iPlayer Radio What's New?
Listen
On Now : Breakfast
Playing: Concerto no. 24 in C minor K.491 for piano and orchestra: 2nd mvt; Larghetto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Image for St Petersburg

Listen now 15 mins

Listen in pop-out player

St Petersburg

The Essay, Music on the Brink Episode 4 of 5

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 09 January 2014

Stepping back in time exactly a century, five BBC News correspondents present their personal perspectives on the capital cities of the major European powers that, later in 1914, would fight the Great War.

The series continues with the remarkable city which would - uniquely - soon be renamed amidst bloody regicide and revolution: St Petersburg.

The BBC's Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg, finds a revealing connection, however, between the St. Petersburg of 1914 and its counterpart of today.

Foreshadowing the appalling conflict to come across the European continent, he tells the remarkable story of the Grand International Masters' Chess Tournament of 1914, with its starring cast of Russian, German, French, British and American competitors and its dramas of who won and who lost.

But the tournament also demonstrated the Russian passion for chess that continues to this day and helps define its national identity as well as the fierce competition with other countries.

As part of the Music on the Brink season, each programme in this series of The Essay considers the special character of St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Paris and London.

Producer Simon Coates.

Broadcasts

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 and Culture of WW1

    Music and Culture of WW1

    Highlights of BBC Radio 3’s special programmes to mark the WW1 centenary. Classical music, art,…

  3. Image for Radio 3 Essay

    Radio 3 Essay

    Authored essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond,…

  4. Image for Spirit of Schubert

    Spirit of Schubert

    BBC Radio 3 tells you everything you need to know about Franz Schubert. These free downloads will…

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