Friday 29 November 2013, 10:04
Welcome to the Essential Classics Blog, where you can find out what’s coming up in the week ahead. We’ve got two very special Marias to delight your ear buds this week: a daily tribute to the incomparable Maria Callas; and our Artist of the Week is the Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires.
Callas: 90th Anniversary
Maria Callas, 1958
Love her or loathe her, there can be no question that Maria Callas made one of the most dramatic impacts in the history of opera. While the voice itself continues to be a controversial topic even to this day (not least among Radio 3 staff), we couldn’t let the 90th anniversary of her birth go unmentioned, and so every day this week we’re featuring Callas in an aria she was especially associated with. Tune in at 11am to hear arias by Donizetti, Puccini, Bellini, Catalani and Giordano. Watch her in one of her signature roles: Tosca.
Artist of the Week
Maria Joao Pires
Our Artist of the Week this week is Maria João Pires, a pianist known for her delicate touch and expressive interpretations. Her account of Chopin’s Nocturnes is one of the most celebrated on disc, and as well as dipping into her solo recordings, we’ll also hear Pires collaborating with others, including Grieg’s Violin Sonata in C minor (where she is joined by Augustin Dumay) and Schumann’s passionate Piano Quintet. And we’ll be rounding off the week with her beautifully lyrical reading of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Andre Previn.
So, lots to look forward to. As always, we’d love to hear your comments, so please feel free to post on the blog, or you can get in touch via email or Twitter:
Wednesday 27 November 2013, 16:28
Monday 2 December 2013, 11:59