Petroc Trelawny investigates the place of classical music in fiction and why it appeals to authors from Louis de Bernieres to Rose Tremain.
Novelist Ian McEwan has written his first libretto for composer Michael Berkeley and both composer and librettist talk together about their collaboration, For You.
Plus a look at the world of philanthropy, asking how much does the classical music world rely on the charitable donations of the super-rich.
In this programme
Download the complete programme on this week's Music Matters podcast.*
Composer Michael Berkeley has teamed up with novelist Ian McEwan for his latest opera - For You. McEwan has written the libretto for the piece, in his second collaboration with Berkeley, following their work together on the oratorio, Or Shall We Die in the early-eighties.
The central character of For You is Charles, an ageing composer / conductor and a serial adulterer with a long-suffering wife. They share their residence with Maria, the Polish Housekeeper, who harbours a passion for Charles and thinks he loves her in return - a simple misunderstanding that has terrible consequences.
Petroc went to rehearsals in Cardiff, to meet both librettist and composer and find out how their collaboration worked.
Music Theatre Wales' production of For You opens at the Hay Festival in Brecon on 31st May and tours the UK until the end of November.
Ian McEwan'slibretto is available through Vintage for £5.99.
You can hear Michael Berkeley's oratorio Or Shall We Die? On BBC Radio 3's Performance on 3 on Tuesday 27th May at 7pm.
Music in fiction
Leading novelists often use music as a tool to help evoke mood, create tension, or to give a sense of place. In his latest novel, The Lighted Rooms by Richard Mason is the latest novel to explore the possibilities of classical music as a theme. Mason, Ian McEwan and Patrick Gale give their thoughts on the value of using music in their writing. Petroc is joined by author and critic Philip Hensher, music writer Jessica Duchen and musician and broadcaster Richard Coles to discuss the place of music in fiction and the difficulties faced in writing about it.
Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency is published by Fourth Estate, £17.99, h/b.
Jessica Duchen's Hungarian Dances is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £19.99, h/b.
Sir Peter Moores is one of Britain's leading philanthropists and the Peter Moores Foundation has given away more than £160 million funding music projects such as Opera Rara and the Opera in English series on Chandos. He comes from the family business, Littlewoods Pools, and dedicated his life to public service, as a former BBC Governor, Trustee of the Tate and Director of Scottish Opera. In a rare interview he explains his philosophy of giving to Petroc. Before that: archive of the godfather of modern philanthropy, Andrew Carnegie - his Gospel of Wealth became the early 20th Century bible for philanthropists worldwide; Founder Director of Philanthropy UK and author of a book called Why People Give, Theresa Lloyd; and Matthew Peacock, Director of Streetwise Opera, one of the organisations benefiting from the help of philanthropists.