Discovering Classical Music

Listening Guides to the Masterpieces of Classical Music - Plenty of Musical Examples to Follow, and Contextual History to Help You Understand - Weekly Episodes

A Listener's Guide to Holst - The Planets


0:20 - Introduction to "Discovering Classical Music" Series

0:49 - The Mission of This Series

2:12 - Introduction to Holst and The Planets

4:44 - Mars, The Bringer of War

8:38 - Venus, The Bringer of Peace

10:05 - Mercury, The Winged Messenger

11:04 - Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity

14:07 - Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age

16:47 - Uranus, The Magician

17:58 - Neptune, The Mystic

20:04 - Recommended Recordings


Expression and Emotion in Music:



A listener's guide to Mahler's epic Second Symphony, the 'Resurrection' Symphony. After an overview of Mahler's life and works, we go into detail (about 8 minutes in), with plenty of musical examples, on Mahler Symphony no. 2 - a masterpiece of late Romantic, 20th century Classical Music  

A listener's guide to Beethoven's famous and popular Fifth Symphony in C minor. After an overview of the historical context of this symphony and Beethoven's life, this podcast will take you on a guide through Beethoven's Symphony no. 5, with plenty of musical examples - a symphony which changed classical music forever.

A listener's guide to  Saint-Saëns' famous and popular Third Symphony, known commonly as the 'Organ' Symphony. After a quick overview of the historical context and position of this symphony, this episode will guide you through Saint-Saëns' 'Organ' Symphony, with plenty of musical examples, and recommended recordings at the end.


A listener's guide to Dvorak's "New World" Symphony. After a review of its 'American' qualities, and its use of spirituals and folk music, this episode provides a walkthrough of the symphony, with plenty of musical examples, and recommended recordings too. 

A listener's guide to Britten's 'Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra', also known as 'Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell'. This podcast goes through how Britten ingeniously introduces to us the different elements of the orchestra, through a compelling piece of music, ending with an explosive, brilliant, and mindblowingly complex fugue. Recommended recordings at the end.


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A listener's guide to Berlioz's Magnum Opus - Symphonie Fantastique, famously inspired by a drug-induced, opium trip where the artist fantasizes about his beloved, then his own public execution, then his dark, Satanic funeral. Lots of musical examples, and recommended recordings at the end. 

A listener's guide to one of Beethoven's great programmatic symphonic works, depicting the countryside; with a contextual history, plenty of musical examples, and recommended recordings too.

A listener's guide to Rimsky-Korsakov's famous suite based on the tales of 'Arabian Nights'; with a contextual history, plenty of musical examples, and recommended recordings too.

 Visit for a huge supply of sheet music, straight to your Tablet, Phone, or Laptop. 

 A listener's guide to Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, the 'Pathetique', featuring a bit of history, a guide to the music, and recommended recordings. Discover Tchaikovsky's final piece - his swansong, premiered a week before his death.

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