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Growing up in Ireland, Robert McCarney was always surrounded by music, from his father who sang everyday to his mother who never had the radio off and his seven siblings all of whom were passionate about music and records. However, classical music played a very small part in all that he was exposed to. His first love was rock music of the 60s and 70s. As Irish music was a constant all through his childhood, that grew into a passion for folk and world music in his teens and the decision to teach himself how to play music. That was followed a little later by a love for jazz.
He wasn't smitten by classical music until he was twenty or twenty-one. He got a voucher for Virgin Records one Christmas and after reading a history of music he borrowed from the local library he decided to buy three CDs that seemed interesting based on what he had read. They were of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Scriabin's piano music and Bartok's String Quartets. His life has never been the same since. From that winter's morning almost thirty years ago until today he has been on the most extraordinary adventure, thanks principally to the classical music of the twentieth century, especially the lesser-known twentieth century.
Robert's Echoes of Oblivion, originally a radio programme, is currently published here every Sunday.
The Oblivionopolis Audio Quiz - Extracts from a dozen obscure twentieth century works ... can you guess the composers and the works?
Classical music news. October 2022 Newsletter - Our October 2022 MP3 newsletter has just been published
More corn than gold
A hundred not out
Rough winds do shake
The home country grown strange
Looks like we got ourselves a reader
A spot of circumnavigation on a Sunday afternoon
Wanted: Digital or Analogue
Behind the Wall of Sleep
Randomness Run Riot
Champions of Oblivion
Going for a Song
A short night at the opera
What's in a number?
Selling like hot cakes ... maybe, hopefully
Turn that racket down!
Four by Four by Five fff
Sound Below Zero
A New Look and Format
The Roots of Magic
Robert McCarney listens to Weinberger piano music
Nothing Written in the Stars
The Mouth of Hell
Robert McCarney listens to music by William Baines
Robert McCarney talks to Azorean pianist Diana Botelho Vieira and reviews a recent concert in Spain
Robert McCarney listens to volume one of the complete piano music of Niccolò Castiglioni
Horses for Courses
Robert McCarney listens to music by Mieczysław Weinberg
Fragments of Utopia
Robert McCarney listens to music by Kevin Raftery
Sound Sense and Nonsense
Robert McCarney listens to music by British composer Robert Saxton
Robert McCarney roundly congratulates Chandos and all involved with this CD
Robert McCarney listens to symphonies by Latvian/Canadian composer Tālivaldis Ķeniņš
From swerve of shore to bend of bay
Seven Tuscan Nights