Thursday - Rob Cowan with Al Murray
With Rob Cowan. My Favourite Piano Duos; Music in Time: Wagner: Tannhauser (excerpt); Artists of the Week: Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featured in Mozart's Symphony No 38.
My favourite... piano duos. If three's a crowd, two's definitely company, and when it comes to piano duos - whether for two pianos or for four hands at a single instrument - that company can be richly rewarding. Rob's favourite piano duos include works by Mozart, Schubert, Bartók and Lutoslawski, as well as a magical vintage recording of a waltz by Arensky - definitely not to be missed!
Take part in our daily musical challenge. Two pieces of music are played together. Can you identify them?
Rob's guest this week is the stand-up comedian Al Murray. Best known for his alter-ego 'The Pub Landlord', Al has performed sell-out shows around the world, as well as making television appearances at The Royal Variety Performance and Live at the Apollo. Al has written books in his pub landlord persona, including The Pub Landlord's Book of British Common Sense and Let's Re-Great Britain. Outside of his pub landlord character, Al has presented Al Murray's Road to Berlin, about the last phase of the Second World War, for the Discovery Channel and Al Murray's German Adventure for BBC Four. He is currently touring his new show 'Let's Go Backwards Together'. Al shares a selection of his favourite classical music, including works by Bach, Handel and Orff, and talks about playing percussion, and reminisces about his performance on the triangle in Dvorák's New World Symphony, every day at 10am.
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.
Music in Time: Romantic
Rob places Music in Time. Today the focus is on the Romantic era and a thrilling bacchanale that Wagner added to his opera Tannhäuser for the Paris première in 1861, to satisfy the French requirement that Grand Opera should include an extended ballet sequence. Wagner placed his ballet not, as was then the custom, in the second act, but in the first, as a glowing tail to the overture. Incensed by the break with tradition, members of the high-society Jockey Club mounted a series of increasingly noisy and disruptive protests during performances, which brought the opera's run to an end after just three evenings.
Rob's artists of the week are the late Sir Neville Marriner's orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, a superb gathering of players who can turn their hands to virtually any repertoire and make a handsome job of it. We'll hear them in masterpieces from Bach to Bartók, dropping in on Mozart, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky along the way.
Symphony No. 38 in D, K504 ('Prague')
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor.
MY FAVOURITE...PIANO DUOS
AL MURRAY'S CHOICE NO.1
AL MURRAY'S CHOICE NO.2
Music in Time: Romantic
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS
The music played:
Das Lied von der Erde: Der Abschied
Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Yannick Nezet-Seguin (conductor)
She moved through the fair
Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor)
Edin Karamoazov (lute)
Stacey Shames (harp)