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Thursday - Rob Cowan with Colin Salmon

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: La Comtessa de Dia; Artist of the Week: Charles Dutoit, featured conducting Haydn's Symphony No 82.

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 actor Colin Salmon. Colin is best known for playing M's Chief of Staff in three James Bond films and for his roles in action-horror films such as Resident Evil and Alien vs. Predator. He made his feature debut in the TV series Prime Suspect 2 and recent credits include Limitless for CBS and Henry IX for UKTV. Colin had a very musical childhood playing the trumpet in a Salvation Army band and he still considers music as more than just a hobby. He's played at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and he combined music with acting in his role for the BBC's adaption of Alexander McCall Smith's The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. As well as discussing his acting work, Colin shares his passion for classical music choosing a selection of his favourite works. Across the week we'll hear music by composers including Prokofiev, Richard Strauss and Gershwin.

Music in Time: Medieval
Rob heads back to the Medieval period, looking at the mysterious life and music of the twelfth-century trobairitz (female troubadour) known as La Comtesse de Dia.

Double Take
Rob explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two performances of the Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev's ballet, Romeo and Juliet, with recordings conducted by Riccardo Muti and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Rob's Artist of the Week is the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. In 1977, Dutoit became the Artistic Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) - a position he held for some twenty-five years. During his tenure, he raised the orchestra's recording profile and reputation significantly, making it one of the leading orchestras in the French-speaking world. While he's best-known for his association with the OSM, Dutoit has also conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. He is celebrated in particular for his recordings of the Romantic repertoire, and during the course of the week we'll hear him conduct Ravel's Mother Goose, Dutilleux's violin concerto L'arbre des songes (with soloist Isabelle van Keulen), Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Haydn's Symphony No.82 'The Bear' and Chopin's Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor, with Dutoit's former wife, Martha Argerich, as soloist.

Symphony No. 82 'The Bear'
Sinfonietta de Montreal
Charles Dutoit (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Hector Berlioz

    Romeo et Juliette: Introduction instrumentale

    Orchestra: Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester. Conductor: Robin Ticciati.
    • LINN.

    • Claudio Monteverdi

      Scherzi musicali (1607): Clori amorosa

      Singer: María Cristina Kiehr. Singer: Stephan MacLeod. Ensemble: Concerto Soave. Director: Jean-Marc Aymes.
  • Wilhelm Stenhammar

    Excelsior! Symphonic overture, Op.13

    Orchestra: Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Christian Lindberg.
    • BIS.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Polka de W.R.

    Performer: Vladimir Horowitz.
    • DG.
  • Robert Schumann

    Three Romances, Op.94

    Performer: Gareth Hulse. Performer: Ian Brown.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Rigoletto - conclusion of Act II

    Singer: Ileana Cotrubaș. Singer: Piero Cappuccilli.
  • Pyotr Tchaikovsky

    1812 Overture, Op 49

    Choir: Chorus of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
    • EMI.
  • Franz Schubert

    Allegretto in C minor, D 915

    Performer: Sir András Schiff.

    • Comtessa de Diá

      A chantar m'er de so qu'ieu non volria

      Singer: Mara Kiek.
      • HELIOS.

    • Sergei Prokofiev

      Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Knights

      Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.
      • EMI.
  • Double Take

    • Sergei Prokofiev

      Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Knights

      Performer: Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich. Orchestra: National Symphony Orchestra.
      • DG.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Keyboard Concerto in G, K 107 No 2

    Performer: Erich Traxler, fortepiano. Ensemble: Ensemble Castor.
  • aRTist of the week: Charles Dutoit

    • Joseph Haydn

      Symphony No. 82 'The Bear'

      Orchestra: Sinfonietta de Montréal. Conductor: Charles Dutoit.
      • DECCA .
  • Thomas Morley

    Now is the month of maying

    Ensemble: The King’s Singers.
    • EMI.
  • César Franck

    Sonata for Violin and Piano in A

    Performer: Josef Suk. Performer: Jan Panenka.

Musical Challenge: Heard on Screen

The music was from the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, which featured in the 2005 dystopian political thriller, V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea and John Hurt.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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