Always Playing: Listen

Take some listening inspiration from our discographer Philip Stuart's rummage through the archives, our recommendations and some themed playlists from LSO Live.

Philip recommends

Wednesday 23 September: Not The Wombles

If your television memories go back as far as Andre Previn’s Music Night, they will also go back to The Wombles. Mike Batt provided the music for those furry creatures and he went on to record several albums with the LSO:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and he was not the orchestra’s only novel partner around that time:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 16 September: Conductor Laureate

After an eight year long interval, Andre Previn returned to the studios with the LSO in 1992:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and continued as Conductor Laureate:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

making his final LSO recording in 2003:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Wednesday 9 September: All the right notes

As Principal Conductor from 1968–79, Andre Previn’s first EMI recording was rather different from his 1971 appearance with Morecambe and Wise:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Among much more that followed, not necessarily in the right order, were:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

When he came to the LSO, Previn didn't entirely forsake his Hollywood past, as you can see in 'Rollerball' (1975) available to stream or buy from Amazon Prime.


Wednesday 2 September: Before his Music Night

Andre Previn was just starting to establish himself as a classical conductor when he made his first recordings with the LSO in August 1965. He stayed with RCA until 1971, recording a Vaughan Williams cycle (sampled in Week 10) among much else:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 26 August: A tour of London

This week we leave the Barbican to set out on a tour of London, reaching Knightsbridge with Eric Coates:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

on to Hammersmith with Gustav Holst:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

then returning via a certain film location:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

to St Giles Cripplegate, where the LSO sometimes recorded in the 1970s (before the Barbican Centre was built) including a curious album by Jack Nitzsche:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 19 August: LSO plays a London Symphony

A recent choice was John Ireland’s A London Overture and now we move on to “London” symphonies. Curiously the LSO has never recorded Haydn’s (No 104), but it has a very long relationship with Vaughan Williams’ Second, recording it with Dan Godfrey in 1923-25, then Andre Previn in 1972, Bryden Thomson in 1988 and Richard Hickox in 2000 – the latter reverting to VW’s considerably longer original version.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

For some more musical tributes to the capital, try Dyson’s In Honour of the City:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Elgar’s Cockaigne:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and Copland’s Music for a Great City:

 

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 12 August: What did you do in the war?

Events marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War II have been overshadowed by the pandemic, but in the week of VJ Day we recall the LSO’s role in the conflict.

In November 1939 Henry Wood recorded his patriotic Fantasia on British Sea Songs.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

That was followed by the soundtracks for more than thirty films including Dangerous Moonlight, 49th Parallel, The Day Will Dawn, The First of the Few, In Which We Serve, This Happy Breed and Olivier’s Henry V. The first of these started a fashion for cinematic piano concertos with Warsaw Concerto and the LSO followed up with Cornish Rhapsody:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

An excerpt from Henry V was recorded in 1962 at a time when the LSO chose to hide behind a “London Festival Orchestra” billing for some of its lighter sessions.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Malcolm Arnold’s score for The Bridge on the River Kwai was recorded in 1992 as part of a retrospective album of his film music:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 5 August: Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) 

Stokowski first conducted the LSO in 1912 and repeated the programme sixty years later at the age of 90. His recordings with the orchestra covered a shorter span (1957–74). A Night on Bare Mountain with him is like no other!

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music


Wednesday 29 July: John Barbirolli (1899–1970)

Best known for his long association with Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, Barbirolli had an even longer connection with the LSO, playing in the cello section in 1919 before conducting HMV sessions from 1929–1969. On a few discs, made in 1933, the LSO was actually billed as “John Barbirolli and His Orchestra”. On 29 July we mark the 50th anniversary of his death. His wife Evelyn Rothwell also played oboe in the LSO before marrying Barbirolli in 1939 and they returned together to record Vaughan Williams in 1955:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

For a further selection of Delius, Ireland and Bax try:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

or Strauss from his final LSO sessions in 1969:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 22 July: Earning Dollars – Mercury & Everest

In the USA, RCA and Columbia usually signed exclusive contracts with orchestras to record their concert repertoire. This did not suit smaller companies wanting to build up a stereo catalogue quickly, so what did they do? They brought their recording gear to London and booked day after day of sessions with musicians famed for their sight-reading abilities. Mercury regularly engaged the LSO from 1956–65 and Everest from 1958–60, with some impressive sonic results:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 15 July: You'll need a pair of speakers – 1958

