Highlight: Classical Music

Do you enjoy air-conducting as much as we do?

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The perfect companion…but not for the faint of heart

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The Classical Music Lover’s Companion to Orchestral Music – Robert Philip

Akin to a text book, this tome is a treasure of knowledge amassed by scholar, broadcaster, and musician - Robert Philip.

He has compiled an essential handbook for lovers of classical music, designed to enhance their listening experience to the full. Covering four hundred works by sixty-eight composers from Corelli to Shostakovich, this engaging companion explores and unpacks the most frequently performed works, including symphonies, concertos, overtures, suites, and ballet scores. It offers intriguing details about each piece while avoiding technical terminology that might frustrate the non-specialist reader.

Philip identifies key features in each work, as well as subtleties and surprises that await the attentive listener, and he includes enough background and biographical information to illuminate the composer’s intentions. Organised alphabetically from Bach to Webern, this compendium will be indispensable for classical music enthusiasts, whether in the concert hall or enjoying recordings at home.

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why conducting matters – Mark Wigglesworth

One must not forget the importance of a good conductor. To that end, conductor himself, Mark Wigglesworth, has put forth this interesting piece; putting into words the essence of the profession.

A conductor is one of classical music's most recognisable figures. Many people who have never actually been to an orchestral concert have an image of what one looks like. But rarely does such a well-known profession attract so many questions: 'Surely orchestras can play perfectly well without you? Do you really make any difference to the performance?'
This book is not intended to be an instruction manual for conductors, nor is it a history of conducting. It is for all who wonder what conductors actually do. Exploring the relationships with the musicians and music they conduct, and the public and personal responsibilities they face, leading conductor Mark Wigglesworth writes with engaging honesty about the role for any music lover curious to know whether or not the profession really matters.