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Thursday - Rob Cowan with Patricia Cornwell

With Rob Cowan. Including 5 Reasons to Love Chopin Mazurkas; Guest: Patricia Cornwell; Artist of the Week: Julia Fischer; Rob's Essential Choice: Sibelius: Symphony No 2 in D.

With Rob Cowan and his guest, the crime writer Patricia Cornwell.

A selection of music including '5 Reasons to Love...Chopin mazurkas.' Throughout the week Rob makes the case for Chopin's mazurkas and explores a selection of recordings by renowned pianists including Arthur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Moriz Rosenthal as he asks, why should you love Chopin's mazurkas?

Take part in our daily musical challenge: can you tell us what happened next?

Rob's guest this week, sharing her favourite classical music every day at 10am, is the crime writer Patricia Cornwell. An international best-selling author whose books have sold over 100 million copies, Patricia is best known for her award-winning Kay Scarpetta series, the characters of which have become an international phenomenon.

This week's featured artist is the violinist Julia Fischer. One of the leading musicians of her generation, Fischer has performed with renowned European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, and is currently Artist in Residence at the Dresden Philharmonic. Throughout the week Rob showcases Fischer's virtuoso performances of works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev.

Rob's Essential Choice
Symphony No.2 in D, Op.43
London Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Monteux (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony in B flat, K22; 3rd mvt, Molto allegro

    Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Acceleration waltz, Op.234

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Willi Boskovsky.
    • DECCA.
  • 5 Reasons to love... Chopin Mazurkas

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Mazurka in D, op.33 no.2

      Performer: Moriz Rosenthal.
      • APR.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Piano Trio in A, H XV:18

    Ensemble: Beaux Arts Trio.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Symphonies of Winds

    Orchestra: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • DECCA.
  • Artist of the Week: Julia Fischer

    • Pablo de Sarasate

      Zigeunerweisen, op.20

      Performer: Milana Chernyavska. Performer: Julia Fischer.
      • DECCA.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca; Act 2 - E qual via scegliete?

    Orchestra: Orcestra del Teatro alla Scala. Singer: Maria Callas. Singer: Tito Gobbi. Conductor: Victor de Sabata.
    • EMI.
  • Patricia Cornwell's Choice No. 1

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Symphony No 40 in G minor, K 550 (3rd mvt)

      Orchestra: Orchestra Mozart. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
      • DG.
  • Patricia Cornwell's Choice No. 2

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op 125, 'Choral' (2nd mvt)

      Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Hans Schmidt‐Isserstedt.
      • DECCA.
  • Artist of the Week: Julia Fischer

    • Felix Mendelssohn

      Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op.49

      • PENTATONE.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Waltz in A

    Performer: Daniel Gerzenberg (piano). Performer: Anton Gerzenberg (piano). Performer: Lilya Zilberstein (piano).
  • Essential Choice

    • Jean [1865-1957] Sibelius

      Symphony No.2 in D, Op.43

      Conductor: Pierre Monteux. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra.
  • Mozart

    Symphony in D, K95

    Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.

Classical Consequences

At a dress rehearsal of Puccini’s opera Tosca at Covent Garden in 1964, the baritone Tito Gobbi, playing the role of Scarpia, spotted a plume of smoke issuing from Maria Callas’s hair during their fateful Act 2 duet. The temperamental diva was on fire – literally! Lost in the moment, she’d leant too close to one of the candles on Scarpia’s desk, and the flame had ignited her wig. What happened next?


Thinking on his feet, Gobbi passionately embraced her to smother the flames. Caught off guard by this impromptu bear hug, Callas pushed him away and stared at him, perplexed – until Gobbi gestured to the candle with his badly burned hands. As Tosca stabbed Scarpia, Callas whispered “Grazie, Tito.”



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