In this programme
Exploring the Musical Mind
For music psychologist Professor John Sloboda, music is both an object of study and a passion. He has dedicated his research to trying to gain a closer understanding of the mysterious effects that music has on everyone, emotionally, intellectually and socially. However, these are very fundamental issues which demand scientific explanations of just how music works on the human brain and body. Sloboda aims to apply his scientific findings to practical situations, like music in schools and communal music making. He has published a new collection of his writings reflecting on the purpose of music psychology.
Exploring the Musical Mind. Cognition, emotion, ability, function. Pub. Oxford University Press. Paperback, £24.99
The Grand Tour
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Italy was a cultural promised land, exerting a powerful pull on the imaginations of artists and intellectuals. Composers travelled there from Germany, England and France, to join the Grand Tour of the aristocratic first-borns, expand their cultural horizons, and bring back new knowledge and enthusiasm to their own countries. As a result, Italian musicians became hugely in demand in Northern courts, and it was this cultural traffic that changed the shape of musical history. As this year's Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London celebrates the music that resulted from the Grand Tour, Tom talks to historian Jeremy Black, writer Jonathan Keates and musicologist Tess Knighton about this rich source of musical inspiration.
The Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music runs until 28th May and you can hear broadcasts from the festival throughout the month on BBC Radio 3.
The ongoing saga of Milan's Teatro alla Scala is as complicated as an 18th century operatic plot. Since La Scala's reopening in December 2004 following a controversial refurbishment, the wranglings between management and unions have been continuously in the press. Last month, Riccardo Muti resigned as Music Director and the General Manager appointed by Muti, Mauro Meli, has recently been replaced by Stephane Lissner. But what future can La Scala have in the wake of all this confusion? Tom asks Mauro Meli about his time at La Scala and David Willey, BBC Rome Correspondent, explains the situation.
The myth of the child prodigy is more powerful in music than in any other field. From Mozart to Busoni, great composers and musicians have shown a prodigious and often precocious talent from a very young age. But, how do such gifted children fare in today's culture? At the Juilliard School in New York, 13 year-old Jay Greenberg is the latest youngster to be hailed as a compositional prodigy. Damian Fowler reports on Jay's remarkable story and psychologist Professor Joan Freeman reflects on the problems of prodigy.
Overture: La forza del destino
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala/ Riccardo Muti
SK 68 468
Concerto grosso in Dminor, Op.2 no3, First movement
SK 48 043
Final waltz and apotheosis
New York Philharmonic/ Kurt Masur
Overture: Le donne vindicate
I Barochisti/Duilio Galfetti
From Farinelli: Il Castrato
Ewa Mallas-Godlewska/Derek Lee Ragin/Les Talens Lyreiques/ Christophe Rousset
Travelling K 1005
Concerto no 2 in fa maggiore
Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi
Agrippa: Tacero, tacero
English Baroque Soloists/ Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Philips 456 025 2
Viola da Gamba sonata in d: Preludio (Adagio)
Richard Boothby, Richard Campbell and Robert Woolley
Hyperion CDA 66226
The Chapel Royale, Phillippe Herreweghe