Decca launched stereo LPs in June 1958 and the first entry in their catalogue (SXL2001) was a Tchaikovsky spectacular played by the LSO:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

The LSO first recorded for Decca in 1935 and continues to do so, but early stereo was a vintage period for the relationship:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 8 July: A Television and a Record Player – 1953

1953 is often noted as the year in which the television set arrived, but it was also when many families were replacing their wind-up gramophone with a record player and buying their first LPs. Equipped with both, they could watch the coronation and enjoy newly composed coronation marches by Walton and Bax, as recorded by the LSO five weeks before the ceremony:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

The mono LP had a brief era (1950–58) but one of its highlights was a Decca cycle of Sibelius’ symphonies conducted by Anthony Collins, who had been the orchestra’s Principal Viola from 1926–36.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 30 June: Find the time

If by now you have read War and Peace, Ulysses and the complete works of Samuel Beckett, perhaps it’s time to tackle Anton Webern? 
The completists amongst you will be pleased to know that his thirty or so (published) works last less than four hours in total: the perfect lockdown weekend project.
Although you may well want to listen more than once...

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

If a composer who died in 1945 is just too modern for you, perhaps you will be amused by what Hindemith did to Weber in 1943:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

or enjoy the LSO’s virtuosity in tackling a Concerto for Orchestra composed in 1963:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 24 June: Panufnik Commissions 

To accompany the release of our latest Panufnik Legacies album, this week we look back to three LSO commissions from the 1990s

Andrzej Panufnik Cello Concerto, recorded soon after his death with Mstislav Rostropovich as the soloist:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Find out more about the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, a scheme devised to support composers interested in writing for a full symphony orchestra, in memory of the late Sir Andrzej Panufnik.

Colin Matthews' Machines and Dreams which was commissioned by the LSO for the opening concert of our 1991 Childhood Festival. 

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Robin Holloway's Third Concerto for Orchestra is an evocation of a trip to South America - an evocation of memories because his initial sketches for the work were stolen in La Paz!   

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 17 June: Stringing along 

Last week featured some of the LSO's Wind Principals, including Andrew Marriner. Now we turn to the strings and go back a generation.

In 1959 Neville Marriner (Andrew's father) was the LSO’s Principal Second Violin. Listen to him and his colleagues in a Mozart Serenade:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Their successors can be heard playing Schubert in 1974:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

or taking solos in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella in 1978:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

while in 1987 leader Mike Davis soared with the lark:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 10 June: Getting the Wind Up 

Flautist Sir James Galway has sold over 30 million records and was the first-ever wind player to receive a knighthood. But did you know that he also played in the LSO before joining the Berlin Philharmonic? He later returned to record with the orchestra as a soloist:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

If you are feeling adventurous try:

Roy Carter (Principal Oboe from 1986–2005) playing Muldowney:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and Andrew Marriner (Principal Clarinet from 1985–2019) playing Tavener

John Tavener The Repentant Thief

Listen to clips and purchase the album on Presto

In 1959 Benjamin Britten recorded his “Nocturne” with the LSO – giving four of the woodwind Principals solo roles:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

but, if you are feeling daunted by so much twentieth-century repertoire, try

Gervase de Peyer (Principal Clarinet from 1956–73)

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 3 June: Bold as Brass

Probably the LSO’s best-known player, Maurice Murphy (Principal Trumpet from 1977–2007) sadly recorded few solos with the orchestra. You could hardly avoid hearing him leading the Force in Star Wars but listen to another side of his talent in Quiet City:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Hear more of the LSO’s star brass players from earlier years:

Barry Tuckwell (Principal Horn from 1955–67) in Strauss:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Denis Wick (Principal Trombone from 1957–88) in George Walker’s Concerto:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

 John Fletcher (Principal Tuba from 1966–87) in Vaughan Williams:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 27 May: In Case You Have Also Been Missing The Opera

The mortality rate among characters portrayed by sopranos in Puccini operas is exceptionally high: Manon Lescaut, Mimi, Tosca, Cio-Cio-San, Suor Angelica and Liù all expire before the final curtain. 

Happily, a couple of the survivors were portrayed by Angela Gheorghiu on recordings with the LSO.

In Gianni Schicchi Lauretta persuades her daddy to let her marry her boyfriend:


> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

Magda, in the relatively unfamiliar La rondine, enjoys a drink with her lover:

>Listen to the full album on Apple Music

But if you are missing tragic operas, there are plenty of fatal conclusions elsewhere:

Verdi’s Aida performed by Leontyne Price

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Gounod’s Faust with Dame Joan Sutherland
> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Bizet’s Carmen with Teresa Berganza and Plácido Domingo
> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Strauss’ Salome with Montserrat Caballé
> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 20 May: For frustrated choristers...

