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Tuesday - Rob Cowan with Jocelyn Bell Burnell

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Schutz: Psalms of David; Artist of the Week: Arturo Toscanini, featured conducting Beethoven's Symphony No 7.

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: listen to the music and name the two composers associated with it.

Rob's guest this week is the astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Whilst still completing her PhD at Cambridge University Jocelyn made what is considered one of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the twentieth century. She discovered Pulsars, small stars near the end of their life-cycle which emit radio signals, pulses. Uncovering Pulsars has unlocked many doors in the field of astrophysics, validating and enabling many other notable scientists. Jocelyn has since become a role model for young students and female scientists throughout the world, and when she became professor she doubled the number of female Physics professors in the UK. As well as discussing her life and work, Jocelyn has chosen a selection of her favourite classical music.

Music in Time: Baroque
Heading back to the early Baroque period, Rob shines the spotlight on the music of Heinrich Schütz, whose Psalms of David demonstrate how the Venetian style of his one-time teacher Giovanni Gabrieli, spread throughout 17th-century Germany.

Double Take
Rob explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two performances of Rameau's Gavotte et Six Doubles from the Suite in A minor, one played on the piano and the other on the harpsichord.

Rob's Artist of the Week is the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini. Considered one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, he was admired for his faithfulness to the score as well as for the incendiary thrust he brought to his interpretations. His career began sooner than perhaps he might have expected. Whilst on tour in South America as an Assistant Chorus Master he was called upon to conduct Verdi's Aida after three other conductors were either booed-off by the audience or rejected by the cast; Toscanini was only 19, but he conducted the whole opera from memory. He went on to be a leading opera conductor, entrusted with the world premieres of Puccini's La Bohème and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, and he was Principal Conductor at La Scala, Milan twice during his career. He spent much of his working life in America, leading the Metropolitan Opera, the NBC Symphony Orchestra - an orchestra created for him - and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also the first non-German conductor to appear at Bayreuth. This week Rob's chosen his interpretations of Elgar's Enigma Variations, Beethoven's 7th Symphony, Debussy's Iberia, part of Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 with Vladimir Horowitz.

Symphony No.7 in A major
New York Philharmonic
Arturo Toscanini (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Fugue in D for String Quintet, Op.137

    Performer: David Adams. Ensemble: Endellion Quartet.
    • WARNER.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in G for 2 mandolins RV532

    Performer: Paul O’Dette. Performer: Robin Jeffrey. Ensemble: The Parley of Instruments. Director: Roy Goodman.
    • Hyperion.
  • Thomas Tomkins

    Woe is me

    Choir: I Fagiolini. Director: Robert Hollingworth.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Thomas Tomkins

    Turn unto the Lord our God

    Choir: I Fagiolini. Director: Robert Hollingworth.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Rob's Featured Work

    • Nikos Skalkottas

      Greek Dances

      Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Dimitri Mtropoulos.
      • URANIA.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Cherubic Hymn, from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

    Choir: Tenebrae. Conductor: Nigel Short.
    • BENE ARTE.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Flute Sonata in E flat BWV1031

    Performer: Lisa Beznosiuk. Performer: Paul Nicholson.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Turkish March (The Ruins of Athens)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Capriccio all Turca, S388

    Performer: Leslie Howard. Music Arranger: Franz Liszt.
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell's First Choice

    • Giuseppe Verdi

      Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Nabucco)

      Choir: Ambrosian Singers. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.
      • EMI.
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell's Second Choice

    • Gustav Mahler

      Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor (4th mvt, 'Adagietto')

      Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
      • Mahler: Symphony No. 5: Kubelik.
      • DG.
      • 4.
  • Clara Schumann

    Andante espressivo (Quatre pièces fugitives, Op 15)

    Performer: Jozef de Beenhouwer.
    • Complete Works for Piano.
    • Partridge.
    • 012.
  • Music in Time: Baroque

    • Heinrich Schütz

      Der Herr Sprach zu meinem Herra swv22

      Choir: Cantus Cölln. Ensemble: Concerto Palatino. Director: Konrad Junghänel.
    • Heinrich Schütz

      Aus der Tiefe ruf ich, Herr, zu dir swv25

      Choir: Cantus Cölln. Ensemble: Concerto Palatino. Director: Konrad Junghänel.
    • Heinrich Schütz

      Ich freue mich des, das mir geredt ist swv 26

      Choir: Cantus Cölln. Ensemble: Concerto Palatino. Director: Konrad Junghänel.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Suite in A minor: VII. Gavotte et six doubles

    Performer: Marcelle Meyer.
    • EMI.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Suite in A minor: VII. Gavotte et six doubles

    Performer: George Malcolm.
    • DECCA.
  • Artist of the Week: Arturo Toscanini

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Symphony No.7 in A major

      Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Arturo Toscanini.
      • RCA VICTOR.
  • Claude Debussy

    Clair de lune (Suite bergamasque)

    Performer: Jean‐Yves Thibaudet.
    • Debussy: Images, Etudes etc.
    • Decca.
    • 3.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Sonata a Quatro No.4

    Performer: Salvatore Accardo. Performer: Sylvie Gazeau. Performer: Alain Meunier. Performer: Franco Petracchi.
    • DECCA.

Musical Challenge: By Association

The piece played was Liszt's adaption of the Turkish March from Beethoven's 'The Ruins of Athens'. The two associated composers were, therefore, Liszt and Beethoven.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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