Masters of War

I first heard this only this year. Written by Bob Dylan, this live version by Julie Felix is my favourite, perhaps because I heard it first, and perhaps became it seems to have more passion than her recorded track. And as often, though Dylan can be peerless as a songwriter, I prefer others’ performances. Though…

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Metamorphosen

Composed by Richard Strauss during the final months of the Second World War, it may reflect his sadness at the destruction of much of Germany. Certainly it is melancholic. Though it is also beguiling. Ironically, my introduction to this piece was accidental. I subscribed to a classical music magazine when CDs were still relatively new.

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Slow, mesmerising, and unforgettable – Gorecki Symphony No. 3 “Sorrowful Songs”

For the first time since its liberation, permission was granted for music to be heard in Auschwitz. The Music This forms the central section of a three-part symphony by the Polish composer Henryk Górecki. He was relatively unknown until 1992 when the whole symphony including this piece was released and went on to become a sensation, with…

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Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.[…]

This is the first line from Desiderata, written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann.

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Leaving On A Jet Plane

From a time when flying especially in a jet plane was still rare. I remember age 11, in my first year at the new school, one of my class playing her guitar and singing this in our music lesson. The classroom had posters of Curved Air, and Simon and Garfunkel and a fabulous, young music teacher, with hair…

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