Alexandra Coghlan

Harping on the music of our ancestors

13 April 2024 9:00 am

From a series of mysterious objects – ‘flower flutes’, inscriptions, ‘little black things like beetles’ wing cases’ – Graeme Lawson conjures the haunting melodies of the past

The popularity of ‘Amazing Grace’ owes much to its melody

16 December 2023 9:00 am

The song has evolved from Christian hymn to secular anthem for humankind. But the powerful tune we know today was not its original one

Travels in Italy with the teenage Mozart

30 September 2023 9:00 am

Jane Glover follows the rapturous Wolfgang around Venice, Bologna, Florence and Naples on three journeys that would change the young composer’s life

The relationship between self and singer

1 April 2023 9:00 am

If opera is acting, concealing the self behind a character, where does that leave the singer in the concert hall, caught between ventriloquist and dummy, wonders Ian Bostridge

Why are women composers still disregarded?

25 February 2023 9:00 am

Leah Broad celebrates four pioneering musicians who battled male prejudice throughout the past century – yet the situation remains stubbornly unchanged

A playful provocateur

28 January 2023 9:00 am

The world-class musician describes his early desire to shock, his delight in the sensual, his life-changing relationship with Catholicism and, finally, his debut at Carnegie Hall

Musings on harmony, melody and rhythm

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Every Good Boy Does Fine – a banal phrase that also just happens to be the key to limitless wonder.…

Who’s in, who’s out?

8 January 2022 9:00 am

From Ladybird’s The Story of Music (a dinky 50 pages, generously illustrated) to Richard Taruskin’s five-volume epic The Oxford History…

Bach’s Cello Suites represent a spiritual meditation — from the Nativity to the Resurrection

23 October 2021 9:00 am

‘One player on four strings, with a bow.’ That’s what Bach’s six Cello Suites boil down to, says Steven Isserlis.…

The finest Falstaff you’ll see this summer

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Comedy’s a funny thing. No, seriously, the business of making people laugh is as fragile, as mercurial as cryptocurrency —…

You'll shrug where you should marvel: Garsington's Amadigi reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

When you think of Handel’s Amadigi (in so far as anyone thinks about the composer’s rarely staged, also-ran London score…

Josquin changed musical history – why don't we hear more of him?

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Stepping into the Sistine Chapel, the choir loft is probably the last thing you’d notice. ‘Loft’ is, frankly, a stretch…

Where to start with the music of Ethel Smyth

17 April 2021 9:00 am

I’m reminded of an old Irish joke. A tourist approaches a local for directions to Dublin. The local, after much…

Astonishing, relentlessly pleasurable rediscovery – tantric opera: Luigi Rossi's Il Palazzo incantato reviewed

6 March 2021 9:00 am

I don’t say this lightly, but after 20 years of opera-going, Luigi Rossi’s Il Palazzo incantato might just be the…

From ancient Greece to TikTok: a short history of the sea shanty

6 February 2021 9:00 am

From ancient Greece to TikTok: Alexandra Coghlan on the pulling power of shanties

Another cracking take on the opera film: Marquee TV’s Turn of the Screw reviewed

30 January 2021 9:00 am

I’m still waiting for the Royal Opera to step up. Nearly a year into the Covid crisis and what do…

How we became a nation of choirs and carollers

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Alexandra Coghlan on how we became a nation of choirs and carollers

A coherent evening of real opera: GSMD's Triple Bill reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Covid has been many things to the arts — most of them unprintable. A plague, a scourge, a disaster from…

Unobtrusively filmed, powerfully performed but still unsatisfying: LSO's Bluebeard reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The timing couldn’t be better. Just as the gates clang shut on another national lockdown, trapping us all indefinitely with…

I don’t know when I’ve been more moved: Ora Singers at Tate Modern reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s the breath I miss most. The moment when a shuffling group of men and women in scruffy concert blacks…

If we stop idolising Beethoven we might understand him better

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Ludwig von Beethoven belongs among those men whom not only Vienna and Germany, but Europe and our entire age revere.…

After weeks of silence, Royal Opera reopened with a whimper

20 June 2020 9:00 am

It was the fourth time, or maybe the fifth, that I found myself reaching for the tissues that I began…

The best recordings of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges

6 June 2020 9:00 am

‘I don’t want to do my work. I want to go for a walk. I want to eat all the…

No one understood the ennui of lockdown better than Louis XIV and his courtiers

9 May 2020 9:00 am

A few years ago I interviewed an eminent baroque conductor. Prickly and professorial, tired after a day of rehearsals, he…

Why we love requiems

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Alexandra Coghlan on the enduring appeal of requiems