Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Tuesday - Rob Cowan with Katie Mitchell

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Robert Johnson; Artist of the Week: William Christie, featured conducting Lully's Atys (Prologue).

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: listen to the clues and identify a mystery musical person.

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.

Music in Time: Renaissance
Rob's in Renaissance England exploring the work of lutenist and composer Robert Johnson, who wrote music for stage works by William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

Double Take
Rob explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two interpretations of Brahms's Rhapsody in G minor, Op.79 No.2, with recordings by Murray Perahia and Gerhard Oppitz.

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.

Atys: Prologue
Monique Zanetti (soprano)
Arlette Steyer (soprano)
Agnès Mellon (soprano)
Guy de Mey (tenor)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor)
Bernard Deletré (bass-baritone)
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold

    Much Ado about Nothing Suite (Intermezzo - Garden Scene)

    Orchestra: Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg. Conductor: Marc Albrecht.
    • Pentatone.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Divertimento in D major, K.136

    Ensemble: Quatuor Van Kuijk.
    • ALPHA.
  • Guillaume Bouzignac

    In pace, in idipsum

    Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants. Ensemble: Ensemble de violes Gibbons. Director: William Christie.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Scherzo a la russe, Op.1 No.1

    Performer: Alexandre Kantorow.
    • BIS.
  • Trad.

    The Lincolnshire Poacher

    Composer: Benjamin Britten. Performer: Benjamin Britten. Singer: Peter Pears.
    • LONDON.
  • Pau Casals

    Song of the Birds (El Cant del Ocells)

    Performer: Pau Casals. Orchestra: Prades Festival Orchester.
    • CBS.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Leonore Overture No.2, Op.72a

    Orchestra: Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
    • Beethoven: Overtures: Harnoncourt, COE.
    • Teldec.
    • 6.
  • after Schubert Liszt

    In der ferne, from Schwanengesang, S 560 No 6

    Performer: Murray Perahia.
  • Katie Mitchell's First Choice

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major, BWV1047: First Movement

      Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
  • Katie Mitchell's Second Choice

    • Antonio Vivaldi

      The Four Seasons - 'Summer': III. Tempo impetuoso d'Estate

      Performer: Fabio Biondi. Orchestra: Europa Galante.
  • Alfred Schnittke

    Concerto Grosso No.1: V. Rondo

    Performer: Gidon Kremer. Performer: Tatiana Grindenko. Performer: Yuri Smirnov. Orchestra: Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Conductor: Heinrich Schiff.
    • DG.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Silenzio nocivo

    Ensemble: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
    • Thorofon.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Silencio nocivo, from 1st Bk of Madrigals

    Choir: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
  • Music in Time: Renaissance

    • Ben Johnson

      Full Fathom Five from 'The Tempest'

      Performer: Jakob Lindberg. Singer: Emma Kirkby.
      • BIS.
    • Ben Johnson

      The Fairies' Dance from 'Oberon, the Faery Prince'

      Performer: Nigel North.
      • NAXOS.
  • Toru Takemitsu

    Requiem for string orchestra

    Orchestra: Saito Kinen Orchestra. Conductor: Seiji Ozawa.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Double Take

    • Johannes Brahms

      Rhapsody in G minor, Op.79 No.2

      Performer: Murray Perahia.
      • SONY.
    • Johannes Brahms

      Rhapsody in G minor, Op.79 No.2

      Performer: Gerhard Oppitz.
      • RCA.
  • Artist of the Week: William Christie

    • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

      Atys: Prologue

      Singer: Monique Zanetti. Singer: Arlette Steyer. Singer: Agnès Mellon. Singer: Guy de Mey. Singer: Jean-Paul Fouchécourt. Singer: Bernard Deletré. Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 855

    Performer: Wilhelm Kempff, piano.
  • Nicolò Paganini

    Violin Concerto No 1 in D, Op 6

    Performer: Erick Friedman, violin. Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Musical Challenge: Mystery Person

The Mystery Person being described was the pianist, Murray Perahia.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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