The cancellation of live performances is bad enough for audiences – even worse for those who had looked forward to singing in them.

This week’s selection is dedicated to the relay racers of the London Symphony Chorus.

Sing along, or imagine yourself rehearsing

with Sir Colin Davis

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

or István Kertész

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

or André Previn

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

or Claudio Abbado

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

or Michael Tilson Thomas

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music 

And if you want to find out more about our 16 illustrious Principal Conductors (and Music Directors) check out our new blog.
> Read the blog here 

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*


Wednesday 12 May: Letting out hair down...

Our (Samuel) Barber selection drew some comments about a certain Rossini opera. The LSO recorded The Barber of Seville twice in the 1970s (but nothing from Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad) but it will have to wait, as this week we look at a rather different coiffure. The LSO most notoriously let its hair down with 'Classic Rock', ten albums of contemporary hits recorded between 1976 and 1994. Lots of titles to choose from but, whatever your personal favourites, don’t miss Sailing:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Those were all cover versions, but the LSO had a Number One hit single of its own with Whitney Houston's One Moment In Time which was released to mark the start of the 1988 Seoul Olympics:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and were you aware of some singers’ posthumous recordings with the orchestra?

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

As for film music, do any of you now have hair like Merida’s in Brave? (See our regular Movie Nights choices.)

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


Wednesday 6 May: 1932 - A memorable year

Elgar and Menuhin1932 was scarily memorable in many ways: there was competition from the recently formed BBC Symphony Orchestra and, when Sir Thomas Beecham’s offer to turn the LSO into a permanent, salaried orchestra was turned down, he poached LSO players to establish his London Philharmonic Orchestra. But it was also the year of the most famous classical recording photograph: Sir Edward Elgar standing with the young Yehudi Menuhin on the steps outside Abbey Road, presumably taken while the LSO was tuning up inside Studio One. That was in July 1932 and what is remarkable is that between March and June the orchestra had made four of its most significant pre-war recordings there:

Artur Schnabel playing Beethoven’s First and Fifth Piano Concertos:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Artur Rubinstein playing Tchaikovky’s First:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

the first ever recordings of Sibelius’ Third and Fifth symphonies:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the composer as soloist:

> Listen to the full concert on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


Wednesday 29 April: Not allowed to visit your barber?

Why not be pampered by Samuel Barber instead? His Adagio has long been a consolation in tragic circumstances. But it is not his only work. Try his Violin Concerto once - or twice:

With André Previn and Gil Shaham:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Or with Mikhail Simonyan and Kristjan Järvi 

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

This week the LSO should have been performing in Samuel Barber's American homeland, so for some more Americana, how about Appalachian Spring, recorded for Mercury in 1961:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

or, for the adventurous, Charles Ives:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

or, even more so, another Violin Concerto, by John Adams:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


Wednesday 22 April: You can't escape Beethoven in 2020

It is often said that Karajan's 1962 Berlin Philharmonic recording of Beethoven’s Symphonies was 'the first set of the nine in the history of the gramophone to be released as a single cycle', but that is untrue.
That honour actually belongs to Josef Krips’ 1960 Everest cycle with the LSO, released as an eight LP box set, but only in the USA. Here it came out on World Record Club in eight instalments during 1961–63:

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

The LSO’s very first recording (in 1913) was Beethoven's Overture to Egmont:

> Listen to the track in full on Apple Music 

and, in a recent Gramophone article, Rob Cowan drew attention to Antal Doráti conducting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

For something off-beat, try rarely recorded choral works under Michael Tilson Thomas:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Incidentally, our archive collection lacks the recordings of the Violin Concerto by Toshiya Eto (RCA, 1970) and Piano Concertos by Hiroko Nakamura (Nos.4&5, Sony, 1987) and Maria Tipo (Nos.1&4, EMI, 1989) - can anyone help? If you are able to assist Philip in filling in the gaps of these recordings, either with information or a donation, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


Wednesday 15 April: Past Principals 

Orchestral players do not always love their Principal Conductors, but the LSO loved Pierre Monteux and he loved them. In fact, having begun a Beethoven cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic he switched to the London Symphony Orchestra after four symphonies. He was determined not to be confined to French repertoire and recorded Brahms, Dvořák, Sibelius and Elgar, all included in a large box of CDs:

> Buy the CD boxset

All the same, his Ravel is very special, try: 

Listen to the full albums on Apple Music: 
Ravel: Orchestral Favourites 
> Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe

Colin Davis was also much loved by the 1990s. Thirty years earlier the relationship had been challenging, but despite that some excellent recordings were made.
Listen to one that has only recently been transferred to CD:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recordings in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


Wednesday 8 April: Impossible dreams?

