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Wednesday - Rob Cowan with Wendy Cope

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Harrison Birtwistle; Artist of the Week: Giuseppe Sinopoli, featured conducting Beethoven's Piano Concerto 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: listen to the clues and identify a mystery musical term.

Rob's guest this week is the poet, Wendy Cope. After spending 15 years as a primary school teacher, Wendy released her first collection of poetry and it became a surprise bestseller. She's since published three more collections and her poetry has become renowned for being humorous and terse, even when tackling serious subjects such as death. As well as writing poetry for children, she has been commissioned to write poetry to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Endellion String Quartet, and the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. As well as sharing some of her favourite classical music, Wendy will be discussing her work and life as a writer, and reading some of her music-inspired poetry.

Music in Time: Modern
Rob's in the Modern era exploring a work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle which heralded a coming of age for Modernist music in Britain.

Artist of the Week: Giuseppe Sinopoli
Rob's featured artist is the Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli. Sinopoli was not only an immensely talented and original conductor, but also a gifted composer, whose sudden death at the age of 54 was particularly tragic when you consider that many celebrated conductors continue to work well past retirement age. Rob's choices include highly distinctive performances of symphonies by Schubert, Schumann, Liszt and Webern, as well as Beethoven's 1st Piano Concerto (with Martha Argerich as soloist) and the conclusion of Richard Strauss' hair-raising operatic masterpiece Salome.

Piano Concerto No.1 in C major
Martha Argerich (piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Bundeslied, Op.122

    Choir: Ambrosian Singers. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas.
    • CBS.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Trio in E flat for clarinet, viola and piano, K 498 ('Kegelstatt')

    Performer: Karl Leister. Performer: Wolfram Christ. Performer: James Levine.
    • DG.
  • Richard Strauss

    4 Lieder, Op.27: No.4, 'Morgen'

    Singer: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: George Szell.
    • EMI.
  • Leroy Anderson

    The Syncopated Clock

    Orchestra: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Frederick Fennell.
    • MERCURY.
  • Conlon Nancarrow

    Studies for Player Piano: Nos.3c, 6 and 11

    Performer: Joanna MacGregor.
    • COLLINS.
  • Henry Purcell

    In nomine in G minor, Z 747; Three parts upon a ground, Z 731

    Ensemble: Ricercar Consort. Director: Philippe Pierlot.
    • MIRARE.
  • Robert Schumann

    Phantasiestücke, Op.12: Des Abends

    Performer: Alfred Cortot.
    • MUSIC & ARTS.
  • Wendy Cope's First Choice

    • Thomas Morley

      O mistress mine

      Performer: Desmond Dupré. Singer: Alfred Deller.
      • EMI.
  • Wendy Cope's Second Choice

    • Franz Schubert

      Du bist die Ruh, D.776

      Performer: Julius Drake. Singer: Ian Bostridge.
      • EMI.
  • Wendy Cope's Third Choice

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Cantata BWV56, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen: "Endlich wird mein Joch"

      Performer: Christian Hommel. Singer: Hanno Müller‐Brachmann. Ensemble: Kölner Kammerorchester. Conductor: Helmut Müller‐Brühl.
      • NAXOS.
  • Louise Farrenc

    Overture No 1 in E minor, Op 23

    Orchestra: NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Johannes Goritzki.
    • CPO.
  • Music in Time: Modern

    • Sir Harrison Birtwistle

      The Triumph of Time

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Pierre Boulez.
      • DECCA.
  • Arist of the Week: Giuseppe Sinopoli

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Piano Concerto No.1 in C, Op.15

      Performer: Martha Argerich. Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra.
      • DG.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Jesu, meine Freude - BWV 229

    Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Musical Challenge

The mystery musical concept being described was 'rubato'.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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