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Friday - Rob Cowan with Nitin Sawhney

With Rob Cowan. Including Five Reasons to Love Bach Organ Works; musical challenge; Artist of the Week: cellist Steven Isserlis, featured in Saint-Saens's Cello Concerto No 2.

Rob presents '5 reasons to love... Bach organ works'. Throughout the week Rob puts Bach's organ works centre stage, showcasing their complexity, and the virtuosity required to perform them. He highlights their flashes of humour, as well as their gravitas and sheer power, plus the way Bach often reinvented pre-existing works. Rob hand-picks recordings by organists including Helmut Walcha, Simon Preston and Ton Koopman.

Take part in today's challenge. Two pieces of music are played together - can you work out what they are?

Rob's guest this week is Nitin Sawhney. A composer, producer, songwriter, DJ and multi-instrumentalist, Nitin is one of the BBC's Ambassadors for the new Ten Pieces project. His musical credentials include collaboration with artists from Sir Paul McCartney to The London Symphony Orchestra. As a child Nitin trained as a classical pianist, moving on to classical and flamenco guitar and learning to play sitar and tabla. He has since toured the world with his band, and recorded nine studio albums, winning accolades for his amalgamation of styles including jazz, flamenco, electronica and classical Indian ragas. He has composed for theatre, film, television and video games with credits including writing the BAFTA-winning soundtrack for The Human Planet, scoring ad campaigns for brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Nike and writing a new score for Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger. Nitin will be sharing a selection of his favourite classical music with Rob, every day at 10am.

10.30am Ten Pieces
The BBC has just launched the new Ten Pieces for secondary schools, opening up the world of classical music to children and inspiring them to respond creatively to what they hear. To celebrate this Rob chooses music that complements this exciting selection of works.

Rob's featured artist is the cellist Steven Isserlis. A musician who wears his considerable virtuosity lightly, Isserlis has received worldwide acclaim for his technique, musicianship and command of the instrument. Throughout the week Rob presents recordings by Isserlis including an elegant interpretation of Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1, a lyrical performance of Grieg's Cello Sonata and a rendition of Prokofiev's Cello Concerto that captures the bittersweet language of the work.

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 119
Steven Isserlis (cello)
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Jesu meine Freude

    Choir: The Hilliard Ensemble.
    • ECM.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV582

      Performer: Ton Koopman.
      • ARCHIV.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Mazeppa: Introduction

    Orchestra: KIV Orchestra. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Jacques Ibert

    Trois pièces brèves

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
    • BIS.
  • Wilhelm Stenhammar

    I skogen

    Performer: Paul Rivinius. Singer: Camilla Tilling.
    • BIS.
  • Richard Strauss

    Don Juan

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DG.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The Turtle Dove

    Singer: Gabriel Crouch. Choir: Tenebrae. Conductor: Nigel Short.
    • SIGNUM.

    • Hans Zimmer

      Vide Cor Meum (Hannibal)

      Composer: Patrick Cassidy. Singer: Danielle de Niese. Singer: Bruno Lazzaretti. Orchestra: The Lyndhurst Orchestra. Conductor: Gavin Greenaway.
      • DECCA.

    • Arvo Pärt

      Spiegel im Spiegel

      Performer: Lisa Batiashvili. Performer: Hélène Grimaud.
      • DG.

    • Gunther Schuller

      Concertino for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra - 3rd movement

      Performer: John Lewis. Performer: Milt Jackson. Performer: Percy Heath. Performer: Connie Kay. Ensemble: The Modern Jazz Quartet. Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    II. Allegro marcato (Symphony No.5)

    Orchestra: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache.
    • DG.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Piano Trio No.1 in C minor, Op.8

    Performer: Julian Rachlin. Performer: Mischa Maisky. Performer: Itamar Golan.
    • ONYX.
  • George Butterworth

    I fear thy kisses

    Performer: Iain Burnside. Singer: Roderick Williams.
    • NAXOS.

    • Camille Saint‐Saëns

      Cello Concerto No 2 in D minor, Op 119

      Performer: Steven Isserlis. Orchestra: NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach.
      • RCA.
  • Erkki-Sven Tüür


    Choir: Eesti Filharmoonia Kammerkoor. Orchestra: Tallinna Kammerorkester. Conductor: Tõnu Kaljuste.
    • ECM.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Keyboard Concerto No. 6, BWV 1057

    Performer: Andreas Staier. Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Director: Petra Müllejans.

Imperfect Harmony

The music played:

Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor: 1st Movement
Daniel Hope (violin)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)
Vaughan Williams
The Turtle Dove
Gabriel Crouch (baritone)
Nigel Short (conductor)


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