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Building a Library: Sibelius: Symphony No 4

With Andrew McGregor. Including Building a Library: Sibelius: Symphony No 4; New releases of Franck, Poulenc, Milhaud, Faure and Hahn; Disc of the Week.

with Andrew McGregor

9.30 am
Building a Library
David Nice explores the available recordings of Sibelius's 4th Symphony and makes a personal recommendation.

This magnificent symphony shows evidence of struggle or despair and many people hear a chilling bleakness in the work. While others see the influence of Sigmund Freud and the unconscious. In fact Sibelius himself called his composition "a psychological symphony". He also said "It stands as a protest against present-day music. It has absolutely nothing of the circus about it."

Andrew is joined by Rebecca Franks to discuss new releases of chamber music by Franck, Poulenc, Milhaud, Faure and Hahn in performances by Renaud Capucon, Sol Gabetta and Quatuor Ebene etc.

Disc of the Week
Andrew selects an outstanding recent release.

3 hours, 12 minutes


Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    St Matthew Passion, BWV.244 (1727): Opening

    Ensemble: Yorkshire Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Peter Seymour.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Sonata for piano in D major, K.576: 1st movement; Allegro

    Performer: Marc-André Hamelin.
  • Henri Vieuxtemps

    Concerto no. 4 in D minor Op.31 for violin and orchestra: 2nd movement; Scherzo and trio

    Performer: Hilary Hahn. Orchestra: Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Conductor: Paavo Järvi.
  • Arvo Pärt

    Te Deum

    Conductor: Peter Dijkstra. Choir: Bavarian Radio Chorus. Orchestra: Münchner Rundfunkorchester.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Manfred symphony Op.58: 4th movement; Allegro con fuoco

    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Andris Nelsons.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Symphony no. 4 in A minor Op.63

  • James MacMillan

    St Luke passion for chorus and orchestra: Prelude

    Performer: Peter Dicke. Choir: Netherlands Radio Choir. Orchestra: Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. Conductor: Markus Stenz. Choir: National Youth Choir.
  • Bob Chilcott

    St John Passion: Part 3; The Crucifixion

    Performer: Richard May. Singer: Neal Davies. Choir: Wells Cathedral Choir. Singer: Ed Lyon. Ensemble: Chaconne Brass. Conductor: Matthew Owens.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Matthauspassion BWV.244 (1727): opening

    Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Singer: James Gilchrist. Singer: Dame Sarah Connolly. Singer: Matthew Rose. Singer: Elizabeth Watts. Conductor: Richard Egarr. Choir: Academy of Ancient Music Chorus.


Mozart: Piano Sonatas

MOZART: Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K576 'Hunt'; Piano Sonata No. 5 in G, K283; Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K332; Piano Sonata No. 17 in B flat major, K570; Rondo in D major, K485; Gigue in G Major, K574; Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K330; Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K333; Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K545 'Facile'; Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major K282; Rondo in A minor, K511; Fantasia in D minor, K397

Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano)

HYPERION CDA68029 (2CD budget)


Hilary Hahn: Violin Concertos Mozart 5 & Vieuxtemps 4

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 'Turkish'

VIEUXTEMPS: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Op. 31

Hilary Hahn (violin), The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Jarvi (conductor)

DG 4793956 (CD mid-price)


Part: Te Deum

PART: Te Deum; Pilgrims' Song; Berliner Messe; Dopo la vittoria

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munchner Rundfunkorchester, Peter Dijkstra (conductor)

BR KLASSIK 900511 (CD)


Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony & Marche slave

TCHAIKOVSKY: Manfred Symphony Op. 58; Marche slave Op. 31

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons (conductor)

ORFEO C895151A (CD)

9.30am Building a Library

David Nice compares recordings of Sibelius’s fourth symphony and makes a personal recommendation.  

Top Recommendation:

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1-7

SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 1-7 (complete); Finlandia Op. 26; Karelia Suite Op. 11; Pohjola's Daughter Op. 49; The Bard Op. 64; Tapiola Op. 112

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo (conductor)

ERATO 2564662795 (4CD budget) also available to download as a single symphony

10.20am New Releases of French chamber music with Rebecca Franks

James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong: Franck & Strauss - Violin Sonatas 

FRANCK: Violin Sonata in in A

STRAUSS: Violin Sonata in E flat, Op. 18; Allgretto in E, AV149; Wiegenlied, Op. 14 No. 1; Waldseligkeit, Op. 49 No. 1; Morgen! Op. 27 No. 4

James Ehnes (violin), Andrew Armstrong (piano)



Franck, Dvorak, Grieg: Violin Sonatas

DVORAK: Romantic Pieces (4) for Violin & Piano Op. 75

FRANCK, C: Violin Sonata in A major

GRIEG: Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor Op. 45

Renaud Capucon (violon),      Khatia Buniatishvili (piano)

