This looks like it'll be a really good series for anybody wanting to get to grips with some of the core works of classical music. If Simon Russell Beale's previous programmes on sacred music are anything to go by, it'll really capture the sense of composers pushing boundaries in their own place and time.
Thanks to everybody who performed in the concert yesterday in Bowdon, and to the audience for giving people the chance to show what they've been working hard at. The trebles of the church choir sounded wonderful, and all the violinists managed to overcome their nervousness about standing up in front of an audience and playing alone, most of the for the first time.
Finally, thanks to St Mary's, Bowdon, for giving us this opportunity...hopefully not for the last time?
I'm gradually putting together playlists of useful recordings for students working at exam pieces. They're a mixture of original versions, interesting performances, and at the later grades some of the actual pieces specified in the syllabus. Hopefully people will find them helpful - please do recommend any other good recordings that would complement them well, especially when they offer contrasting perspectives on a piece. The following are for the violin exams; grade 8 plus viola to follow: