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Wednesday - Rob Cowan

With Rob Cowan. CD of the Week: Homage to Pavlova; Brainteaser: Critic's Corner. Artist of the Week: Quartetto Italiano; Essential Choice: Haydn: String Quartet in B flat (Sunrise).

With Rob Cowan and his guest Alex Jennings

A selection of music, including the Essential CD of the Week: 'Homage To Pavlova' with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Bonynge. Also, at 9:30am, our daily brainteaser - Listener Puzzle

Artist of the Week: Quartetto Italiano

With Radio 3 having just marked Benjamin Britten's centenary, our guest on Essential Classics is acclaimed actor Alex Jennings. He has a particular insight into the life of Britten, having played him on stage at the National Theatre in Alan Bennett's play, The Habit of Art. Alex Jennings has played many other leading roles in productions at the National Theatre, as well as at the RSC. He has also performed in Bernstein's Candide at the English National Opera and won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Demonstrating his versatility, he has won two other Oliver awards for roles in the Russian comedy Too Clever by Half and Ibsen's Peer Gynt. His TV appearances include The State Within, Inspector Morse, Silk, Spooks and The Inspector Alleyn Myteries, whilst his film roles include Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and The Queen, in which he played Prince Charles.

Rob's Essential Choice

String Quartet in B flat major Op.76 No.4 'Sunrise'
Matangi Quartet

Also in this hour, Lucky Dip: Rob dips into his CD collection and shares a piece ? it could be a recent discovery, an old favourite, or simply something that just has to be heard. Expect the unexpected!

3 hours

Music Played

  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Eugene Onegin: Polka

    Orchestra: The 'Maly' Moscow Symphonic Orchestra. Conductor: Vladimir Ponkin.
    • Saison Russe.
  • Bedrich Smetana

    Louise's Polka

    Performer: Jan Novotny.
    • Supraphon.
  • Riccardo Drigo

    Le reveil de Flore: Part II

    Performer: John Georgiadis. Performer: Osian Ellis. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Bonynge.
    • Decca Eloquence.
  • Dieterich Buxtehude

    Cantate Domino, BuxWV

    Ensemble: Currende. Conductor: Erik Van Nevel.
    • Accent.
  • Borodin

    Serenata alla Spagnata

    Performer: Borodin Quartet.
    • TELDEC.
  • anon


    Conductor: anon.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    5 Melodies, op. 35bis: No. 2 Lento ma non tanto

    Performer: Gidon Kremer. Performer: Martha Argerich.
    • DG.
  • William Walton

    Music for Children (excerpts)

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: William Walton.
    • Lyrita.
  • William Walton

    Spitfire Prelude and Fugue

    Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Charles Groves.
    • EMI.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Waltz in A minor Op.34 No.2

    Performer: Vladimir Feltsman (piano).
    • NIMBUS.
  • Maurice Ravel

    String Quartet

    Ensemble: Quartetto Italiano.
    • Philips.
  • Jules Massenet


    Performer: Art Tatum.
    • Proper Records.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act II: conclusion

    Singer: Maria Callas. Singer: Tito Gobbi. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Conductor: Victor de Sabata.
    • EMI.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Parthia VII - Trezza

    Performer: Il Giardino Armonico. Performer: Giovanni Antonini (director).
    • TELDEC.
  • Joseph Haydn

    String Quartet in B flat major, Op 76 No 4, 'Sunrise'

    Ensemble: Matangi Quartet.
    • Challenge Classics.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Symphony No 2 in B flat major, Op 4 (Scherzo)

    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: José Serebrier.
    • Warner.
  • Tchaikovsky

    The Tempest Op.18

    Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Claudio Abbado (Conductor).
    • SONY.

Today’s Brainteaser Answer

Endings: Famous endings by three British composers.

The music played:

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Spitfire Prelude and Fugue

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Charles Groves (conductor)

EMI CDM 567 222 2 


Vaughan Williams

Fantasia on theme by Thomas Tallis

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Bernard Haitink (conductor)

EMI CDC 749 394 2                           



Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Op. 39 No. 1

New Philharmonia Orchestra

John Barbirolli (conductor)

EMI CDZ 569 585 2               


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