Music in Game of Thrones: S08E04 ‘The Last of the Starks’

**SPOILERS** Well. ‘The Last of the Starks’ certainly puts Game of Thrones back in the heartlands of what it does best — betrayal, misery, and ruthless murder.  With all attention focused on the Night King in the first three episodes of season 8, Cersei’s really been in the background so far. But she’s now made... Continue Reading →

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Music in Game of Thrones: S08E03 ‘The Long Night’

**MAJOR SPOILERS** Sound & Music in Part One There is a LOT to talk about musically/sonically in this episode. Given that ‘The Long Night’ is pretty much the length of a feature film, this is gonna be a long one! If you’re here for an analysis of just ‘The Night King’, then scroll down because... Continue Reading →

Music Inspired by Shakespeare

Shakespeare has long been a source of musical inspiration. From Mendelssohn to Macmillan, countless composers have written incidental music for Shakespeare’s plays or set Shakespeare’s words to music. Seeing as it’s (probably) Shakespeare’s birthday, here’s a playlist of 15 pieces inspired by Shakespeare. 1. Wilhelm Stenhammar As You Like It. Stenhammar penned this music in 1920... Continue Reading →

Listening to Amanda Röntgen-Maier

Amanda Röntgen-Maier has to be one of the most under-appreciated composers I know. Born in Landskrona, Sweden, in 1853, she was the first woman to graduate as a Director of Music from the Royal Academy in Stockholm. She was clearly exceptionally talented: this was considered the Academy’s most difficult exam, and she passed with the... Continue Reading →

Listening to Aarre Merikanto

Aarre Merikanto (1893-1958) has a hugely varied body of works, spanning a forty-year-long career. As the son of a successful composer (Oskar Merikanto) and working at the same time as Sibelius in Finland’s culturally conservative atmosphere, he struggled for a long time to find his own compositional voice. He’s often described as Finland’s first modernist,... Continue Reading →

Listening to Wilhelm Stenhammar

Listening to Wilhelm Stenhammar ‘In this time of Arnold Schoenberg’, wrote Wilhelm Stenhammar in 1911, ‘I dream of an art that is far beyond Arnold Schoenberg: clear, happy, and naïve.’ In the early years of the twentieth century, Stenhammar faced the dilemma of forging a compositional identity for himself in a musical climate increasingly dominated... Continue Reading →

Listening to Ture Rangström

On the 30th November 1944, Sweden celebrated Ture Rangström’s 60th birthday. ‘He has the right to be honoured as one of our greatest composers’, read the pamphlet produced for the day’s celebrations. ‘He has defied all difficulties and continued his work with an unbroken creative force.’  Despite enthusiasm for his music during his lifetime, Rangström’s work... Continue Reading →

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