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Thursday - Rob Cowan with Noma Dumezweni

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Baroque Concertos. Music in Time: Fela Sowande's African Suite; Artist of the Week: Emil Gilels, featured in Chopin's Piano Sonata No 3.

My favourite...Baroque concertos. Rob's selection includes a lively bassoon concerto by Vivaldi, a festive trumpet concerto by Torelli, and Bach's darkly intense Triple Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord. He also chooses a pair of Concerti Grossi: the final (and Rob believes the loveliest) of Handel's Op. 6, and one of the Corelli set that was Handel's inspiration.

Take part in today's musical challenge: trace the classical theme behind a track from the world of rock music.

Rob's guest this week is the actress Noma Dumezweni. Noma is currently starring as Hermione in the West End play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, the much-anticipated stage sequel to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She has recently played the title role in Linda at the Royal Court Theatre, receiving outstanding reviews. Her other theatre credits include Feast and Belong also for the Royal Court, A Human Being Died That Night at the Hampstead Theatre, The Fugard and The Market theatres in South Africa and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York and Macbeth, Breakfast With Mugabe, The Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She won the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for A Raisin In The Sun for the Young Vic at the Lyric Hammersmith. Her film credits include The Incident, Dirty Pretty Things and Macbeth, and she has made appearances in television series including Casualty, Capital and Dr Who. Noma will be talking about her career and sharing a selection of her favourite classical music throughout the week.

Power of Three - the next episode in a 70-part daily series of pioneering sounds from the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 archives presented by David Hendy.

Followed by
This week, Rob places Music in Time, and explores the music of six pioneering African and African-American composers. Nigerian organist and composer Fela Sowande (1905-1987) is considered the "father of Nigerian Art Music". In 1934 he came to London, where he studied the organ and European classical music, and worked as a bandleader, BBC Theatre organist, and accompanist for Adelaide Hall. His African Suite for string orchestra includes traditional melodies and a popular highlife tune.

Rob's artist of the week is the pianist Emil Gilels. Gilels was born in Odessa on 19th October 1916, and Rob celebrates the centenary of this great musician with dazzling recordings demonstrating the breadth of his repertoire. Gilels married power to finesse like no other pianist. His Mozart was elegant and incisive, his Beethoven rigorously argued, his Schubert graced by charm and clarity, and his Chopin, ever attentive to the music's emotional and intellectual aspects, making him in Rob's eyes the complete musician.

Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor
Emil Gilels (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Frédéric Chopin

    Etude in F minor Op.25, No.2

    Performer: Emil Grigoryevich Gilels.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Pablo de Sarasate

    Navarra for 2 violins

    Performer: Aaron Rosand. Performer: Eileen Flissler.
  • Fęlá Şowándé


    Performer: Richard Lea.
    • Liverpool Spectacular! Richard Lea plays the Organ of Liverpool Metropolitan Cat.
    • Priory.
    • 6.
  • My favourite...baroque concertos

    • George Frideric Handel

      Concerto Grosso in B minor, Op.6 No.12

      Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Director: Iona Brown.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Humoresques, Op.101 Nos. 4 & 7

    Performer: Stefan Veselka.
    • Naxos.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Humoresque, Op.101 No.7

    Music Arranger: Art Tatum. Performer: Art Tatum.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    King Stephen: Overture

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Pierre Monteux.
    • DECCA.
  • Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

    Adagio in G minor

    Music Arranger: Remo Giazotto. Ensemble: Consort of London. Director: Robert Clark.

    • Erik Satie

      Trois Gymnopedies

      Performer: Aldo Ciccolini.
      • EMI.

    • Richard Rodgers

      'Blue Moon'

      Performer: Art Tatum.
      • PABLO.
  • Abdullah Ibrahim

    The Song is My Story: Just arrived

  • Astor Piazzolla

    Otoño porteño (Cuatro estaciones porteñas)

    Performer: Patrick Gallois. Performer: Göran Söllscher.
    • Piazzolla for Two - Tangos for Flute & Guitar: Patrick Gallois, Goran Sollscher.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Music in Time

    • Fęlá Şowándé

      African Suite - 1st mvt 'Joyful Day'

      Orchestra: CBC Radio Orchestra. Conductor: Mario Bernardi.
      • CBC.

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Piano Sonata No.3 in B minor

      Performer: Emil Grigoryevich Gilels.
      • DG.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Phantasy, Op.2

    Ensemble: Berlin Oboe Quartet.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Horn Concerto No 1 in D major, K 412

    Performer: David Jolley. Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
  • Peter de Rose

    Deep Purple

    Performer: Fęlá Şowándé. Performer: Al Craig. Singer: Adelaide Hall.
    • CONIFER.

Classical Roots

Answer: The Doors' song 'A Feast of Friends' is based on Albinoni's Adagio in G minor

The music played:

The Doors
'A Feast of Friends'
Jim Morrison (singer)


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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