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BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Including a focus on the work of the BBC NOW. Plus a live concert from Cardiff, with the BBC NOW performing works by Handel, Hector MacDonald, Watkins, Debussy and Prokofiev.

BBC Radio 3's Pass the Baton! day celebrates the unique contributions which the BBC's Orchestras and Choirs make to British musical life. With live performances from Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Salford, plus discussions, features and recordings which demonstrate the ensembles' distinctive work in their own communities and further afield. Part of Radio 3's 70th season, celebrating seven decades of pioneering music and culture since the founding of the Third Programme.

To start the day, Nicola Heywood Thomas presents recordings of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, including music by Heinrich Biber, Havergal Brian and Leonard Bernstein. She's joined by guests in the studio for discussion and features about the orchestra's work with the deaf community in its home city of Cardiff, its recording of the soundtrack for the next series of Doctor Who, and its support of young musicians in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.

Principal conductor Xian Zhang conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a live concert from Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, including music which reflects the orchestra's role in the BBC's Ten Pieces and its commitment to new music. Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Handel: Zadok the Priest
Hector MacDonald: Clyw ein Llef, O Iôr (Hear my Prayer, O Lord)
Huw Watkins: Little Symphony
Debussy: Le Jet d'eau*
Debussy (orch. John Adams): Le Balcon
Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet
*Elizabeth Atherton (soprano)
BBC National Chorus of Wales
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Xian Zhang (conductor).

1 hour, 57 minutes

Last on

Sun 27 Nov 2016 09:00

Music Played

  • Havergal Brain

    Gothic Symphony (Te Deum)

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • Leonard Bernstein


    Conductor: Kristjan Järvi.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Zadok the Priest

    Performer: Thurston Dart. Choir: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
  • Héctor Macdonald

    Clyw ein Llef (Hear my Prayer)

  • Huw Watkins

    Little Symphony

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Choir: BBC National Chorus of Wales. Conductor: Xian Zhang. Performer: Elizabeth Atherton. Conductor: Adrian Partington.
  • Claude Debussy

    Le Jet d'eau

  • Sergei Prokofiev

    4 Pieces from "Romeo and Juliet"

    Performer: Ashley Wass.


Role Contributor
Performer BBC National Orchestra of Wales


Meet the musicians

Meet the musicians

Get to know the BBC Orchestras and Choirs as they limber up for our day of music-making.