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Idomeneo, Beethoven - Anguish and Triumph, Nelson Freire and Anna Meredith's Postcard from China

Petroc Trelawny reviews the Royal Opera's new production of Idomeneo, talks to Jan Swafford about Beethoven and the pianist Nelson Friere. He also recieves the second of Anna Meredith's Postcards from China.

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45 minutes

Chapters

  • IDOMENEO AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN

    Duration: 12:35

  • BEETHOVEN - ANGUISH AND TRIUMPH BY JAN SWAFFORD

    Duration: 13:28

  • NELSON FREIRE

    Duration: 12:56

  • ANNA MEREDITH'S POSTCARDS FROM CHINA

    Duration: 06:00

IDOMENEO AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN

IDOMENEO AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN

This week a new production of Idomeneo, King of Crete opened at the Royal Opera House in London. It’s directed by Martin Kusej with conductor Marc Minkowski also making his Covent Garden debut. In Mozart’s early opera the war hero Idomeneo promises the gods he will sacrifice the first person he sees in return for a safe journey home. That person is his son Idamante. Petroc Trelwany is joined by the critics Alexandra Coghlan and David Nice to review the production, set in a totalitarian regime full of references to the 20th century including a sect of Goths and children carrying AK47 rifles.

More information:

Idomeneo at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden until 24th November

BEETHOVEN - ANGUISH AND TRIUMPH BY JAN SWAFFORD

BEETHOVEN - ANGUISH AND TRIUMPH BY JAN SWAFFORD

In his new book Beethoven – Anguish and Triumph, Jan Swafford mines sources never before used in English-language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Petroc talks to Swafford about Beethoven being part of the first generation that wrote for the piano, his decision to concentrate solely on composition in the face of deteriorating health, the late quartets being his most modern music and the Apollonian and Dionysian contrasts in his life.

More information:

Beethoven - Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford

NELSON FREIRE

NELSON FREIRE

The Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire turned 70 earlier this year. He was born in the interior state of Minas Gerais and made his first public appearance at the age of five. His family, impressed by their son’s precocious talent, moved to Rio de Janeiro so that he could study with leading teachers. In 1957, after winning the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition the President of Brazil presented him with a grant which allowed him to study in Vienna. Since then his career has gone from strength to strength being hailed as “One of the most exciting pianists of this or any age” by Time Magazine. Petroc Trelawny meets Freire who talks about his time as a teenager in Vienna, his artistic relationship with fellow pianist Martha Argerich, music in his homeland and why he doesn’t like recording sessions.

More information:

Nelson Freire

ANNA MEREDITH'S POSTCARDS FROM CHINA

ANNA MEREDITH'S POSTCARDS FROM CHINA

The British Council and PRS Music Foundation have chosen five UK musicians to spend time in China, writing new music and building new international relationships. The six-week residencies are designed to enable British musicians to explore new musical territory, reach new audiences and write new material in the context of a changing international market. The composer Anna Meredith sends the second of a series of audio postcards from Hangzhou where she is involved in a project to create an audio tour of the city with local musicians. We hear Anna recording elderly ladies dancing in an open space, visiting a Buddhist temple with singing monks and other places that have influenced her composition for this project. We also get a preview of some gong and cymbal loops she has put together in her hotel room.

More information:

Anna Meredith

British Council/PRS Music Foundation Composer Residencies in China

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Petroc Trelawny
Interviewed Guest Nelson Freire
Interviewed Guest Jan Swafford
Interviewed Guest Anna Meredith

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