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Thursday - Rob Cowan with Omid Djalili

With Rob Cowan. Including Five Reasons to Love Dvorak's Slavonic Dances; Musical challenge; Artist of the Week: pianist Grigory Sokolov, featured in Chopin's Preludes, Op 28.

A selection of music including '5 reasons to love... Dvorák's Slavonic Dances'. Dvorák's dances were an instant hit on their publication in 1878, propelling the Czech composer to international fame. A second set brought the total to sixteen dances. Throughout the week Rob makes the case for these miniature masterpieces, showcasing interpretations by conductors including Rafael Kubelik, Jean Martinon and Václav Talich.

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

Rob's guest is the stand-up comedian and actor Omid Djalili. Omid has a varied career across stage and screen and is well known for his popular sketch shows and sell-out international tours. He will be sharing a selection of his favourite classical music with Rob every day at 10am.

Following on from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman on Monday, Rob explores other works with literary connections.

Rob's artist of the week is Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov, whose performances display virtuosity, poetry and insight in equal measure. Sokolov is regarded as one of the greatest living pianists in Europe, but his refusal to make studio recordings has meant a relative lack of recognition in the UK and USA. This is starting to change following his recent contract, for live recordings only, with Deutsche Grammophon. Throughout the week Rob explores Sokolov's penetrating interpretations of masterpieces from Bach to Prokofiev and Stravinsky, by way of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and Scriabin.

Preludes, Op 28.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Frédéric Chopin

    Etude in G flat, Op 25 No 9

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Slavonic Dance in C major, Op 72 No 7

    Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic. Conductor: Karel Šejna.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in C minor, RV 771 [orchestration of Sonata in C minor, RV 5

    Director: Lina Tur Bonet. Orchestra: Musica Alchemica.
  • Elena Ruehr

    The Scarlatti Effect, for piano trio

    Performer: Sarah Bob. Performer: Irina Muresanu. Performer: Jennifer Kloetzel.
    • AVIE.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Study in A flat major, Op 25 No 1

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Etudes, Op 25; No. 6 in G sharp minor

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Study in F minor, Op.25 no.2

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Etudes, Op 25; No. 3 in F

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
  • Fritz Kreisler

    Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Gaetano Pugnani

    Performer: Pierre Barbizet. Performer: Christian Ferras.
    • DG.
  • Gaetano Donizetti

    La fille du régiment, Act 1; 'Le camarade est amoureux!'

    Choir: Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Luciano Pavarotti. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Richard Bonynge.
    • DECCA.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La forza del destino (Overture)

    Orchestra: West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. Conductor: Daniel Barenboim.
    • WARNER.
  • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

    Sing, Sing, Sing

    • CBS.
  • Robert Schumann

    Die Beiden Grenadiere

    Performer: Erich Kunz, baritone. Orchestra: Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper.
  • Johannes Brahms


    Performer: Erich Kunz, baritone. Orchestra: Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper.
  • Franz Liszt

    Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo, S96

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
    • DECCA.
  • John Foulds

    April - England (Impressions of Time and Place No.1), Op.48 No.1

    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
    • WARNER.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Preludes, Op 28

    Performer: Grigory Sokolov.
    • NAIVE.
  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Romance, Op.67

    Performer: Steven Isserlis. Orchestra: NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach.
    • RCA.

Imperfect Harmony

The two pieces played simultaneously were:


Sheherazade: The Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – Shipwreck - Conclusion 

Kirov Orchestra 

Valery Gergiev (conductor) 

DECCA 470 840-2



Symphony No. 4: 4th movement 

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 

Carlos Kleiber (conductor) 

DG 457 7062


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