Wednesday - Sarah Walker with Zoe Wanamaker
With Sarah Walker. Includes Musical challenge; Music on Location: Italy. Mendelssohn's Symphony No 4; Artist of the Week: Jorge Bolet, featured in Franck's Prelude, Aria and Finale.
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: listen to the clues and identify a mystery object.
Sarah's guest this week is the award-winning actress Zoë Wanamaker. Zoë is best known for her roles in the BBC series My Family, which ran for eleven series, and as Madam Hooch in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Zoë was immersed in the world of acting from a young age: her mother was an actress and radio star and her father was Sam Wanamaker, who drove the reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe on London's South Bank. Zoë was the first person to perform on the stage when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the '70s and '80s. As well as discussing her life's work, Zoë shares her passion for classical music, choosing a selection of her favourite works.
Music on Location: Italy
Continuing our new feature on Essential Classics, where Sarah explores music connected with a specific location: today Italy with Mendelssohn. "This is Italy...and I am loving it!" wrote Felix Mendelssohn in a letter to his parents during a tour of the country that included Rome, Naples and Venice. Inspired by the colour and atmosphere of Italy, he began sketches for one of his most popular works, his Symphony No.4 'Italian'.
Artist of the Week: Jorge Bolet
Sarah's Artist of the Week is the Cuban-born American pianist, Jorge Bolet. Born in Havana in 1914, he was praised in particular for his interpretations of Liszt, and his recorded legacy mainly focuses on the romantic tradition. His career was unusual in that he did not achieve international recognition until he was in his sixties. Bolet championed pieces that were out of fashion at the time, such as the piano music of Franck and Godowsky's fiendishly difficult arrangements of Chopin's Etudes, both of which feature this week on Essential Classics, as well as his recordings of Debussy's Preludes, works by Liszt and Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto, where Bolet is joined by the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ivan Fischer.
Prelude, Aria and Finale
Jorge Bolet (piano).