Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
A prolific Austrian composer, especially for the piano, Schubert wasn’t very well known or regarded as a composer during his short life.
Much of his work was unpublished including this now famous “impromptu”, written the year before he died, which was only finally published some 30 years later.
In fact Schubert wrote two sets of four impromptus for piano and this is the third in the first set, played by Alfred Brendel. The melody is hauntingly beautif
In dulci jubilo (“In sweet rejoicing")
Over 600 years ago, one of the most famous carols was composed (the composer is unknown)
The earliest known manuscript, Codex 1305, dates the music from c 1400 and is held in Leipzig University Library.
Various arrangements have been made over the centuries and this especially beautiful version is by Bach.
This is a recording by the exceptional English organist, Peter Hurford (who died this year), as part of Decca
Henry Purcell 1659 - 1695
Purcell was a 17th century English composer and songwriter who died aged just 36 having lived his entire life in London.
He was born in the final year of the English Commonwealth - a turbulent period in British history of bloody civil wars which ended when England became a republic under Oliver Cromwell, after chopping off the king’s head (Charles I). By the following year, 1660, the republican experiment was all over - the English monarchy was restored.
I heard a terrible noise. I didn't know what it was.
In the distance a farm tractor moved slowly across a field, a man walking alongside.
Everything was so vivid, the sky a brilliant blue - too blue - and the hedgerows and trees impossibly green.
Looking back at the tractor I could see it had changed direction, lurching across the field towards a gap in the boundary hedge, the walking man now clinging to the tractor as if for his life. Strange; both he and the driver seemed to