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Tuesday - Rob Cowan, plus Sarah Walker with John Lithgow

With Rob Cowan. Including Five Reasons to Love Operetta; Musical challenge; Artist of the week: the Vienna Philharmonic, featured in Mozart's Bassoon Concerto in B flat, K191.

A selection of music including '5 reasons to love... operetta'. Throughout the week Rob makes the case for this sometimes overlooked genre, showcasing some personal favourites that demonstrate the many delights of light opera: charm, wonderful tunes, great singers and quirky and amusing storylines. You may not hear operetta in quite the same way again!

Take part in our daily musical challenge: Two pieces of music are played together. Can you identify them?

This week Sarah interviews the stage and screen actor John Lithgow. John has appeared on Broadway 22 times, winning Tony Awards for The Changing Room and Sweet Smell of Success. He received back-to-back Academy Award nominations for The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment and is well known for his Emmy Award-winning performances in the television series 3rd Rock From the Sun and Dexter. Most recently he has starred in Love is Strange, Interstellar and The Homesman. John shares a selection of his favourite classical music and tells Sarah about catching the acting bug performing in Gilbert and Sullivan, how he appeared as the elephant in a ballet of Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals and why Yo-Yo Ma once gave him a private performance of Bach.

Vintage Proms 1915 - music inspired by a Prom from 100 years ago
During the BBC Proms 2015 Rob takes a look at the Proms season from a century ago and plays music that reflects a time when concert programmes were quite different from those of today. This week Rob showcases highlights including two Elgar rarities, Carillon and Polonia, Parry's Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy and Mendelssohn's Rondo brillant in E flat major, all of which received their Proms premiere during the 1915 season.

Rob's artist of the week is one of the world's finest orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic. Since its foundation in 1842 the orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the greats, making top recordings stretching back to 1905 and performing over a hundred concerts every season. Throughout the week Rob shares the Vienna Philharmonic's interpretations of works by composers including Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, under the batons of maestros such as Karl Böhm, Claudio Abbado and Fritz Reiner.

Bassoon Concerto in B flat major K191
Dietmar Zeman (bassoon)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Böhm (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • George Gershwin

    When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em"

    Performer: George Gershwin.
  • Roussel

    Divertissement Op.6

    Ensemble: Les Vents Francais.

    • Franz Lehár

      Vilja-Lied (The Merry Widow)

      Singer: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Choir: Philharmonia Chorus. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Lovro von Matačić.
      • EMI.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    The Fair Melusina

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen BWV12 - Sinfonia

    Orchestra: Academia Francoise Laserre.
  • Gerald Finzi

    Romance for String Orchestra

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Adrian Boult.
  • Georg Muffat

    Concerto grosso [1701] no. 12 in G major "Propitia sydera", 5th mvt; Ciacona...

    Ensemble: The Brandenburg Consort. Conductor: Roy Goodman.
    • Rondeaux Royaux: The Brandenburg Consort, Roy Goodman.
    • Hyperion.
    • 20.
  • Herbert Howells

    Take him, earth, for cherishing

    Choir: Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge. Conductor: Stephen Layton.
  • Novacek

    Perpetuum Mobile Op.5 No.4

    Performer: Maxim Vengerov. Orchestra: Virtuosi. Performer: Vag Papian.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Cello Suite No 1 in G major, BWV 1007 (Gigue)

      Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
      • CBS.

    • Franz Schubert

      Winterreise (songs 12, 13, 14 & 15)

      Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes. Singer: Ian Bostridge.
      • EMI.

    • Camille Saint‐Saëns

      The Elephant (The Carnival of the Animals)

      Performer: Double Bassist of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Performer: Anda Géza. Performer: Béla Síki. Conductor: Igor Markevitch.
      • TESTAMENT.
  • Edward Elgar

    Carillon, Op.75

    Narrator: Simon Callow. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Conductor: John Wilson.
    • SOMM.
  • Edward Elgar

    Polonia, Op.76

    Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Nocturne Op.37 No.1


    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Bassoon Concerto in B flat major K.191

      Featured Artist: Dietmar Zeman. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Karl Bohm.
  • Betty Olivero

    En la mar hai una torre

    Ensemble: Trio Mediæval.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Concerto for violin and oboe BWV1060

    Featured Artist: Janine Jansen. Featured Artist: Ramón Ortega Quero. Ensemble: Ensemble.
  • Edward Elgar


    Narrator: Henry Ainsley. Orchestra: Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Elgar.

Imperfect Harmony

The music played:

IV. Finale (Symphony No.6 ‘Pathetique’)
Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev (conductor)
Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing
Nigel Short (conductor)


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