Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Louise Fryer with music from BBC orchestras. Britten: Canticle III - Still Falls the Rain. Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 9. Britten: Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra.

Best of British.

Music from the 1940s and 50s. Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings is the oldest work in today's programme. Written during the Second World War at the request of horn player Dennis Brain, it's steeped in the atmosphere of night and evokes both the calmness of sleep and the terror of the darkest hours.

As with so many other composers, Vaughan Williams's Ninth Symphony is his last. It was premiered in 1958, the same year he died, and although it confused audiences at the time, it has grown in reputation in the intervening years.

And today's programme starts with the third of Britten's Canticles - Still falls the rain, to a text by Edith Sitwell. Alongside tenor - and recent BBC New Generation Artist - Ben Johnson are pianist James Baillieu and horn player Martin Owen.

Presented by Louise Fryer.

Britten: Canticle III - Still falls the rain Op.55
Ben Johnson (tenor),
Martin Owen (horn),
James Baillieu (piano).

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 9
BBC Philharmonic,
John Wilson (conductor).

Rex Gloriae 4 motets (Op.83)
BBC Singers
Stephen Disley (organ)
Stephen Cleobury (conductor)

Britten: Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra, Op. 31
Andrew Kennedy (tenor),
Tim Thorpe (horn),
BBC National Orchestra Of Wales,
Tadaaki Otaka (conductor).

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Benjamin Britten

    Canticle III - Still falls the rain Op.55 for tenor, horn and piano

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Symphony no. 9 in E minor

  • William Mathias

    Rex Gloriae ?4 Latin motets (Op.83)

  • Benjamin Britten

    Serenade Op.31 for tenor, horn and string orchestra