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Friday - Sarah Walker with Graeme Swann

With Sarah Walker. My Favourite Monteverdi Madrigals; Music in Time: Gerald Barry; Proms Artist of the Week: Semyon Bychkov, featured conducting Mozart's Piano Concerto No 7.

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 today's musical challenge: trace the classical theme behind a well-known song.

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: Modern
Sarah places Music in Time, looking at the Modern period, and one of the most successful operas of the past decade. Gerald Barry's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is a masterclass in writing a truly comic opera, with everything from polite conversation through megaphones to the smashing of kitchen crockery.

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.

Piano Concerto in F for 3 pianos, K242 'Lodron'
Katia and Marielle Labèque (pianos)
Semyon Bychkov (piano & direction)
Berlin Philharmonic.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Isaac Albéniz

    Suite espanola, Op.47: Cadiz

    Ensemble: Katia & Marielle Labèque.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Carnival Overture, op 92

    Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic. Conductor: Karel Ančerl.
    • Dvorak: Overtures: Karl Ancerl.
    • Supraphon.
    • 2.
  • Rebecca Clarke


    Performer: Philip Dukes. Performer: Sophia Rahman.
    • NAXOS.

    • Claudio Monteverdi

      Hor che'l ciel e la terra (8th Book of Madrigals)

      Choir: Concerto Vocale. Director: René Jacobs.
  • Léo Delibes

    Sylvia, Act III: Cortege de Bacchus

    Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony. Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas.
    • SFS MEDIA.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in A major, Op.12 No.2

    Performer: Alina Ibragimova. Performer: Cédric Tiberghien.
  • Claude Debussy

    Preludes, Book I: La fille au cheveux de lin

    Performer: Pascal Rogé.
    • DECCA.
  • Graeme Swann's Choice No. 1

    • Johann Pachelbel

      Canon and Gigue in D major

      Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music. Director: Christopher Hogwood.
      • Pachelbel: Canon - Academy of Ancient Music/Hogwood.
      • DECCA.
      • 1.
  • Graeme Swann's Choice No. 2

    • Giacomo Puccini

      Turandot: Nessun Dorma

      Singer: Luciano Pavarotti. Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Zubin Mehta.
      • DECCA.
  • Sarah's Choice for Graeme Swann

    • Edward Elgar

      Chanson de matin, Op 15 No 2

      Performer: Nigel Kennedy. Performer: Peter Pettinger.
      • Elgar: Violin sonata etc: Kennedy/Pettinger.
      • Chandos.
      • 6.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Concerto grosso (Op.3`3) in G major

    Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Handel: Concerti Grossi Op.3: John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Apex.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • Gerald Barry

      The Importance of Being Earnest: Act II (excerpt)

      Singer: Barbara Hannigan. Singer: Joshua Bloom. Singer: Katalin Károlyi. Singer: Benjamin Bevan. Ensemble: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Conductor: Thomas Adès.
      • NMC.
    • Gerald Barry

      The Importance of Being Earnest: Act II (conclusion)

      Singer: Barbara Hannigan. Singer: Peter Tantsits. Singer: Joshua Bloom. Singer: Katalin Károlyi. Ensemble: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Conductor: Thomas Adès.
      • NMC.
  • Richard Strauss

    Dance of the Seven Veils (Salome)

    Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner.
    • Strauss: Scenes from Elektra Salome.
    • RCA.
    • 4.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Fanfare from '[L']Eventail de Jeanne'

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Pierre Boulez.
    • Ravel: Die Orchesterwerke.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 1.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Concerto in F major for 3 pianos, K.242 ‘Lodron’

    Performer: Katia Labèque. Performer: Marielle Labèque. Performer: Semyon Bychkov. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Mozart: Concertos for 2 & 3 Pianos: Katia & Marielle Labeque.
    • Philips.
    • 4.
  • Max Reger

    Volkslied Op. 37 No. 2 and Gluckes genug Op. 37 No. 3

    Performer: Malcolm Martineau. Singer: Sophie Bevan.

    • Pyotr Tchaikovsky

      Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture

      Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
      • DECCA.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Ave Maria [1880] arr. for soprano and piano

    Performer: Geoffrey Parsons. Singer: Margaret Price.
    • Verdi: Songs for Voice and Piano: Price/Parsons.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 15.

Classical Roots

Answer: Tori Amos' song, 'Carry' is based on Debussy's prelude, 'The Girl with the Flaxen Hair'

The music played:

Tori Amos


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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