Friday - Rob Cowan with Francesca Simon
With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Smetana Piano Works; Music in Time: Palestrina; Artists of the Week: Juilliard Quartet, featured in Schumann's Piano Quartet in E flat.
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: Two pieces of music have been altered. Can you identify them?
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: Renaissance
Rob places Music in Time and goes back to the Renaissance period, when certain pieces by Palestrina demonstrated a new simplicity in church music - with a style whose clear textures allowed the words to be more distinct, compared with the more ubiquitous 16th century polyphonic style.
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 Quartet in E flat Op.47
Glenn Gould (piano)
Members of the Juilliard String Quartet.
MY FAVOURITE...SMETANA PIANO MUSIC
FRANCESCA SIMON'S CHOICE NO.1
FRANCESCA SIMON'S CHOICE NO.2
MUSIC IN TIME: RENAISSANCE
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JULLIARD STRING QUARTET
The music played:
III. Toccare (Violin Concerto)
Chloe Hanslip (violin)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin (conductor)
Caprice in A minor, Op.1 No.5
Julia Fischer (violin)