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Music from the BBC NOW. Bennett: Suite for Lady Caroline Lamb. Schumann: Cello Concerto. Puw: ...onyt agoraf y drws... Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi. Elgar: Enigma Variations.

Louise Fryer presents three programmes featuring recent concerts, recordings and a workshop by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer and Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen. On Wednesday we go live to BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff to join the orchestra and guest conductor Thomas Dausgaard with tenor Ben Johnson, one of Radio 3's New Generation Artists.

Dutch conductor Jac van Steen has been Principal Guest Conductor with the BBC NOW since 2005. He brings a depth and insight to nineteenth century repertoire and a particular passion for contemporary music. He is also keen to encourage and nurture new talent.

Jac conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at a concert given a fortnight ago in the grand surroundings of The Memorial Hall at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. It's a semi-circular auditorium of stepped seats, built in 1925 to commemorate the 745 pupils who died in the First World War. Philip Dukes is the Artistic Director of the Music Department at Marlborough, and as a viola player he's a regular collaborator with the orchestra. Today he's the soloist in Richard Rodney Bennett's suite from his score to the 1973 film "Lady Caroline Lamb", a steamy romantic drama starring Sarah Miles as Lady Caroline and Richard Chamberlain as her lover Lord Byron.

Cellist Natalie Clein is firmly established among Britain's leading artists, praised for her mesmerising performances. She's a past BBC Young Musician of the Year and Radio 3 New Generation Artist. Today Natalie plays Schumann's warm and romantic concerto, a perfect opportunity for her to express the lyrical and eloquent nature of her instrument.

Until recently, Welsh composer Guto Puw was Resident Composer with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Last year Jac van Steen took the orchestra them into the studio to record a CD of Guto's music for Signum Classics. Today you can hear a pre-release preview of a work from this disc, '...onyt agoraf y drws...' ('...unless I open the door...'), a BBC commission for the 2007 Proms. It describes an epic medieval adventure from the Mabinogion, a Welsh-language collection of mythological tales.

Earlier this month Jac van Steen led the orchestra in more contemporary music, this time an intensive workshop for new composers. We'll have news of this event and hear a concert performance of one of the best new works to emerge.

Then comes another recent recording and another work for viola and orchestra. Lawrence Power is the brilliant soloist in Flos Campi by Ralph Vaughan Williams (himself a viola player). It's one of his most original and haunting works, inspired by biblical texts from the Song of Songs, but using only a wordless chorus with the soloist and orchestra. This stunning Hyperion recording has already been highly praised for Lawrence's "rich, warm sensuous tone and flamboyant virtuosity" together with conductor Martyn Brabbins' "imaginative flair and masterly orchestral control". The CD has featured as both a Sunday Times Classical CD of the week and a Gramophone Critics Choice 2011.

Richard Rodney Bennett: Suite for Lady Caroline Lamb
Philip Dukes (viola)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jac van Steen (conductor)

c. 2.20pm
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Natalie Clein (cello)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jac van Steen (conductor)

c. 2.25pm
Guto Puw: ...onyt agoraf y drws...
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jac van Steen (conductor)

c. 3.15pm
Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

c. 3.40pm
Elgar: Symphony no. 3
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Richard Hickox (conductor).

2 hours, 30 minutes

Last on

Mon 20 Feb 2012 14:00

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Music Played

  • Richard Rodney Bennett

    Suite for Lady Caroline Lamb

    Performer: Philip Dukes (viola) Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Jac van Steen

  • Robert Schumann

    Cello Concerto

    Performer: Natalie Clein (cello) Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Jac van Steen

  • Guto Puw

    Onyt agoraf y drws

    Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Jac van Steen

  • Joseph Davies

    Night Resonance Recedes

    Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Jac van Steen

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Flos Campi

    Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Martin Brabbins

  • Edward Elgar

    Symphony no. 3

    Performer: BBC National Orchestra of Wales Conductor: Richard Hickox

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