Key Matters, B Minor

Explore the emotional and musical significance of the key of B minor, with Ivan Hewett and Simon Halsey.

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TV & Radio Information
Radio 4
Monday, May 14, 2012 - 13:45
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What do Liszt’s 1853 Piano Sonata, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, and Bach’s Mass in B minor have in common? Ivan Hewett aims to find out in today’s Key Matters, as he explores the characteristics of different key signatures - this week, B minor is in the spotlight. He is joined by choral conductor Simon Halsey, and together they investigate the austere and often heartbreaking flavour associated with music in two sharps. In Baroque times, B minor was the key of passive suffering, Beethoven once described it as a ‘black key’, and even Pink Floyd used the key for their melancholy classic, Comfortably Numb.