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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Ed Balls

With Rob Cowan. Musical challenge; Music in Time: Tchaikovsky's The Tempest; Artist of the Week: Georg Solti, featured conducting Beethoven's Symphony No 5.

Rob sets the tone and mood of the day's programme with a range of music to intrigue, surprise and entertain.

Take part in today's musical challenge: which location is being depicted in this piece of music?

Rob's guest this week is the former front-bench politician, Ed Balls. After leaving a promising career in journalism, Ed became a Labour MP in 2005. He went on to be Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families under Gordon Brown and Shadow Chancellor under Ed Miliband. Since leaving politics Ed has found fame as a dancer on Strictly Come Dancing (remaining in the competition much longer than most expected!) and he's recently brought out an autobiography, Speaking Out, a record of a life in politics and a window into the world of Westminster. He played the violin for 15 years and in adult life became a keen pianist, working publicly through grade exams and other performance milestones. Throughout the week Ed will be sharing some of his favourite classical music, including pieces by Handel, Bruch and George Dyson.

Music in Time: Romantic
Today Rob is in the Romantic period, exploring Tchaikovsky's symphonic fantasy The Tempest, which offers a vivid commentary on Shakespeare's play.

Artist of the Week
Rob's artist of the week is the conductor Sir Georg Solti. Solti was one of the twentieth century's leading musicians, leaving a vast legacy of over 250 studio recordings, including 45 complete operas. Born in Hungary he studied under Béla Bartók and worked at the Hungarian State Opera as a répétiteur. After leading a number of German opera houses, Solti took the helm at London's Covent Garden and was later director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 1950s and early 1960s Solti was a powerhouse rostrum presence, as the rather melodramatic photos of him in action would suggest, but a good deal more than that. Solti could bring gravitas to Beethoven, warmth to Mendelssohn, and a dramatic impulse to Wagner, adapting his approach to suit the style and mood of the music. Throughout the week Rob shares recordings from early in Solti's career including symphonies by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Mahler, ballet by Offenbach and the conclusion to Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Suite No.4 in G major, Op.61 'Mozartiana': Gigue

    Orchestra: Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Conductor: Ernest Ansermet.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Semiramide: Overture

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Georg Solti.
  • Trad.

    Ingen vinner frem til den evige ro

    Ensemble: Trio Mediæval.
    • ECM.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto for 4 violins in D major, Op.3 No.1

    Conductor: Chiara Banchini. Ensemble: Ensemble 415.
    • ALPHA.
  • Trad.

    Oliver Cromwell

    Music Arranger: Benjamin Britten. Singer: Ian Bostridge. Orchestra: Britten Sinfonia. Conductor: Daniel Harding.
    • EMI.
  • Franz Liszt

    Années de pèlerinage - Première année: Suisse - Vallée d'Obermann

    Performer: Alfred Brendel.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Jón Leifs

    3 Peintures abstraites, Op.44

    Performer: Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Osmo Vänskä.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Prelude in G major, BWV568

    Performer: Simon Preston.
    • DG.
  • ED BALLS' CHoice no.1

    • Hubert Parry


      Orchestrator: Edward Elgar. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis. Choir: BBC Singers. Choir: BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra.
      • TELDEC.
  • ED BALLS' CHoice no.2

    • Sir George Dyson

      Evening Service in D major

      Performer: Christopher Dearnley. Choir: St Paul's Cathedral Choir. Director: John Scott.
      • HYPERION.
  • ED BALLS' CHoice no.3

    • Aaron Copland

      Appalachian Spring

      Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony. Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas.
      • BMG.
  • Franz Schubert

    German Dance No 1 in A flat major, D 820

    Performer: Mitsuko Uchida.
    • Schubert: Piano Sonatas D664, D537 etc - Uchida.
    • Philips.
    • 1.
  • Music in time: Romantic

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      The Tempest, Op.18

      Orchestra: Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Conductor: Pablo Heras‐Casado.
  • William Byrd

    Pavan 7 (My Ladye Nevell's Booke)

    Performer: Colin Tilney.
    • Music and Arts.

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Symphony No.5 in C minor Op.67

      Conductor: Georg Solti. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic.
      • DECCA .
  • Arvo Pärt

    Nunc dimittis

    Choir: Latvian Radio Choir. Conductor: Sigvards Kļava.
    • Da pacem Domine.
    • Ondine.
    • 013.
  • Béla Bartók

    Dance Suite Sz.77

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Georg Solti.

Mapping the Music

Answer: Iceland

Jon Leifs
Icelandic Folk Dances, Op.11: Nos.3 & 4
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä (conductor)


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