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Music Matters

3 October 2004

Sunday 3 October 2004 17:45-18:30 (Radio 3)

Virtuoso recorder player Michala Petri talks about forging a modern career with an instrument most associated with baroque music. And, as productions of the one-act opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle open in England and Scotland, Music Matters looks at the personal and psychosexual elements of Bartok's dark, interior drama.#


45 minutes

On this programme:

The baton
Presenter Tom Service conducts...

Listen Up!, the UK-wide festival of orchestras, is now well underway.
This week, Tom unlocks the mystery of the baton, helped by conductors Jane Glover and Robert King and a visit to JP Guivier in London.

Listen Up! 23rd September - 5th November
Listen Up! website

Mahler Letters
Gustav Mahler
A new book of Mahler's letters has just been published, telling the amazing story of his relationship with his wife, Alma. The marriage was a meeting of creative minds, yet Mahler insisted that Alma give up composing and devote herself completely to him. In conversation with Antony Beaumont, who translated the letters, Paul Kildea and Peggy Reynolds, Tom explores the intense private life of this great composer.

Gustav Mahler: Letters to his Wife. Pub. Faber and Faber. Hardback, £25

As part of the Listen Up! Festival, you can hear the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Tadaaki Otaka in a performance of Mahler's 1st Symphony in Performance on 3 on 3rd October at 6.30pm, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Alexander Lazarev performing Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen on 12th October & Pierre Boulez conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's 7th Symphony on 13th October.

Listen Up! website

Bartok: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
Peter Fried (Duke Bluebeard) and Andrea Melath (Judith)

There are two forthcoming productions of Bluebeard's Castle, in London and Glasgow. What is it about this work, Bartok's only opera, that captivates today's audiences?

Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, mezzo Petra Lang, and musicologist Rachel Beckles Willson unravel this fascinating psycho-drama.

Hungarian National Opera and Ballet in a Bartok double-bill of Duke Bluebeard's Castle and The Miraculous Mandarin at Sadler's Wells Theatre, 4th-6th October.
Scottish Opera in a Bartok double-bill of Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung at The Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 8th-16th October & at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 21st & 23rd October.

Michala Petri
Michala Petri

There's more to the recorder than classroom bleating: Danish recorder player Michala Petri has enjoyed an international career as a virtuoso recorder soloist. She talks to Tom about her latest project, transcribing Bach's solo cello suites for the instrument.

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