Perhaps it’s been written by a struggling composer trying to achieve fame, or by a successful composer going from strength to strength on a wave of popularity. Perhaps the composer is longing for unattainable love or perhaps the composer has found joy in the love of another. The music could be the result of an unhappy love affair, or the death of a loved one or an esteemed friend. Maybe the composer has been struggling with inner demons and is expressing this through music. Some have written music in dire circumstances of disabling illness, poverty, even homelessness. Other works have been written in the fortuitous circumstance of having received an important commission. Many have been inspired by nature, travels, literature and legend, friendship, noble characters, evil characters, comic characters and an infinite number of other sources, both real and imaginary.
Sometimes the composer gives the work a title that fully describes the music (e.g. Beethoven’s Rage over a lost penny); other titles describe only an impression woven into the fabric of the music. Some music is SHARING THE STORIES OF THE MUSIC programmatic and follows a story line (without words) and then we have the wonderful world of opera, operetta, oratorio, musicals and film where a whole story is told in a theatrical setting. Many a work is simply called sonata, quartet, symphony, concerto and the like, but has a story behind its composition that is not apparent when listening to the music.
These are some of the stories we tell in Fine Music magazine. We can’t tell all of them but we try to find some of the most interesting ones behind the music we are broadcasting that month. We hope that this encourages you to listen to these programs and, along with the presentation, makes your listening more enjoyable. The majority of our writers are programmers (some also presenters) who have developed great knowledge of music and love researching the stories associated with the music so that they can share them with you.
It would give us great pleasure this Christmas to know that you’ve enjoyed the stories in the magazine so much that you felt you would like to share the 2019 stories with friends and family. A Christmas gift subscription for those close to you will bring them stories about the music every month for a whole year.
- The Editor, Fine Music magazine