Welcome to the October BBC Music Magazine podcast. In this episode, we bring you the latest classical music news, including details of BBC Radio 3's Christmas carol competition and a look at the decline in people studying music at GCSE level.

For this month's cover feature we spoke to cellist Steven Isserlis, who celebrates his 60th birthday this autumn. We chat about pieces on the world of post-classical music and how music colleges are preparing their students for the future challenges of professional life, plus hear a clip from our exclusive cover CD of Parry's Songs of Farewell, performed by The Carice Singers.

And of course we also bring along our favourite new classical recordings, from music for saxophone and organ to Bernstein's Wonderful Town.


Links: news: GCSE music results, a letter to The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grade-inflation-and-the-threat-to-music-gcse-gk7ls6bll; Christmas carol competition: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4bq78QT7j5pz5cQwdmN84Lz/radio-3-carol-competition-2018; BBC Music Magazine October issue: http://www.classical-music.com/magazine/current-issue/bbc-music-magazine; First Listen: (Oliver's choice): Musica Nova https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/musica-nova/1369342447; (Jeremy's choice): Bernstein's Wonderful Town: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bernstein-wonderful-town-bonus-track-version/1431660882; (Freya's choice): Noringen https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/n%C3%B8ringen/1429982304


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.