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Thursday - Sarah Walker with Graeme Swann

With Sarah Walker. Including My Favourite Monteverdi Madrigals; Music in Time: Berlioz: Rob Roy Overture; Proms Artist of the Week: Semyon Bychkov, conducting Poulenc's Les biches.

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: can you work out which two composers are associated with a particular piece?

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: Romantic
Sarah places Music in Time. Today she looks at the Romantic period and the influence of Walter Scott on composers from this time such as Berlioz, whose Rob Roy Overture was inspired by the great writer.

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.

Les Biches
Paris Orchestra
Choir of the Paris Orchestra
Semyon Bychkov (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Francis Poulenc

    Mouvement perpetuel No 3

    Performer: Pascal Rogé.
    • Poulenc Les Soirees De Nazelles 3 Mouvments Perpetuels 3 Novlettes 9 Improvisati.
    • Decca.
    • 17.

    • Claudio Monteverdi

      Dorinda, ah! diro 'mia' se mia non sei (5th Book of Madrigals)

      Choir: Concerto Italiano. Director: Rinaldo Alessandrini.
      • NAIVE.
  • Jean Françaix

    Tema con variazioni

    Performer: Michael Collins. Performer: Michael McHale.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Edward Elgar

    Introduction and Allegro

    Ensemble: Allegri String Quartet. Orchestra: Sinfonia of London. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
    • EMI.
  • Roxanna Panufnik

    Westminster Mass: Deus, Deus meus

    Choir: Westminster Cathedral Choir. Singer: Timothy Lacy. Orchestra: City of London Sinfonia. Conductor: James OʼDonnell.
    • WARNER.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Lute Suite in E minor, BWV996

    Performer: John Williams.
    • CBS.
  • Gustav Mahler


    Orchestrator: Luciano Berio. Singer: Matthias Goerne. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Josep Pons.
  • Graeme Swann's Choice No. 1

    • Edward Elgar

      Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D major

      Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
      • EMI.
  • Graeme Swann's Choice No. 2

    • Claude‐Joseph Rouget de l’Isle

      La Marseillaise

      Orchestrator: Hector Berlioz. Singer: Marcel Vanaud. Singer: François Le Roux. Singer: Françoise Pollet. Singer: Tibère Raffali. Singer: Olivier Picard. Choir: Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine. Choir: Toulouse Capitole Choir. Orchestra: Toulouse Capitole Orchestra. Conductor: Michel Plasson.
      • EMI.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky


    Ensemble: Les Vents Français.
    • French Music for Winds.
    • WARNER.
    • 7.
  • Music in Time: Romantic

    • Hector Berlioz

      Rob Roy Overture

      Orchestra: Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Conductor: Charles Dutoit.
      • DECCA.
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (excerpts)

    Orchestra: Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: William T. Stromberg.

    • Francis Poulenc

      Les Biches

      Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris. Choir: Paris Orchestra Chorus. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Sir James MacMillan

    Since it was the Day of Preparation: Conclusion and Postlude

    Ensemble: Synergy Vocals. Ensemble: Hebrides Ensemble.
    • James MacMillan: Since it was the Day of Preparation ....
    • Delphian.
    • 14.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Rondo à la krakowiak in F major, op 14

    Performer: Garrick Ohlsson. Orchestra: Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej. Conductor: Kazimierz Kord.

By Association

Answer: Berio and Mahler

The music played:

Sinfonia: Movement III
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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