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Wednesday - Sarah Walker with Graeme Swann

With Sarah Walker. My Favourite Monteverdi Madrigals; Music in Time: Leonin: Magnus liber organi; Proms Artist of the Week: Semyon Bychkov, conducting Shostakovich's Symphony No 11.

My favourite... Monteverdi madrigals. There's an Italian flavour in the air this week as Sarah shares a selection of her favourite Monteverdi madrigals. These works condense extraordinary depths of feeling into just a few minutes and range from tales of ardent lovers and the cruelty of fate, to musical evocations of nature and the battlefield. We'll hear madrigals spanning Monteverdi's lifetime, including the progressive Fifth Book with its striking dissonances, and one of his most celebrated masterworks, the Eighth Book: Madrigals of Love and War. The line-up includes the sensual and theatrical Lamento della ninfa ('The nymph's lament'), Hor che'l ciel e la terra ('Now that the sky and the earth') and the melancholy O gloriose martyr.

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

Sarah's guest is the cricket broadcaster and former international cricketer, Graeme Swann. Graeme was part of three Ashes-winning teams and was regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the world. In his 60 Test matches Graeme took 255 Test wickets, a total that put him sixth on the all-time list of English bowlers. He also made dozens of one-day international appearances and Twenty20 internationals, being part of the team that won the T20 World Cup in 2010. Since retiring from cricket, Graeme has been a summariser for the BBC's ever-popular Test Match Special. Throughout the week Graeme will be talking about his cricketing career and sharing a selection of his favourite classical music, including works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Ravel.

Music in Time: Medieval
Sarah places Music in Time. Today she turns to the medieval era, focusing on the mysterious figure of Leonin. Leonin was one of the earliest composers of printed music, and was responsible for the creation of the Magnus liber organi - the big book of organum - an early form of polyphony, or part-writing in music.

Sarah's Proms Artist of the Week is the conductor Semyon Bychkov. A master of large-scale works, Bychkov has excelled in Romantic and twentieth-century repertoire, particularly from the Austro-German and Russian traditions. Sarah explores a different aspect of the conductor's work each day, including his Russian roots in a much-celebrated account of Shostakovich's 11th Symphony; his time as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, which he conducts in Poulenc's Les Biches; the tremendous success he's had as an interpreter of opera (featuring the conclusion of Wagner's Lohengrin, which was voted BBC Music Magazine's Record of the Year in 2010); and finally his collaborations with his piano-duo wife and sister-in-law, the Labèques, who he joins at the keyboard in a performance of Mozart's Concerto for 3 Pianos, K.242.

Symphony No.11 in G minor, Op.103 'The Year 1905'
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Semyon Bychkov (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    The Limpid Stream, Act I: Allegro

    Orchestra: Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Gennady Nikolayevich Rozhdestvensky.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Flute Concerto in G major

    Performer: Emmanuel Pahud. Orchestra: Kammerorchester Basel. Conductor: Giovanni Antonini.
    • WARNER.

    • Claudio Monteverdi

      O gloriose martyr

      Music Arranger: Aquilino Coppini. Ensemble: Le Poème Harmonique. Director: Vincent Dumestre.
      • Alpha.
  • Alexander Glazunov

    Ouverture solennelle, Op 73

    Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra. Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • DG.
  • Giuseppe Torelli

    Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op.8 No.6

    Orchestra: Arte dei Suonatori. Director: Martin Gester.
    • BIS.
  • Amy Beach

    Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 150

    Ensemble: Romantic Chamber Group of London.
    • BIS.
  • Aaron Copland

    Fanfare for the Common Man

    Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
    • DECCA.

    • Maurice Ravel


      Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Eugene Ormandy.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Trost unglücklicher Liebe, H XXVIa 9

    Performer: Gerold Huber. Singer: Christian Gerhaher.
    • Christian Gerhaher Ferner Geliebte Beethoven Berg Haydn Schonberg.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 17.

    • Léonin

      Alleluya. Dulce lignum, dulces clavos

      Singer: John Potter. Singer: Richard Wistreich. Ensemble: Red Byrd. Choir: Cappella Amsterdam.
      • Helios.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Partita No 4 in D, BWV 828

    Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor.
    • DECCA.

    • Dmitry Shostakovich

      Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 'The Year 1905'

      Orchestra: WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
      • AVIE.

Recording Rewind

The music played:

Fanfare for the Common Man
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati (conductor)


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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