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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Garry Richardson

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Marches; Music in Time: Schoenberg: Piano Suite; Proms Artist of the Week: cellist Alban Gerhardt, featured in Reger's Cello Suite No 3.

My favourite... marches. This week Rob slips on a sturdy pair of boots and steps out to the accompaniment of some of his favourite marches - imperious Mozart, Tchaikovsky's patriotic Marche slave, the humbling Dead March from Handel's dramatic oratorio Saul, the famous Alla marcia that closes Sibelius's Karelia Suite and, most imposing of all, the grief-laden Marche funèbre from Berlioz's Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale.

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

Rob's guest this week, sharing a selection of his favourite classical music, is the journalist and presenter Garry Richardson, who has been bringing sports news to radio listeners for over thirty years. Garry currently hosts 5 Live's Sportsweek, as well as presenting the sports section of Radio 4's Today programme, and has interviewed leading personalities from Muhammad Ali and David Beckham to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton. Garry will be talking about his career and sharing music by composers including Gershwin, Bach and Verdi every day at 10am.

Music in Time: Modern
Rob places Music in Time. Today Rob looks at the Modern era and fifteen minutes that changed music - Schoenberg's Suite for Piano, Op. 25. It's the first work that Schoenberg composed entirely according to the principles of serialism, the system he had devised to bring order to the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of tonality in the early years of the 20th century. Schoenberg, though, always has one eye on the past, and despite its modernity, his suite has its roots firmly in the Baroque.

Rob's Proms Artist of the Week is Alban Gerhardt, who ranks among the most sensitive cellists of the younger generation. Gerhardt appears at London's Royal Albert Hall this Wednesday as the soloist in Dvorák's Cello Concerto. Throughout the week on Essential Classics we'll hear Gerhardt perform a rich variety of Romantic cello music. The repertoire ranges from the Bachian tones of a Max Reger solo suite and a rarely heard sonata by Alkan, to the subtly-woven sound-world of Fauré's First Cello Sonata and Enescu's powerful Sinfonia Concertante. Friday's featured work is Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto, an affirmative piece in spite of the composer's declining health and the ever-present menace of Stalin's disapproval.

Cello Suite No. 3 in A minor, Op. 131c No. 3
Alban Gerhardt, cello.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Arnold Schoenberg

    Canon No.25 for strings

    Ensemble: Fred Sherry String Quartet.
    • NAXOS.

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      March in D major, K.249

      Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Dora Pejačević

    Waltz-Caprices, Op.28

    Performer: Nataša Veljković.
    • CPO.
  • Béla Bartók

    Hungarian Sketches

    Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner.
    • RCA.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Divertimento in D major for baryton with two horns, viola and double bass

    Ensemble: Ricercar Consort. Director: Philippe Pierlot.
  • Alfred Schnittke

    Stille Nacht

    Performer: Gidon Kremer. Performer: Christoph Eschenbach.
    • TELDEC.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Mass in B Minor, BWV232: Sanctus

    Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • ARCHIV.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV565

      Performer: Peter Hurford.
      • DECCA.

    • Scott Joplin

      Solace (A Mexican serenade) - rag for piano

      Performer: Marvin Hamlisch.
      • MCA.
  • Weber

    Overture to Der Freischutz, arr. for wind ensemble

    Ensemble: Consortium Classicum.

    • Arnold Schoenberg

      Suite for piano, Op.25

      Performer: Maurizio Pollini.
      • DG.
  • Richard Wagner

    Overture to The Flying Dutchman

    Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Bruno Walter.

    • Max Reger

      Cello Suite No.3 in A minor, Op.131c No.3

      Performer: Alban Gerhardt.
      • HYPERION.
  • Henri Duparc

    Extase for voice and piano

    Performer: Malcolm Martineau. Singer: Kate Royal.
    • A Lesson in Love: Kate Royal/Malcolm Martineau.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 20.
  • Duparc


    Performer: Kate Royal. Performer: Malcolm Martineau.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Symphony No 5 in F, Op 76

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Witold Rowicki.

Recording Rewind

The music played:

Bach, J.S. 
Mass in B Minor, BWV232: Sanctus 
Monteverdi Choir 
English Baroque Soloists 
John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) 


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