When I listen to music I do so as a singular act of concentration, not as a riposte to inclement weather, or for relaxing, or as background to another occupation. Whether a Light Music gem, such as Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade, or the thrilling energy and complexity of Harrison Birtwistle’s Earth Dances, or the latest recordings of Beethoven 5 or The Rite of Spring, I want to engage with every note, detail, emotion, dynamic, nuance, colour, subtlety and – just as important – silence.

Classic FM would do well to invest in the latter quality. As it is, CFM is a relentless presenter-music-presenter station, allowing no pause to anticipate or reflect on any one piece (even Rob Cowan, 7 p.m. on Saturdays, suffers this serious flaw). During listening my reaction is becoming word-formed and it’s a pleasure (and a privilege) to share my thoughts.

Should you read my comments and agree, thank-you, but no worries if your opinion is the polar opposite to mine. Leaning as I do to conductors, may I mention, for me, the greatest magician in turning the printed page into cosmic orchestral sound: Celibidache.

Earth Dances: http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=14874
Celibidache: https://classicalsource.com/db_control/db_cd_review.php?id=15417