Edward Elgar: the sketches for Symphony No 3 elaborated by Anthony Payne
Billy Reed was the LSO’s leader for twenty years from 1912. Ten years earlier he had met Elgar - just too late for him to be an “Enigma” variation. Visiting the dying composer in 1933, he was shown the sketches for the Third Symphony. Both doubted that the work could ever be performed, but, in 1997 the result of Anthony Payne’s combination of detective work and inspiration was unveiled. It was recorded by Colin Davis and the LSO a few years later:

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recording in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 

> Buy the CD

Gustav Holst: The Collected Recorded Works
Elgar was by no means the only British composer to record his works with the LSO in the early days. Rutland Boughton, Stanford and Bridge all appeared but none more frequently than Gustav Holst. All his LSO recordings have been assembled on CD as a labour of love.

Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recording in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 

> Buy the CD


Wednesday 1 April: A Past President

For most of its history, the LSO has not had a President, but in 1987 Leonard Bernstein was granted that title. He had recorded his first Mahler cycle with the New York Philharmonic, except for the Eighth Symphony, which he set down in his first LSO sessions in 1966.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recording in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 

His last sessions, for his own Candide in 1989, were seriously disrupted by flu infecting the conductor and several singers. Some years earlier the lively Overture had been the LSO’s party piece and may bring back memories of Andre Previn’s Music Night.

> Listen to the full album on Apple Music

Listen to the above recording in full with a 3 month free trial of Apple Music*. 


*New subscribers only. Plan automatically renews monthly after trial. Terms Apply.  

We recommend

Running Playlist 

Wednesday 24 June 

Need motivation for your run? We have a specially curated new playlist for you!

Find this playlist and others


Architecture Playlist 

Thursday 18 June 

We asked if you could think of any pieces of music that related to the theme of 'architecture', and you blew us away with all of your responses! Have a listen to our playlist, based on your suggestions.

> Listen on Spotify


Radio Local 

Monday 8 June

Radio Local is a daily celebration of local radio and the local community of the Culture Mile. Tune in today from 1pm – 2pm BST to hear our very own Andra East, Head of LSO Discovery.

> Listen live or catch up later


Grieg Piano Concerto

Friday 5 June  

We had planned a celebration of Percy Grainger at the Barbican Centre last night, which sadly couldn't take place. The concert would have featured Grieg's Piano Concerto, performed on Grainger's own player piano, so why not enjoy this wonderful recording of Grieg’s Piano Concerto by Alice Sara Ott instead? 

> Listen on Apple music 


Playlist: 30 Day Classical Challenge

Tuesday 2 June

In May we invited you to take part in our 30 Day Classical Challenge. Each day we chose a theme and asked you to pick a piece of classical music to represent that theme. Thirty days later, discover our 30 Day Classical Challenge playlist, featuring your suggestions alongside ours.

> Listen on Spotify

Missed it in May and want to start the 30 Day Classical Challenge now? 

> See all the themes and get involved


Britten War Requiem

Monday 1 June

Fifty-eight years ago Britten's War Requiem was premiered at the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral. Coventry's 14th-century Gothic cathedral had been destroyed in bombing in World War II. Interspersing the Latin mass of the dead with texts by war poet Wilfred Owen, Benjamin Britten created a work that both mourned the dead and pleaded the futility of war.

> Listen on Apple Music


Strauss Ein Heldenleben

Friday 29 May

Last night we should have welcomed Manfred Honeck and Anne-Sophie Mutter to the Barbican for a performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Strauss' Ein Heldenleben. We are so sad that we are not able to perform live at the moment but, as a small offering, can we suggest that you have a listen to this 1966 recording of Ein Heldenleben conducted by Sir John Barbirolli?

> Listen on Apple Music


Dvořák Symphony No 9

Friday 22 May

Last night we should have been welcoming Ádám Fischer and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider to the Barbican stage for a concert featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No 9, ‘From the New World’. We are so sad that we can’t perform for you live, but we love Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony so we wanted to take this opportunity to recommend you listen to it wherever you are.

