Thursday - Rob Cowan with Francesca Simon
With Rob Cowan. My Favourite Smetana Piano Works; Music in Time: Poulenc; Artists of the Week: Juilliard Quartet, featured in Beethoven's String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131.
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: can you remember the television show or film that featured this piece of classical music?
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: Modern
Rob places Music in Time and looks at how the signature Modern style of writing for wind instruments and piano crafted by Francis Poulenc in the 1920s infused Poulenc's music until his death in 1963.
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 C sharp minor Op.131
Juilliard String Quartet.
MY FAVOURITE...SMETANA PIANO WORKS
FRANCESCA SIMON'S CHOICE NO.1
FRANCESCA SIMON'S CHOICE NO.2
MUSIC IN TIME: MODERN
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JULLIARD STRING QUARTET
Heard on Screen
Answer: Ever Decreasing Circles (BBC One)
The music played:
Prelude in D flat major, Op.34 No.15
Olli Mustonen (piano)