Music

Listening to people talking about death can be strangely consoling

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘Without death,’ says Salena Godden, ‘life would be a never-ending conveyor belt of sensation.’ For her death is what gives…

Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica performing performing Mieczyslaw Weinberg's Concertino for Violin and Strings in 2014. Photo: Hiroyuki Ito/ Getty Images

As a symphonist, Mieczyslaw Weinberg was a master: Weinberg Weekend reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

It’s a strange compliment to pay a composer — that the most profound impression their music makes is of an…

Reluctant sex object: Brett Anderson, lead singer of Suede, in 1993

Brett Anderson on fame, fear and hitting 50

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Brett Anderson talks to Michael Hann about fame, fear and hitting 50

Handel is rowed in a gondola on the Thames, in an illustration for ‘The Water Music’

Handel’s greatest hits — the glorious London decades

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Paul Kildea describes the glorious decades when Handel bcharmed London society with one masterpiece after another

‘Catholic music is often excruciating – I call it “Joan Baez meets Hildegard of Bingen in a 1970s cocktail lounge.”’ Baez: Pierre Andrieu /AFP/Getty Images Bach: Rischgitz/Getty Images

How Bach lifted my spirits at my mother's funeral

15 September 2018 9:00 am

I was at a funeral the other day at which the music was so inspiring that I struggled to feel…

A warning to those who argue that we live in a visual society

7 July 2018 9:00 am

‘Can one person really grasp the significance of what another person has been through?’ asks Dr Rita Charon in this…

Letters: Judging students by achievement is a greater scourge than diversity at any cost

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Harvard’s racial quotas Sir: While I largely agree with Coleman Hughes that racial quotas are counterproductive (‘The diversity trap’, 23 June),…

Vocalist, street performer and Jehovah’s Witness: Damo Suzuki in 1971

The industrial kling-klang of ‘Krautrock’

30 June 2018 9:00 am

The tricky term ‘Krautrock’ was first used by the British music press in the early 1970s to describe the drones…

The reluctant frontman: Ray Davies

‘I think The Kinks could have found a better frontman’: Ray Davies interviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

At 74, Ray Davies is as sharp as ever. Michael Hann talks to him about America, angry groupies and being a reluctant frontman

Pianist Clifford Curzon, composer Sir Arthur Bliss and musicologist Hans Keller at the very first Leeds International Piano Contest. Photo: Erich Auerbach / Getty Images

You vote for my pupil, I’ll vote for yours – the truth about music competitions

23 June 2018 9:00 am

A young Korean, 22 years old, won the Dublin International Piano Competition last month. Nothing unusual about that. Koreans and…

Garsington makes as good a case as you can for Strauss's frothy Capriccio

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Is there an end [to this opera] that is not trivial?’ asks the Countess in her final bars of Richard…

Hello darkness, my old friend: Paul Simon, determined to ensure that his true self remains in shadow

The sound of silence that echoes round Paul Simon

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble choosing the jacket cover of Robert Hilburn’s authorised biography of Paul Simon…

Bravura, assurance and generosity: Mark Simpson's new Cello Concerto reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The opening of Mark Simpson’s new Cello Concerto is pure Hollywood. A fanfare in the low brass, an upwards rush…

Viv Albertine, left, at Alexandra Palace, 1980; and right, today

Viv Albertine of the Slits on anger, honesty and being an arsey feminist

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Viv Albertine, formerly of the Slits, is publishing her second book – and it’s full of the honesty and anger that have marked her life. Michael Hann takes the brunt

How the Moody Blues only became good once they realised they were crap

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Rarely has one irate punter so affected a band’s trajectory. Without the anger of the man who went to see…

A Gerald Barry première really ought to be national news

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Blue Gadoo is one of those cats whose face looks like it’s been bashed flat with a wok. He lives…

Debussy appears to have had no real sympathy for, or interest in, other people

Debussy: the musical genius who erupted out of nowhere

24 February 2018 9:00 am

That was Debussy’s guiding principle – and his music has been a lifelong pleasure for Philip Hensher, too

Nick Coleman hears better with half an ear than the rest of us do with two

3 February 2018 9:00 am

If you’ve ever had a text or email thread spiral wildly and unexpectedly out of control or clocked a couple…

The vibrant tradition of English folk song

16 December 2017 9:00 am

After hundreds of densely packed pages on folk song in England — a subject for which I share Steve Roud’s…

Radio 3 offers a refreshing antidote to the current conversations about Europe

16 December 2017 9:00 am

The season of Advent, for most children, means anticipation, gleeful waiting, the counting down of days. But after a certain…

She is a severely limited songwriter – and singer: Taylor Swift's Reputation reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Grade: D+ I was suckered in by the brio of Taylor Swift’s first big single, ‘Love Story’, despite the clunking…

Painted more shades of grey than a Farrow & Ball catalogue: The Judas Passion reviewed

7 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven?’ screams the publicity for The Judas Passion, transforming a Biblical drama into a…

From desolation to euphoria and back again: Nick Cave at the O2

How would Nick Cave’s desolate songs fare in a concrete bowl of 20,000 iPhone-wavers?

7 October 2017 9:00 am

  On the face of it, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds aren’t exactly a natural fit with the O2.…

Bring on the dancing-girls: Follies at the Oliver

It’s hard to care about these geriatric bed-hoppers: Follies at the Olivier reviewed

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies takes a huge leap into the past. It’s 1971 and we meet two middle-aged couples who knew…

The source of Mozart’s inspiration - a great musical whodunnit

2 September 2017 9:00 am

If you were to compare Mozart to a bird it wouldn’t be the starling. Possibly the wood thrush or nightingale,…