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Tom Service on classical music

January 15   -  

A guide to Witold Lutosławski's music

He denied the influence of Poland's turbulent 20th-century history but Lutosławski's music, with its unique textures and vivid harmonies, was always dynamic, eloquent and coherent / Now, we're perilously close to the ...

January 7   -  

A guide to Gerald Barry's music

The Irish composer's work is distinctive in its diamond-like hardness, its humour and, sometimes, its violence / You're writing an opera on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. Or maybe you're not right at this ...

December 17   -  

A guide to Cornelius Cardew's music

This classically trained avant-garde tearaway brought hard-left politics into his music and was possibly assassinated for it / A wee warning today: this is a little tune that, once you've heard it, you won't be able to get ...

December 10   -  

A guide to Luciano Berio's music

This week, a composer whose labyrinthine music admits as much of the world as he can cram into it / What are the limits of a musical instrument? And what are the boundaries of a piece of music? Is an instrument bounded by the ...

December 7   -  

The Orchestra: a new iPad app that strikes all the right notes

The Philharmonia Orchestra's impressive new app blends music, video and interactive instrument guide into an instant classic / The orchestra. There's an app for that. No, there really is: the Philharmonia Orchestra app, ...

December 3   -  

A guide to Philip Glass's music

Some of his later music makes my toes curl, but there's no denying the huge importance of Glass's compositions with their unique combination of experimentalism and listener-friendliness / I'm trying, I really am. But I can't ...

November 26   -  

A guide to Luigi Nono's music

Few composers have understood as keenly as Nono did that every musical decision also has social and political ramifications, but there is more to his work than the overtly political / Luigi Nono's music was never going to ...

November 19   -  

A guide to Meredith Monk's music

Monk's deeply personal compositions sound at once ancient and modern, like a folk music for the whole world / It's one of the funniest moments on celluloid: Julianne Moore, playing performance artist Maude Lebowski, is in her ...

November 15   -  

Barenboim at 70: five YouTube clips

Pianist, conductor, Olympic flag-carrier, humanist, teacher … Daniel Barenboim is 70 today. Tom Service celebrates the great musician by picking his five favourite YouTube clips of him / Happy birthday Danny! We've got ...

November 12   -  

A guide to Morton Feldman's music

Don't be daunted by his five-hour-long string quartet – Feldman offers a truly intimate encounter with the substance of sound / Something strange starts to happen when you listen to American composer Morton Feldman's ...

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