Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Wednesday - Sarah Walker with Greg Doran

With Sarah Walker. Musical challenge; Music on Location: Elgar's In the South (Alassio); Artists of the Week: Tenebrae, in Victoria's Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday.

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 name the television show or film that featured this piece of classical music? 

Sarah's guest this week is the award-winning director Greg Doran. Greg is Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has directed the company in more than half of Shakespeare's works, as well as many new plays. Greg began his career with the RSC as an actor in the late 1980s, becoming an Assistant Director soon afterwards before climbing through the ranks to the top job. In 2016, Greg led the company's celebration of Shakespeare's 400th birthday by directing Shakespeare Live!, an event which honoured Shakespeare's legacy across the performing arts. Throughout the week Greg will be sharing some of his favourite classical music (much of it Shakespeare-inspired!) by composers including Prokofiev, Handel and Britten.

Music on Location: Alassio
Sarah explores Elgar's musical response to Alassio, a town on the Italian Riviera where the composer and his family stayed. His inspiration for 'In the South (Alassio)' came as he stumbled across a shepherd by an old Roman ruin: "Then in a flash, it all came to me - the conflict of the armies on that very spot long ago, where I now stood - the contrast of the ruin and the shepherd - and then, all of a sudden, I came back to reality. In that time I had composed the overture - the rest was merely writing it down."

Artists of the Week: Tenebrae
Sarah's Artists of the Week are the choir Tenebrae. Celebrated for their technical precision and dramatic interpretations, Tenebrae has established itself as one of the world's leading choirs under the direction of Nigel Short, who founded the choir in 2001. Since then, they've produced a large discography collaborating with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Aurora Orchestra, and with contemporary composers such as Joby Talbot, Bob Chilcott and Alexander L'Estrange. The choir has made celebrated recordings of many major choral works including Poulenc's Mass in G major, Parry's Songs of Farewell and Fauré's Requiem, all of which Sarah will be featuring this week. Sarah's also chosen their recording of Victoria's Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday and Britten's Hymn to St Cecilia.

Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday
Nigel Short (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La forza del destino: Overture

    Orchestra: Filarmonica della Scala. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
    • DECCA.
  • Zita Bružaitė

    Bangos ('Waves')

    Performer: Maria Martinova.
  • Gustav Holst

    The Perfect Fool: Ballet Music

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
    • EMI.
  • anon.

    Quand je bois du vin clairet

    Choir: La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Ensemble: Hespèrion XXI. Director: Jordi Savall.
    • ALIA VOX.
  • Ole Bull


    Performer: Peter Sheppard Skærved. Performer: Roderick Chadwick.
    • ATHENE.
  • Alessandro Marcello

    Oboe Concerto in D minor

    Performer: Heinz Holliger. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Iona Brown.
  • Franz Liszt

    Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp minor

    Performer: Roberto Szidon.
    • DG.
  • Greg Doran's first choice

    • Hector Berlioz

      Beatrice et Benedict : Duo 'Vous soupirez, madame?'

      Singer: Nadine Denize. Singer: Ileana Cotrubaș. Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris. Conductor: Daniel Barenboim.
      • DG.
  • Greg Doran's second choice

    • Giuseppe Verdi

      Macbeth: La luce langue 

      Singer: Maria Callas. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Nicola Rescigno.
      • EMI.
  • Greg Doran's third choice

    • Ambroise Thomas

      Hamlet: A vos jeux, mes amis, permettez-moi

      Singer: Joan Sutherland. Orchestra: Welsh National Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Bonynge.
      • DECCA.
  • MUSIC ON LOCATION: Alassio, Italy

    • Edward Elgar

      In the South 'Alassio'

      Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
      • BBC LEGENDS.
  • Dietrich Buxtehude

    Prelude in E minor, BuxWV 142

    Performer: Bine Katrine Bryndorf.
    • DACAPO.
  • Artists of the Week: Tenebrae

    • Tomás Luis de Victoria

      Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday

      Choir: Tenebrae. Conductor: Nigel Short.
      • SIGNUM.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Preludes, Op.28

    Performer: Martha Argerich.
    • DG.

Musical Challenge: Heard on Screen

The film was Shine, a 1996 biographical drama based on the life of the pianist David Helfgott. The music was Chopin's Prelude Op.28 No.15, known as the 'Raindrop' prelude.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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