ERATO 2564625018 (CD)


The Chopin Album

CHOPIN: Cello Sonata in G minor Op. 65; Grand Duo for Cello and Piano (on themes from Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable); Polonaise brillante Op. 3 for cello & piano; Nocturne No. 4 in F major Op. 15 No. 1; Etude Op. 25 No. 7 in C sharp minor

FRANCHOMME: Nocturne for Cello and Piano Op. 15, No. 1

Sol Gabetta (cello), Bertrand Chamayou (piano)

SONY 88843093012 (CD)


La Clarinette Francaise: Jos Van Immerseel & Lisa Shklyaver

BLOCH, ANDRE: Denneriana

DEBUSSY: Rhapsody for clarinet & piano (or orchestra), L. 116 'Premiere rapsodie'

MILHAUD: Scaramouche, suite for clarinet & piano (or orchestra) Op. 165d

PIERNE, G: Canzonetta Op. 19

POULENC: Clarinet Sonata Op. 184

SAINT-SAENS: Clarinet Sonata in E flat major Op. 167

Jos Van Immerseel (piano), Lisa Shklyaver (clarinet)



Green - Melodies francaises on Verlaine’s poems

BORDES: O triste, triste etait mon ame; Promenade Sentimental

BRASSENS: Colombine

CANTELOUBE: Colloque sentimental


CHABRIER: Qui je suis, qui je suis (from Fish Ton Kan); J'engraisse (from Fish Ton Kan)

CHAUSSON: Ecoutez la chanson bien douce; La lune blanche

DEBUSSY: Claire de lune (song); Colloque sentimental; En sourdine; Fantoches; Green (No. 5 from Ariettes Oubliees); Il pleure dans mon cœur (No. 2 from Ariettes Oubliees); La Faune; Les ingenus; Mandoline (Verlaine)

FAURE: C'est l'extase langoureuse Op. 58 No. 5 (Verlaine); Clair de Lune Op. 46 No. 2; En sourdine Op. 58 No. 2 (Verlaine); Green Op. 58 No. 3 (Verlaine); La Lune blanche luit dans les bois (No. 3 from La Bonne Chanson Op. 61); Mandoline Op. 58 No. 1 (Verlaine); Prison Op. 83 No. 1; Spleen Op. 51 No. 3 (Verlaine)

FERRE: Colloque sentimentale; Ecoutez la chanson bien douce

HAHN, R: Chanson de l'automne; D'une prison; En Sourdine; L'heure exquise

HONEGGER: Un Grand Sommeil Noir

KOECHLIN: Il pleure dans mon cœur Op. 22 No. 4

MASSENET: Revons c'est l'heure

SAINT-SAENS: Le vent dans la plane (Verlane)

SCHMITT, F: Il pleure dans mon coeur

SEVERAC: Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit ...

SZULC: Clair De Lune Op. 83 No. 1

TRENET: Chanson d'automne

VARESE: Un grand sommeil noir

WIENIAWSKA: Mandoline; La lune blanche; En sourdine

Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor), Jerome Ducros (piano), Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), Quatuor Ebene

ERATO 2564616693 (2CD budget)

11:20am Passion Settings

MACMILLAN: St. Luke Passion

Peter Dicke (organ), Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Choir, National Youth Choir, Markus Stenz (conductor)



CHILCOTT: St John Passion

Laurie Ashworth (soprano), Ed Lyon (Evangelist), Darren Jeffery (bass-baritone), Neal Davies (Christ), Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Wells Cathedral Choir, Chaconne Brass, Matthew Owens (conductor)

SIGNUM SIGCD412 (CD mid-price)


BACH, J S: St Mark Passion, BWV247

Gudrun Sidonie Otto, Terry Wey, Daniel Johannsen, Stephan MacLeod, Hanno Muller-Brachmann, Knabenkantorei Basel, Capriccio Barockorchester, Markus Teutschbein

RONDEAU ROP609091 (2CD mid-price)


BACH, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Charles Daniels (Evangelist), Peter Harvey (Christus), Bethany Seymour, Helen Neeves (sopranos), Sally Bruce-Payne, Nancy Cole (altos), Joseph Cornwell, Julian Podger (tenors), Matthew Brook (basses), Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Peter Seymour

SIGNUM SIGCD385 (2CD budget)

11.40am Disc of the Week

BACH, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244 

James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Matthew Rose (Christus), Ashley Riches (Pilatus), Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Sarah Connolly (alto), Thomas Hobbs (tenor), Christopher Maltman (bass), Richard Egarr (director, harpsichord), Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of the AAM

AAM RECORDS AAM004 (3CD mid-price)


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