Carbon-neutral orchestras • Beethoven's deafness • Sofia Gubaidulina

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of the BBC Music Magazine Podcast! This month we discuss the news that the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will only travel by train (rather than plane) on its upcoming tour, as part of its commitment to becoming carbon neutral. We also look at new research which uncovers the fact that Beethoven may not, in fact, have been completely deaf when his final symphony was premiered. 

Also this episode, we explore the genius of Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz and hear one of her stunning string quartets. Another iconic Eastern European composer is also celebrated this month: Sofia Gubaidulina, who is featured in this month’s issue having recently been awarded the prestigious RPS Gold Medal.

As always, we’ve each brought along our favourite new musical discoveries this month, including chamber works by Lili Boulanger, piano miniatures by Kancheli and new orchestral works by Lithuanian composer Raminta Šerkšnytė. 

This episode is presented by managing editor Rebecca Franks, who is joined by editorial assistant Freya Parr and deputy editor Jeremy Pound. It was produced by Ben Youatt and Jack Bateman.


Molto Vivace from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9

Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä


The Magazine:

Vivo from Bacewicz's String Quartet No. 3

Lutosławski Quartet

Naxos 8572806

Sofia Gubaidulina: Chaconne

Anna Vinnitskaya (piano) 

Ambroisie AM177

First Listen:

Rebecca's choice:

Demain fera un an (Tomorrow it will be a year)

Clairières: Songs by Lili and Nadia Boulanger

Nicholas Phan (tenor), Myra Huang (piano)

Avie AV2414

Jeremy's choice:

Extraordinary Exhibition

Kancheli: 33 Miniatures

George Vatchnadze (piano), Suren Bagratuni (cello)

Piano Classics PCL10198

Freya's choice:

Songs of Sunset and Dawn: III. Morning. Eternal Morning

Works by Raminta Šerkšnytė

Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Deutsche Grammophon 4837761

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