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Tuesday - Rob Cowan with Francesca Simon

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Smetana Piano Works; Music in Time: Strauss tone poems; Artists of the Week: Juilliard Quartet, in Brahms's Piano Quintet in F minor, Op 34.

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

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: Romantic
Rob explores one of the late Romantic tone poems of Richard Strauss, which leads the audience through the twists and turns of a comedic narrative.

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.

Piano Quintet in F minor Op.34
Leon Fleischer (piano)
Juilliard String Quartet.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    Hungarian Dance No.5 in G minor

    Orchestra: Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. Conductor: Constantin Silvestri.
    • EMI.
  • Amilcare Ponchielli

    Dance of the Hours (La Giaconda)

    Orchestra: Sinfonia of London. Conductor: Robert Irving.
    • Vocalion.
  • My Favourite...Smetana piano works

    • Bedrich Smetana

      Macbeth and the Witches

      Performer: Radoslav Kvapil.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Hymn of the Cherubim (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op.31)

    Choir: Accentus. Choir: Eric Ericsons Kammarkör. Director: Laurence Equilbey.
    • NAÏVE.
  • John Jenkins

    Fantasy No.6

    Ensemble: Hespèrion XXI. Director: Jordi Savall.
    • ASTREE.
  • Carl Maria von Weber

    Concertino in E flat major, Op 26

    Performer: Sabine Meyer. Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt.
    • EMI.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    V. Meine Freuden (Six Polish songs)

    Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes.
    • EMI.
  • Edward Elgar

    Sospiri, Op 70

    Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
    • EMI.

    • Maurice Ravel

      II. Assez vif, tres rythme (String Quartet in F major)

      Ensemble: Budapest String Quartet.
      • CBS.

    • Franz Schubert

      IV. Allegretto (String Quintet in C major)

      Ensemble: Hagen Quartett. Performer: Heinrich Schiff.
      • DG.
  • Robert Schumann


    Performer: Carolyn Sampson. Performer: Joseph Middleton.
    • BIS.

    • Richard Strauss

      Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op.28

      Orchestra: Minnesota Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
  • François Couperin

    Concerto No.5 in F major (Les Gouts-Reunis)

    Performer: Heinz Holliger. Performer: Josef Ulsamer. Performer: Christiane Jaccottet.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    The Swan (Carnival of the Animals)

    Music Arranger: Leopold Godowsky. Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor.
    • Decca.

    • Johannes Brahms

      Piano Quintet in F minor Op.34

      Ensemble: Juilliard String Quartet. Performer: Leon Fleisher.
      • SONY.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Divertimento in E flat major, KV252

    Ensemble: Amadeus Winds.
    • DECCA.
  • Pierre Villette

    Hymne a la Vierge

    Choir: Rodolfus Choir. Director: Ralph Allwood.
    • Herald.

Mystery Person

Answer: Sir John Barbirolli


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