Happy new year from Arcana!

celloFirst of all, a very happy new year to you all. Hope 2017 has been good to you so far!

Here at Arcana we are dipping our toes back in the water after an extended break, gradually getting back into the swing of the day job – and planning some exciting things for the site in 2017. The idea is to use the enjoyment and power of music to bring some much-needed sunshine to the current climate. Not just us though – if there is anything you want to see after reading this, please get in touch (editor@arcana.fm), so we can be as inclusive as possible!

So far, with the site almost two years old, it is fair to say the focus has been too heavily on classical music. That might seem an odd thing to say, but it’s time Arcana went back to first principles and delivered on its promise of looking at the intersection between pop and classical, and how we can make the latter much more approachable.

With that in mind, we will be looking a lot more at music from composers who work well on both sides. Philip Glass is 80 this year, John Adams 70 – and a lot of artists and composers inspired by them are expected to be busy.

We will once again be taking friends to classical concerts for the first time, an idea trialed with great success at the 2016 BBC Proms, so if you’re interested in that then please let us know! The Wigmore Hall Monday lunchtime concerts will still be covered too – the only website to offer reviews of these hour-long treats.

We plan to honour the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, paying tribute to last year’s sadly departed Keith Emerson and Greg Lake as we look at their treatment of classical music.

We will also celebrate the unrivalled career of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who would have been 90 this year, by taking an extended look at the pieces he commissioned from some of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, and celebrate his instrument, the cello.

Rostropovich singlehandedly changed the reputation of the instrument, and we’ll be looking at how he did that while also enjoying concerts such as the Kings Place cello festival.

As you’ll see then, plenty to get our teeth into as the New Year gets in to gear. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Ben Hogwood, editor, Arcana.fm

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