Thursday - Sarah Walker with Gemma Jones
With Sarah Walker. My Favourite Music from the Court of Henry VIII; Music in Time: Bach: Capriccio in B flat; Artist of the Week: Nicholas Daniel, featured playing Vaughan Williams.
My favourite... music from the court of Henry VIII. Music was an important part of the young Henry's education and he was a gifted instrumentalist and composer. He was keen to promote music within his lavish court and patronised musicians throughout his life. Sarah heads back to the 16th century as she discovers anonymous part songs and dances, both mournful and rowdy, that were written for Henry's court, plus pieces written as presents to the king from overseas, a work from Anne Boleyn's Songbook and music by one of Henry's leading court musicians, William Cornysh.
Take part in today's musical challenge: trace the classical theme behind a well-known song.
Sarah's guest this week, sharing a selection of her favourite classical music, is the acclaimed actress Gemma Jones. Gemma's film credits range from Mrs Dashwood in the Academy Award-winning Sense and Sensibility to Bridget's mother in the hit Bridget Jones's Diary. She has performed Shakespearean roles including Portia in the Merchant of Venice, Ophelia, Lady Macbeth and Queen Margaret in Kevin Spacey's 2011 stage production of Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes. Gemma is also fondly remembered for her starring role in the BBC's The Duchess of Duke Street, and more recently featured aongside Tom Courtenay in the ITV drama Unforgotten, and in the BBC series Capital with Lesley Sharp and Toby Jones. Gemma's music choices include part of Mendelssohn's incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, which reminds her of performing in Peter Brook's production of the play, Bach's St John Passion, which Gemma recently sang with her choir, and Chopin's Waltz in B minor, Op.69 No.2, a piece that her father used to play.
Music in Time: Baroque
Sarah places Music in Time. Today she heads back to the Baroque period as she discovers the events behind Bach's only piece of instrumental programme music, the Capriccio in B flat major 'on the Departure of his Beloved Brother'. The work describes the tender farewell of two friends, as one of them prepares to take a trip by postal coach - but who was the brother in question?
Sarah's Artist of the Week is the oboist Nicholas Daniel. Since winning the BBC's Young Musician of the Year competition in 1980, Daniel has toured the world as a virtuoso of the oboe, and has been a tireless champion of the instrument. His rich, flexible tone and brilliant technique have led him to perform not only the mainstays of the oboe repertoire, such as Vaughan Williams's Concerto and Mozart's Oboe Quartet, but also to commission many new pieces and unearth neglected works. He began directing orchestras from the oboe from the start of his career, and is now a respected conductor in his own right while, as a founder member of the Haffner Wind Ensemble and the Britten Oboe Quartet, he continues to pursue his love of chamber music. Sarah reflects the various facets of Daniel's career in her musical choices at 11am each day.
Concerto for Oboe and Strings in A minor
Nicholas Daniel (oboe)
Jacqueline Shave (director).