About

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Welcome to Arcana.fm! It’s great to see you here.

Arcana has been set up to give you the chance to step into classical music with no fear or pressure – just the chance to enjoy and read about good music!

The name Arcana comes from a forward-looking orchestral piece written by the French composer Edgard Varèse in the 1920s. Varèse was a visionary, an early sign of the direction electronic music was to take some fifty years later – and I want to capture something of that sense of discovery and originality in a number of ways through the site.

To do this I am treating all musical styles as equals, enjoying what they take from each other – pop drawing from classical, as in The Borrowers series that began with Manfred Mann‘s Joybringer, and vice versa – an example for starters being Philip Glass and his symphonies from the work of David Bowie. If Taylor Swift or Muse suddenly go classical, you’ll be the first to read about it!

2018 will focus on two of the most prominent figures in classical music, both of whom have anniversaries this year – Claude Debussy and Leonard Bernstein. Arcana will enjoy getting to the bottom of their music and art in the company of people who perform and write about their music.

We will continue to cover the BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concerts from the Wigmore Hall – the only website to do so – in the form of listening guides, while we will review specially chosen concerts far and wide, including those that often fall outside the scope of the newspapers. There will be interviews and reviews of new relevant recordings, both pop and classical, with the Under the Surface section looking at under-appreciated composers or works.

What matters most at this or any stage is your feedback and suggestions. Arcana is not just for my enjoyment – I want everyone to get as much as possible out of it. So tell me what you would like to see more / less of on this site, what music you like and dislike, or anything else – through Twitter, Facebook or e-mail – which is editor@arcana.fm

Let’s enjoy the music!

Ben Hogwood
editor, Arcana.fm

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