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Building a Library: Beethoven: Symphony No 4

With Andrew McGregor. Including Building a Library: Beethoven: Symphony No 4; Baroque choral and vocal releases, including Handel, Marcello and Albinoni; Disc of the Week.

with Andrew McGregor

0930 Building a Library
Rob Cowan compares available versions of Beethoven's 4th Symphony in Bb major and makes a personal recommendation. Written in 1806, this sunny and genial work is often overshadowed by the symphonies Beethoven wrote directly before and after it. But in fact Beethoven's 4th contains many forward-looking elements, especially the powerfully mysterious slow introduction which explodes with pent-up energy when it is unleashed into the impulsive, life-enhancing first movement.

Andrew talks to Anna Picard about a clutch of fascinating new releases of Baroque choral and vocal music including discs of Handel (from his Italian years), Marcello (Psalms) and Albinoni (opera arias)

Andrew chooses an outstanding recording for his Disc of the Week.

3 hours, 12 minutes


Music Played

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Faure & Strauss: Violin Sonatas

FAURE: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major Op. 13

STRAUSS, R: Violin Sonata in E flat major Op. 18

Itzhak Perlman (violin), Emanuel Ax (piano)

DG 4811774 (CD)


Hahn & Szymanowski: Works for Violin & Piano

HAHN, R: Nocturne for violin & piano; Sonata in C major for violin & piano; Romance in A major for violin & piano

SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Sonata in D minor Op. 9; Nocturne & Tarantella Op. 28

Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), Huw Watkins (piano)



Brahms: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3

BRAHMS: String Quartet No. 1 in C minor Op. 51 No. 1; String Quartet No. 3 in B flat major Op. 67

Artemis Quartet

ERATO 2564612663 (CD)


Cantigas de Santa Maria / Alfonso X El Sabio

Hana Blazikova (soprano, harp), Barbora Kabatkova (soprano, harp and psaltery), Margit Ubellacker (dulce melos), Martin Novak (percussion)



Holst: The Planets & St. Paul’s Suite

HOLST: The Planets Op. 32, tr. Sykes; St Paul's Suite Op. 29 No. 2, tr. Johnson

Simon Johnson (organ of St Paul’s Cathedral), Choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, James O’Donnell (conductor)


9.30am Building a Library

Rob Cowan compares recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and makes a personal recommendation


Top recommendation:

 BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major Op. 55 'Eroica'; Symphony No. 4 in B flat major Op. 60

Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, David Zinman (conductor)

ARTE NOVA 74321592142 (CD budget)


Also available in collected editions:


David Zinman conducts Beethoven

Sony Classical 88843077922 (11CD budget)


David Zinman – Great Symphonies: The Zurich Years 1995-2014

RCA 88843027282 (50CD budget)


Beethoven Complete Masterpieces

Sony Classical/RCA Red Seal/Arte Nova Classics 88697075082 (60CD budget)

10.25am Itzhak Perlman at 70

Andrew explores two box sets celebrating the violinist’s 70th birthday – and his illustrious recording career


Itzhak Perlman - The Complete Warner Recordings

ACHRON, J: Hebrew Melody Op. 33

ALBENIZ: Sevilla (from Suite Espanola Op. 47)

ARENSKY: Serenade for Violin & Piano Op. 30 No. 2

BACH, C P E: Trio Sonata in G, Wq. 153 (H586)

BACH, J C: Trio Sonata for harp, violin & cello in B flat major, CW BInc3; Quartet in B flat Op. 8, No. 6 for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello

BACH, J S: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV1043; Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042; Violin Concerto in G minor, BWV1056; Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041; Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV1052; Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings BWV1060R; Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV1052; Violin Concerto in G minor, BWV1056; Concerto for Oboe & Violin in C minor, BWV1060; Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

BARBER, S: Violin Concerto Op. 14

BARTOK: Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112; 44 Duos for Two Violins, BB 104, Sz. 98

BAZZINI: La Ronde des lutins Op. 25; La Ronde des lutins Op. 25

BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61; Piano Trios (complete); Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61; Romances Nos. 1 & 2 for violin and orchestra; String Trios (complete); Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C major Op. 56; Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor Op. 80; Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer'

