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08/11/2008

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 08 November 2008

Petroc Trelawny is joined by Alexander Waugh to discuss his book about the Wittgensteins, one of the most talented and eccentric families in European history, dogged by conflicts but held together by a fanatical love of music.

He also hears a Remembrance Sunday commission from Portsmouth Grammar School by Peter Maxwell Davies and Andrew Motion.

  • Mark Elder

    Mark Elder is at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this weekend to conduct the opening night of Strauss’s Elektra. Later in the run he will receive his knighthood from Buckingham Palace. Petroc talks to him about Elektra, the operas of Bellini, and his dreams of a Manchester Ring Cycle and a resident opera company for the city he now calls home.

    Elektra at the Royal Opera House opens on Saturday 8th November and continues until Monday 24th November. It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 next year

    Elektra at the Royal Opera House
  • The House of Wittgenstein

    Paul Wittgenstein was the scion of a hugely rich Austrian family. His life as a virtuoso pianist had just started when war broke out, and he immediately volunteered for duty at the front. Just days later he was shot in his right arm, which was then amputated. With one hand remaining he launched his career anew, over the years commissioning Strauss, Hindemith, Ravel, Prokofiev and Britten to write him works. Paul Wittgenstein’s life, and that of his siblings (including his younger brother, philosopher Ludwig) are explored in a new book by Alexander Waugh. Petroc Trelawny talks to the author and also discusses the book with AC Grayling and Norman Lebrecht.



    ‘The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War’ by Alexander Waugh is out now, published by Bloomsbury. Price £20 (hardback)

    Bloomsbury
  • The Five Acts of Harry Patch

    Harry Patch is the sole British survivor of the Western Trenches. 110 this year, his life, including action at Paschendale, and his return to peacetime Somerset to train as a plumber, were explored in a poem earlier this year by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has now set Motion’s words to music, and the choir of Portsmouth Grammar School, an institution with strong military connections, will premiere the work at Portsmouth Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday. Petroc has visited rehearsals and discusses the idea of memorial musical works with Andrew Motion and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

    The Five Acts of Harry Patch is premiered at Portsmouth Cathedral at on Sunday 9th November

    The Five Acts of Harry Patch is premiered at Portsmouth Cathedral at on Sunday 9th November
  • Mark Elder

    Mark Elder is at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this weekend to conduct the opening night of Strauss’s Elektra. Later in the run he will receive his knighthood from Buckingham Palace. Petroc talks to him about Elektra, the operas of Bellini, and his dreams of a Manchester Ring Cycle and a resident opera company for the city he now calls home.

    Elektra at the Royal Opera House opens on Saturday 8th November and continues until Monday 24th November. It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 next year

    Elektra at the Royal Opera House

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