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Coates, Copland, Virgil Thomson

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 07 May 2012

Live from Birmingham Town Hall

Presented by Alistair McGowan

For Portraits Day, the impressionist and actor Alistair McGowan hosts this special concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, of musical portraits from England and America.

The most prominent American portrait comes from Aaron Copland, who sets Lincoln's renowned Gettysburg address, while Virgil Thomson's waltzes reflect the colourful life of New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Eric Coates' suite celebrates in music three English queens: Queen Elizabeth II, her mother, and her ancestral namesake. The culmination of the evening is perhaps the most famous collection of musical portraits, Elgar's depiction of his friends in the Enigma Variations.

Coates: Suite Three Elizabeths
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
Virgil Thomson: La Guardia Waltzes

Stuart Milligan (narrator),
BBC Concert Orchestra,
conductor Barry Wordsworth.


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