BEN-HAIM: Violin Concerto; Berceuse Sfaradite

BERNSTEIN: Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium')

BLOCH, E: Nigun (Baal Shem No. 2)

BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D major Op. 77; Double Concerto for Violin & Cello in A minor Op. 102; Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (complete); Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 Nos. 1-21 (complete); Violin Concerto in D major Op. 77; Piano Trios Nos. 1-3 (Complete); Double Concerto for Violin & Cello in A minor Op. 102

BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26; Scottish Fantasy Op. 46; Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor Op. 44; Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26; Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor Op. 44; Scottish Fantasy Op. 46

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Violin Concerto No. 2 ‘The Prophets’; Tango

CHAUSSON: Poeme for Violin & Orchestra Op. 25

CHOPIN: Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major Op. 55 No. 2

CONUS: Violin Concerto in E minor

CORELLI: Violin Sonata Op. 5 No. 12 in D minor (La folia)

DEBUSSY: La fille aux cheveux de lin (Leconte de Lisle); Petite Suite: En bateau; Golliwog's Cakewalk (from Children's Corner); La plus que lente; Petite Suite: Menuet

DRIGO: Valse Bluette for Viola & Piano

DVORAK: Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53; Romance in F minor Op. 11; Sonatina for violin and piano in G major Op. 100; Romantic Pieces (4) for Violin & Piano Op. 75

ELGAR: La Capricieuse Op. 17; Salut d'amour Op. 12

FALLA: El pano moruna (No. 1 from Siete canciones populares espanolas); Asturiana (No. 3 from Siete canciones populares espanolas); Cancion (No. 6 from Siete canciones populares espanolas); Nana (No. 5 from Siete canciones populares espanolas); Jota (No. 4 from Siete canciones populares espanolas)

FAURE: Berceuse Op. 16

FIOCCO, J H: Allegro

FOSS: Three American Pieces

FOSTER, S: I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

FRANCK, C: Violin Sonata in A major

GERSHWIN: Preludes (3); It Ain't Necessarily So (from Porgy and Bess)

GLAZUNOV: Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82; Mazurka-Oberek in D major for violin and orchestra; Meditation Op. 32

GODARD, B: Berceuse from Jocelyn

GODOWSKY: Old Vienna

GOLDBERG: Trio Sonata in C major for two violins and b.c.

GOLDMARK: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 28

GRANADOS: Danza espanola Op. 37 No. 5 'Andaluza'; Danzas espanolas Op. 37 (excerpts)

GRASSE, E: Wellenspiel (Waves at Play)

HALFFTER, E: Danza de la gitana

HALVORSEN: Passacaglia for Violin & Cello/Viola (after Handel)

HANDEL: Ombra mai fu (from Serse)

JOPLIN: The Easy Winners; Ragtime Dance; Bethena (A Concert Waltz); Magnetic Rag; The Entertainer; Elite Syncopations; Solace; The Strenuous Life; Pineapple Rag; Sugar Cane

KALMAN: Csardas (from Die Csardasfurstin)

KHACHATURIAN: Violin Concerto in D minor

KIM: Violin Concerto

KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35

KREISLER: Schon Rosmarin; Slavonic Dance in E minor; Romance Op. 4; Songs my Mother taught me (after Dvorak); Tempo di menuetto (in the style of Pugnani); Fugue in A (after Tartini); La Chasse (The Hunt) in the style of Jean-Baptiste Cartier; Preghiera in the style of Martini; Liebesleid; Melodie (after Gluck); Viennese Melody by Gartner; Mazurka in A minor (after Chopin); Liebesfreud; Praeludium and Allegro (in the style of Pugnani); Old Folks at Home; Liebesleid; Alter Refrain; Alter Refrain; Schon Rosmarin

LECLAIR, J-M: Sonata for two violins Op. 3 No. 5 in E minor

MASSENET: Elegie; Meditation (from Thais)

MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E minor Op. 64; Violin Concerto in E minor Op. 64; Song without Words Op. 19b No. 1 in E major 'Sweet Remembrance'; Violin Concerto in E minor Op. 64

