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Radio 3 Guide to the Opera
With Penny Gore.
Ryan Wigglesworth conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in an Entente Cordiale of British and French music. Joanna MacGregor, widely acclaimed as one of the world's most innovative musicians, is the soloist in Hugh Wood's jazz-influenced Piano Concerto. Hugh Wood celebrates his 80th birthday this year.
Elgar's warm and sunny overture In the South opens the programme, a musical postcard from a happy holiday in Mediterranean Italy.
The watery influence seeps into the French second half, which concludes with Debussy's revolutionary seascape La Mer, a sparkling of light at play on the ocean, forever associated with Hokusai's famous woodprint of the Great Wave. Around the same time, Ravel turned his attention to depicting a boat setting sail, fighting with wind and ocean's current. Originally one of his piano pieces, he later scored "Une barque sur l'ocean" with great precision for full orchestral colour. Henry Wood, founder of the Proms, was an early champion of Debussy in England, so it's fitting that Debussy's most popular piano pieces, La cathedrale engloutie, is heard in a rarely heard orchestration by Wood himself.
Presented by Martin Handley.
Elgar: In the South (Alassio)
Hugh Wood: Piano Concerto
Ravel: Une barque sur l'océan
Debussy, orch. Henry Wood: La cathédrale engloutie
Debussy: La mer
Joanna MacGregor (piano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Ryan Wigglesworth (conductor).