Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Thursday - Rob Cowan with Susan Hill

With Rob Cowan. Five Reasons to Love: violin miniatures; Musical challenge: Find the Fourth; Artist of the Week: Belcea Quartet; Essential Choice: Mahler: Adagio (Symphony No 10).

Discover definitive recordings of the greatest classical music with your trusted guide, Rob Cowan. This week his guest is the author Susan Hill.

A selection of music including '5 Reasons to Love' violin miniatures, featuring
great romantic showpieces performed by star violinists Hagai Shaham, Nikolaj Znaider, Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Grumiaux.

Find the Fourth
Take part in our daily challenge: spot the theme linking three pieces of music and identify the missing fourth.

Especially for Halloween week, the author Susan Hill joins Rob in the studio. Susan's writing career has encompassed acclaimed literary novels, ghost stories, children's books, detective novels and memoirs. Her ghost story The Woman in Black was adapted into a successful film and is currently running as a play in the West End. Susan shares a selection of her favourite music with Rob.

Artist of the Week:
The Belcea Quartet performing quartets by Ravel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' and Brahms' String Quintet, Op. 111.

This week's Essential Choices feature composers' final masterpieces, written at the end of their lives.
Adagio (Symphony No. 10)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelik (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • John Philip Sousa

    Sabre and Spurs

    Orchestra: Eastman Wind Orchestra. Conductor: Frederick Fennell.
  • 5 Reasons to love... Violin Miniatures

    • Alexander Borodin


      Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Isaac Stern. Conductor: Frank Brieff.
      • SONY.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Consecration of the House: Overture

    Conductor: Otto Klemperer. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra.
    • EMI.
  • anon

    Find the Fourth

  • Hector Berlioz

    Romeo et Juliette: Queen Mab Scherzo

    Conductor: Pierre Monteux. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
  • anon

    Find the Fourth

  • Nicolas Gombert

    Magnificat primi toni

    Ensemble: Stile Antico.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Peer Gynt Suite No.1: Morning

    Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Orchestra: BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.
    • DG.
  • Susan Hill's Choice No. 1

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      Eugene Onegin: Letter Scene

      Singer: Nuccia Focile. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov. Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Susan Hill's Choice No. 2

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      The Magic Flute (Overture)

      Orchestra: Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
      • DG.
  • Zoltán Kodály

    Epigram No 2 (Nine Epigrams)

    Performer: Natalie Clein. Performer: Julius Drake.
    • Zoltan Kodaly, Sonata for solo cello: Clein / Drake.
    • Hyperion.
    • 6.
  • Zoltán Kodály

    Epigram No.1

    Performer: Natalie Klein (cello). Performer: Julius Drake (piano).
  • Artists of the Week: Belcea Quartet

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      String Quartet in D major, K.499 ‘Hoffmeister’

      Ensemble: Belcea Quartet.
      • EMI.
  • Essential Choice

    • Gustav Mahler

      Adagio (Symphony No.10)

      Conductor: Rafael Kubelík. Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
      • DG.
  • Erno Dohnanyi

    Konzertstuck in D, Op.12

    Performer: János Starker. Conductor: Walter Süsskind. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra.

Musical Challenge - Find the Fourth

Answer: Morning


The music played:


Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune
Guido Cantelli (conductor)

Vaughan Williams
Silent Noon
Bryn Terfel (baritone)
Malcolm Martineau (piano)

Die Nacht
Katarina Karneus (mezzo-soprano)
Roger Vignoles (piano)



Our Classical Century

Our Classical Century

Radio 3 explores 100 key musical moments that shaped us, from 1918 to the present day.

Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough presents quirky tales gathered from the corners of history.