MOSZKOWSKI: Suite for Two Violins and Piano; Guitare Op. 45. No. 2

MOZART: Oboe Quartet in F major, K370

NOVACEK, O: Perpetuum mobile - Concert Caprice Op. 5 No. 4

OFFENBACH: Barcarolle (from Les Contes d'Hoffmann )

PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 6; Caprices for solo violin Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete); Moto perpetuo Op. 11, MS 72; Sonata for Violin & Guitar No.12 in D major

PARADIES: Toccata in A

PARADIS: Sicilienne

PONCE, M: Estrellita; Estrellita

POULENC: Presto in B flat major

PREVIN: A Different Kind of Blues; It's a Breeze

PROKOFIEV: Sonata for Two Violins in C Major Op. 56; Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 19; Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 63; The Love for Three Oranges: Suite Op. 33b: March; Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 63

RACHMANINOV: Daisies Op. 38 No. 3; Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14; How fair this spot Op. 21 No. 7; Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne Op. 4 No. 4; In the silence of the secret night Op. 4 No. 3; Prelude Op. 32 No. 5 in G major; Melody Op. 21 No. 9; Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14

RAFF: Cavatina for violin & piano (or orchestra) Op. 85 No. 3

RAMEAU: Rigaudon

RAVEL: Tzigane; Valses nobles et sentimentales No. 6 in C major; Valses nobles et sentimentales No. 7 in A minor

RIMSKY KORSAKOV: Flight of the Bumble Bee; Russian Fantasy in B minor Op. 33 (Fantaisie de Concert sur des Themes russes) for Violin & Orchestra.

ROMBERG, S: Serenade (from The Student Prince)

SAINT-SAENS: Introduction & Rondo capriccioso Op. 28; Havanaise Op. 83; Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

SARASATE: Carmen Fantasy Op. 25; Zigeunerweisen Op. 20; Danza Espanola No. 3: Romanza Andaluza Op. 22, No. 1; Danza Espanola No. 6: Zapateado Op. 23, No. 2; Carmen Fantasy Op. 25; Danza Espanola No. 4: Jota Navarra Op. 22, No. 2; Zigeunerweisen Op. 20; Introduction and Tarantella Op. 43

SCHUMANN: Romance in A major Op. 94 No. 2; The Prophet Bird Op. 82 No. 7

SHOSTAKOVICH: 3 Violin Duets; Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 99

SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47

SINDING: Suite for Violin & Orchestra Op. 10 'im alten Stil'

SMETANA: From the Homeland - two duos for violin and piano

SPOHR: Duet for two violins Op. 67 No. 2

STAMITZ, C: Oboe Quartet Op. 8 No. 4

STARER: Violin Concerto

STRAUSS, R: Morgen Op. 27 No. 4

STRAVINSKY: Divertimento (transcription for violin & piano by Stravinsky & Samuel Dushkin from Le Baiser de la Fee); Suite italienne; Duo concertant; Chanson Russe; Violin Concerto in D

SUK: Four Pieces for Violin and Piano Op. 17: Nos. 3 & 4

TAEYE: Humoresque

TARTINI: Variations on a Theme of Corelli; Violin Sonata in G minor 'Devil's Trill'

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35; Serenade Melancolique for Violin & Orchestra in B minor Op. 26; Piano Trio in A minor Op. 50 'In Memory of a Great Artist'; Meditation (No. 5 from Morceaux Op. 72); Souvenir d'un lieu cher Op. 42: Melodie in E flat major; Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35; Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 11); None but the lonely heart Op. 6 No. 6; Souvenir d'un lieu cher Op. 42: Scherzo in D minor

TOSELLI: Serenata Op. 6

TOSTI: Ideale; Deep River; Reb Itzik's Nign; Simkhes Toyre Time; Flatbush Waltz; Wedding Medley; Dybbuk Shers; Basarabye (Bessarabia'); Firn Di Mekhutonim; Tati un Mama Tants (Mum & Dad's Dance); Fisherlid / Klezmatics Khosidl; Der Alter Bulgar; Ale Brider; Honga; Donya & Skotshma; Der Helser Bulgar; Di Gayster; Londonderry Air

VALLE: Ao pe da fogueira (Prelude Nr. 15)

