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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Ken Hom

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Glazunov's Saxophone Concerto; Artist of the Week: Nikolaj Znaider, featured performing Brahms's Violin Sonata No 1.

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 name the television show or film that featured this piece of classical music?

Rob's guest this week is the American chef, author and TV presenter Ken Hom. Whilst studying at Berkeley University, where he undertook studies in History of Art and French History, Ken began to give cooking lessons to fund his education. He soon realised that he wanted to make it his career and started teaching at a school for professional chefs in San Francisco. During his career Ken has published over 35 best-selling books on cookery, presented TV shows including Ken Hom's Chinese Cookery and Take on the Takeaway, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest authorities on Asian cooking. In 2009 he was appointed an honorary OBE for 'services to culinary arts'. As well as discussing his life and work, Ken has chosen a selection of his favourite classical music.

Music in Time: Modern
Turning his attention to the Modern era, Rob looks at an early use of the saxophone with music by Glazunov. Although invented in the 1840s, the saxophone was still fairly new and unfamiliar when Glazunov wrote his Saxophone Concerto almost a century later.

Artist of the Week: Nikolaj Znaider
Rob's Artist of the Week is the violinist and conductor Nikolaj Znaider. Feted in particular for the quality of his tone and his musical sensitivity, Znaider plays a Guarneri del Gesu violin, built in 1741 and previously played by the legendary violinist Fritz Kreisler. Znaider's performances and recordings regularly earn critical acclaim across the globe; they include accounts of violin concertos by Elgar, Korngold, Prokofiev and Nielsen - all of which feature this week on Essential Classics. As well as maintaining a busy career as a violin virtuoso, Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent, and spent ten years as Founder and Artistic Director of the annual Nordic Music Academy summer school.

Sonata No.1 in G major
Nikolaj Znaider (violin)
Yefim Bronfman (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Edna Bentz Woods

    Valse Phantastique

    Performer: Marc-André Hamelin.
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

    Valse Fantaisie

    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Paavo Berglund.
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria

    O vos omnes

    Choir: Westminster Cathedral Choir. Conductor: David Hill.
  • Pau Casals

    O vos omnes

    Ensemble: Sospiri. Conductor: Christopher Watson.
    • NAXOS.
  • Ambroise Thomas

    Mignon: Overture

    Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Paul Paray.
  • Francesca Caccini

    Lasciatemi qui solo (Il primo libro delle musiche)

    Singer: Ruby Hughes. Performer: Mime Yamahiro-Brinkmann. Performer: Jonas Nordberg.
    • BIS.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Les Troyens: Royal Hunt and Storm

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Choir: London Symphony Chorus. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • LSO LIVE.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Mandolin Concerto in C major RV 425

    Performer: Duilio Galfetti. Orchestra: Il Giardino Armonico. Director: Giovanni Antonini.
    • TELDEC.
  • Ken Hom's First Choice

    • Franz Schubert

      Piano Trio No.2 in E flat, D 929

      Performer: Rudolf Serkin. Performer: Adolf Busch. Performer: Hermann Busch.
      • EMI.
  • Ken Hom's Second Choice

    • Johannes Brahms

      Symphony No.3 in F major, Op.90: III. Allegretto

      Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Otto Klemperer.
      • EMI.
  • Muzio Clementi

    Rondo in B flat major, WO8

    Performer: Howard Shelley.
    • Clementi: Capriccios & Variations: Howard Shelley.
    • Hyperion.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • Alexander Glazunov

      Saxophone Concerto

      Performer: Eugene Rousseau. Orchestra: Orchestre de Chambre. Conductor: Paul Kuentz.
      • DG.
  • Percy Grainger

    A Lincolnshire Posy

    Ensemble: Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra. Conductor: Timothy Reynish.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Artist of the Week: Nikolaj Znaider

    • Johannes Brahms

      Sonata No.1 in G major

      Performer: Nikolaj Znaider. Performer: Yefim Bronfman.
      • RCA.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Slavonic Rhapsody in A flat major, Op.45 No.3

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
    • IMG Artists.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Toccata in D minor, BWV 913

    Performer: Zuzana Růžičková.
    • ERATO.

Musical Challenge: Heard on Screen

The piece we played was Vivaldi's Mandolin Concerto in C major RV 425, which features in the 1979 film, Kramer Vs. Kramer.


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