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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Ray Mears

With Rob Cowan. Including My Favourite Polkas; Music in Time: Bach: The Art of Fugue; Artist of the Week: pianist Claudio Arrau, featured performing Schumann's Humoreske Op 20.

My favourite... polkas. Rob shares a selection of his favourite polkas, a dance form that originated in 19th-century Bohemia. He features polkas by Smetana, Shostakovich, Schubert and Rachmaninov, as well as Johann Strauss II's ever-popular Thunder and Lightning Polka.

Take part in today's musical challenge: can you work out which two composers are associated with a particular piece?

Rob's guest is the television presenter and writer Ray Mears. A bushcraft, wildlife and survival expert, Ray has presented shows including Ray Mears' Bushcraft, World of Survival and Extreme Survival. He has broadcast from around the world and recently presented Wild Australia with Ray Mears, and Wild France with Ray Mears. Ray has written books including Vanishing World: A Life of Bushcraft and Northern Wilderness, as well as his autobiography My Outdoor Life. His most recent book, Out on the Land: Bushcraft Skills from the Northern Forest, was released earlier this year. Ray shares a selection of his favourite classical music throughout the week, with choices ranging from Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man to Vaughan Williams' The Wasps and Schubert's Symphony No. 5.

Music in Time: Baroque
Rob places Music in Time, delving into the Baroque period with a form that has become synonymous with J.S.Bach: the Fugue. Rob examines the final fugue from a collection that Bach composed in his last decade, and left unfinished: The Art of Fugue.

Rob's artist of the week is the Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. A child prodigy, Arrau learned to read music before reading words, and at the age of eleven he could play Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, one of the most difficult works in the piano repertoire. He is known especially for his interpretations of composers from the Classical and Romantic eras, though he was also a champion of Baroque music, and in 1935 he gave a rendition of the entire keyboard works of Bach over twelve recitals. Throughout the week, Rob celebrates the recording legacy of this remarkable pianist, featuring Liszt's Fantasy on Hungarian folk-melodies, Schumann's Humoreske, Schubert's Piano Sonata D.958, Brahms' epic Piano Concerto No. 2, and Debussy's Images (Book II).

Humoreske, Op 20
Claudio Arrau (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I: Fugue in E minor, BWV 855

    Performer: Glenn Gould.
    • SONY.
  • Nicholas Hoption

    Alleluia! A new work is come on hand. (2016 BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition shortlist)

    Choir: BBC Singers. Conductor: David Hill.

    • Johann Strauss II

      Thunder and Lightning Polka

      Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner.
  • Jessica Reeves

    Alleluia! A new work is come on hand. (2016 BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition Winner)

    Choir: BBC Singers. Performer: Richard Pearce. Conductor: David Hill.
    • BBC recording.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La Forza del Destino: Overture

    Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini.
  • Johann Joseph Fux

    Intrada in C major

    Performer: Gottfried von der Goltz. Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
    • Carus.
  • Fulvio Caldini

    Clockwork Toccata

    Ensemble: Sirena Recorder Quartet.
    • BIS.
  • André Previn

    Tango, Song and Dance

    Performer: Augustin Hadelich. Performer: Joyce Yang.
    • AVIE.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    La Chanson d'Eve: Roses ardente

    Performer: Gilbert Kalish. Singer: Dawn Upshaw.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme: Soupir

    Performer: Carmit Zori. Performer: Robert Rinehart. Performer: Sarah Clarke. Performer: Eric Bartlett. Performer: Fenwick Smith. Performer: Thomas Hill. Performer: Mitchell Weiss. Performer: Randall Hodgkinson. Singer: Dawn Upshaw.

    • Johann Pachelbel

      Canon and Gigue in D major

      Ensemble: Il Giardino Armonico.
      • TELDEC.

    • Joseph Haydn

      Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major

      Performer: Crispian Steele‐Perkins. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Anthony Halstead.
      • ALTO.
  • MUSIC IN TIME: Baroque

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      The Art of the Fugue: Contrapunctus 14

      Ensemble: Brecon Baroque. Director: Rachel Podger.
      • CHANNEL.
  • Gustav Holst

    Beni Mora

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
    • CHANDOS.

    • Robert Schumann

      Humoresque in B flat major, Op.20

      Performer: Claudio Arrau.
      • PHILIPS.
  • Ludwig Thuille

    Sextet for piano and wind quintet, Op. 6

    Performer: Margarita Hohenrieder. Ensemble: Chamber Ensemble of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

By Association

Answer: Ravel and Faure

The music played:

String Quartet in F major: 1st movement
Ebene Quartet


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