Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Friday - Rob Cowan with Simon Sebag Montefiore

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Duos; Music in Time: Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor; Proms Artist of the Day: soprano Karita Mattila, featured in Sibelius's Luonnotar.

9am
My Favourite... Duos. Rob shares his favourite examples of these works for two musicians, where each artist's response to the other is put under the spotlight, creating what is perhaps the ultimate expression of chamber music. Rob's choices explore a selection of instrumental combinations including duos for strings by Bartók, a duo for pianos by Schubert, and duos for percussion, and guitars.

9.30am
Take part in today's challenge. Two pieces of music are played together - can you work out what they are?

10am
Rob's guest, historian, writer and television presenter Simon Sebag Montefiore, will be sharing a selection of his favourite classical music, including works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky that link to his writing on Russia, every day at 10am. Simon's acclaimed history books have been published in over 45 languages and include Jerusalem: The Biography, Catherine the Great and Potemkin and Young Stalin. His latest book, The Romanovs 1613-1918, chronicles the stories of twenty tsars and tsarinas, and is already a bestseller in the UK, Australia and the USA. Simon has also won literary prizes for his fiction work. He has written the first two instalments of a trilogy of thriller-love-stories set in Russia. The second in the series, 'One Night in Winter', won the Best Political Novel of the Year Prize and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize.

10.30am
Music in Time: Classical
Rob places Music in Time. The spotlight is on the Classical period and Beethoven's 32 Variations in C minor, whichs take the form beyond the 'Sturm und Drang' ('storm and stress') style of Haydn to a new level of intensity and drama.

10.45am
In anticipation of tonight's Prom of Janácek's opera The Makropulos Affair, starring Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, Rob features her unique vocal talents in music by Sibelius - his musical depiction of the creation of the world by the Spirit of Nature and Mother of the Seas, as told in the Kalevala, the Finnish folk epic.

Sibelius
Luonnotar, Op.70
Karita Mattila (soprano)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor).

2 hours

Music Played

  • Jean Sibelius

    Karelia Suite (Intermezzo)

    Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Eugene Ormandy.
    • Sibelius: Orchestral works: Various.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 7.
  • MY FAVOURITE...DUOS

    • Franz Schubert

      Allegro in A minor, 'Lebenssturme', D.947

      Performer: David Fray. Performer: Jacques Rouvier.
      • WARNER CLASSICS.
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

    Ruslan and Ludmila (Overture)

    Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner.
    • RCA.
  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Second Sonata for violin, viola da gamba and continuo

    Ensemble: La Reveuse. Director: Benjamin Perrot.
    • MIRARE.
  • Luiz Bonfá

    Manha de Carnaval [Morning of Carnival]

    Performer: Andreas Ottensamer. Performer: Daniel Ottensamer. Performer: Ernst Ottensamer. Performer: František Jánoška.
    • DG.
  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Sonata No 4 for violin, viol and continuo in G minor

    Ensemble: La Rêveuse. Director: Benjamin Perrot.
    • MIRARE.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Humoresque No.1 in D minor, Op.87 No.1

    Performer: Pekka Kuusisto. Orchestra: Tapiola Sinfonietta.
    • ONDINE.
  • SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE'S CHOICE NO.1

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      Eugene Onegin: Duel Scene

      Singer: Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Singer: Neil Shicoff. Singer: Sergei Zadvorny. Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
      • PHILIPS.
  • SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE'S CHOICE NO.2

    • Richard Wagner

      Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Act 3: 'Die 'selige Morgentraum-Deutweise'

      Singer: Bernd Weikl. Singer: Cheryl Studer. Singer: Ben Heppner. Singer: Deon van der Walt. Singer: Cornelia Kallisch. Orchestra: Bavarian State Orchestra. Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch.
      • EMI.
  • SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE'S CHOICE NO.3

    • Alexander Glazunov

      Raymonda: Act 3 entr’acte

      Orchestra: Leningrad Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Yevgeny Mravinsky.
      • SCRIBENDUM.
  • Anonymous

    Improvisation on an anonymous Jota from the Saldivar Codex

    Performer: Pedro Estevan. Performer: Marc Clos.
    • ALIA VOX.
  • MUSIC IN TIME: Classical

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      32 Variations on an original theme in C minor, WoO80

      Performer: Mihaela Ursuleasa.
      • BERLIN CLASSICS.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Romance in G major, Op 40

    Performer: Christian Tetzlaff. Orchestra: Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. Conductor: David Zinman.
    • Beethoven: Violin concerto etc: Tetzlaff/Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/Zinman.
    • Arte Nova Classics.
    • 4.
  • PROMS ARTIST OF THE DAY: KARITA MATTILA

    • Jean Sibelius

      Luonnotar, Op.70

      Singer: Karita Mattila. Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
      • WARNER CLASSICS.

Imperfect Harmony

The music played:

Britten 
Peter Grimes: 'Old Joe has gone fishing' 
Geraint Evans (bass-baritone) 
Jean Watson (alto) 
Peter Pears (tenor) 
Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 
Benjamin Britten (conductor) 
DECCA 

Sibelius 
Violin Concerto: 3rd movement 
Viktoria Mullova (violin) 
Boston Symphony Orchestra 
Seiji Ozawa (conductor) 
PHILIPS

Broadcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough presents quirky tales gathered from the corners of history.