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Friday - Rob Cowan with Ken Hom

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Bach: Mass in B minor (excerpts); Artist of the Week: Nikolaj Znaider, featured performing Elgar's Violin Concerto.

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: which location is being depicted in this piece of 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: Baroque
Rob travels back to Baroque Germany to explore one of the most prevalent features of this time: musical recycling. We hear the Agnus Dei and Dona nobis pacem from Bach's Mass in B minor, both of which were taken from earlier works of his.

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.

Violin Concerto in B minor
Nikolaj Znaider (violin)
Staatskapelle Dresden
Colin Davis (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    St Matthew Passion: O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde gross

    Choir: Trinity Boys Choir. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Polonaise No.6 in A flat major, Op.53 'Heroic'

    Performer: Martha Argerich.
    • EMI.
  • Grażyna Bacewicz

    Slavonic Dance

    Performer: David Juritz. Performer: Diana Ambache.
    • AMBACHE.
  • Bohuslav Martinu


    Orchestra: Suk Chamber Orchestra Prague.
    • PANTON.
  • Carl Maria von Weber

    Grand Duo Concertant

    Performer: Gervase de Peyer. Performer: Cyril Preedy.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    The Tsar's Bride: Overture

    Orchestra: Mariinsky Orchestra. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tsar's Bride.
    • Philips.
    • 1.
  • Ken Hom's CHoice No.1

    • George Frideric Handel

      Jephtha: "Deeper and Deeper Still...Waft her angels"

      Singer: Kenneth McKellar. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Adrian Boult.
      • Australian Eloquence.
  • Ken Hom's CHoice No.2

    • Henry Purcell

      Dido and Aeneas: Dido's Lament & final chorus 'With drooping wings'

      Singer: Emma Kirkby. Ensemble: Taverner Choir and Players. Director: Andrew Parrott.
      • CHANDOS.
  • Rob's choice for Ken Hom

    • Claudio Monteverdi

      Madrigals, book 8: Dolcissimo usignolo [Loveliest nightingale]

      Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants. Director: Paul Agnew.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Mass in B minor, BWV.232 (Agnus Dei)

      Singer: Alex Potter. Ensemble: Concerto Copenhagen. Conductor: Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
      • CPO.
    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Ascension Oratorio, BWV 11: Ach, bleibe doch, mein liebstes Leben

      Singer: Iestyn Davies. Ensemble: Retrospect Ensemble. Conductor: Matthew Halls.
      • LINN.
    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Cantata BWV29, Wir danken dir, gott, wir danken dir: opening chorus

      Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
  • Johannes Brahms

    String sextet no.2 in G major (2nd mvt)

    Performer: Barry Shiffman. Performer: Zuill Bailey. Ensemble: Cypress String Quartet.
    • AVIE.

    • Edward Elgar

      Violin Concerto in B minor

      Performer: Nikolaj Znaider. Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Colin Davis.
      • RCA.
  • Benjamin Britten

    O waly, waly (arr. Britten)

    Performer: Graham Johnson. Singer: Anthony Rolfe Johnson.
    • Britten: Canticle 1/Michelangelo sonnets etc: Johnson/Johnson.
    • Hyperion.
    • 12.

Musical Challenge: Mapping the Music

The piece of music we played was 'A spin through Moscow' from Dmitri Shostakovich's operetta, 'Moscow, Cheryomushki'


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