Up next in our lockdown listening series, we spoke to one of the UK’s best loved pianists, Martin Roscoe about the music that’s been inspiring him during lockdown.
What music have you been listening to during lockdown?
During lockdown I’ve been overdosing on Wagner (after a lifetime of addiction!) and have been particularly getting to know the earlier works better (Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin). I’ve also been revisiting Schubert’s later works, not just the piano music. I find he speaks to me more than ever before. The symphonies of Nielsen, Sibelius and and Vaughan Williams have been a constant joy, as have the Haydn quartets and Bach’s cantatas and major choral works.
Can you nominate a piece of music which speaks to you during this time?
The story of Wagner’s Parsifal, in which a naive innocent is the redeemer of a society in desperate need of healing, is appropriate at this time, but it is the utterly sublime music which has been balm to my ears. I often despair at the interference of opera producers, especially in Wagner, but the DVD I have of the Met production with Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Papp conducted by Daniele Gatti is sensationally good.
Are there any pieces that you are most looking forward to in your upcoming performance at The Stoller Hall with the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society?
I’ve been putting together a few programmes recently contrasting the works of the four major Viennese classical composers, which I’ve particularly enjoyed planning. Beethoven’s most visceral sonata, the Appassionata, is always a huge challenge to play emotionally, but, in view of my earlier comment about Schubert being one of my current obsessions, I think I am most looking forward to the three wonderful pieces by him I will be playing on 9 February at The Stoller Hall.