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Friday - Rob Cowan with Kasper Holten

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Szymanowski's Stabat Mater; Artist of the Week: tenor Franco Corelli, featured performing music by Bizet and Giordano.

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 Kasper Holten, the departing Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Kasper's passion for opera began aged nine after hearing Bizet's Carmen and he went on to train with directors such as Harry Kupfer, John Cox and David Pountney. Aged 27 he was appointed Artistic Director of Royal Danish Opera, where he directed productions of Weber's Der Freischütz, Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre and Wagner's Ring Cycle; he held the position for 11 years. In 2011 he became the youngest ever Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he has since directed Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Szymanowski's Król Roger as well as overseeing successes such as George Benjamin's Written on Skin. As well as discussing his work as a director and his life, Kasper shares some of his favourite classical music.

Music in Time: Modern
Today Rob's exploring a modern setting of the Stabat Mater, a hymn to the Virgin Mary. Polish composer Karol Szymanowski's setting combines folk elements and Renaissance contrapuntal practices to create a powerful act of devotion and mourning.

Artist of the Week: Franco Corelli
Rob's Artist of the Week is the tenor Franco Corelli, one of the most famous and feted tenors of the 20th century. Growing up in Italy, Corelli was set to be a naval engineer like his father, but when a musical friend heard him sing, he was encouraged to attend a conservatoire. It wasn't completely plain sailing for Corelli, but he was determined, and even taught himself by listening to recordings of Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli. He made his La Scala debut alongside Maria Callas and enjoyed a successful international career thereafter; he made over 250 appearances at New York's Metropolitan Opera alone. Corelli's repertoire included most of the major tenor roles in operas by composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano, and Bizet - we'll hear Corelli in well-loved arias from Aida, Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Andrea Chénier and Carmen during the week, as well as popular arias such as Granada, and excerpts from Verdi's Requiem and Rossini's Petite messe solennelle.

Carmen: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"
Franco Corelli (tenor)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

Andrea Chénier: "Colpito qui m'avete...Un dì all'azzurro spazio"
Franco Corelli (tenor)
Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Gabriele Santini (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Polonaise (Eugene Onegin)

    Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
    • Philips.
  • Richard Wagner

    Parsifal: Good Friday Music

    Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Christian Thielemann.
    • DG.
  • Carlo Gesualdo

    Tenebrae Responsories for Good Friday: Animam meam dilectam tradidi

    Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • PHI.
  • Federico Mompou

    Prelude No.9

    Performer: Stephen Hough.
  • Henri Vieuxtemps

    Elegie Op.30

    Performer: Timothy Ridout. Performer: Ke Ma.
  • Hugo Alfvén

    Drapa, Op.27 'In memoriam King Oscar II'

    Orchestra: Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Neeme Järvi.
    • BIS.
  • Thomas Adès

    Arcadiana: VI. O Albion

    Ensemble: Endellion String Quartet.
    • EMI Classics.
  • Edward Elgar

    Enigma Variations: IX. Nimrod

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • LSO LIVE.
  • Karol Szymanowski

    Krol Roger: opening

    Choir: Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Alan Ewing. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes (Dawn)

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Benjamin Britten.
    • DECCA.
  • Modest Mussorgsky

    Songs and Dances of Death: 1. Lullaby 

    Performer: Qian Wu. Singer: Nikolay Borchev.
    • Music@Menlo.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Valse-Caprice No 1 in A major

    Performer: Kathryn Stott.
  • Karol Szymanowski

    Stabat Mater

    Singer: Aleksandra Kurzak. Singer: Agnieszka Rehlis. Singer: Artur Rucinski. Orchestra: Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej. Choir: Chór Filharmonii Narodowej. Conductor: Jacek Kaspszyk.
    • WARNER.
  • Improvisation


    Ensemble: Tembembe Ensamble Continuo. Ensemble: La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Ensemble: Hespèrion XXI. Conductor: Jordi Savall.
    • El Nuevo Mundo: Folías Criollas.
    • Alia Vox.
    • 12.
  • Georges Bizet

    Carmen: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"

    Singer: Franco Corelli. Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • RCA.
  • Umberto Giordano

    Andrea Chenier: "Colpito qui m'avete...Un dì all'azzuro spazio"

    Singer: Franco Corelli. Orchestra: Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Conductor: Gabriele Santini.
    • WARNER.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Violin Concerto in D major, Op.77

    Performer: Vadim Gluzman. Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonieorchester. Conductor: James Gaffigan.
    • BIS.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Prelude and Fugue in A major, Op.87 No.7

    Performer: Peter Donohoe (piano).

Musical Challenge: By Association

The music we played was 'O Albion', a movement from Arcadiana by Thomas Adès, which is a homage to 'Nimrod' from Elgar's Enigma Variations.


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