New classical music streaming service available

Libraries are hoping to introduce Medici.tv for members later in the year, however from  now until early June is your chance to try out the service and let us know what you think?

Photograph of Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel, © Silvia Lelli

Medici.tv is the world’s largest collection of classical music, opera and dance videos. It gives free online access to 3500 musical works filmed from the 1940s onwards plus over 2500 videos of concerts, operas, ballets, documentaries and master classes.
It’s easy to access all you need is your library membership number.

Don’t forget you can also listen to the best orchestras and classical performers on Naxos Music Library (NML) the world´s largest online classical music streaming library. With your library membership you can access 1000s of CDs with over a million tracks. Latest releases are added every week. Stream tracks via the website and app or download tracks and playlists via the app to listen offline for up to 30 days.


How to get the most from your free subscription to Naxos Music

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Naxos Music Library is the world’s largest online classical music streaming library, offering over a million tracks of classical, world and folk music, with new titles added monthly.

And it’s free for library members! Get started now!

On top of this members get free access to Naxos Music Library Jazz, letting you stream albums from over 32 000 artists.nina

You can get started straight away, but we’re also offering regular help sessions in the Music Library, where we’ll show you how to get started.

The first session takes place on Thursday 12th March and will run on the second and fourth Thursdays of March, April, May and June, from 11am till noon. In the meantime if you do have any queries you can contact the Music Library anytime on central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 242 8050.

Classical music and the First World War

The First World War is often remembered through its literature, but many classical composers also reflected and shaped attitudes to the war.

Composers were involved in active service and some including George Butterworth, F S Kelly, William Denise Browne, Ernest Farrar and the Scottish composer Cecil Coles did not survive.

The majority of music written during the war was by those too old or unfit to serve – it was difficult for composers to write whilst on active service.

Composers on the home front wrote music to mourn, commemorate and to raise spirits. Later, composers returning from the front after the war channelled their experiences of trauma and loss into their compositions.

Some of the most memorable pieces were inspired by a response to war. Just a selection:

Ralph Vaughan Williams – Pastoral Symphony (1922) – this elegiac piece represents Vaughan Williams’ personal response to the horrors of war and the scenes he witnessed.

Edward Elgar – Carillon (1914) and The Spirit of England (1915-1917) – Elgar held strong views about the idea of war: both these pieces were inspired by World War One.

Arthur Bliss – Morning Heroes – A Symphony for the Orator, Chorus and Orchestra (1930) – Bliss fought at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and was noted for his bravery. Despite his heroism he suffered long lasting psychological pain which he was able to find public expression for through his music.

Ivor Gurney – Gurney served with the 2/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. He wrote over 300 songs, several of which including `Severn Meadows’, `By a Bierside’ and `In Flanders’ are known to have been written while he was serving in the trenches.

Gustav Holst – The Planets (1914) – Holst seemed to have foreseen the ferocity of war with his depiction of war-like Mars in The Planets.

Benjamin Britten – War Requiem (1961) – Written for the re-consecration of Coventry Cathedral following war damage in World War Two, this piece represents Britten’s cry of fury at the futility of war and expresses his pacifist beliefs.

Borrow these pieces on CD or stream online on Naxos.

Browse our specially chosen selection of books, CDs and DVDs on classical music and the First World War.

RSNO Octomore Quartet: at Central Library today

The Octomore Quartet, composed of players from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, will be performing a selection of familiar classical favourites this afternoon (Friday 26th March) in the Central Library foyer.

Come along, relax and chat to members of the quartet and staff of the RSNO. The event is free and special offers to future RSNO concerts will also be available to those who attend.

Central Library, Friday 26 March 3.30 – 4.45pm. FREE!