Thursday - Rob Cowan with Samantha Bond
With Rob Cowan. My Favourite Gypsy-Style Showpieces; Music in Time: Stravinsky: Firebird Suite; Artists of the Week: Staatskapelle Dresden, playing Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, RV277.
My favourite... Gypsy-style showpieces
Gypsy music has inspired generations of composers to write some of their fieriest and most appealing lighter, and sometimes not-so-light, music. Rob's selection ranges from authentic gypsy tunes played by the great Romanian violinist Grigoras Dinicu (and an Enescu Rhapsody that was inspired by them) to Brahms Zigeunerlieder and Strauss's effervescent Gypsy Baron overture.
Take part in today's musical challenge: identify a piece of music played backwards.
Rob's guest is the celebrated actress Samantha Bond, one of our most versatile actresses. Born into an acting family, her great uncle was a music hall performer and her father was in The Onedin Line, Samantha is famous for her appearances as Lady Rosalind Painswick in the worldwide hit Downton Abbey and the role of Auntie Angela in the comedy series Outnumbered. Her notable stage and screen appearances also include Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with Kenneth Branagh, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Robert Lindsay, and Miss Moneypenny to Pierce Brosnan's James Bond. Through the week, Samantha shares her favourite pieces of classical music with Rob.
Music in Time: Modern
Rob places Music in Time. Stravinsky's "The Firebird" was his first ballet score, and his first collaboration with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Stravinsky used elements of folk music and dazzling orchestration to conjure up a Russian fairy-tale world. The huge success of the premiere in 1910 brought him worldwide fame, and soon afterwards he produced a version of the ballet that could be performed in concert - the Firebird Suite.
Artist of the Week: Staatskapelle Dresden
The Staatskapelle Dresden visits the Proms this week with Principal Conductor, Christian Thielemann. With a roll-call of past directors that has included Schütz, Weber and Wagner, the orchestra is one of Europe's musical glories, its sound warm yet transparent, full-bodied and dynamic. Rob chooses a diverse and distinctive roster of recordings from Vittorio Negri in Vivaldi to Herbert Blomstedt in Beethoven and Otmar Suitner in Tchaikovsky.
Concerto in E minor, RV.277, "ll Favorito"
Arthur Grumiaux (violin)
Vittorio Negri (conductor).