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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Stella Rimington

With Rob Cowan. Including Five Reasons to Love Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues; Artist of the Week: Leopold Stokowski; Rob's Essential Choice: Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 4.

With Rob Cowan and his guest Dame Stella Rimington.

A selection of music including '5 Reasons to Love... Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues'. Rob picks favourite recordings from Bach's innovative 'Well Tempered Clavier' collection, and shows how they succeed equally well when played on harpsichord, piano or clavichord, including a fine performance by Tatiana Nikolaeva of the Prelude in C from Book 1 - the one attempted by beginner pianists everywhere.

Take part in our daily musical challenge: listen to the story and tell us what happens next.

Rob's guest this week is former MI5 chief turned best-selling author, Dame Stella Rimington. The first woman to be promoted to the rank of Director of a Service branch, since retiring from the Service in 1996 Stella has published a number of novels set in the world of counter-terrorism and intelligence. Stella will be sharing a selection of her favourite classical music, including works by Bach, Vaughan Williams, and Kodaly, every day at 10am.

Rob's featured artist is the charismatic conductor Leopold Stokowski, who is perhaps best known for conducting the sound track of Walt Disney's animated film Fantasia. There'll be stunning recordings of Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Hamlet, and the Love Music from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, plus Rob will introduce several of Stokowski's many stylish orchestral transcriptions, including Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky, and Debussy's Clair de Lune, played by Stokowski's own symphony orchestra.

This week Rob showcases 20th century piano concertos.
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.4 in B flat major for the left hand Op.53
Vladimir Krainev (piano)
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Dimitri Kitayenko (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played


    • Paul Dukas

      La Peri: Fanfare

      Conductor: Leopold Stokowski. Orchestra: Leopold Stokowski Symphony Orchestra.
      • EMI.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Prelude and Fugue in E minor Bk 2 No.10

      Performer: Rosalyn Tureck.
      • BBC LEGENDS.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No. 26 ‘Lamentatione’ in D minor (Hob 1:26)

    Orchestra: Heidelberger Sinfoniker. Conductor: Thomas Fey.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto for violin and strings in D minor RV 329

    Performer: Andrew Manze. Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Conductor: Christopher Hogwood.
    • DECCA.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La Forza del destino - Overture

    Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra. Conductor: Lorin Maazel.
    • Overtures: Cleveland Orchestra/Maazel.
    • I.M.P..
    • 1.
  • Classical Consequences

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Etude op 10 no 7

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Etude op 10 no 4

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Etude op 10 no 5 in G flat major

      Performer: Earl Wild.
  • Stella Rimingtons Choices

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Goldberg Variations- Aria Variation 1

      Performer: Rosalyn Tureck.
      • DG.
      • 4599599 2.
    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (Aria; Variations 1-3)

      Performer: Sir András Schiff.
      • ECM.
    • Gustav Holst

      In the Bleak Midwinter

      Choir: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Director: Stephen Cleobury.
      • EMI.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Chorale Prelude 'Nun danket alle Gott' BWV 657

    Ensemble: Läubin Brass Ensemble.

    • Modest Mussorgsky

      Pictures at an Exhibition

      Conductor: Leopold Stokowski. Music Arranger: Leopold Stokowski. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra.
      • DECCA.
  • Essential Choice

    • Sergei Prokofiev

      Piano Concerto No. 4

      Performer: Vladimir Krainev. Orchestra: Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Dmitri Georgievich Kitayenko.
      • MELODIYA.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Brandenburg Concerto no 5

    Performer: Yehudi Menuhin. Performer: George Malcolm.
  • Bedrich Smetana

    Variations on a Bohemian Folk Song

    Performer: Jitka Ceehova.


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