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Tom Service on classical music

October 30   -  

What are the scariest pieces of classical music?

As Halloween casts its shadow over us, what better time to delve into the darker side of classical music / Music, it is often said, is a force for good, for the positive sides of human bonding, joy, society, and emotional ...

October 29   -  

A guide to Hans Werner Henze's music

Henze's artistic credo was that music ought to have something to say about human emotion and to contribute to contemporary society / There is a story that Hans Werner Henze reports in his fascinating and brave autobiography ...

October 26   -  

Lepage's Tempest production reveals this great opera's full potential

New York's Metropolitan Opera's new production of Adès's opera opened earlier this week. Tom Service gives his verdict / I must declare my very obvious interest - I have recently published a book of interviews with ...

October 22   -  

A guide to Steve Reich's music

Without Steve Reich's rhythms, pulses and phasing, contemporary culture would be a much poorer place / It's rare that one says this about a contemporary composer, but it's become too easy to take Steve Reich for granted. Of ...

October 15   -  

A guide to Louis Andriessen's music

This former enfant terrible of Dutch music has spent his career attempting to make the classical political / A conundrum for every conscientious 20th- and 21st-century composer has been how music relates to politics: what's ...

October 12   -  

Neil Sedaka: 'My great love is classical music'

The man who wrote Is This the Way to Amarillo has written a piano concerto. Don't snigger. But for the cold war, things might have been very different / Manhattan Intermezzo is the new piano concerto by Neil Sedaka, a ...

October 8   -  

A guide to Jörg Widmann's music

Widmann's essential project is to reveal the continuing vitality of Mozart or Schubert – and he brings it kicking and screaming into the present day / Listen to this. Sound familiar? It both should – and ...

October 1   -  

A guide to Thomas Adès's music

Adès makes you hear things with which you thought you were familiar as if they were completely new / I believe new music should take you to new places, via soundscapes and landscapes of feeling you hadn't thought could ...

September 24   -  

A guide to Wolfgang Rihm's music

His enormous output and bewildering variety of styles and sounds make Rihm a true original, and worth getting to know / Tradition, Mahler once famously said, is "Schlamperei" - which means something akin to sloppiness. Mahler ...

September 21   -  

Wagner's Ring Cycle too long? Try it in one second

At 16 hours of music across four operas, Wagner's Ring Cycle requires serious stamina. So here are some reduced versions of the epic, including one that comes in at a single second / Wagner's Ring. The biggest musical ...

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