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Music to my Ears

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.

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Handel's Messiah • Contemporary Christmas carols • Bah! humbug!

We have mince pies, sherry and crackers: it must be time for the Christmas podcast! Join us for an episode packed with Yuletide joy, beautiful new carols by Dobrinka Tabakova, Toby Young, Cecilia McDowall and Michael Finnissy, as well as our favourite festive musical jokes. Plus hear all about our Christmas isssue. Our cover feature takes a look at a masterpiece that has redefined the sound of Christmas, Handel's Messiah; we also explore the parish church choir scene, and find out what concert-hall horrors cause musicians to see red. And, of course, we've brought along a batch of the latest Christmas CDs we've been enjoying. Merry Christmas!This episode is presented by editor Oliver Condy, who is joined by deputy editor Jeremy Pound, managing editor Rebecca Franks, editorial assisstant Freya Parr and reviews editor Michael Beek. It was produced by Ben Youatt and Jack Bateman.Recordings:Dobrinka Tabakova Good-will to men, and peace on EarthChoir of Queen's College, Oxford/Owen ReesBBC Music Magazine Christmas 2020 Cover CDToby Young The OwlChoir of Queen's College, Oxford/Owen ReesBBC Music Magazine Christmas 2020 Cover CDExtracts from Handel's MessiahTaverner Choir and Players/Andrew ParrottVirgin Veritas 562 0042Peter Warlock Bethlehem DownChristmas at St George's WindsorChoir of St George's Windsor/James VivianHyperion CDA 68281First Listen Choices:Christmas at St George's WindsorChoir of St George's Windsor/James VivianHyperion CDA 68281Advent Carols from King's College, LondonChoir of King's College, London/Joseph FortDelphian DCD34226Tchaikovsky The NutcrackerState Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia 'Evgeny Svetlanov'/Vladimir JurowskiPentatone PTC5186761See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

28mins

29 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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First Listen: Cecilia Bartoli St Petersburg

How does the Italian mezzo-soprano fare on her Russian musical adventure? Join the BBC Music Magazine team as we have a listen to Cecilia Bartoli’s new St Petersburg album, and give our verdict.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

18 Dec 2014

Rank #2

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BBC Music Magazine Awards 2015: Instrumental

Three pianists are competing for this year’s Instrumental Award: Mikhail Pletnev, Marc-André Hamelin and Benjamin Grosvenor. Hear clips and find out more about their recordings in this special Awards podcast before casting your votes at www.classical-music.com/awardsSee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

11mins

18 Feb 2015

Rank #3

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First Listen: A Violin for All Seasons

For her latest disc, violinist Tasmin Little turns to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. She pairs this popular masterpiece with the premiere recording of a companion piece, Roxannna Panufnik's Four World Seaons for violin, string orchestra and Tibetan singing bowl. The recording is on Chandos. Find out what the BBC Music Magazine team made of the recording, plus enjoy clips from the disc, in this episode of our monthly First Listen.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

15mins

13 Dec 2016

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Recording of the Month: JS Bach Violin Concertos

Alina Ibragimova's solo Bach was one of the standout events of the 2015 BBC Proms. Here she turns to the composer's violin concertos, with equally captivating results. In this podcast, you can hear clips from her recording with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen for Hyperion, as well as discussion of the disc by editor Oliver Condy and reviews editor Rebecca Franks.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

8mins

17 Nov 2015

Rank #5

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Recording of the Month: Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Stravinsky Les noces

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and conductor Teodor Currentzis join forces for their first recording together, with the orchestra MusicAeterna. The programme brings together Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Stravinsky's ballet Les noces, and it's Recording of the Month in the March 2016 issue. Join editor Oliver Condy and reviews editor Rebecca Franks to find out more about these two Russian works and hear clips from the recording.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

12mins

17 Feb 2016

Rank #6

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Vivaldi's Four Seasons • Kerry Andrew • Ada Lovelace

New year, new podcast episode! Welcome to the January edition of the BBC Music Magazine podcast, which kicks off with a look at the latest music news, from the Grammy nominations to a gender pay dispute. With Vivaldi's Four Seasons on the cover of our January magazine issue, we take a whistle-stop tour of the colourful and virtuosic violin concertos that have become known around the globe.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

32mins

21 Dec 2018

Rank #7

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Recording of the Month: Ann Hallenberg

Ann Hallenberg's wonderful exploration of the Venice Carnival in 1729 is our September Recording of the Month. The Swedish mezzo joins Il Pomo d'Oro and Stefano Montanari for a programme of Albinoni, Giacomelli, Leo, Vinci and others on this Pentatone Recording. Find out more and hear extracts from the disc in this podcast presented by editor Oliver Condy and reviews editor Rebecca Franks.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

