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Thursday - Sarah Walker with Chris Watson

With Sarah Walker. Including Musical challenge; Music in Time: Gibbons: This Is the Record of John; Artist of the Week: Anne Sofie von Otter, featured in Ravel's Sheherazade.

Sarah 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: identify the place associated with a well-known work.

Sarah's guest this week is one of the world's leading sound-recordists, Chris Watson. Chris started out as a musician, he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group, Cabaret Voltaire, but he soon put the microphone to other uses enjoying a career recording sound for film, tv and radio. He has specialised in recording wildlife and natural phenomena, striving, in his words, to put the microphone where you can't put your ears. He has contributed to a number of David Attenborough documentaries in the Life and Frozen Planet series and has released albums of his field recordings. As well as discussing his work and life, Chris will be sharing some of his favourite classical music.

Music in Time:  Romantic
Sarah visits the Romantic era for a dazzling showpiece by Robert Schumann. He composed his Konzertstück in F major for 4 horns in 1849, not long after the chromatic valve-horn had been invented; the flexibility and potential of the new instrument are exploited in this highly virtuoso work - for many years considered virtually unplayable.

Double Take 
Sarah explores the dramatic differences between two interpretations of the verse anthem This is the Record of John, by Orlando Gibbons, contrasting the pioneering 1959 recording by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge under David Willcocks, with the folk-like interpretation by Red Byrd.

Sarah's Artist of the Week is the Swedish mezzo-soprano, Anne Sofie von Otter. She's regarded as one of the finest singers of her generation, celebrated for her work on stage and in recital. She won a Grammy Award for her recording of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn and has been named Artist of the Year by both the International Record Critics Association and Gramophone. On the stage, she's renowned for her performances of Mozart, Handel and Richard Strauss, and in recital she excels in Romantic song. She has also collaborated with non-classical musicians such as Elvis Costello and Brad Mehldau. Sarah reflects this great diversity throughout the week with a selection encompassing intimate Dowland lute songs, song cycles by Robert Schumann and Ravel, and roles from opera and musical theatre.

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano)
Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Henry Purcell

    Three parts upon a ground Z.731

    Ensemble: Taverner Players.
    • EMI.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Roman Carnival Overture

    Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • RCA.
  • ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Anne Sofie von Otter

    • Charles Martin Loeffler

      4 Poems for Voice, Viola and Piano, Op.5: La Cloche fêlée

      Singer: Anne Sofie von Otter. Performer: Antoine Tamestit. Performer: Bengt Forsberg.
      • NAÏVE.
  • Claude Debussy

    Danse Bohemienne

    Performer: Lucy Parham.
  • Robert Schumann

    Jagdlied No.3: Jagdmorgen - A Hunting Morning

    Choir: amarcord. Ensemble: german hornsound.
    • GENUIN.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Overture: Mitridate, Re di Ponto, K87

    Orchestra: La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basle. Conductor: Andrea Marcon.
    • DG.
  • Benjamin Britten

    5 Flower Songs

    Choir: Polyphony. Conductor: Stephen Layton.
  • Reginald Goss-Custard

    Chelsea Fayre

    Performer: Simon Lindley.
    • OXRECS.
  • Chris Watson's first choice

    • Johann Pachelbel

      Canon in D  

      Ensemble: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
      • ARCHIV.
  • Chris Watson's second choice

    • Steve Reich

      Different Trains: I. America-Before the War

      Ensemble: Kronos Quartet.
      • NONESUCH.

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Romance in G major for violin and orchestra, Op 40

      Performer: Gil Shaham. Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
      • Romances: Gil Shaham/Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
      • Deutsche Grammophon.
      • 5.
  • Robert Schumann

    Konzertstück in F major for 4 horns

    Performer: Roger Montgomery. Performer: Gavin Edwards. Performer: Susan Dent. Performer: Robert Maskell. Orchestra: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Double Take

    • Orlando Gibbons

      This is the Record of John

      Choir: Red Byrd. Ensemble: Rose Consort of Viols.
      • AMON RA.
    • Orlando Gibbons

      This is the Record of John

      Choir: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Ensemble: The Jacobean Consort of Viols. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
      • ARGO.
  • Thomas Adès

    Arcadiana: VI. O Albion

    Ensemble: Endellion Quartet.
    • Ades: Living Toys.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 14.
  • ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Anne Sofie von Otter

    • Maurice Ravel


      Singer: Anne Sofie von Otter. Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra. Conductor: Pierre Boulez.
      • DG.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony No.1, K16

    Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • ARCHIV.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Fantasie in F minor, Op 49

    Performer: Maria João Pires.
    • DG.
  • ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Anne Sofie von Otter

    • Joseph Kosma

      Les feuilles mortes ('Fallen leaves')

      Performer: Magnus Wiklund. Performer: Carl Bagge. Performer: Mats Bergström. Performer: Per Ekdahl. Music Arranger: Per Ekdahl. Singer: Anne Sofie von Otter. Singer: Olle Linder.
      • NAÏVE.

Musical Challenge: Mapping the Music

The place being evoked by the music was Chelsea, London. The piece we heard was one of John Ireland's London Pieces: Chelsea Reach.


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