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Monday - Rob Cowan with Mike Figgis

With Rob Cowan. Including Musical challenge; Music on Location: Bernstein: On the Waterfront; Artist of the Week: Solomon Cutner, featured playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 21.

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: identify a piece of music played in reverse.

Rob's guest this week is the film director, writer, photographer and composer Mike Figgis. Mike is best known as the director of films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Internal Affairs, but he came to film after many years in music and theatre. He plays the piano, guitar and trumpet and has played and recorded with various bands in London and France, including a 'free jazz' group. For a decade Mike was a member of the People Show, a long-running experimental theatre group based in London, and has directed operas for the Manchester International Music Festival and English National Opera. As well as discussing his life and work, Mike shares some of his favourite classical music throughout the week by composers including Ives, Zelenka and Schubert.

Music on Location: New York
Rob journeys to Studio 8H, part of NBC studios, where Arturo Toscanini made many notable recordings with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Rob's featured artist is one of Britain's greatest pianists, Solomon Cutner - known to audiences simply as Solomon. He rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of his profession, and was en route to recording all of Beethoven's piano sonatas when tragedy struck; he suffered a severe stroke, and for the next 32 years Solomon the pianist was forced to become Solomon the concert-goer and listener. Solomon was a prime example of the notion that less is more; his reading of Beethoven's 'Waldstein' Sonata is perfectly proportioned, his Liszt and Chopin compelling but never sentimental, his Schubert abundantly lyrical, while in chamber music - especially with the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky - Solomon was the ideal duo partner. His performances are dignified and musically persuasive making his recordings well worth revisiting.

Piano Sonata No.21 in C major, 'Waldstein'
Solomon (piano).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Pablo de Sarasate

    Navarra, Op 33

    Performer: David Oistrakh. Performer: Igor Oistrakh. Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Conductor: Franz Konwitschny.
    • DG.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Italian Concerto, BWV 971

    Performer: Solomon.
    • AUDITE.
  • César Franck

    Les Eolides

    Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic. Conductor: Jean Fournet.
  • Domenico Scarlatti

    Sonata in A, K211

    Performer: Pierre Hantaï.
    • MIRARE.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in D for 2 violins and strings, RV 512

    Performer: David Oistrakh. Performer: Isaac Stern. Ensemble: Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Eugene Ormandy.
    • SONY.
  • Arnold Bax

    The Princess's Rose Garden

    Performer: Eric Parkin.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Mike Figgis's First Choice

    • Alonso Mudarra

      Fantasia X

      Performer: Julian Bream.
      • RCA.
  • Mike Figgis's Second Choice

    • Frédéric Chopin

      Nocturne in D flat major, Op 27 No 2

      Performer: Solomon.
      • HMV.
  • Mike Figgis's Third Choice

    • Franz Schubert

      'Der Doppelganger', from Schwanengesang, D957

      Performer: Klaus Billing. Singer: Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau.
      • DOCUMENTS.
  • Will Gregory

    Hoe Down

    Ensemble: Ferio Saxophone Quartet.
  • Music on Location: Studio 8H, 30 Rock, New York

    • Claude Debussy

      La Mer

      Orchestra: NBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Arturo Toscanini.
      • SONY.
  • Franz Schubert

    Das Lied im Grunen, D917

    Performer: Gundula Janowitz, soprano. Performer: Charles Spencer, piano.
  • Artist of the Week: Solomon

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Piano Sonata in C, Op.53 ('Waldstein')

      Performer: Solomon.
      • EMI.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Symphony No 1 in C minor, Op 11

    Orchestra: North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Andrew Manze.

Musical Challenge: Mystery Person

The Mystery Person being described was the Lithuanian conductor, Mariss Jansons


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