Listen on Apple Music


Mozart Violin Concertos

Friday 15 May

Next week we would have been welcoming conducting great Ádám Fischer and violinist Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider to the Barbican to perform Mozarts Violin Concerto No 2. As we are unable to come together to perform live right now, we thought we might suggest this recording of Mozart’s first three Violin Concertos performed by Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider as a Friday lunchtime listening treat. We hope that you enjoy them.

Buy or download from LSO Live  
Listen on Apple Music 


Bartók Bluebeard's Castle

Friday 8 May

Earlier this week, we would have been on tour in the US, performing Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. Discover this operatic horror story with our recording by Valery Gergiev, Elena Zhidkova and Sir Willard White.

Listen on our Apple Music season playlist 


Mahler Symphony No 4

Friday 1 May

Our lunchtime listening suggestion this Friday is Mahler's Symphony No 4, which we should have been playing in London, Vienna, New York, Chapel Hill, Barcelona and Madrid in April and May. We hope that you enjoy this recording with Valery Gergiev at the helm!

Listen on Apple Music


Bruckner Symphony No 5

Friday 24 April

In happier circumstances we would have recently performed Bruckner’s Symphony No 5 at the Barbican. As we are unable to perform live we hope that you might be able to listen to this recording with Lance Friedel and read the digital programme notes.

Listen on Apple Music
Read the digital programme notes 


Podcast: 'Nothing Concrete'

Wednesday 22 April

We are looking forward to the stream of our archive performance on Thursday which feature's Mahler's final, unfinished, symphony. In preparation why not listen to this podcast from the Barbican Centre which features Edward Seckerson and Sir Antonio Pappano discussing Mahler and his music.

Listen to 'Nothing Concrete' the Barbican podcast 


Truck Drivers' Book Club: Time Traveller's Guide

Monday 20 April

This week's book club recommendation from Nathan Budden is the Time Traveller's Guide series by Ian Mortimer: 'I got through the whole Restoration Britain one in a day on my way back from Luxembourg in February.' These Lonely Planet style guides will give you all the information you need to navigate the past... 

Listen to the audiobooks
Find out more and see our previous recommendations


Bartók Concerto for Orchestra

Friday 17 April

Next week we should have been performing Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra live at the Barbican Centre. Unfortunately we can't be there but why not listen to this LSO recording of the piece, conducted by Solti and follow our digital programme notes: 

Listen on Apple Music
Read the programme notes


Playlist: Scala Radio's Sam Hughes

Wednesday 15 April

Scala Radio presenter Sam Hughes has curated a playlist of music for mindfulness: ‘When life is chaotic and full of noise, music can transport you to a place of tranquillity and peacefulness.’

Find out more and listen to the playlist 


Truck Drivers' Book Club: Waging Heavy Peace

Monday 13 April

Nathan's recommendation in the LSO Truck Drivers' Book Club this week is Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young. Nathan listened to this when driving through France on the way to Barcelona early this year. Find out why he recommends it and read our previous suggestions on the Truck Drivers' Book Club page. 

Listen to the audio book
Find out more and see our previous recommendations


MacMillan St John Passion

Friday 10 April

Last Sunday we should have been at the Barbican presenting a performance of Sir James MacMillan's St John Passion. We hope that instead you will enjoy our suggestion of listening along to this wonderful piece of music in the comfort of your own home, making use of the programme notes to create something of a concert experience.

Listen on Apple Music
Read the digital programme notes


Truck Drivers' Book Club: Between the stops

Monday 6 April

This week we have our second recommendation in the LSO Truck Drivers Book Club: Between the stops: The view of my life from the top of the Number 12 bus by Sandi Toksvig. Nathan Budden says: I was listening to this when I had a few overnight drives to do on our January tours. Toksvig uses the stops on the Number 12 bus from her house to BBC Broadcasting House to relate to stories and events from her life. It was almost like she was sat there telling you a story, which was really helpful in keeping the brain going when you’re driving through the night.

Listen to the book 
Read previous recommendations


Gianandrea Noseda's Shostakovich cycle

Friday 3 April

Today marked the release of Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 5 & 1, the third album in Gianandrea Noseda's ongoing cycle of the composer's complete Symphonies with the Orchestra. 

