Rodney Trudgeon’s Concert Notes is a collection of essays on famous classical, orchestral compositions. The pieces in this collection — short reflections on well-known classical compositions — have appeared in concert programmes that have accompanied performances by the Cape Town and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestras. The author is a well-known radio host and presenter on Fine Music Radio. He is an expert on the range of musical genres that broadly fall under the category ‘classical music’.
The text that comprises Rodney Trudgeon’s Concert Notes is structured alphabetically according to composer and gives a broad overview of the development of classical music, starting with the Baroque period and ending with modern, atonal music. Each piece is dedicated to a particular musical composition, describing its highlights, its history, and what makes it unique. Broadly, the pieces are grouped together according to the following three broad categories: ouvertures, concertos, and symphonies, mimicking the structure of concert programmes. Each entry also includes a short biography of its composer.
Trudgeon’s style is easy to read and accessible to all readers: from those who listen to classical music regularly to those who are unfamiliar with it. Overall, this collection is a useful and informative musical guide, making a case for listening to orchestral music.