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Portraits Day

Louise Fryer presents musical portraits. Berlioz: King Lear Overture. Sibelius: Tapiola. Barber: Medea suite (excerpts). Janacek: Taras Bulba. Shostakovich: Symphony No 10.

As part of Radio 3's Portraits Day, Louise Fryer is joined by acclaimed actress and director Fiona Shaw to explore musical portraits of fictional, mythical and legendary characters: from Shakespeare's doomed monarch King Lear and the Finnish forest spirit Tapi, to mythological Medea and Taras Bulba, Gogol's Ukrainian Cossack. Fiona shares her insights into bringing fictional characters to life and music's ability to portray unique and inspiring individuals, real or imagined.

First performed in December 1953, Shostakovich's Symphony No 10 is a multi-layered portrait - of the composer himself through the use of his self-referencing DSCH motif, of the recently deceased Stalin who is represented in the second movement, and of Elmira Nazirova the student with whom he was in love and whose theme can be heard in the third movement.

Berlioz: King Lear Overture
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thierry Fischer (conductor)

Sibelius: Tapiola
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)

Barber: Medea suite (excerpts)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
conductor Marin Alsop

Janacek: Taras Bulba
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)

Shostakovich: Symphony No 10
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor).

2 hours, 30 minutes

Last on

Mon 7 May 2012 14:00

Music Played

  • Hector Berlioz

    Le Roi Lear - overture Op.4

    Conductor: Thierry FISCHER Performer: BBC National Orchestra Of Wales

  • Jean Sibelius

    Tapiola - tone poem Op.112

    Conductor: Ilan VOLKOV Performer: BBC Scottish S O

  • Samuel Barber

    Medea (Cave of the heart) - suite

    Conductor: Marin ALSOP Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    • NAXOS.
    • 8.-559088.
  • Leos Janáček

    Taras Bulba - rhapsody for orchestra

    Conductor: Jonathan NOTT Performer: Bamberg S O.

    • TUDOR.
    • 71-35.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Symphony no. 10 in E minor Op.93

    Conductor: Vassily SINAISKY Performer: BBC Philharmonic