andrew Mellor.Visit us at www.prestomusic.com

Presto Music Classical Podcast Presto Music

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Conversations from the world of classical music hosted by Presto Music's Paul Thomas. Guests have included artists such as Jess Gillam, Anna Lapwood, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and respected writers and critics like Rob Cowan, David Hurwitz, Andrew Mellor.Visit us at www.prestomusic.com

    Music for Albion - Vaughan Williams at 150 with John Francis

    Music for Albion - Vaughan Williams at 150 with John Francis

    Nobody has done more in recent years to promote the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams in recent years than Albion Records, the record label of the Ralph Vaughan-Williams Society. So to celebrate the English composer's 150th birthday this year I asked John Francis, Vice-Chairman of the Ralph Vaughan-Williams Society to guide me through his life and music through recordings of lesser-known Vaughan-Willams works on the Albion Records label.
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    • 46 min
    Mysticism, Modernism and Music - Scriabin with Marina Frolova-Walker

    Mysticism, Modernism and Music - Scriabin with Marina Frolova-Walker

    Celebrating his 150th anniversary this year is the Russian composer, poet and visionary Alexander Scriabin who, in his short life undertook a compositional journey that took him from a frustrated piano virtuoso who idolized Chopin to a radical modernist who prophesized that a concert of his mystical music in Tibet would bring about the end of the world. Helping me explore the life and work of this unique figure I'm delighted to be rejoined on the show by Cambridge Russian music Professor Marina Frolova-Walker.
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    • 57 min
    Music from the Golden Age of Hollywood with John Wilson

    Music from the Golden Age of Hollywood with John Wilson

    Undoubtedly one of the great orchestral success stories in recent years has been that of Sinfonia of London, formed by conductor John Wilson in 2019. Their albums have consistently received a whole host of awards, demonstrating the orchestra’s great virtuosity and versatility.

    Their latest recording sees them delving into one of my favourite genres, with a selection of music from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to chat to John not only about the album itself, but also about the history of Sinfonia of London, his thoughts on some favourite recordings with the orchestra so far, plus a look ahead to future releases, including an exclusive preview of their forthcoming album of music by Rachmaninoff.
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    • 45 min
    Eine kleine Havanamusik with Sarah Willis

    Eine kleine Havanamusik with Sarah Willis

    As both a world-class performer and an advocate for her instrument, Sarah Willis is an inspiration to a generation of horn players, so I was somewhat star-struck to talk to her for this week's episode. Despite the unceasing travel difficulties and upheaval of the past two years, Sarah has been continuing to spend time in Cuba working with Cuban instrumentalists and composers. The fruits of this can be heard on her two *Mozart y Mambo* albums from July 2020 and September 2022, where she sets Mozart's magnificent horn concertos alongside traditional and contemporary Cuban dances. We dig into what makes this music tick, and how a cross-cultural collaboration can combine faithfulness to its ingredients with a knowing and sometimes irreverent angle on the canon.
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    • 26 min
    Karel Ančerl Live Recordings with Rob Cowan and Matouš Vlčinský

    Karel Ančerl Live Recordings with Rob Cowan and Matouš Vlčinský

    One of the most outstanding releases so far this year has been a remarkable collection of live recordings by the great Czech conductor Karel Ančerl, and I was delighted to be joined not only by regular guest Rob Cowan to discuss the set, but also by Matouš Vlčinský, who produced the set for Supraphon Records. The recordings, made between 1950 and 1968 show Ančerl's mastery in a wide variety of repertoire, and the numerous recordings of Czech music also gave us the opportunity to explore Bohemian musical culture.
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    • 58 min
    A Life in Notes - The Art of Music Biography

    A Life in Notes - The Art of Music Biography

    The relationship between musicians' lives and the music they create is one the most discussed and debated aspects of music, and examinations of the lives of great musicians is almost as old as their music itself.  Three authors who produced highly praised music biographies in 2020 were Philip Clark, on the Jazz great Dave Brubeck, Oliver Craske on the Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar and Oliver Soden on the British composer Michael Tippett, and on this week's show I was delighted to welcome all three for a round table discussion on the art of music biography.
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    • 1 hr 14 min

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