Posts Published by AndyG

I was born in the Midlands city of Birmingham in 1962, and brought up listening to Gilbert and Sullivan, Beethoven, Mozart and popular radio. My first real memory of being influenced by music was as a five year old sat in front of the black and white TV, hypnotised by Pink Floyd singing “See Emily Play“.

Michael Tippett: “Ritual Dances” from The Midsummer Marriage

With these strong psychological ideas of masculine and feminine combined with nature, Tippett was not eschewing the modern tendency to belittle these old beliefs but to accept them and re-present them in a vibrant modern way within his own musical and dramatic language. This gives them new life, reinvigorating them for an audience in a modern world of multilayered concepts and emotions which, when combined with our cultural history, resonates with each and every one of us.

Read More

A Giant of Beauty: Einojuhani Rautavaara

The news of the passing of one of Finland’s greatest composers was slow to filter out into the world, and even slower for people to get a grasp of the fact that this man, who has been called “A Giant of Beauty”, had actually died. He was 87 years of age and had become one of the leading lights in Scandinavian and Baltic contemporary music over the years. He was a luminary in what is slowly becoming known as the Baltic Spiritualist, or Baltic Minimalist, group.

Read More

Classical music composers?

Recently I was working on the History aspect of the forthcoming Foundations in Music course and realised that more Baroque composers seem better known today than those of the following Classical period (c.1750-1827). Whenever I have received work from students it often contains the usual culprits of the Classical age and so this blog is written in a hope to shine a light on some of the other great names of this period. With some research and listening, students will realise just what an innovative period it was in the history of music.

Read More