BBC Music Magazine
The BBC Music Magazine team’s current favourites
Oliver Condy Editor
Part of the perks of being the editor of this magazine are the industry’s festive bashes. And at the BBC Sounds do earlier in December down in the crypt of London’s Glaziers Hall, the select gathering was treated to a splendid performance by saxophonist Jess Gillam of the final movement of Milhaud’s Scaramouche. A terrific way to kick off a party. Gillam ended her mini-set with a gorgeous rendition of The Christmas Song.
Jeremy Pound Deputy editor
Rather pleasingly, driving my son to a Saturday morning football match in Gloucestershire took us past the birthplaces of Holst, Parry and then Howells. A perfect excuse, then, to dig out Tenebrae’s exceptional Songs of Farewell album from 2011, which happens to feature works by all three composers. All are beautifully performed by this superbly drilled choir, combining passion where required with an exquisite sense of restraint elsewhere.
Rebecca Franks Managing editor
I recently hopped over to Bath for the annual Mozartfest, where it was a treat to catch the Belcea Quartet. I was particularly struck by their performances of Janácek’s Intimate Letters and Beethoven’s B flat String Quartet, Op. 130. It reminded me just how strikingly individual these two composers sound, and how they seem to say things in a way that no one else did or could.
Michael Beek Reviews editor
I made my first trip to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall in late November to hear a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. I was impressed by the venue and loved the performance – a 40th-anniversary celebration of US film music label Varèse Sarabande, with whom the RSNO have a long history. What a great city, too, and lucky to have such a terrific orchestra playing so regularly.
Freya Parr Editorial assistant
A quiet Saturday night in Cornwall took an unusual turn when we happened across a sea shanty festival in St Ives. It turned out to be one of the jolliest strokes of luck we could have wished for. Five hours and as many Cornish ales later, we had heard pretty much every shanty ever written and I am now delighted to announce that I’m an honorary member of the Old Gaffers Shanty Crew.