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Friday - Rob Cowan with Antonia Fraser

With Rob Cowan. Including 5 Reasons to Love French Melodies; Musical challenge; Artist of the Week: Arthur Grumiaux; Rob's Essential Choice: Tchaikovsky: Prologue (Sleeping Beauty).

A selection of music including '5 Reasons to Love...French Melodies'. With performances of songs by composers including Berlioz, Ravel and Duparc from such diverse singers as Rita Streich, Thomas Hampson, Mady Mesplé, Leopold Simoneau and Sandrine Piau, Rob explores the wide range of expression this genre offers.

Take part in our daily musical challenge: two pieces of music are being played at the same time - can you identify them?

Rob's guest this week is the biographer and novelist Lady Antonia Fraser. The author of many acclaimed historical works including Marie Antoinette and Mary Queen of Scots, Lady Fraser will be sharing a selection of her favourite classical music, including works by Byrd, Mozart and Schubert, every day at 10am.

This week Rob features the Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux. A fine pianist as well as a violinist, Grumiaux was known for his graceful performances and purity of tone. Rob features classic recordings of him in repertoire for which he is especially celebrated, including the solo violin music of Bach, as well as works by Mozart, Brahms, Debussy and Fauré.

Rob's Essential Choice
This week Rob explores great ballet scores
Sleeping Beauty: Prologue
Minneapolis Orchestra
Antal Dorati (conductor)

Sleeping Beauty: Act III (conclusion)
Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Max Bruch

    Suite on Russian Themes: Dance

    Orchestra: SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern. Conductor: Werner Andreas Albert.
    • CPO.
  • 5 reasons to love... French melodies

    • Henri Duparc

      L’invitation au voyage

      Performer: Allan Rogers. Singer: Léopold Simoneau.
  • anon

    Pensis chief enclin

    Ensemble: Anonymous 4.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Il ritorno di Tobia (Overture)

    Orchestra: Vienna Haydn Sinfonietta. Conductor: Manfred Huss.
    • BIS.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Ballade No 4 in F minor, Op 52

    Performer: Cédric Tiberghien.
  • Artist of the Week: Arthur Grumiaux

    • Claude Debussy

      Violin Sonata

      Performer: Arthur Grumiaux. Performer: Istvan Hadju.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Johannes Brahms


    Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs‐Élysées. Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • PHI.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Canticle I: My Beloved is Mine, Op. 40

    Performer: Anna Tilbrook. Singer: James Gilchrist.
    • LINN.
  • Antonia Fraser's Choice No. 1

    • John Adams

      The Chairman Dances

      Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
      • EMI.
  • Antonia Fraser's Choice No. 2

    • Felix Mendelssohn

      Concerto for 2 pianos in E major: Movement III

      Ensemble: Arthur Gold & Robert Fizdale. Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Eugene Ormandy.
      • CBS.
  • Artist of the Week: Arthur Grumiaux

    • Max Bruch

      Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor

      Performer: Arthur Grumiaux. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Heinz Wallberg.
      • PENTATONE.
  • John Ireland


    Performer: Piers Lane.
  • Essential Choice

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      Sleeping Beauty: Prologue

      Orchestra: Minneapolis Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Sleeping Beauty: Act III (conclusion)

    Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev. Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra.
    • DG.
  • Enrique Granados

    Danza espanola No. 5: Andaluza

    Performer: Arthur Grumiaux. Performer: István Hajdu. Music Arranger: Fritz Kreisler.
    • DECCA.

Imperfect Harmony

The pieces played simultaneously were the conclusion of Faure’s Requiem - coupled with the opening of Britten’s Second Canticle, Abraham and Isaac.

Canticle No. 2: Abraham and Isaac
Michael Chance (counter-tenor)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor)
Roger Vignoles (piano)

Requiem: In Paradisum
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
English Chamber Orchestra
Stephen Cleobury (conductor)


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