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Tom Service considers the texture of music. Is it rough or smooth, dense or transparent? He consults composer Anna Meredith and arranger Iain Farrington.

Tom Service considers the texture of music. We often talk about the pitches and the rhythms in a piece of music, but how does it strike the ear? Is it rough or smooth, dense or transparent? And how are such textures achieved? He talks to composer Anna Meredith about how she creates excitement through combining different layers of orchestral sound; and to arranger Iain Farrington about how to preserve the textures of a Mahler symphony when it's arranged for only a dozen musicians.

22 days left to listen

29 minutes

Music Played

  • Aaron Copland

    Grohg - ballet

    Conductor: Leonard Slatkin. Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
    • Naxos.
    • 8.559862.
  • Iannis Xenakis

    Pithoprakta for orchestra

    Conductor: Maurice Le Roux. Performer: French Radio Orchestra.
    • Chant du Monde.
    • LDC278368.
  • Iannis Xenakis

    Hibiki-hana-ma for 12-track tape

    Performer: Ensemble Xenakis.
    • Ellipsis Arts.
    • OHM.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Pavane pour une infante defunte, arr. for orchestra [orig. piano]

    Conductor: Claudio Abbado. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 415 9722.
  • Richard Strauss

    Ein Heldenleben Op.40

    Conductor: Andrew Davis. Performer: Melbourne S O.
    • ABC CLASSICS.
    • 4812425.
  • Claude Debussy

    Suite bergamasque for piano

    Performer: Angela Hewitt.
    • Hyperion.
    • CDA67898.
  • Carpenters

    Goodbye To Love

    • A&M.
    • SAMP-1989.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Ma mere l'oye - ballet

    Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle. Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • EMI CLASSICS.
    • 5574242.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Sonata no. 29 in B flat major Op.106 (Hammerklavier) for piano

    Performer: Maurizio Pollini.
    • DG.
    • 499740-2.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony no. 29 in A major K.201

    Conductor: Charles Mackerras. Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
    • LINN.
    • CKD350.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Die Kunst der Fuge BWV.1080

    Performer: Davitt Moroney.
    • hm.
    • HMC90116970.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Die Kunst der Fuge BWV.1080

    Performer: Robert Hollingworth. Performer: I Fagiolini.
    • cor.
    • COR 16171.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Die Kunst der Fuge BWV.1080

    Performer: Emerson String Quartet.
    • DG.
    • 4744952.
  • William Barton

    Didjeridu solo no 1

    Performer: William Barton.
    • abc.
    • 4764834.
  • Trad.

    KANJINCHO

    Performer: Ensemble Nipponia.
    • Nonesuch.
    • 7559720842.
  • Trad.

    SHIRABE-SAGARIHA

    Performer: Ensemble Nipponia.
    • Nonesuch.
    • 7559720842.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony no. 29 in A major K.201

    Conductor: Charles Mackerras. Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
    • LINN.
    • CKD350.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony no. 29 in A major K.201

    Conductor: Charles Mackerras. Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
    • LINN.
    • CKD350.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in F minor RV.297, Op.8`4 (L'Inverno) for violin and orchestra

    Performer: Rinaldo Alessandrini. Performer: Concerto Italiano.
    • naive.
    • OP30363.
  • Henry Purcell

    King Arthur, or The British worthy Z.628

    Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Performer: English Baroque Soloists.
    • Erato.
    • 2292452112.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Quartet in E flat major Op.74 (Harp) for strings

    Performer: Hungarian Quartet.
    • EMI.
    • EMI Classics 387774-2.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Cosi fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti - opera buffa in 2 acts K.588

    Conductor: Charles Mackerras. Performer: Bryn Terfel. Performer: Christine Rice. Performer: Miah Persson. Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 4775886.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony no. 1 in D major vers. standard, in 4 mvts.

    Performer: Aurora Orchestra.
  • Claude Debussy

    Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

    Performer: Aurora Orchestra.
  • Arnold Schoenberg

    5 Orchestral pieces Op.16

    Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle. Performer: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
    • EMI.
    • CDC7498572.
  • Gyorgy Ligeti

    Lontano for orchestra

    Conductor: Jonathan Nott. Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Teldec.
    • 8573882612.
  • Anna Meredith

    Moonmoons

    Performer: Anna Meredith. Performer: Anna Meredith. Performer: Anna Meredith. Performer: Anna Meredith.
    • Moshi Moshi.
    • MOSHICD95.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Deep In A Dream

    • CAPITOL.
    • 7-46571 2.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Suite no. 2 in D minor BWV.1008 for cello solo

    Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 19075854652.

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