8mins

1 Sep 2017

Rank #8

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Recording of the Month: Schubert played by András Schiff

András Schiff's new Schubert disc is BBC Music Magazine's July issue Recording of the Month. It's not the first time the Hungarian pianist has recorded this music, but it's given a completely different character thanks to the instrument he has chosen to play – a fortepiano from 1820. Hear extracts from the recording in this podcast, presented by editor Oliver Condy and reviews editor Rebecca Franks.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

12 Jun 2015

Rank #9

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BBC Music Magazine Cover CD (December 2016): The Art of Fugue

On the cover CD of the November issue of BBC Music Magazine, we present JS Bach's The Art of Fugue, arranged and played by Mahan Esfahani, with the help of instrumentalists from the Academy of Ancient Music. In this podcast, deputy editor Jeremy Pound and editorial assistant Elinor Cooper introduce the work, complete with extracts.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

9mins

27 Oct 2016

Rank #10

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First Listen: Sculthorpe String Quartets

Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe wrote four pieces for the unusual combination of string quartet and didgeridoo. In this podcast you can hear clips of this music as played by the Del Sol Quartet and didgeridoo player Stephen Kent, and find out what the BBC Music Magazine team made of it.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

13 Jan 2015

Rank #11

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BBC Music Magazine Cover CD (September 2016): Beethoven Symphony No. 3

On the cover CD of the September issue of BBC Music Magazine, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony No. 3, conducted by Donald Runnicles. In this podcast, acting deputy editor Rebecca Franks and editorial assistant Elinor Cooper introduce the work, complete with extracts.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

9mins

9 Aug 2016

Rank #12

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Recording of the Month: Hasse’s Siroe

An all-star cast including countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic and soprano Julia Lezhneva come together for this world premiere recording. Hear clips from Hasse’s Siroe, re di Persia and find out more about this 1763 opera in this podcast.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

11mins

5 Feb 2015

Rank #13

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BBC Music Magazine Awards 2015: Orchestral

Turnage, Bruckner and Rachmaninov are all in the running for this year’s Orchestral Award. Find out more about all three recordings and hear clips from them in this special BBC Music Magazine Awards podcast.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

12mins

23 Jan 2015

Rank #14

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Recording of the Month: Verdi Aida

A studio recording of a Verdi opera by a major label is a rarity nowadays. But Antonio Pappano has brought together an all-star cast, headed up by soprano Anja Harteros and tenor Jonas Kaufmann, for this project with his Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia orchestra. It's our November 2015 Recording of the Month, and in this podcast you can find out more about the piece and project, as well as hear clips from the disc.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

11mins

23 Oct 2015

Rank #15

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Pianist Paul Lewis • Irish National Opera • Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason

For the March 2018 episode, editor Oliver Condy, deputy editor Jeremy Pound, reviews editor Rebecca Franks and editorial assistant Freya Parr chat about the ambitious centennial season in 2018-2019 from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the retirement of music director Stephen Cleobury from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, how music venues and churches will now have better protection from local residents and the launch of Irish National OperaSee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

39mins

26 Feb 2018

Rank #16

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Claude Debussy centenary • Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja • Super Bowl wager

In this month's episode, we talk about the BBC Proms's pledge to achieve a 50:50 gender balance for commissioned pieces, a bid to buy part of a hoard of gold sovereigns found in a Broadwood piano, the plans for the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, and an unusual wager between two conductors…See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

42mins

26 Mar 2018

Rank #17

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BBC Music Magazine Cover CD: French piano works

On the cover CD of the March issue of BBC Music Magazine, pianist Anne Queffélec plays solo works by Satie, Honegger, Hahn, Poulenc and Mompou, and is joined by fellow pianist Frank Braley and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Grant Llewellyn for Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos. In this podcast, deputy editor Jeremy Pound and editorial assistant Elinor Cooper introduce the works on the disc, complete with extracts.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

8mins

24 Feb 2016

Rank #18

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Recording of the Month: Elgar orchestral works

Elgar is the focus of our December Recording of the Month. In this superbly programmed disc for Hyperion, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Martyn Brabbins perform the ever-popular Enigma Variations and In the South (Alassio). They also turn the spotlight on several First World War rarities – Une voix dans le désert, Carillon and Le drapeau belge – and give us the first recording of Elgar's own orchestral arrangement of his song Pleading.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

13mins

21 Nov 2016

Rank #19

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BBC Music Magazine Awards 2015: Concerto

Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, oboist Xenia Löffler and violinist Baiba Skride are the three concerto soloists in the running for an Award this year. Find out about their recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4, Venetian oboe concertos, and Szymanowski’s two Violin Concertos on this special Awards podcast, then head to www.classical-music.com/awards to cast your votes!See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

10mins

12 Feb 2015

Rank #20