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Friday - Rob Cowan with Simon Callow

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Trio sonatas by Corelli and Telemann; Artist of the Week: Thomas Beecham, featured conducting Haydn's Symphony No 100.

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: can you work out which two composers are associated with a particular piece?

Rob's guest is the actor, writer and director Simon Callow. Sir Laurence Olivier gave Simon his first theatre job - in the box office of the National Theatre - and after that the young Callow soon found his way onto the stage, first coming to prominence playing Mozart in Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus. He has since become one of the UK's best-loved actors, not only on the stage, but in TV series such as Chance in a Million, and films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral. Simon is often referred to as a writer who acts, having produced not only books about his own life as an actor, but also biographies of Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Orson Welles and most recently Richard Wagner. During the week Simon discusses all this and more and chooses music by Sibelius, Grainger, Mozart and Wagner.

Music in Time: Baroque
Rob places Music in Time, and explores a form characteristic of the Baroque Era: the Trio Sonata. Despite its name, this type of sonata is generally played by four players, and first appeared in the Opus 1 of Arcangelo Corelli, published in 1681. Rob introduces Corelli's very first trio sonata, as well as a later example by Telemann - who was born in that same year.

Artist of the Week: Sir Thomas Beecham
'The Beecham Touch' is an epithet for all that is stylish, delicate, mischievous and spontaneous in conducting. Sir Thomas was the living embodiment of charm, genuine authenticity (in that he conducted from the heart as well as from the head) and a sense of theatre that could leave an audience breathless with excitement. Rob's selection of Beecham recordings ranges from Handel and Haydn to Delius and Sibelius, all of them 'first-loves' for this most charismatic of conductors.

Symphony No.100 in G major, 'Military'
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Thomas Beecham (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Divertimento a 8 in F, Hob II:16: Feld-Parthie. V: Presto

    Performer: Simon Standage. Orchestra: Haydn Sinfonietta Wien. Director: Manfred Huss.
    • KOCH.
  • Alexander Glazunov

    Elegie for Strings Op.105

    Ensemble: Utrecht String Quartet.
    • MDG.
  • Alexander Gretchaninov

    Now the Powers of Heaven, Op.58

    Choir: Conspirare. Director: Craig Hella Johnson.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Sonata violin solo representativa

    Ensemble: Musica Antiqua Köln. Director: Reinhard Goebel.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Haffner March in D K249

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Thomas Beecham.
    • EMI.
  • Franz Liszt

    Liebestraum No.3 in A flat major

    Performer: Jorge Bolet.
    • DECCA.
  • Louis‐Nicolas Clérambault

    Sonata la Felicite

    Performer: Rachel Podger. Performer: Mark Levy. Performer: James Johnstone. Singer: Rachel Platt.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Amid the Din of the Ball

    Performer: Nicolai Gedda. Performer: Jan Eyron.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Symphony No.4: II. Allegro molto vivace

    Orchestra: Minnesota Orchestra.
    • BIS.
  • Richard Wagner

    Die Walkure, Act III: 'In festen Schlaf...'

    Singer: Hans Hotter. Singer: Birgit Nilsson. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Georg Solti.
    • DECCA.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Don Giovanni, Act 1 Scene 4: 'Dalla sua pace'

    Singer: Aksel Schiøtz. Orchestra: The Royal Orchestra, Copenhagen. Conductor: Egisto Tango.
  • Arcangelo Corelli

    Trio sonata in F major Op.1`1

    Ensemble: Avison Ensemble.
    • LINN.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Sonata in A minor for recorder, violin and continuo

    Ensemble: Palladian Ensemble.
    • LINN.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Nun seh' ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen (Kindertotenlieder)

    Ensemble: Uri Caine and his Ensemble.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.100 in G, 'Military'

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Thomas Beecham.
    • EMI.
  • Robert Schumann

    Funf Stucke im Volkston, Op.102

    Performer: Steven Isserlis. Performer: Christoph Eschenbach.
    • RCA.
  • André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry

    Zemire et Azor - Ballet music ed. Beecham

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Thomas Beecham.
    • EMI.
  • Gretry

    Zemire et Azor - Ballet Music (ed. Beecham)

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Thomas Beecham.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Nocturne in A flat major, Op 33 No 3

    Performer: Jean‐Philippe Collard.

Musical Challenge: Classical Roots

The music played was 'Sabre Dance' by Dave Edmonds and Love Sculpture, which is based, of course, on the Sabre Dance from the ballet 'Gayaneh' by Khachaturian.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough presents quirky tales gathered from the corners of history.