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Playing: 2 Choral Songs: Zaczarowana krolewna; Przy rozstaniu by Władysław Żeleński
BBC Radio 3

Making his debut with the BBC Singers, Ben Parry - recently-appointed director of the National Youth Choir - appears as both composer and conductor in last Monday's Radio 3 Live in Concert, at St Paul's Knightsbridge. The programme explored music derived from the Biblical words 'In the beginning'. This is the phrase which begins both the Creation story in the Book of Genesis at the very start of the Bible, and also reveals - in language both poetic and mystical - the nature of Christ's incarnation at the opening of the Gospel of St John.


Music by two Renaissance masters - Lassus and Sheppard - was paired with works by composers from our own day - John Rutter, Ligeti, Copland, Jonathan Dove, Jonathan Rathbone, Antony Pitts and Gabriel Jackson, and including the first performance of a piece by Ben Parry himself, setting words from Genesis and St John's Gospel about Creation and Incarnation, and about the biblical image which links both those things: light.

Here, you can watch Ben Parry rehearsing the BBC Singers in part of his own piece. The organ is played by Stephen Farr.

The BBC Singers rehearse Ben Parry's First Day for chorus and organ

If you missed the concert, or would like to listen again, it is still available - follow this link.

On Tuesday morning, the BBC Symphony Orchestra assembled at Maida Vale studios to rehearse Bohuslav Martinu's unusual Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra and Magnus Lindberg's Clarinet Concerto. Radio 3 New Generation Artists the Apollon Musagète Quartet were the orchestra's partners in the Martinu, which continued this week's Radio 3 theme of 20th-century music inspired by older music. And former BBC Young Musician of Year Mark Simpson was the soloist in Lindberg's stunning concerto.

You can see part of the Clarinet Concerto rehearsal, with Mark Simpson and conductor Baldur Bronniman, here:

BBC SO - live from Maida Vale

And you can listen to the entire concert by following this link.

On Friday, you can hear the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a concert of British music, live from London's Barbican Hall on BBC Radio 3. John Wilson returns to conduct, and Lawrence Power displays his powers as a persuasive champion of York Bowen's gloriously romantic Viola Concerto, written for Lionel Tertis in 1908 - this provides the emotional core for a concert lit with ribald humour. Walton's ingenious 'comedy overture' Scapino, an exhilarating orchestral showpiece, finds a spirited echo in Vaughan Williams's earthy Five Tudor Portraits. Setting texts by Henry VIII's one-time tutor John Skelton, Vaughan Williams conjures up fives vivid character sketches, from the drunken Elinor Rumming to the charming Pretty Bess, a scherzo for the tattered Jolly Rutterkin, and Jane Scroop's heartfelt Requiem to her pet sparrow.

Find full details of the concert and broadcast by following this link.

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