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Friday - Rob Cowan with Al Murray

With Rob Cowan. Includes My Favourite Piano Duos; Music in Time: Ligeti's Melodien; Artists of the Week: The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featured performing Bach and Handel.

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: listen to the clues and identify the mystery music-related place.

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: Modern
Rob places Music in Time. Today the spotlight is on the Modern era and Melodien - Melodies - a short and ravishingly beautiful orchestral piece by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, who's probably best known for the three works director Stanley Kubrick hijacked for the soundtrack of his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey - Atmosphères, Lux Aeterna and the Requiem. In those pieces Ligeti used a technique known as micropolyphony to create dense clusters of sound, whereas in Melodien, he rediscovered the clarity of individual lines.

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.

Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor

Handel Concerto Grosso in D, Op. 6 No. 5, HWV 323
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Iona Brown, conductor.

3 hours

Music Played

  • György Ligeti

    Musica Ricercata: No.6 Allegro molto capriccioso

    Performer: Pierre‐Laurent Aimard.
    • SONY.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Egmont Overture

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay.
    • DG.
  • Robert Schumann

    5 Hunting Songs, Op.137

    Choir: Renner Ensemble Regensburg. Conductor: Werner Pfaff.
  • My favourite... piano duos

    • Béla Bartók

      Mikrokosmos: 7 pieces for 2 pianos

      Performer: Begoña Uriarte. Performer: Karl-Hermann Mrongovius.
      • WERGO.
  • Carl Friedrich Abel

    Trio Sonata in G major, Op.3 No.1

    Ensemble: London Baroque.
    • BIS.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Miroirs for piano, no.3; Une Barque sur l'ocean

    Performer: Pierre‐Laurent Aimard.
    • Ravel, The Piano Concertos: Aimard/Cleveland Orchestra/Boulez.
    • DG.
    • 7.
  • Franz Schubert

    6 Deutsche [German dances] D.820

    Music Arranger: Anton Webern. Ensemble: Lucerne Festival Strings. Conductor: Achim Fiedler.
    • OEHMS.

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Marriage of Figaro, Act II: 'Signori, di fuori; Ah, signor... signor'

      Singer: Lorenzo Regazzo. Singer: Simon Keenlyside. Singer: Patrizia Ciofi. Singer: Véronique Gens. Singer: Antonio Abete. Orchestra: Concerto Köln. Conductor: René Jacobs.
  • Rob's choice for Al Murray

    • Carl Nielsen

      Symphony No.4 'Inextinguishable': IV. Allegro

      Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Jean Martinon.
      • RCA.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • György Ligeti


      Orchestra: Schönberg Ensemble. Conductor: Reinbert de Leeuw.
      • TELDEC.
  • Robert Schumann

    Romance for piano (Op.28`2) in F sharp major

    Performer: Alicia de Larrocha.
    • Liebestraum: Various Artists.
    • Decca.
  • Josef Bohuslav Foerster

    Katharina, Petruchio and Eros, from Shakespeare Suite, Op 76

    Orchestra: Prague Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Václav Smetáček.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Brandenburg Concerto No 2 in F major, BWV 1047

      Performer: Henryk Szeryng. Performer: Michala Petri. Performer: Heinz Holliger. Performer: Andre Bernard. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
      • J.S.Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos: Marriner.
      • Philips.
      • 5.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.6 No.5

    Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Director: Iona Brown.
  • Muriel Herbert

    O MIstress Mine; Come Away, Death

    Choir: Tenebrae. Conductor: Nigel Short.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Concerto for two pianos

    Ensemble: Arthur Gold & Robert Fizdale.
    • SONY.

Mystery Place

Answer: Köthen, Germany


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