Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Jocelyn Bell Burnell

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Dufay motets; Artist of the Week: Arturo Toscanini, featured conducting Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1.

9am
Rob sets the tone and mood of the day's programme with a range of music to intrigue, surprise and entertain.

9.30am
Take part in today's musical challenge: listen to the clues and identify a mystery musical person.

10am
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.

10.30am
Music in Time: Medieval
Rob travels back to the Medieval period to show how music and maths are the bedfellows behind Guillaume Dufay's isorhythmic motets.

11am
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.

Tchaikovsky
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Guillaume Dufay

    Apostolo Glorioso

    Choir: Huelgas Ensemble. Director: Paul Van Nevel.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

    Variations on a theme of Mozart

    Performer: Michael Brown.
    • Music@MenloLive.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Divertimento in F for wind, No.8 K213

    Ensemble: Holliger Wind Ensemble.
    • Mozart: Serenades And Divertimenti For Wind Instruments.
    • PHILIPS.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Violin Sonata in G major, HWV 358

    Performer: Andrew Manze. Performer: Richard Egarr.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Prelude Op.32 No.8 in A minor: Vivo

    Performer: Steven Osborne.
    • HYPERION.
    • CDA67700.
    • 19.
  • Cyril Scott

    Symphonic Dance Op.22 no.1

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.
    • CHANDOS CHAN.
  • Olivier Messiaen

    Book 5: VIII. L'Alouette Calandrelle (The Short-toed Lark)

    Performer: Peter Hill.
    • Unicorn.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    The Thieving Magpie: Overture

    Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • Philips.
  • Francesco Landini

    Per seguir la speranca

    Choir: Gothic Voices.
    • HYPERION.
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell's First Choice

    • Carl Maria von Weber

      Huntsman's Chorus (Der Freischütz)

      Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli. Choir: German Opera Chorus. Orchestra: German Opera Orchestra.
      • 111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon The Collector's Edition Vol.2.
      • Deutshe Grammophon.
      • 3.
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell's Second Choice

    • Henryk Mikolaj Górecki

      Symphony No 3, 'Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)

      Singer: Dawn Upshaw. Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: David Zinman.
      • ELEKTRA NONESUCH.
  • Karol Szymanowski

    Roxana's Song (King Roger)

    Music Arranger: Paweł Kochański. Performer: Wanda Wiłkomirska. Performer: Tadeusz Chmielewski.
    • MUZA.
  • Music in Time: Medieval

    • Guillaume Dufay

      Vasilissa ergo Gaude

      Choir: Huelgas Ensemble. Director: Paul Van Nevel.
      • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • Guillaume Dufay

      Moribus et genera

      Choir: Huelgas Ensemble. Director: Paul Van Nevel.
      • HARMONIA MUNDI.
  • Michael Torke

    Ash

    Orchestra: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: David Zinman.
    • ARGO.
  • Artist of the Week: Arturo Toscanini

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      Piano Concerto No.1

      Performer: Vladimir Horowitz. Orchestra: NBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Arturo Toscanini.
      • RCA VICTOR.
  • Claude Debussy

    Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

    Performer: Osian Ellis. Ensemble: Melos Ensemble.
    • DECCA.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Concerto in B flat major for 3 oboes, 3 violins and basso continuo

    Performer: Peter Westermann. Performer: Michael Niesemann. Performer: Piet Dhont. Performer: Reinhard Goebel. Performer: Mary Utiger. Performer: Hajo Bass. Orchestra: Musica Antiqua Köln. Director: Reinhard Goebel.
    • ARCHIV.

Musical Challenge: Mystery Person

The Mystery Person was the 14th century madrigalist and superstar of his age, Francesco Landini

Broadcast

Our Classical Century

Our Classical Century

Radio 3 explores 100 key musical moments that shaped us, from 1918 to the present day.

Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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