Welcome to the December episode of the BBC Music Magazine podcast, presented by deputy editor Jeremy Pound along with managing editor Rebecca Franks and editorial assistant Freya Parr.

This month, we chat about the news that conductor Omer Meir Wellber has been appointed to the BBC Philharmonic, the death of the legendary Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, and the launch of the BBC's Our Classical Century.

And we introduce our December cover feature, in which we name 20 works that have defined the century from the end of World War One to the present day. Plus hear a clip from your free cover CD, featuring Messiaen's Quatuor pour le fin de temps, and discover how composers have been inspired by the forest over the decades.

In this month's Meet the Artist, editor Oliver Condy interviews the pianist Igor Levit about his latest Sony Classical album, Life, which is a remarkable tribute to a friend who tragically died in an accident in July 2016.

And in First Listen, we bring along three of the CDs that we've been listening to recently, including Igor Levit's Life (Sony), trumpeter Matilda Lloyd's album Direct Message (Orchid Classics) and Kertsman's Concerto for Violin, Horn, Shofar and Orchestra (Naxos).


Links: News: BBC Philharmonic: http://www.classical-music.com/news/bbc-philharmonic-announces-new-chief-conductor; Montserrat Caballé: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45769808; Our Classical Century: http://www.classical-music.com/news/bbc-announces-our-classical-century; This month's magazine: http://www.classical-music.com/magazine/current-issue/bbc-music-magazine; First Listen: Igor Levit, Life (Rebecca's choice): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/life/1418067775; Direct Message (Freya's choice): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/direct-message-20th-21st-century-works-for-trumpet-piano/1436067044; Kertsman concertos (Jeremy's choice): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/miguel-kertsman-3-concertos-chamber-symphony-no-2-new/1426110374


Rebecca Franks
Rebecca FranksJournalist, Critic and former Managing Editor of BBC Music Magazine

Rebecca Franks is the former Managing Editor of BBC Music Magazine and a regular classical music critic for The Times. She is currently writing her first children's book.