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Wednesday - 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 Beethoven's Symphony No 8 in F.

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 today's music-related challenge: listen to the clues and identify the mystery person.

Rob's guest this week is Nicholas Parsons. Actor, cabaret performer, stand-up comedian, panel show host and quizmaster, Nicholas has had a long and varied career in show business since he first started working in repertory theatre in the 1940s. He became a household name in the 1970s as the host of game show Sale of the Century but is perhaps best known as the chairman of BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute. Nicholas has chaired the hit comedy panel game since its inception in 1967 and hasn't missed a show in 48 years. Nicholas will be talking about the seven decades he has spent working in radio, theatre and television, and sharing a selection of his favourite classical music every day at 10am.

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.

Symphony No.8 in F Op.93
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Claudio Abbado (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Jacques Offenbach

    La Périchole (Overture)

    Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Arthur Sullivan

    Marmion Overture

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Royston Nash.
    • DECCA.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Pohjola's Daughter, Op.49

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Malcolm Sargent.
  • 5 Reasons to Love... Operetta

    • Richard Tauber

      ‘Du bist die Welt fur mich’ (Der singende Traum)

      Performer: Orchestra.
      • EMI.
  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    Peccantem me quotidie

    Choir: The Sixteen. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Liebeslieder Waltzes Op.52 (Nos.1-6)

    Performer: Leon Fleisher. Performer: Rudolf Serkin.
    • SONY.
  • Domenico Scarlatti

    Sonata in D major, Kk.29

    Performer: George Malcolm.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Prelude in B minor, Op.32 No.10

    Performer: Sviatoslav Richter.
    • SONY.
  • John Lithgow's Choice No.1

    • Henry Purcell

      'Come all ye songsters...May the God of Wit inspire' (The Fairy Queen, Act II)

      Singer: Thomas Randle. Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants. Director: William Christie.
  • John Lithgow's Choice No.2

    • Franz Lehár

      'Wie die Weiber...Ja, das Studium der Weiber ist schwer' (Die lustige Witwe)

      Singer: Erich Kunz. Singer: Anton Niessner. Singer: Josef Schmidinger. Singer: Otakar Kraus. Choir: Philharmonia Chorus. Orchestra: Philharmonia. Conductor: Otto Ackermann.
      • EMI.
  • Robert Schumann

    Symphonic Studies Op.13

    Music Arranger: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Dirk Joeres.
  • Frank Bridge

    Lament for two violas

    Performer: Louise Williams. Performer: Ásdís Valdimarsdóttir.
  • Antonio Caldara

    Come raggio di sol

    Singer: Janet Baker. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Bach

    French Suite No.2 BWV13

    Performer: Vladimir Goltsman.
    • NIMBUS.

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Symphony No.8 in F major, Op.93

      Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
      • DECCA.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Allegretto in F sharp

    Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor.
    • EMI.
  • Mozart

    Symphony No.41 K.441 ‘Jupit

    Performer: Hallé. Performer: John Barbirolli.

Mystery Person

Answer: Sviatoslav Richter


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