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20,000 EU Flags

20,000 EU Flags at the Proms No-one should be surprised that music lovers want to express their solidarity with professional musicians over the issue of the damage Brexit will do to their livelihoods by shutting off the right to Freedom of Movement that has been so vital a part of our common European musical landscape

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We have been here before...

I am sure I am not the only person to have seen Australian digital artist Matayo Moshi’s strangely compelling physical map of the post-Brexit United Kingdom, with areas that voted Remain in the 2016 Referendum represented as islands in a vastly-expanded North Sea, and thought that it reminded me of something else.     What

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BBC Story of Music Image

20th Century Modernism: Some Thoughts

In my recently-released book and TV series, The Story of Music, I made some comments about the avant-garde in classical music in the 20th century which have sparked debate and – in some quarters – some confusion and misrepresentation of my observations which it might be good to address, briefly. I am not a missionary,

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The end of music in schools as we know it?

There is nothing wrong in wanting to improve standards in schools, especially of ‘core’ skills such as reading, writing, basic arithmetic, and so on. It is the prerogative of any Secretary of State to do what he or she can to better equip young people for the highly competitive global market in which they are hoping to make their livings, and through them, UK PLC. If the Ebacc is a solution, and it works, then we should all applaud it. However, it may also spell the beginning of the end of music as an academic subject in all but a tiny handful of schools, intentionally or not.

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Howard Goodall on Enchanted Carols

I am sure I am not alone in thinking of the twenty or so best-known Christmas carols as the perfect embodiment of the spirit and message of the festival, more so than all the other trappings of the season, adorable as they are – the trees, the baubles, the reindeer and that off-duty fireman/Rotary Club

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Brexit and music: Theme and Variations

A few weeks ago I had an encounter with a man at a currency exchange desk at Heathrow airport and tweeted the conversation thus: “Nice bloke at Heathrow currency exchange desk asks whether Brexit will be good for my industry. When I said no, disastrous, he said he asks everyone the same question: and Every.

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Flags at the Proms: a few thoughts

Last Night Blues Confession: I’ve never much liked the concept or the paraphernalia of the Last Night of the Proms, not because I’m a killjoy or have an antipathy to that strange bendy-knee jigging up and down the Prommers do, or clapping on the beat, but because it always seemed to me that the flag waving pantomime of it was

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Howard Goodall on composing A Winter's Tale

I have wanted to adapt Shakespeare’s beautiful late play The Winter’s Tale for many years. There are several reasons for this. Whilst it’s not as overtly ‘magical’ as The Tempest (which Shakespeare wrote at roughly the same time) it has its own very special brand of magic in it, especially the final scene, in which like Mozart’s inspirational opera Don Giovanni, a statue apparently comes to life, transforming all who witness the miracle.

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THE BEATITUDES

[An article by Howard about writing the music for the first Enchanted Voices CD] There are eight so-called ‘Beatitudes’ in St Matthew’s telling of Jesus of Nazareth’s sermon on the mount, the English word ‘beatitude’ coming from the Latin word ‘beati’ meaning blessed, as it appeared in the medieval Bible. As told by Matthew, they

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Eternal Light Promotional Shot

Scoring the dance of death

You would expect to see a requiem performed by a choir and orchestra. But a dance company? Howard Goodall explains how Eternal Light took flight.

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