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Monday - Rob Cowan with Francesca Simon

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Smetana Piano Works; Music in Time: Vivaldi; Artists of the Week: Juilliard Quartet, featured in Mozart's String Quartet in D minor, K421.

My favourite... Smetana piano works. Celebrated for his charming polkas, Bedrich Smetana was in fact a genuine musical innovator. His piano works contain some of the most daring, disquieting and original music written during the 19th century. This week Rob explores works ranging from the concert etude 'On the Seashore' to the collection of Czech Dances featuring performances by native Czech pianists Rudolf Firkusny and Jitka Cechova, as well as Andras Schiff and Leif Ove Andsnes.

Take part in our daily musical challenge and identify the place associated with a well-known work.

Rob's guest is the author Francesca Simon, creator of the Horrid Henry books. The adventures have sold millions of copies worldwide, have been made into an animated series and film, and have won the Children's Book of the Year awards. Besides the Horrid Henry series Francesca has written over fifty books for children of all ages and is among the most borrowed children's authors in British libraries. She is also involved in children's literacy charities as well as working with young writers, and is currently developing an opera for the Royal Opera House. Throughout the week Francesca will be sharing a selection of her favourite classical music including works by Jonathan Dove, Tchaikovsky and troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn.

Music in Time: Baroque
Rob places Music in Time with a Baroque concerto by Vivaldi that explores the range of instruments the composer had available to him during his years teaching and composing at Venice's seminary for orphaned girls.

Rob's featured artists are the members of the Juilliard Quartet, a group that has been in existence for nearly seven decades. Among the quartet's many virtues is their ability to make the classics sound new, and more modern music sound as if it's been around for years. In their hands everything becomes contemporary, vital and memorable.

String Quartet in D minor K421
Juilliard String Quartet.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Bedrich Smetana

    Polka in E major (Three Salon Polkas, Op.7 No.3)

    Performer: Sir András Schiff.
    • TELDEC.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Symphony in E flat major, Wq 179

    Orchestra: Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Christian Zacharias.
    • MDG GOLD.

    • Bedrich Smetana

      On the Seashore, Op.17

      Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes.
      • EMI.
  • Anonymous

    Galliard; Lullaby 'My little sweet darling'; Dance

    Singer: Montserrat Figueras. Ensemble: Hespèrion XXI. Director: Jordi Savall.
    • ALIA VOX.
  • Traditional

    The Dean Brig o' Edinburgh; Banks Hornpipe

    Composer: James Scott Skinner. Performer: Nicola Benedetti. Performer: Phil Cunningham.
    • DECCA .
  • Samuel Barber

    The School for Scandal

    Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Neeme Järvi.
    • CHANDOS   .

    • Bernart de Ventadorn

      Pois preyatz me, senhor 

      Singer: Martin Best. Performer: Martin Best.
      • HYPERION.

    • Ernest John Moeran

      I. Allegro - Lento - Tempo Primo (String Quartet in A minor)

      Ensemble: Maggini Quartet.
      • NAXOS.
  • Charles Trenet

    Coin de rue

    Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes. Music Arranger: Leif Ove Andsnes.
    • Horizons.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 15.

    • Antonio Vivaldi

      Concerto 'con molti strumenti' in C major, RV 558

      Ensemble: Il Giardino Armonico. Director: Giovanni Antonini.
      • TELDEC.
  • Jacques Ibert

    Trois pièces brèves

    Ensemble: Athena Ensemble.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Franz Liszt

    St Francis of Paola walking on the waves

    Music Arranger: Lionel Rogg. Performer: Gillian Weir.
    • PRIORY.

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      String Quartet in D minor, KV421

      Ensemble: Juilliard String Quartet.
      • CBS.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Nocturne No 6 in D flat major, Op 63

    Performer: Stephen Hough.
    • Stephen Hough's French Album.
    • 003.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Scherzo (Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op 42)

    Music Arranger: Alexander Glazunov. Performer: Baiba Skride. Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Andris Nelsons.
  • Henry Purcell

    Funeral Sentences

    Choir: The Sixteen. Performer: Paul Nicholson. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO.

Mapping the Music

Answer: The Rio Grande

The music played:

The Rio Grande
Sally Burgess (mezzo-soprano)
Jack Gibbons (piano)
Opera North Chorus
English Northern Philharmonia
David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)


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