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Wednesday - Sarah Walker with Maggi Hambling

With Sarah Walker. Includes Musical challenge; Music in Time: Bartok's Mikrokosmos; Artists of the Week: London Sinfonietta, featured performing Tavener's The Whale.

Sarah 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?

Sarah's guest this week is the artist Maggi Hambling. In a career spanning nearly 50 years Maggi has made her mark in a number of fields, including painting, portraiture and sculpture. Her best-known piece is Scallop, which stands on Aldeburgh beach in Suffolk, and is dedicated to the town's most celebrated son, Benjamin Britten. Another of her sculptures, A Conversation with Oscar Wilde, was the first public monument dedicated to the playwright and novelist. Maggi's portraits include those of fellow artist Francis Bacon and blues singer George Melly and recently, she's produced a number of extremely visceral paintings of waves, the result of daily walks on the Suffolk coast. As well as discussing her life and work, Maggi shares some of her favourite classical music, including Purcell, Britten and the synaesthetic composer Deborah Pritchard.

Music in Time: Modern
Today Sarah is in the Modern period exploring Bartok's collection of piano pieces, Mikrokosmos, a brilliant example of how twentieth-century composers exploited the percussive capabilities of the instrument.

Artist of the Week: London Sinfonietta
Imbued with a mission to perform the best contemporary classical music, develop new work and nurture new talent, the London Sinfonietta are one of the most vibrant and exciting ensembles in the UK, and arguably the world. Since their first concert in 1968 - the world premiere of John Tavener's The Whale - the Sinfonietta have commissioned more than 300 works and premiered hundreds more. This week Sarah explores some of their finest recordings with music by composers including Gorecki, Stravinsky, Takemitsu, Harrison Birtwistle and John Tavener.

The Whale
London Sinfonietta
David Atherton (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Béla Bartók

    Hungarian Folksongs: No.4

    Performer: James Ehnes. Performer: Andrew Armstrong.
  • Salamone Rossi

    Sonata sopra la Bergamasca (Sonatas Book 4 No.12)

    Orchestra: Apollo’s Fire. Director: Jeannette Sorrell.
    • AVIE.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Trio Sonata for 2 flutes and continuo in E minor HWV395

    Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Mark-Anthony Turnage


    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta.
  • Robert Schumann

    Variations on the Name ABEGG, Op.1

    Performer: Clara Haskil.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.83 in G minor 'La Poule'

    Orchestra: Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Conductor: Ernest Ansermet.
    • DECCA.
  • Fritz Kreisler

    Caprice Viennois Op.2

    Performer: Anne‐Sophie Mutter. Performer: Lambert Orkis.
    • DG.
  • Maggi Hambling's choice

    • Deborah Pritchard

      Wall of Water

      Performer: Harriet Mackenzie. Orchestra: English String Orchestra. Conductor: Kenneth Woods.
  • François Couperin

    Les baricades mistérieuses (Pièces de clavecin, Ordre No 6)

    Performer: Sophie Yates.
    • La Sophie: Sophie Yates.
    • Chandos.
    • 5.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • Béla Bartók

      Mikrokosmos, Book VI: From the diary of a fly; Ostinato; Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm 4 & 6

      Performer: Cédric Tiberghien.
      • Hyperion.
      • CDA68123.
      • 30.
  • Claude Debussy

    Préludes, Book 1: II. 'Voiles'; X. 'La Cathédrale engloutie'

    Performer: Noriko Ogawa.
    • BIS.
    • CD1205.
    • 2.
  • Arcangelo Corelli

    Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.6 No.7

    Orchestra: Brandenburg Consort. Conductor: Roy Goodman.
  • Artist of the Week: The London Sinfonietta

    • John Tavener

      The Whale

      Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: David Atherton.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    String Quartet in B Flat K.458 "Hunt"

    Performer: Hagen Quartett.

Musical Challenge: By Association

The piece we heard was Fritz Kreisler's 'La Precieuse' (In the style of Louis Couperin). The two associated composers were therefore Fritz Kreisler and Louis Couperin.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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