iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Cosima Wagner, Music from the Genome, John Adams

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Cosima Wagner, Music from the Genome, John Adams

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 03 July 2010

Tom Service with a biography of Cosima Wagner. Plus Music from the Genome, mixing music and science, and John Adams' musical I was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, and an interview with conductor Vladimir Jurowski.

  • Vladimir Jurowski

    Vladimir Jurowski

    In Music Matters this week Tom Service talks to Vladimir Jurowski: Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Artist at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Music Director at Glyndebourne Opera. He one of the world’s most sought after conductors and is currently preparing to conduct Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne.

    He talks to Tom about his desire to restore the shocks and strangeness of Mozart’s music and Da Ponte’s drama, and how he deals with the postmodern schizophrenia of the score. But if, as Jurowski says, it is music that takes over if you’re lucky enough to conduct it, does that mean he becomes Don Giovanni when he’s conducting it?

    Image © Sheila Rock

    Don Giovanni runs from the 4th July to the 27th August at Glyndebourne
  • Cosima Wagner

    Cosima Wagner

    Cosima Wagner - illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt, wife of the conductor Hans von Bülow, then mistress and subsequently wife of Richard Wagner. After Wagner’s death in 1883 Cosima played a crucial role in the promulgation and politicisation of his works, assuming control of the Bayreuth Festival and transforming it into a shrine to German nationalism. In a new book published by Yale, Olver Hilmes looks at the High Priestess of the Wagnerian cult, who lived on for almost fifty years, crafting the image of Richard Wagner through her organisational ability and ideological tenacity.

    Writer John Deathridge and Observer critic Fiona Maddocks join Tom to review the book.

    Image © AKG-Images

    Cosima Wagner: Lady of Bayreuth by Oliver Hilmes is available from Yale University Press
  • I Was Looking at the Ceiling...

    I Was Looking at the Ceiling...

    An “Earth-quake romance” hits Theatre Royal, Stratford East this week. Taking its title from a quote by a survivor of the 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California, the acclaimed ‘I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky’ by John Adams explores the lives of seven inner-city young people living on the West Coast of America.

    Tom visits rehearsals for The Barbican and Theatre Royal, Stratford East’s new production, with a talented young cast from a variety of musical backgrounds, and speaks to Director Michael Xia and Music Director Clark Rundell about reclaiming Adams’ opera/musical/earthquake-pastoral for audiences today.

    I was looking at the Ceiling... is at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until the 17th July
  • Music from the Genome

    Music from the Genome

    Allele, a new 40 part unaccompanied choral work in which the New London Chamber Choir sing parts derived directly from their own genetic code, will receive its premiere in Oxford next week. Genetic information from a DNA sample of each singer was used to create their individual part, focussing on fragments of variations between the singers.

    Tom talks to composer Michael Zev Gordon, geneticist Andrew Morley and poet Ruth Padel about their creative response to cutting edge genetics and hearing what your DNA sounds like.

    The NLCC perform Allele on the 9th July at the Diamond Light Syncotron, Didcot.


Free downloads

  1. Image for BBC World War One

    BBC World War One

    BBC Radio brings you stories of the war that changed who we are, with documentaries exploring the…

  2. Image for Music Matters

    Music Matters

    The latest news on classical music. Interviews with key UK and international performers, composers,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss