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Monday - Rob Cowan with Katie Mitchell

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Glazunov's From the Middle Ages; Artist of the Week: William Christie, featured conducting Charpentier's Te Deum.

Discover definitive recordings of classical music with your trusted guide, Rob Cowan. His guest is the stage director Katie Mitchell.

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 identify the two pieces, played simultaneously?

Rob's guest this week is the theatre and opera director, Katie Mitchell. Katie formed a theatre company whilst still at school and started working at the Royal Shakespeare Company in her early twenties, before holding positions at the Royal Court Theatre and the National Theatre. Her productions of both well-known plays and brand new works have provoked strong reactions from critics, some branding her as a 'vandal', whilst others consider her one of the best directors in the world today. Katie's also a big presence in the world of opera, directing productions at Welsh National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Aix-en-Provence Festival where she directed the world premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin. She's distilled her experiences into a book, The Director's Craft, and she is currently the Visiting Chair in Opera Studies at the University of Oxford. As well as discussing her work as a director and her life, Katie shares some of her favourite classical music by composers including Benjamin, J.S. Bach and Schnittke.

Music in Time: Romantic
Today Rob's in the Romantic era, exploring a work which evokes images of the Medieval past, Glazunov's Suite 'From the Middle Ages'.

Artist of the Week: William Christie
Rob's Artist of the Week is the American-born conductor and harpsichordist, William Christie. After growing up and studying in America, Christie moved to France in the 1970s where he founded his award-winning vocal and instrumental ensemble, Les Arts Florissants. Together they've opened up the music of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France to a wider audience, in particular championing works by neglected composers such as Guillaume Bouzignac and André Campra. Christie is regarded as the uncontested master of opéra-ballet, such as Rameau's Les Indes Galantes, and tragédie-lyrique, such as Lully's Atys, and it was Christie's 1987 production of Atys that first earned him major public recognition. Ever since, he's been a leading figure in Baroque opera and vocal music, and throughout the week we'll hear Christie's recordings of works by Charpentier, Lully and Purcell, as well as Mozart. He's also a renowned keyboard player, and we'll hear him as a soloist, accompanist and duettist in music by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer, Handel, and Couperin.

Te Deum
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • George Frideric Handel

    Acis and Galatea: Sinfonia

    Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • ERATO.
  • Henri Duparc

    Chanson Triste

    Performer: Roger Vignoles. Singer: Sarah Walker.
  • Heinrich Marschner

    Hans Heiling (Overture)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Christian Thielemann.
    • DG.
  • anon.

    O Maria, Stella Maris

    Choir: Trio Mediæval.
    • ECM.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Ballade in F sharp minor, Op 19

    Performer: Yuja Wang.
    • DG.
  • Richard Wagner

    Magic Fire Music (Die Walküre)

    Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Munch.
    • RCA.
  • Katie Mitchell's First Choice

    • Giuseppe Verdi

      La traviata (Act 1 Prelude)

      Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave. Orchestra: Bavarian State Orchestra. Conductor: Carlos Kleiber.
      • 111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon The Collector's Edition Vol.2.
      • Deutsche Grammophon.
      • 1.
  • Katie Mitchell's Second Choice

    • Sir James MacMillan

      Seven Last Words from the Cross

      Choir: Polyphony. Orchestra: Britten Sinfonia. Conductor: Stephen Layton.
      • HYPERION.
  • Robert Fuchs

    Violin Duos, Op 55 Nos 1 to 7

    Performer: Eugene Drucker. Performer: Philip Setzer.
  • Music in Time: Romantic

    • Alexander Glazunov

      Suite 'From the Middle Ages'

      Orchestra: Russian State Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Evgeny Fyodorovich Svetlanov.
      • MELODIYA.
  • Artist of the Week: William Christie

    • Marc‐Antoine Charpentier

      Te Deum

      Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Divertimento in B flat major, K.270

    Ensemble: Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble.
    • BBC.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Harpsichord Concerto in D minor, BWV1052

    Orchestra: Australian Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Tognetti. Performer: Angela Hewitt.
    • Hyperion.

Musical Challenge: Imperfect Harmony

The two pieces being played simultaneously were the overture to Wagner's Die Walkure & Bach's Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV1052.


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