Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Tuesday - Rob Cowan with Antony Beevor

With Rob Cowan. My Favourite Fugues; Music in Time: The Querelle des Bouffons; Artist of the Week: violinist Clara Haskil, featured in Beethoven's Violin Sonata in G, Op 96.

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: identify a piece of music played backwards.

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: Baroque
Today the spotlight is on the transitional period when the Baroque gradually gave way to the Classical era. Rob focuses on a celebrated cultural spat in mid-18th-century Paris, the so-called Querelle des Bouffons - an acrimonious row over the relative merits of French and Italian opera provoked by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's comic 'intermezzo' La serva padrona.

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.

Violin Sonata in G, Op 96
Clara Haskil (piano)
Arthur Grumiaux (violin).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

    Sinfonia in F major for cello and continuo: IV. Presto

    Performer: Jennifer Morsches. Ensemble: Florilegium.
  • Louis-Ferdinand Herold

    Zampa: Overture

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Jean Martinon.
  • Jacobus Clemens non Papa

    Tristitia obsedit me, amici

    Choir: ORA. Conductor: Suzi Digby.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV874

      Performer: Helmut Walcha.
      • DG.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Concerto in E flat major, 'Dumbarton Oaks'

    Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • DECCA.
  • Clara Schumann

    Impromptu in G major, Op.9, 'Souvenir de Vienne'

    Performer: Jozef de Beenhouwer.
    • CPO.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.47 in G major: III. Menuet al Roverso

    Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Antony Beevor's Choice No.1

    • Michael Haydn

      Regimental call fanfare & slow march of the Royal Hussars, Prince of Wales' Own

      Music Arranger: Michael Davison. Performer: The Band of The Royal Hussars. Director: Warrant Officer 1 M. Davison.
  • Antony Beevor's Choice No.2

    • Antonín Dvořák

      Symphony No.8 in G major, Op.88: III. Allegretto grazioso - molto vivace

      Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
      • DG.
  • Franz Liszt

    Sonetto 123 del Petrarca, from Années de pèlerinage II, S.161

    Performer: Alexis Weissenberg.
    • EMI.

    • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

      La serva padrona (conclusion of Intermezzo 1): Aria; Recit; Duet

      Performer: Sigiswald Kuijken. Singer: Patrizia Biccirè. Singer: Donato Di Stefano. Orchestra: La Petite Bande.
      • Accent.
  • Adolphe Adam

    Si j'étais Roi: Overture

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Jean Martinon.
    • DECCA.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Bassoon Concerto in E flat major, RV 483

    Performer: Sergio Azzolini. Ensemble: L'Aura Soave Cremona.
    • Vivaldi: Concerti per fagotto II: Sergio Azzolini, L'Aura Soave Cremona.
    • Naive.

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Sonata for piano and violin No.10 in G major, Op.96

      Performer: Clara Haskil. Performer: Arthur Grumiaux.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Marcel Landowski

    Symphony No.4

    Orchestra: Orchestre national de France. Conductor: Georges Prêtre.
    • ERATO.

Recording Rewind

The music played:

Symphony No.47 in G major: III. Menuet al Roverso  
The English Concert 
Trevor Pinnock (conductor) 


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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

The Essential Classics Playlist

The Essential Classics Playlist

Refresh your day with a great selection of classical music, picked by listeners.