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Thursday - Sarah Walker with Vivienne Parry

With Sarah Walker. My Favourite Lute Music; Music in Time: Stephen Foster songs; Artist of the Week: flautist Aurele Nicolet, featured in Debussy's Sonata for flute, viola and harp.

My favourite... lute music. Sarah shares a selection of her favourite pieces written for the lute, with works by Vivaldi, Dowland and Bach played by such celebrated lutenists as Jakob Lindberg, Christopher Wilson, Nigel North and Paul O'Dette.

Take part in today's musical challenge: identify a piece of music played backwards.

Sarah's guest is the science writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry. A scientist by training, Vivienne is best known for having presented the BBC television series Tomorrow's World, and for her Radio 4 programmes which include Just So Science, about the science behind the animals of the Just So stories, and the multi award winning series Am I Normal? Vivienne writes for newspapers including The Times and The Guardian, and is science editor of Good Housekeeping magazine. Her book, The Truth About Hormones, was nominated for the Aventis Science Prize. Throughout the week Vivienne talks to Sarah about her passion for communicating science, and shares her favourite pieces of classical music.

Music in Time: Romantic
Sarah places Music in Time. As pianos became increasingly popular in the home during the Romantic period, salon music also gained in popularity. Sarah explores this musical phenomenon, playing a sequence of songs by Stephen Foster.

Sarah's artist of the week is the Swiss flautist Aurèle Nicolet. Nicolet, who died earlier this year, was considered one of the world's greatest flute players of the late twentieth century. Several composers, including Takemitsu and Ligeti, wrote music especially for him, while Nicolet's pupils include Emmanuel Pahud, Michael Faust and Thierry Fischer. Nicolet was principal flautist in the Berlin Philharmonic during the 1950s, but enjoyed a highly successful career as a soloist as well. Throughout the week Sarah explores his vast recording legacy, featuring Nicolet as soloist in concertos by Mozart, CPE Bach, Couperin and Moscheles, and as a chamber musician in Debussy's Sonata for flute, viola and harp.

Sonata for flute, viola and harp
Aurèle Nicolet (flute)
Nobuko Imai (viola)
Naoko Yoshino (harp).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Stephen Foster

    Ring de Banjo

    Choir: Robert Shaw Chorale. Conductor: Robert Shaw.
    • RCA.
  • Louis Moreau Gottschalk

    Grand Scherzo, Op.57

    Performer: Philip Martin.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Scherzo a la Russe

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
    • Mercury Living Presence.
  • my favourite... lute music

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Suite in A minor, BWV995: Prelude

      Performer: Paul O’Dette.
  • Fanny Mendelssohn

    Chorus of Mourning (Oratorio on Stories from the Bible)

    Choir: Kolner Kurrende Chorus. Orchestra: Kolner Kurrende Orchestra. Conductor: Elke Mascha Blankenburg.
    • CPO.
  • Anton Stepanovich Arensky

    Concert Valse

    Performer: Sergei Nakariakov. Performer: Alexander Markovich.
    • Teldec.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Bagatelle in G major, Op.126 No.1

    Performer: Anatol Ugorski.
    • DG.
  • Francesco Durante

    Organ Concerto in B flat major

    Performer: Clive Driskill-Smith. Ensemble: Oxford Baroque.
    • CORO.
  • Alexander Borodin

    Polovtsian Dances (Prince Igor)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DG.
  • Vivienne Parry's Choice No.1

    • Sergey Rachmaninov

      Symphony No.2 in E minor: III. Adagio

      Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
      • EMI.
  • Vivienne Parry's Choice No.2

    • Astor Piazzolla


      Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma. Performer: Néstor Marconi. Performer: Horacio Malvicino. Performer: Antonio Agri. Performer: Leonardo Marconi. Performer: Héctor Console.
      • SONY.

    • Stephen Foster

      The Voice of Bygone Days

      Performer: David Alpher. Singer: Thomas Hampson.
      • ANGEL.
    • Stephen Foster

      Sweetly she sleeps, my Alice fair

      Singer: Thomas Hampson. Performer: David Alpher.
      • ANGEL.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Tafelmusik Part II: Concerto for 3 violins and continuo in F major

    Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Conductor: Gottfried von der Goltz. Director: Petra Müllejans.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Nocturne in G minor, Op 37 No 1

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • Chopin: The Solo Piano Works: Ashkenazy.
    • London.
    • 11.
  • ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Aurèle Nicolet

    • Claude Debussy

      Sonata for flute, viola and harp

      Performer: Aurèle Nicolet. Performer: Nobuko Imai. Performer: Naoko Yoshino.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    All-Night Vigil: Blessed be the Man; O Serene Light

    Choir: State Chamber Choir of Moscow Conservatory. Conductor: Valery Kuzmich Polyansky.
    • Le Chant du Monde.
  • Mark Bowden

    Five Memos: No.3 Exactitude

    Performer: Hyeyoon Park. Performer: Huw Watkins.
    • NMC.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.74 in E flat major

    Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Conductor: Christopher Hogwood.

Recording Rewind

The music played:

Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)


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