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Blog Category: inspiring music

70th Anniversary of partition and the unifying call of music

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Blog on Prom 55


Marking the 70th anniversary of partition and independence on the Indian subcontinent by celebrating three contrasting traditions: Hindustani music of North India, South India’s melody-driven Carnatic music and the mesmeric Sufi music of Pakistan.

I have been saddened, as I have been reading and watching programmes about Indian Independence, by the realisation of how little I have been aware of the devastating effects of partition on that country.

As a clarinettist, I have been involved in performances with North Indian Musicians and enjoyed the company of musicians, dancers and narrators both through playing music with them and enjoying their hospitality. Anyone involved with Indian musicians will appreciate their generosity of spirit. Sharing chai, food and music, often in that order, is an integral part of creating music together.

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Let’s hear it for classical music!

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Clapping between movements – good, bad or great?

enthusiastic audience
Listening to Prom (the greatest classical music festival in the world) performances this year, it’s noticeable that audiences are clapping between movements. And why not?

Here are some thoughts.

If you have ever been to an opera in Italy, you will have experienced the adjudication of the performance by the audience at the end of every aria – appreciation or derision!

Under the leadership of Roger Wright, the Proms have evolved to provide not only world class performers but also to explore as many musical connections as possible so that new and different audiences have been drawn in.

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Mirga takes the helm at CBSO

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Maestro or conductor – diva or person – commander or sharer

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
I tuned in part way through a Radio 4 broadcast this morning, featuring the new conductor of the CBSO Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. A member of the orchestra who was speaking was saying how refreshing it was to speak with a conductor who was not always talking about themselves or their career and interests. Mirga is actually interested in the wellbeing of each person in the orchestra, he said and is far more likely to be discussing what you are doing or how you are feeling than anything else.

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Sheeran takes solo performance to new levels

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The thrilling, vibrant talent of the solo artist

Ed Sheeran at Glastonbury
There are very few solo artists who can totally captivate an audience for one and a half hours in front of a capacity house and that is what Ed Sheeran did at Glastonbury in June. I was fascinated to see the final part of Glastonbury on BBC 2 for which Ed Sheeran was the headline solo act on the Pyramid stage. This is an artist who is used to holding the attention of capacity audiences of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium for a sell-out run on several nights!

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Classical Legends Awarded Blue Plaques

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Kathleen FerrierClassical legends Sir Neville Marriner and Kathleen Ferrier were amongst the 47 iconic musicians to be honoured with a Blue Plaque in celebration of BBC Music Day.

All 40 BBC Local Radio stations and Asian Network in England teamed up with the British Plaque Trust to find local legends who deserved to be better recognised in their local area. Suggestions poured in from the public and today, BBC Music Day, the full list of new plaques was revealed.

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Autism and the power of music

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Why am I blogging about autism?

I’m prompted by the manager of an artist who has recorded a song about his nephew who has Asberger’s Syndrome. The artist is Errol Sammut and the song, Burton’s Song is being used to raise awareness about autism via a number of charities and notably The Marigold Foundation.

You can listen to Burton’s Song here.

Go to The Marigold Foundation facebook page.

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yes, but what sort of music?

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Categories: inspiring music

Fair enough question. I can’t speak for the rest of the team, so this is more about me. True to say I am passionate about all sorts of music, if it is original, exciting, challenging, arresting, uplifting. I want it to grab my attention, stop my train of thought, change my mood, stimulate my own creative work. Although the main focus for all of this for me is in the contemporary classical music world, I recently went to an inspiring performance of a neglected mid-nineteenth century work. It wasn’t something I’d want to hear every day, but this performance had been prepared with such dedication and was performed with such relish and energy that it was truly breath-taking. It was the opera La Juive by Fromental Halevy, written around 1865. At tutti we like to identify and give a showcase to music which we think will be inspiring. As it happens, we don’t have a recording of La Juive but we have a lot of other premier recordings of previously unknown works. Here’s the link for just one of them: Handel’s opera, Silla. OK, I’m off to see the in-laws now, so no more posting until Sunday. Except maybe another member of teamtutti will have introduced themselves before then. Where are you guys?

Sarah Rodgers

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