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Thursday - Sarah Walker with Wasfi Kani

With Sarah Walker. Including Music on Location: Elgar's Cockaigne Overture; Artist of the Week: Edward Gardner, featured conducting Lutoslawski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables.

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: can you work out which two composers are associated with a particular piece?

Sarah's guest this week is the opera impresario Wasfi Kani. Wasfi is one of the UK's leading opera organisers and fundraisers, and the founder of Pimlico Opera and Grange Park Opera. After studying music at the University of Oxford she worked as a computer programmer in the City, before realising she wanted to return to music. She founded Pimlico Opera with the aim of using music and drama for the public good, and it was one of the first opera companies to specialise in performing in unusual places, such as hospitals, banks and prisons. Grange Park Opera has become one of the UK's most successful summer opera companies and is currently enjoying its first season at a brand-new theatre in Surrey. As a pianist, violinist and conductor, much of the music that Wasfi has chosen for the week is music that she's played herself, including music by Schubert, Richard Strauss and Mozart.

Music on Location: London
Sarah explores Elgar's Cockaigne Overture, a portrait of the city at the turn of the 20th century. Elgar himself described it as 'stout and steaky'.

Double Take
Sarah explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two recordings of a Scherzo for cello and piano by Debussy, with cellists Jean-Guihen Queyras and Steven Isserlis.

Sarah's featured artist is one of Britain's most celebrated living conductors, Edward Gardner. Gardner is currently Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, but has spent much of his career in the opera house. From 2007-2015 he was Music Director at English National Opera and during this time he won the RPS Conductor of the Year Award and an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. His big breakthrough came when he stood in at short notice for a répétiteur at the Salzburg Festival, and from there he went on to be Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He regularly works with the National Youth Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBCSO) with whom he led the Last Night of the Proms in 2011. Sarah's chosen four of Gardner's recordings with the BBCSO: recordings of Walton's Symphony No.1, Szymanowski's Symphony No. 4 'Symphonie Concertante' (with pianist Louis Lortie), Britten's Violin Concerto with Tasmin Little, and Lutosławski's song cycle Chantefleurs et Chantefables with soprano Lucy Crowe. She's also chosen his recording of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder (Part III) with an array of musicians drawn from Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Chantefleurs et Chantefables
Lucy Crowe (soprano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Reinhard Keiser

    Croesus: Overture

    Conductor: René Jacobs. Orchestra: Academy for Ancient Music Berlin.
    • Keiser: Croesus: Rene Jacobs.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Claude Debussy

    Two Arabesques for piano

    Performer: Simon Trpceski.
    • Debussy: Images/Children's Corner etc: Simon Trpceski.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 1.
  • Kerry Andrew

    Archbishop Parker's Psalm 150

    Choir: ORA. Director: Suzi Digby.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    English Folk Song Suite

    Ensemble: Central Band of the Royal Air Force. Conductor: Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Richard Strauss

    Das Rosenband, Op.36 No.1

    Singer: Christine Schäfer. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
    • Mozart/Strauss: Arias: Christine Schafer/Berliner Philharmoniker/Abbado.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 8.
  • Jean Françaix

    Quartet for cor anglais, violin, viola and cello

    Ensemble: Britten Oboe Quartet.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Sleeping Beauty: Panorama; Valse

    Performer: Mari Kodama. Performer: Momo Kodama.
  • Wasfi Kani's choice

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Symphony No.3 in E flat major, 'Eroica': I. Allegro con brio

      Orchestra: West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. Conductor: Daniel Barenboim.
      • DECCA.
  • George Frideric Handel

    As steals the morn (L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato)

    Singer: Lucy Crowe. Singer: Mark Padmore. Ensemble: The English Concert. Conductor: Andrew Manze.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Music on Location: London

    • Edward Elgar

      Cockaigne Overture

      Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
      • EMI.
  • Double Take

    • Claude Debussy

      Nocturne and Scherzo: Scherzo

      Performer: Jean‐Guihen Queyras. Performer: Alexandre Tharaud.
    • Claude Debussy

      Nocturne and Scherzo: Scherzo

      Performer: Steven Isserlis. Performer: Thomas Adès.
      • RCA.
  • Heinrich Isaac


    Ensemble: Fretwork.

    • Witold Lutosławski

      Chantefleurs et Chantefables

      Singer: Lucy Crowe. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Gardner.
      • CHANDOS.
  • Robert Schumann

    Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op 44

    Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes. Ensemble: Artemis Quartet.
  • Jonathan Dove

    Into thy hands

    Choir: Gabrieli Consort. Conductor: Paul McCreesh.
    • SIGNUM.

Musical Challenge: By Association

The 2 composers we heard were Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov - music form Tchaikovsky’s ballet the Sleeping beauty, transcribed for piano duet by Rachmaninov.


Time Travellers: the podcast

Time Travellers: the podcast

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