VANHAL: Oboe (or Flute) Quartet Op. 7 No. 1 in F major

VIEUXTEMPS: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Op. 31; Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor Op. 37; Souvenir d'Amerique on 'Yankee Doodle'

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons; The Four Seasons

WIENIAWSKI: Violin Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 14; Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor Op. 22; Polonaise brilliante No. 1 in D major Op. 4; Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor Op. 16; Polonaise brilliante No. 2 in A major Op. 21; Mazurka in G major Op. 19 No. 1 'Obertas'; Etude-caprice Op. 18 No. 1 in G minor; Etude-caprice Op. 18 No. 2 in E flat major; Etude-caprice Op. 18 No. 4 in A minor; Legende in G minor Op. 17

Samuel Sanders (piano), Pinchas Zukerman (violin), Timothy Eddy (cello), Samuel Sanders (piano), Pinchas Zukerman (viola), Ray Still (oboe), Lynn Harrell (cello), Samuel Sanders (harpsichord), English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim (conductor), Neil Black (oboe), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa (conductor), London Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn (conductor), Janet Guggenheim (piano), Philharmonia Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini (conductor), Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano), Berliner Philharmoniker, Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Daniel Barenboim (piano), Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper, Martha Argerich (piano), Zubin Mehta (conductor), Jules Eskin (cello), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor), New Philharmonic Orchestra, Jesus Lopez-Cobos (conductor), Orchestre de Paris, Jean Martinon (conductor), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Abbey Road Ensemble, Lawrence Foster (conductor), Placido Domingo (tenor), New York Studio Orchestra, Jonathan Tunick, Andre Previn (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jim Hall (guitar), Red Mitchell (double bass), Shelly Manne (drums), Gennady Rozhdestvensky, BBC Symphony Orchestra (conductor), Bruce Canino (piano), Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy (conductor), Brave Old World, The Klezmatics, Andy Statman Klezmer Orchestra, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Rodney Friend, Itzhak Perlman (violin)

WARNER CLASSICS 2564615069 (77CD budget)



Itzhak Perlman: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon

BACH, J S: Cantata BWV197 'Gott ist unsre Zuversicht': Vergnugen und Lust; Cantata BWV58 'Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid': Ich bin vergnugt in meinem Leiden (soprano aria); Cantata BWV204 'Ich bin in mir vergnugt': Die Schatzbarkeit der weiten Erden (soprano aria); Cantata BWV97 'In allen meinen Taten': Ich traue seiner Gnaden; Cantata BWV115 'Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit': Bete aber auch dabei!; Cantata BWV171 'Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm': Jesus soll mein erstes Wort; Mass in B minor: Benedictus; Mass in B minor, BWV232: Laudamus Te; Cantata BWV202 'Weichet Nur, betrubte Schatten' (Wedding Cantata): Wenn die Fruhlingslufte streichen; Cantata BWV36 'Schwingt freudig euch empor': Auch mit gedamptfen schwachen Stimmen; Cantata BWV187 'Es wartet alles auf dich': Gott versorget alles Leben; Cantata BWV105 'Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht': Kann ich nur Jesum mir zum Freunde machen

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-10 (Complete)

BERG: Violin Concerto 'To the Memory of an Angel' (1935)

BERLIOZ: Reverie et Caprice Op. 8

BRAHMS: Horn Trio in E flat major Op. 40

CHAUSSON: Poeme for Violin & Orchestra Op. 25

DEBUSSY: Violin Sonata; Cello Sonata

ELGAR: Violin Concerto in B minor Op. 61

FRANCK, C: Violin Sonata in A major

LALO: Symphonie espagnole Op. 21

MOZART: Violin Concertos Nos. 1-5 (Complete); Adagio for Violin and Orchestra in E, K261; Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in C, K373; Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in B flat, K269; Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orchestra in E flat major, K364; Concertone in C for 2 Violins and Orchestra, K190; Violin Sonatas (complete)

RAVEL: Tzigane; Piano Trio in A minor

SAINT-SAENS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor Op. 61; Havanaise Op. 83; Introduction & Rondo capriccioso Op. 28

