Entries by Aaron Davies

A tribute to Radu Lupu

The world of classical music was united in sadness at the passing of the famous concert pianist, Radu Lupu, 76 on Monday. I had the privilege of seeing the famously reticent musician at a solo recital in Amsterdam back in 2018, where I was fortunate enough to bear witness for myself of his mysterious, almost […]

A Coronavirus playlist

2020 might well be destined for the history books as the year of Covid-19, such has been the all-pervasive nature of its effects on our way of life. It has brought with it a great deal of uncertainty for the future, compliance and protest in equal measure and served as a considerable challenge to humankind, […]

Brahms: Symphony no 1 in C major

From its doom-laden opening to the shepherd’s alphorn tune which emerges in its finale, Brahms’ epic first symphony was a true labour of love (he was known to have spent at least 14 years working on the symphony, whilst the composer himself claimed a gestation period of 21 years from sketches to completed form.) There […]

Schubert’s Final Piano Sonata

Schubert’s final piano sonata (D.960) Composed in September 1828, as with most of Schubert’s works, there is a questing, unresolved type of energy to this final piano sonata. The work’s ghostly qualities almost seem – even without the benefit of hindsight and knowledge of how close the composer was to death just two months hence […]

How to listen to a Symphony

It might be said that a symphony is a living, breathing thing, expansive in its composition, made up of many parts, multi-faceted, imbued with meaning and certainly not meant to be easily accessible upon first hearing. On the contrary, the richness and intricacies of a symphony can only truly be rewarded upon multiple hearings. In […]

Gustav Holst: The Planets

The Planets by Gustav Holst As far as ambitious musical projects go, Gustav Holst’s Planets suite is one of the most pioneering of all. Written between 1914-16 against the backdrop of the First World War and all the horror of that bloody conflict, it is perhaps fitting that the opening movement is Mars, The Bringer […]

Mozart is sweet sunshine

So said the famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák of Austria’s most famous musical son. Despite a life that was often impoverished and bore a great many hardships, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was said to have possessed a particularly mischievous and childlike sense of humour. Exalted from an early age (and driven in part by his ambitious […]

Schumann’s Second Symphony in C Major

Schumann: Symphony no.2 in C major I https://open.spotify.com/track/15mnLRAGEOVJd4ZMPOM09S Sketched in a matter of weeks in December 1845 and eventually published in 1847, this was actually the 3rd symphony which Robert Schumann had completed. The work opens with a vaguely eerie sounding chorale that has the markings of a somewhat religious soundscape. Set against an uncertain, […]

Schumann’s Spring Symphony

Schumann’s Spring Symphony https://open.spotify.com/album/0aRbfK11BeOuZNYRzSmuHK I In 1841, Robert Schumann’s famous Spring Symphony opens with a lonely and pensive call from both trumpet and horn – the same melodic line is subsequently taken up by the full orchestra and harmonised in a forthright and assertive manner. Quickly, the music direction darts into a new direction – […]

Music for a dictionary of obscure sorrows

Thanks for taking the time to read this latest blog. The name of this website and this entire project of mine actually came from a list of definitions which attempts to identify ‘obscure emotions’ which most of us have all felt or will at some point experience. From this list, I have taken a selection […]