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Playing: Orchestral Dance from "Alceste" (1674) by Jean-Baptiste Lully
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Portraits Day

Duration:
2 hours, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 07 May 2012

As part of Radio 3's Portraits Day, Louise Fryer is joined by acclaimed actress and director Fiona Shaw to explore musical portraits of fictional, mythical and legendary characters: from Shakespeare's doomed monarch King Lear and the Finnish forest spirit Tapi, to mythological Medea and Taras Bulba, Gogol's Ukrainian Cossack. Fiona shares her insights into bringing fictional characters to life and music's ability to portray unique and inspiring individuals, real or imagined.

First performed in December 1953, Shostakovich's Symphony No 10 is a multi-layered portrait - of the composer himself through the use of his self-referencing DSCH motif, of the recently deceased Stalin who is represented in the second movement, and of Elmira Nazirova the student with whom he was in love and whose theme can be heard in the third movement.

2.00pm
Berlioz: King Lear Overture
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thierry Fischer (conductor)

2.20pm
Sibelius: Tapiola
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)

2.40pm
Barber: Medea suite (excerpts)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
conductor Marin Alsop

3.00pm
Janacek: Taras Bulba
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)

3.30pm
Shostakovich: Symphony No 10
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor).

Music Played

5 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Hector Berlioz
    00:00

    Hector Berlioz Le Roi Lear - overture Op.4

    Conductor: Thierry FISCHER Performer: BBC National Orchestra Of Wales

  • Image for Jean Sibelius
    00:15

    Jean Sibelius Tapiola - tone poem Op.112

    Conductor: Ilan VOLKOV Performer: BBC Scottish S O

  • Image for Samuel Barber
    00:30

    Samuel Barber Medea (Cave of the heart) - suite

    Conductor: Marin ALSOP Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    NAXOS, 8.-559088

  • Image for Leos Janacek
    00:50

    Leos Janacek Taras Bulba - rhapsody for orchestra

    Conductor: Jonathan NOTT Performer: Bamberg S O.

    TUDOR, 71-35

  • Image for Dmitri Shostakovich
    01:11

    Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony no. 10 in E minor Op.93

    Conductor: Vassily SINAISKY Performer: BBC Philharmonic

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