SARASATE: Carmen Fantasy Op. 25

SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 99

STRAVINSKY: Violin Concerto in D

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons

WIENIAWSKI: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor Op. 22

Kathleen Battle (soprano), Orchestra of St. Luke’s, John Nelson (conductor), Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano), Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa (conductor), Orchestre de Paris, Daniel Barenboim (conductor), Barry Tuckwell (horn), New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta (conductor), Lynn Harrell (cello), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, James Levine (conductor), Pinchas Zukerman (viola), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman (violin), Daniel Barenboim (piano), Myor Rosen (harp), Ilya Gringolts (violin), Itzhak Perlman (conductor), Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Itzhak Perlman (violin)

DG 4794708 (25CD budget)

10.40am New Baroque Vocal Releases with Anna Picard

Anna Picard joins Andrew to discuss recently released Baroque vocal music.


Benedetto Marcello: Psalms

MARCELLO, B: Estro poetico-armonico: Psalm 11: In the Lord My God Put I My Trust; Estro poetico-armonico: Psalm 32: Blessed is He Whose Wickedness is Forgiven; Ciaccona Op. 2; Estro poetico-armonico: Psalm 50: The Lord Jehovah, Even The Most Mighty God, Hath Spoken; Estro poetico-armonico: Psalm 46: God is Our Refuge and Our Strength; Canon Triplex - In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum

Voces8, Les Inventions



Albinoni: Opera Arias & Instrumental Music

ALBINONI: Zenobia: Overture; Vien con nuova orribil guerra (from La Statira); Quel sembiante e quel bel volto (from L' incostanza schernita); Concerto grosso Op. 5 No. 5 in A Minor; Se premio alla costanza (from L'Eraclea); Il mio crin su l'alto soglio (from L'Eraclea); Ristoro degli afflitti (from L'Eraclea); La mia gloria e l'amor mio (from Le gare generose); La mia sorte vo' conoscere (from Le gare generose); Vedrem se possa mio brando invitto (from Le gare generose); Sinfonia SI7 in G minor; Se avessi piu d'un core (from Ardelinda); Doppo tetra e tenebrosa (from Ardelinda)

Ana Quintans (soprano), Concerto de'Cavalieri, Marcello di Lisa

DEUTSCHE HM 88875081922 (CD)


Handel in Italy, Volume 1

HANDEL: Gloria in Excelsis Deo; Rodrigo: Passacaglia; Bel piacere (from Agrippina); Sonata in G major, HWV579; Un pensiero nemico di pace (from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno); Cuopre tal volta il cielo (HWV 98)

Sophie Bevan (soprano), Mary Bevan (soprano), Benjamin Bevan (baritone), London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham (director)



Alle guerre d’amore

CRESTA: T'ho cercato; Il tempo del canto; Come vagabonda; Come sigillo; Apri la porta; Ai suoi occhi

LUZZASCHI: Cor moi deh non languire

D’INDIA: Alla guerra, alla guerra d'amore; Crud'Amarilli

ROSSI: Correnta quarta

KAPSBERGER: Sonino; Toccata II Arpeggiata

MERULA: Su la cetra amorosa, chaconne

MONTEVERDI: Ohimè dov'è il mio ben

MAZZOCCHI: Chiudesti i lumi

ARCADELT:Il bianco e dolce cigno

Caroline Pelon (soprano), Raphaële Kennedy (soprano), Christophe Desjardins (viola),

Ensemble l'Amoroso, Guido Balestracci, Esmé de Vries, Gioacchino de Padova (viole de gambe), Massimo Moscardo (theorbo) Joël Grare (percussions), Guido Balestracci (conductor)



The Tempest

DRAGHI, G B: The Tempest: Dance of fantastick spirits

HART, JAMES: The Tempest: Dorinda's song

HERSANT: Falling Star

LOCKE: Suite from The Tempest

MARTIN, F: Songs of Ariel from Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest'

PURCELL: Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z15; Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z135; Let mine eyes run down with tears, Z24; O God, thou hast cast us out, Z36

La Tempete, Simon-Pierre Bestion


11.40am Disc of the Week

Schumann: Piano Concerto & Piano Trio No. 2

SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54; Piano Trio No. 2 in F major Op. 80

Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano), Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado (conductor), Isabelle Faust (violin), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)



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