Author: Nicholas Jenkins

Anton Bruckner – Symphony 7 in E Major – A Modest Man’s Delayed Triumph

Note: I have made references throughout this blog to timings for certain highlighted moments (e.g 0:03 of track 1) – this is in relation to a recording of the work I will provide a link to below (follow along should you so desire).  On the 30th December 1884 , in the world-famous Leipzig Gewandhaus, the premier of Anton Bruckner’s 7th symphony was received with rapturous applause. At the age of 60 Bruckner had now experienced his first taste of success with an audience. But why had it taken so long for this modest but industrious Upper Austrian to find...

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Johannes Brahms – Third Symphony in F Major (Frei Aber Froh – free but happy?)

Note: I have made references throughout this blog to timings for certain highlighted moments (e.g 0:03 of track 1) – this is in relation to a recording of the work I will provide a link to below (follow along should you so desire).  Places can store up memories for us, which when we return come flooding back to us. The region situated along the banks of the Rhine must have been just such a place for the composer Johannes Brahms. It was there in October 1853 that he first made the acquaintance of Robert and Clara Schumann at their...

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John Martyn – Solid Air, AOTM May 2020

Once again I have the tremendous honour of contributing to the prestigious ‘Album Of The Month’ category here on Cedric’s blog. You may recall from my post of May last year, I chose to discuss ‘Fives Leaves Left’, Nick Drake’s debut album, which was my ‘gateway drug’ to what can in the broadest sense be defined as ‘pop’ music. If that album was the ‘gateway drug’ then I suppose the one I am about to discuss today represents a slightly stronger intoxicant and a further step for me towards appreciating a wider variety of music. John Martyn was a...

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Gustav Mahler – Third Symphony in D Minor (What Mahler Tells us)

Note: I have made references throughout this blog to timings for certain highlighted moments (e.g 0:03 of track 1) – this is in relation to a recording of the work I will provide a link to below (follow along should you so desire).  Music has a long-running debate which has seemingly for time immemorial caused division amongst its adherents. Should it be viewed purely and absolutely through the lens of its own intrinsic elements (harmony, counterpoint, rhythm, thematic and motivic development etc.) or is it capable of conveying ideas and narratives outside of itself or in other words to...

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Ludwig Van Beethoven – Eroica Symphony – Over 200 Years Old, But Still New

Note: I have made references throughout this blog to timings for certain highlighted moments (e.g 0:06 of track 1) – this is in relation to a recording of the work I will link to below (follow along should you so desire) Beethoven’s Eroica (heroic) Symphony – already the title tells us something, this is a work about heroism. Instrumental music had not really ever been about things in this way before this point. True, there had for a long time been programme music, but never before had a work become so embroiled in the world of ideas, politics and...

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