Listen on LSO Live


Richard Bratby on Sir Simon Rattle and Haydn

Tuesday 31 March

'I smile every time I hear it, and right now that counts for a lot.' We asked writer Richard Bratby to tell us about his favourite LSO Live recording and what makes him listen time and time again. Would you have chosen the same?

Read Richard's thoughts on Sir Simon Rattle's exploration of Haydn


Truck Drivers' Book Club: Iron Man

Monday 30 March

This week we are bringing you an audio book recommendation from Nathan Budden, one of our Stage Manager and Truck Drivers. He says: 'I’m big on Audiobooks while driving. I add them to my wishlist as I see ones I like, then when the time comes, I get the longest one. I’ve certainly got the time to get through them.'

This week's suggestion is Iron Man: My journey through heaven and hell with Black Sabbath – Tony Iommi. 'I was listening to this in the leadup to our concert in Birmingham. I’ve been into metal music for a long time. Given Birmingham is where Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath are from, I thought the run up to that gig was a good time to listen to it. I also noticed that the bridge over the canal just outside Symphony Hall on Broad Street is actually called 'Black Sabbath Bridge'!' – Nathan Budden

Listen on Audible


Holst The Planets

Sunday 29 March

Ever wondered what a conductor would have wanted his music to sound like? In this alternate version of 'Jupiter' from Holsts' The Planets from 1926, Gustav Holst himself conducts the LSO so you can hear it as he intended.

Watch the video on YouTube


Playlist: Music to stay in to

Friday 27 March

With a greater number of us working from home than ever, one of our team has been thinking about the long history of music for private spaces. 

Read our blog 'Music to stay in to'
Listen to the playlist


Sibelius Symphony No 4

Friday 27 March

This Sunday we would have been performing at the Barbican, but you don't have to miss out on the concert completely. We'll be highlighting LSO recordings of pieces from many of our cancelled events to listen along to at home and providing the programme notes you'd have in the concert hall too.
First up is Sibelius' Fourth Symphony and a recording with former LSO President and Principal Conductor, Sir Colin Davis.

Listen on Apple Music (Tracks 5–8)
Read the digital programme notes


Playlist: This is Bartók

Wednesday 25 March

Today marks 139 years since composer Béla Bartók was born. Musically he was a maverick, but also fascinated by musical tradition and folk culture. Budapest's movers and shakers thought he'd cut a good figure as a Hungarian Stravinsky, commissioning him to write ballets like The Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince – and on the music's surface, there are similarities. 

Listen to the Spotify playlist 'This is Bartók'


Something calming

Tuesday 24 March

Something calming to listen to tonight: 'Nuages' from Debussy's Nocturnes, conducted by André Previn

Listen on Spotify


Playlist: Self Care

Saturday 21 March

On World Mental Health Day last October, we asked our Instagram followers what music they listened to when they wanted to relax and clear their minds. We had so many great suggestions and used them to create this 'Self Care Playlist'.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify


Playlist: The LSO's 2019/20 season

Thursday 19 March

While we can't be together with you in the concert hall for now, you can still enjoy the music we would've been performing with our 2019/20 season playlist. 

Listen to the playlist here

LSO Live playlists

Browse these playlists and more on the LSO Live Store

Music for Families

Take a dive into the wonderful world of classical music with this #AlwaysPlaying introductory playlists for families.

> Listen on Apple Music
> Listen on Spotify


Love

Enjoy some of classical music's most romantic moments with this #AlwaysPlaying selection.

> Listen on Apple Music
> Listen on Spotify


Chill

Part of the London Symphony Orchestra's #AlwaysPlaying series, enjoy this selection of relaxing classical music to help you unwind and decompress.

> Listen on Apple Music
> Listen on Spotify


Coffee

Part of the LSO's #AlwaysPlaying series, start your day with a mix of beautiful music that moves gently from the relaxing to the energetic.

> Listen on Apple Music
> Listen on Spotify


Sleep

Drift off with this selection of peaceful music, part of the London Symphony Orchestra’s #AlwaysPlaying series.

> Listen on Apple Music
Listen on Spotify


Small Scale

Explore the world of chamber music with this Always Playing selection from the London Symphony Orchestra

> Listen on Apple Music
Listen on Spotify


Modern

Explore the world of chamber music with this Always Playing selection from the London Symphony Orchestra

> Listen on Apple Music
Listen on Spotify


Concentration

Grab your books and get ready to study with this latest #AlwaysPlaying collection from the London Symphony Orchestra.

> Listen on Apple Music
Listen on Spotify

Where can you find us?

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