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Monday - Rob Cowan with Antony Beevor

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Fugues; Music in Time: Renaissance harmony; Artist of the Week: pianist Clara Haskil, featured in Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

My favourite... Fugues
This week, Rob explores that ultimate test of a composer's mettle, the fugue - a musical form in which successive entries of the same melody weave together to create a complex contrapuntal fabric. Rob's favourites include fugues by Bach, Mozart, Walton and Shostakovich - plus a rarely-heard vocal one by the pianist Glenn Gould, aptly titled: "So you want to write a fugue?"

Take part in today's musical challenge: which location is being depicted in this piece of music?

Rob's guest this week, sharing his favourite classical music every day, is the acclaimed military historian Antony Beevor. Famous for the best-selling histories of World War Two, Stalingrad and Berlin - The Downfall 1945, his works also include Crete: The Battle and the Resistance and The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-39. Antony studied at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and went on to serve with the 11th Hussars before becoming a writer, and this week he shares with Rob music including works by Vaughan Williams, Dvorak, Bach and Vivaldi

Music in Time: Renaissance
Rob places Music in Time. Today the spotlight is on the Renaissance era and the extraordinary experiments in harmony that took place towards the end of the 16th century at the court of Naples, including music written for harpsichords with 14, 19 and 31 notes to the octave - rather than the usual 12!

Artist of the Week: Clara Haskil
Rob's Artist of the Week is the Romanian pianist Clara Haskil, one of the finest musicians of her generation, who endured a life of great suffering but was adored by a discerning public. Her precious discography has stood the test of time and includes many celebrated recordings - not least, Mozart concertos, heartfelt Schumann, sultry Falla, poetic Chopin, and Beethoven violin sonatas with Arthur Grumiaux, with whom she gave her last concert.

Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Clara Haskil (piano)
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux
Igor Markevitch (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue in E minor, BWV855

    Performer: Glenn Gould.
    • SONY.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Overture on Russian Themes, Op.28

    Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Yondani Butt.
    • ASV.

    • Glenn Gould

      So You Want to Write a Fugue

      Singer: Elizabeth Benson-Guy. Singer: Anita Darian. Singer: Charles Bressler. Singer: Donald Gramm. Ensemble: Juilliard Quartet.
      • SONY.
  • Jean Françaix

    Divertissement for oboe, clarinet and bassoon

    Ensemble: Chicago Chamber Musicians.
    • CEDILLE.
  • Arvo Pärt

    Summa (version for string orchestra)

    Orchestra: Moscow Virtuosi. Conductor: Vladimir Spivakov.
  • anon.

    Pia Mater Salvatoris

    Choir: Gothic Voices.
    • LINN.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Suite No.8 in F minor for keyboard, HWV433

    Performer: Richard Egarr.
  • Antony Beevor's Choice No.1

    • Jeremiah Clarke

      The Prince of Denmark’s March (Trumpet Voluntary)

      Performer: Håkan Hardenberger. Performer: Simon Preston.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Antony Beevor's Choice No.2

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Violin Concerto in E major, BWV1042: III: Allegro assai

      Performer: Yehudi Menuhin. Orchestra: Robert Masters Chamber Orchestra.
      • Royal Classics.
  • Antony Beevor's Choice No.3

    • Antonio Vivaldi

      Laudate Pueri: Excelsus super omne; Suscitans a terra inopem; Ut collocet eum

      Singer: Carolyn Sampson. Orchestra: King's Consort. Conductor: Robert King.
      • HYPERION.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Polonaise in A flat major 'Heroic', Op.53

    Performer: Garrick Ohlsson.

    • Giovanni de Macque

      Prime stravaganze

      Performer: Christopher Stembridge.
      • Ars Musici.
    • Ascanio Mayone

      Toccata quarta per il cimbalo chromatico

      Performer: Christopher Stembridge.
      • Ars Musici.
    • Giovanni Maria Trabaci

      Toccata terza e Ricercar' sopra il cimbalo cromatico

      Performer: Christopher Stembridge.
      • Ars Musici.
  • György Ligeti

    Six Bagatelles

    Ensemble: London Winds.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Carlo Gesualdo

    Sancti Spiritus, Domine

    Ensemble: The Marian Consort.

    • Manuel de Falla

      Nights in the Gardens of Spain

      Performer: Clara Haskil. Orchestra: Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux. Conductor: Igor Markevitch.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Johannes Brahms

    String Quartet in C minor, Op.51 No.1

    Ensemble: LaSalle Quartet.
    • DG.

Mapping the Music

Answer: Leipzig

The music played:

Eine kleine Gigue in G, K.574 'Leipziger Gigue'
Andreas Staier (fortepiano) 


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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