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The week ahead on Essential Classics – Bryn Terfel and Olivia Williams

Welcome to this week’s Essential Classics Blog, where you can find out what’s coming up in the week ahead. The Sound of Cinema season has meant Hollywood has stolen the limelight a little recently, but we’re turning to home-grown talent for both our CD of the Week  and our guest, actress Olivia Williams.

CD of the Week

English song is on the menu for this week’s CD of the week, with Bryn Terfel singing music by Vaughan Williams, Ireland, Finzi and Butterworth on his 1995 disc ‘The Vagabond’. This repertoire sometimes gets a bit of a bad press, but if any disc is going to convert you, it’s this one. Hear a track each day between 9.00 and 9.30.

Bryn Terfel - The Vagabond

And if you fancy a behind-the-scenes look at the celebrated Welsh baritone, try the 2012 BBC documentary Meeting Bryn Terfel .

 Guest Interview

It’s the final week of our Sound of Cinema season on Radio 3 (bring out the violins) and we’re delighted to have the stage and screen actress Olivia Williams on as our guest. Each day from Monday 30th September she’ll be talking to Rob about her love of music, as well as her career, which includes roles in films such as The Sixth Sense, An Education and The Ghost (Writer). Here she is pictured as Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets. Hear Olivia talking to Rob at 10.30 each day.

Olivia Williams

As usual, if you’d like to get in touch, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch via email or Twitter:


Email: essentialclassics@bbc.co.uk
Twitter: #essentialclassics 
 
 BBC Radio 3
• Essential Classics
• Rob Cowan

 

Comments

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Charlie

    on 6 Oct 2013 11:23

    A fascinating choice of music, as ever, Rob. Thank you.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by Markarian

    on 4 Oct 2013 08:06

    I agree Dominic. I don't know of a better song cycle than VW's Songs of Travel - on right now - especially when sung by Bryn Terfel. Surely one of the all-time classics - magnificent stuff!
    Mark

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Dom Wells

    on 2 Oct 2013 15:45

    Hello. Dominic here (part of the Essential Classics team). Re: Markarian's question about why English song gets a bad press - I think a lot of it is simply to do with fashion, and such fashions (in this case, that English song is boring and imitative) tend to sway people's opinions before they've really given the music a chance. And by that, I mean sitting down properly with a good recording and listening to a song cycle like Let Us Garlands Bring, preferably with the text in front of you, and properly taking it in. Just because the music isn't 'difficult' to listen to, it doesn't mean it doesn't deserve proper attention.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Ceiderduck

    on 2 Oct 2013 09:41

    Hello Charlie and thanks for that list - as Alex mentioned it actually was Alexandre Desplat's piece. I never realised there was a playlist for the show. Another artist to look into, happy days :)

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by Markarian

    on 2 Oct 2013 08:27

    "This repertoire sometimes gets a bit of a bad press..."
    I wonder why that is? Because it's not the usual Schubert lieder? Someone once suggested to me that Finzi and co were a bit twee! Hardly - it can be very beautifully lyrical (listening to the wonderful Eclogue right now) but challenging also. Definitely unfair to give it bad press. Or am I alone?

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Markarian

    on 2 Oct 2013 08:11

    Ahhh the Eclogue - wonderful. When is it on so I don't miss it? More Finzi on Radio 3 please, please, please....?

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by Essential Classics

    on 1 Oct 2013 13:34

    One of great things about talking to our guests is watching how they respond to the music you play them for their 'Personal Shopper'. Debbie last week, for example ... she really went with Martinu 4, its sense of action, its fast driving, the boldness of its (quirky) rhythms, and those pungent harmonies.She loved all of it. Olivia's PS could hardly be more different, though it does have one thing in common with the Martinu ... but you'll need to wait until Friday to find out what it is. Coming back home, do try and catch Finzi's Eclogue tomorrow.
    Rob C

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Alex Anderson

    on 1 Oct 2013 09:53

    Thanks Charlie. If it was the piece just before 11am, then it was Alexandre Desplat The Ghost Writer: The Truth about Ruth. Anyway, thanks for your reply and also for the link. As you say, a full playlist for each day is online from midday.

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Charlie

    on 1 Oct 2013 08:50

    Chopin's 'Les Sylphides', sparrow wagpie! You can find it in the online playlist in the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03brspm

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by Ceiderduck

    on 30 Sept 2013 20:39

    Can anyone help re the track played just before 11am today, before Olivia's interview? Thanks

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