Tuesday 20 August 2013

Have you seen: Sven Helbig's 'Pocket Symphonies'?

Hello hello.

Whenever I'm tired of hearing voices on the radio I switch over to listen to Radio 3 [a classical music station]. But as I'm usually doing something else at the same time [working, web surfing, falling asleep ...] I rarely give it my undivided attention. And so I'm no big expert. [In fact I'm not even a little expert.] 

But, occasionally something demands my attention and insists I both listen carefully and that I try to remember the name of the composer and the title so I can make a note of it. And that's just what happened a few weeks ago when I first heard a piece from Sven Helbig's Pocket Symphonies. 

Helbig describes the album as '12 little evening mood pictures; 12 ways in which you reflect on your life or your day or whatever. I had 12 different things in mind for what comes over me in the evening' [source] and so it's appropriate that I first heard one of the tracks on the radio as we were driving home, in the dark, after an night out. Maybe that's why it grabbed my attention.

Anyway ... apart from the fact that I've enjoyed what I heard I thought I'd share this with you for a few other reasons too: in the reviews I've read there's been a lot made of the fact that these are symphonic pieces but at the length of a pop song - making them more easily digested by those of us with shorter attention spans! Plus, they'd be ideal if you're looking to add something classical-but-accessible to your iPod etc.

And second is: that I discovered that Helbig's work is often accompanied by a music video which I think, again, really helps remove some of the barriers to a genre of music that can at times feel intimidating:

This one's just a short promo, but no less powerful:

Now, after all that, if you'd like to know more about the Pocket Symphonies - you're better off watching this than listening to me go on any longer!

So, what do you think? Is it something you could imagine yourself listening to? Maybe you're already a fan? Or maybe you're bursting with your own classical recommendations?

Whatever it is feel free to throw it at my ears [gently if you can, thanks]!

Julie :-)


  1. I liked them very much, Julie, though I didn't enjoy the videos - I prefer the music to connect with me without fixed images. But thank you for bringing his music to our attention - well worth listening to time and again. And yes, I listen to Radio 3 at times and Classic FM ( though I have to turn the sound off in the advert breaks!).

  2. Hmmmm........not sure it's my cuppa tea!! :) We're radio 2 listeners.... when i say that i feel real old!! x

  3. As someone who has a very eclectic taste in music and has a fondness for classical music - all-be-it the more popular stuff, I would like to thank you for bringing this composer to my attention. Loved the music but like Alexa prefer the pictures in my own head --- my grandad always said there were better pictures on the radio --- and as I have got older I have come to the conclusion he was right, but you young things might feel differently about video as you have grown up with MTV etc. they are very powerful videos though. Thanks Julie, love J x

  4. Don't listen to half as much music as I should do but really enjoyed listening to these snippets and will be looking to download some to my itunes. Thanks very much Julie. x


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