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Friday - Rob Cowan with Helen Sharman

With Rob Cowan. Includes My Favourite Hollywood Film Scores; Music in Time: John Adams's Absolute Jest; Artist of the Week: Clifford Curzon, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5.

My favourite... Hollywood film scores. Rob takes a trip to the cinema as he shares his favourite scores from the golden age of Hollywood. The showreel includes classics such as Max Steiner's soundtrack to Gone with the Wind and Erich Korngold's The Sea Hawk, as well as Bernard Herrmann's iconic shrieking strings accompaniment to Hitchcock's horror movie Psycho.

Take part in our daily musical challenge: identify a piece of music played backwards.

Rob's guest is the astronaut Helen Sharman. Helen Sharman made history when she became the first Briton in space in 1991. Helen's space mission came about after she heard a radio advert for an astronaut whilst working as a research chemist. She beat over 13,000 other applicants to become a crew-member on the eight-day mission. Throughout the week Helen will be reflecting on her trip into space twenty-five years on, talking about life after the mission and sharing a selection of her favourite classical music, including works by Liszt and Haydn, and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which she first saw during astronaut training in Russia.

Rob places Music in Time as he explores the Romantic period with Liszt's forward-looking Faust Symphony, which not only fuses the symphonic and tone poem genres, but also includes an early use of a twelve note row.

Rob's artist of the week is the British pianist, Clifford Curzon. A pupil of such distinguished figures as Artur Schnabel, Wanda Landowska and Nadia Boulanger, Curzon was praised for his grace and poise at the keyboard. He specialised in music from the Classical and Romantic periods, especially from the Austro-German tradition, and this week, Rob features some of the pianist's most celebrated recordings, including piano sonatas by Brahms and Liszt, piano concertos by Mozart (K.488) and Beethoven (No. 5 'Emperor) and Schubert's ever-popular 'Trout' Quintet.

Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 5
Clifford Curzon (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Francisco Guerrero

    Surge, propera amicaa mea

    Choir: Stile Antico.

    • Erich Wolfgang Korngold

      The Sea Hawk (Suite)

      Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
      • DG.
  • Domenico Scarlatti

    Sonata in D major, K 29

    Performer: Murray Perahia.
    • Murray Perahia plays Handel and Scarlatti.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 19.
  • Tarquinio Merula

    Canzon seconda, 'La Lusignuola'; Canzon quarta, 'La Merula'

    Ensemble: Sirena Recorder Quartet.
    • BIS.
  • Jean Sibelius

    The Oceanides, Op 73

    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Paavo Berglund.
    • EMI.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Eternal source of light divine (Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne)

    Performer: Alison Balsom. Singer: Iestyn Davies. Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • EMI.

    • Cristóbal de Morales

      Parce mihi Domine

      Performer: Jan Garbarek. Choir: The Hilliard Ensemble.
      • ECM.

    • Arvo Pärt

      Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

      Orchestra: Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic. Conductor: Kristjan Järvi.
      • NAIVE.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Nicht wiedersehen!

    Singer: Christian Gerhaher. Performer: Gerold Huber.
    • RCA Red Seal.

    • John Adams

      Absolute Jest

      Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony. Ensemble: St. Lawrence String Quartet. Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas.
      • SFS MEDIA.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Scherzo-Polka, Op 72

    Ensemble: The Gaudier Ensemble.
    • Hyperion.

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major, ‘Emperor’

      Performer: Clifford Curzon. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Hans Knappertsbusch.
      • DECCA.
  • Percy Grainger

    A Lincolnshire Posy

    Ensemble: Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra. Conductor: Timothy Reynish.
    • CHANDOS.

Classical Roots

Answer: The Pet Shop Boys' 'Hold On' is based Handel's 'Eternal source of light divine'

The music played:

The Pet Shop Boys
Hold On
The Pet Shop Boys


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