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Thursday - Sarah Walker with Zoe Wanamaker

With Sarah Walker. Musical challenge; Music on Location: Ligeti: San Francisco Polyphony; Artist of the Week: Jorge Bolet, featured in Debussy's Preludes - Books 1, 2 (selection).

Sarah sets the tone and mood of the day's programme with a range of music to intrigue, surprise and entertain.   

Take part in our daily musical challenge: can you identify the piece of music, played in reverse?

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: San Francisco
Sarah explores music connected with San Francisco by Ligeti. Few modernists have enjoyed the popularity of Ligeti, whose music has featured in films such as '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'The Shining'. His orchestral piece 'San Francisco Polyphony' is a musical tribute to the city: "Low clouds sailing slowly from the ocean... the view of the red towers of the Golden Gate... the turning of the cable car".

Double Take
Sarah explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences between two interpretations of the Pie Jesu from Fauré's Requiem, comparing the effect of different voice types (an adult soprano and a treble) as well as period and modern instruments.

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.

Preludes (selection from Books I and II)
Jorge Bolet (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Edvard Grieg

    Peer Gynt, Suite No.2: Arabian Dance

    Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony. Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt.
    • DECCA.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Bassoon Concerto in C minor, RV 480

    Performer: Sergio Azzolini. Orchestra: L'Aura Soave Cremona.
    • Naive.
  • Stevie Wishart

    Iste confessor

    Choir: Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Performer: Michael How. Performer: Bill Taylor. Conductor: Geoffrey Webber.
    • Set Upon the Rood.
    • 11.
  • Alexander Glazunov

    Melody, Op.20 No.1

    Performer: Han‐Na Chang. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
    • EMI.
  • Franz Schubert

    Nachtviolen (Dame's Violets), D.752

    Singer: Elizabeth Watts. Performer: Roger Vignoles.
    • RCA.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Piano Trio in G, Hob. XV:5

    Ensemble: Beaux Arts Trio.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Director: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Ave Maria, Op.12

    Choir: Tenebrae. Performer: Alexander Mason. Director: Nigel Short.
    • SIGNUM.

    • Guy Woolfenden

      Come unto these yellow sands

      Singer: Ian Charleson. Ensemble: Royal Shakespeare Wind Ensemble. Director: Guy Woolfenden.
      • DLC.

    • Franz Schubert

      String Quartet in C minor, D 703, 'Quartettsatz'

      Ensemble: Jerusalem Quartet.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3 No.1

    Performer: Alice Piérot. Performer: Christian Moreaux. Conductor: Marc Minkowski. Ensemble: Les Musiciens du Louvre.
    • Erato.

    • György Ligeti

      San Francisco Polyphony

      Orchestra: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Hannu Lintu.
      • ONDINE.

    • Gabriel Fauré

      Requiem: Pie Jesu (Pious Jesus)

      Performer: Peter Barley. Singer: Richard Eteson. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Stephen Cleobury.
      • EMI.
    • Gabriel Fauré

      Requiem: Pie Jesu (Pious Jesus)

      Singer: Johannette Zomer. Choir: La Chapelle Royale. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
  • Alfred Hollins

    Triumphal March

    Performer: Christopher Herrick.
    • Organ Fireworks XIV.
    • 008.

    • Claude Debussy

      Preludes (Extracts from books 1 and 2)

      Performer: Jorge Bolet.
      • Decca.
  • Hubertus Waelrant

    O Villanella

    Performer: Jakob Lindberg. Performer: Nigel North. Performer: Paul O’Dette. Performer: Robert Meunier. Singer: Emily Van Evera. Singer: Rogers Covey‐Crump. Singer: Andrew King. Singer: Richard Wistreich.
    • Three, Four and Twenty Lutes, Lindberg etc..
    • BIS.
    • 12.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No.10: I. Adagio

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI.

Musical Challenge: Recording Rewind

The piece of music played in reverse was Brahms's Hungarian Rhapsody No.5 in G minor.


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