Music

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,…

The maestro could hear if a single player was doing something wrong, even in the most noisy tutti

Toscanini and the morality of conducting

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Toscanini’s simple set of values made him certain of the rights and wrongs of everything, says Michael Tanner – except regarding women

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

‘Things are less liberal than they used to be’: Randy Newman interview

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Randy Newman tells Michael Hann that he wouldn’t get away with his more troubling songs nowadays

Virginie Despentes attempts a fresco of modern French society

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Virginie Despentes remains best known in this country for her 1993 debut novel, Baise-Moi, about two abused young women who…

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

The joy of the John Wilson Orchestra

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Richard Bratby meets the conductor John Wilson, who thinks we should take Gershwin as seriously as we do Beethoven

McGonagall for sad hipsters: Jay-Z’s 4:44 reviewed

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B – All criticism is pointless, I suppose, given the sheer magnitude of the Shawn Corey Carter machine —…

Beth Ditto was once a riot grrrl – but her latest album is about as edgy as Wilson Phillips

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Boy is she fat, and getting fatter. I realise this is something we’re not meant to mention when talking about…

‘Tennis’, 1930, by Eric Ravilious

How artists from Ravilious to Rauschenberg fell for tennis

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Tennis is best played with a wooden racket on a shady lawn somewhere close to Dorking. There is no need…

No one in this marvellously profane genre can touch Snoop Dogg: Neva Left reviewed

10 June 2017 9:00 am

The problem Calvin Broadus has is persuading the rest of us that he still a baaaad muthafucka. Snoop is now…

L’Orfeo is at its darkest and most painful outside the opera house: Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s concert staging reviewed

3 June 2017 9:00 am

The ancient Greeks had a word for it —katabasis, descending into the depths, to the underworld itself, in search of…

Flower power: the members of Geranium Pond

The legacy of Sgt. Pepper that’s really worth celebrating is toytown pop – not prog rock

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Pop’s counterfactuals tend to be built on questioning mortality: what if Jimi Hendrix had lived? Or Buddy Holly? Rarely does…

The radio documentary that makes you think again about the Nuremberg Trials

27 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Hell is better than what I personally witnessed,’ says Ben Ferencz, who was one of the American troops sent in…

Telemann was much more than a prolific purveyor of musical muesli

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The concert began with a flourish and a honk. Well, of course it did. Telemann wrote his last Ouverture-Suite in…