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Friday - Rob Cowan with Kirsty Wark

With Rob Cowan. My Favourite Mendelssohn Choral Music; Music in Time: Modern; Menuhin 100: featuring Yehudi Menuhin as soloist in music by Bach and conducting Handel.

My favourite... Mendelssohn choral music. Felix Mendelssohn was probably the keenest promoter of J. S. Bach in the nineteenth century and there can be little doubt that the Cantor of St Thomas's was a significant influence on Mendelssohn's own music, especially the oratorios Elijah, St Paul and the unfinished Christus. Rob's choices include extracts from all three, as well as Hear My Prayer (including 'O for the wings of a dove') and Psalm 98 - elevating works, and a joy to hear.

Take part in today's musical challenge: trace the classical theme behind a well-known song.

Rob's guest this week is the broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Wark. Best known as the long-standing presenter of the BBC's current affairs show Newsnight, Kirsty has presented programmes including the Late Show and The Review Show, as well as election specials. She has conducted interviews with everyone from Margaret Thatcher and Harold Pinter to Madonna and George Clooney, and has also made cameo appearances in dramas including Doctor Who and Absolutely Fabulous. She recently published her first novel, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle. Kirsty will be sharing a selection of her favourite classical music every day at 10am.

Music in Time: Modern
Rob places Music in Time, with an innovative work from the Modern period. In 1988 Steve Reich created a "new way of composing", using speech recordings as a basis for musical melodies in Different Trains, for string quartet and tape.

Menuhin 100
To celebrate the centenary of Lord Menuhin's birth, Rob has mined the vast Menuhin recording archive and come up with a dazzling array of great performances, including the 16-year-old's still unrivalled recording of Elgar's Violin Concerto under the conductor's own direction, the Third Sonata by Yehudi's teacher Enescu, with its gypsy music inflections (Hephzibah Menuhin at the piano), Bach's Double Concerto with fellow Enescu-pupil Christian Ferras, and a virtuoso 1934 recording of Paganini's First Concerto that has to be heard to be believed.

J.S. Bach
Chaconne, from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Yehudi Menuhin (violin)

Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1:
Yehudi Menuhin (conductor)
Bath Festival Orchestra.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    Hungarian Dance No.2 in D minor

    Performer: Tasmin Little. Performer: John Lenehan. Music Arranger: Joseph Joachim.
    • EMI.
  • Joseph-Hector Fiocco

    Allegro (Suite No.1 in G major)

    Performer: Yehudi Menuhin. Performer: Louis Persinger.
    • RCA.
  • My favourite... Mendelssohn choral music

    • Felix Mendelssohn

      The birth of Christ (Christus, Op.97)

      Singer: Dorothea Rieger. Singer: Christoph Prégardien. Singer: Johannes-Christoph Happel. Singer: Cornelius Hauptmann. Orchestra: Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Choir: Kammerchor Stuttgart. Conductor: Frieder Bernius.
      • CARUS.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Concerto in E minor for recorder, flute, strings and continuo

    Ensemble: Camerata Köln.
    • Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Fantasia in C major, H.17.4

    Performer: Marc-André Hamelin.
    • Hyperion.
  • Aaron Copland

    El salón México

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • DG.
  • Edward Elgar

    Enigma Variations, Op 36 (Variation 9, 'Nimrod')

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
    • TELDEC.
  • Kirsty Wark's Choice No. 1

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Prelude and Fugue in E flat minor, BWV 853 (Book 1, The Well-Tempered Clavier)

      Performer: Sir András Schiff.
      • ECM.
  • Rob's Choice for Kirsty Wark

    • Franz Schubert

      Entr'acte in B fjat major (Rosamunde, D 797)

      Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Pierre Monteux.
      • DECCA.
  • Franz Liszt

    Legende de Saint Francois de Paule marchant sur les flots, S.175, No. 2

    Performer: Claire‐Marie Le Guay.
    • DECCA.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • Steve Reich

      Different Trains: 1) America - before the war

      Ensemble: Kronos Quartet.
      • NONESUCH.
  • Artist of the Week: Yehudi Menuhin

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Chaconne (Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV1004)

      Performer: Yehudi Menuhin.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54: II Allegretto

    Performer: Maria Grinberg.
    • MEL.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Concerto Grosso in G major, Op.6 No.1

    Orchestra: Bath Festival Orchestra. Conductor: Yehudi Menuhin.
    • EMI.
  • Otto Nicolai

    Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • MINUET.
  • Henryk Wieniawski

    Scherzo Tarantella

    Performer: Yehudi Menuhin. Performer: Louis Persinger.
    • RCA.

Classical Roots

Answer: Muse's 'The Globalist' is based on Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations

The music played:

Matt Bellamy
The Globalist


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