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Episode 2

Duration:
3 hours
First broadcast:
Tuesday 23 February 2010

Penny Gore presents a week of programmes reflecting on musical firsts featuring the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

A quartet of works all influenced by the sea opens today's programme. "Sneaker Wave" was written for the 2004 Proms by Joby Talbot, who is also a distinguished writer of film and TV scores, as well as arranging for pop musicians from Ute Lemper to Tom Jones. Joby brings the full force of the orchestra crashing down to portray this massive wall of water, including, in this performance, the mighty Albert Hall organ.

Welsh composer Grace Williams made her home on the coast, just outside Cardiff, overlooking the Bristol Channel. Her evocative Sea Sketches were premiered in 1947 at the BBC studios in Cardiff, and have become a familiar favourite of Welsh orchestral music ever since.

Michael Berkeley first heard the haunting sound of whales singing as they "bubble net" as part of a Radio 4 programme "World on the Move". This unique song moved him to incorporate a recording in his recent commission for BBC NOW - "Gabriel's Lament". Today Penny also hears from the producer, Joe Stevens, about this remarkable underwater vocal talent.

Julian Philips wrote his seascape for the orchestra a decade ago, and it was soon championed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Afternoon on 3 closes with a concert featuring the first broadcast of "Taliesin", the final work composed by Alun Hoddinott, who for over half a century was at the heart of Welsh musical life. Penny is joined by Swansea Festival director Huw Tregelles Williams, to hear about the new piece, the composer and this remarkable concert from the 2009 festival, featuring the orchestra's Associate Guest Conductor Francois-Xavier Roth. The French conductor is joined by his organist father Daniel, in the final work today, the ever-popular Organ Symphony by Saint-Saens.

Joby Talbot: Sneaker Wave
David Childs (euphonium)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Grant Llewellyn (conductor)

Grace Williams: Sea Sketches
Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Tadaaki Otaka (conductor)

Michael Berkerley: Gabriel's Lament
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC National Chorus of Wales
Thierry Fischer (conductor)

3pm
Julian Philips: Strange seas for orchestra
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Grant Llewellyn (conductor)

3.30pm
Berlioz: Le Carnaval Romain - Overture (Op.9)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Francois-Xavier Roth (conductor)

Alun Hoddinott: Taliesin
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Francois-Xavier Roth (conductor)

4.10pm
Debussy: Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Francois-Xavier Roth (conductor)

Saint-Saens: Symphony no. 3 in C minor "Organ symphony" (Op. 78)
Daniel Roth (organ)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Francois-Xavier Roth (conductor).

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