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Tuesday - Rob Cowan with Michael Morpurgo

Discover definitive recordings of classical music with your trusted guide Rob Cowan. His guest is children's author Michael Morpurgo.

Rob 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? 

Rob's guest this week is the author Michael Morpurgo. Michael is one of the UK's best-loved children's authors, novels such as Private Peaceful, War Horse, and The Butterfly Lion are now classics. He's a former Children's Laureate and a four-time Children's Book Award winner; he received his fourth in June 2017 for An Eagle in the Snow. Many of his novels have been adapted into plays, films, operas and ballets - most famously War Horse - and the themes of war, the countryside and animals have become familiar in Michael's story-telling. As well as discussing his writing, Michael shares his passion for classical music, choosing a selection of his favourite works.

Music on Location: Vienna
This week Rob explores music connected with Vienna. Today Rob tells the story of Mahler's time as director of the Vienna Court Opera, where he conducted Leoncavallo's Pagliacci 137 times.

Double Take
Rob explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two interpretations of a piano miniature by Alexander Scriabin, by Vladimir Sofronitzky and Glenn Gould.

Rob's Proms Artist of the Week is the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Founded in 1888, the orchestra takes its name from its concert hall, the Concertgebouw, which is regarded as one of the world's finest. Despite its near 130-year history, the orchestra has only had eight Chief Conductors: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Eugen Jochum, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, and Daniele Gatti who took over in 2016. Known today as a Royal institution, it wasn't until 1998 that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands conferred the title upon the orchestra. Living up to this title, the orchestra is known for its 'velvet' strings, 'golden' brass sound, and the exceptional timbre of the woodwinds. This Friday (1st September) Daniele Gatti brings the orchestra to the BBC Proms to play music by Bruckner and Wolfgang Rihm. Throughout the week Rob will be featuring the orchestra in recordings made under a number of different conductors: Haydn with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Richard Strauss with Mariss Jansons, Tchaikovsky with Riccardo Chailly, and Diepenbrock and Poulenc with Bernard Haitink.

Symphony No 97 in C major
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • PROMS ARTISTS OF THE WEEK: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Johann Strauss II


      Composer: Josef Strauss. Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
      • Johann Strauss II Waltzes, Polkas and Marches.
      • Apex.
      • 7.
  • Arnold Bax

    5 Greek Folksongs

    Choir: The Carice Singers. Conductor: George Parris.
    • NAXOS.
  • Christian Cannabich

    Sinfonia in A major

    Ensemble: London Mozart Players. Conductor: Matthias Bamert.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Franz Liszt

    The Canticle of the Sun, S499

    Performer: Leslie Howard.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in D major for 4 violins, Op 3 No 1

    Ensemble: Brecon Baroque. Director: Rachel Podger.
    • L'estro Armonico.
    • Channel Classics.
    • 1.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Slavonic Dance in G minor, Op 46 No 8

    Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
    • DG.
  • Michael Morpurgo's first choice

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Piano Sonata in A major, K.331: I. Andante grazioso

      Performer: Mitsuko Uchida.
      • Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas: Mitsuko Uchida.
      • Philips.
      • 1.
  • Michael Morpurgo's second choice

    • Vittorio Monti


      Performer: Maxim Vengerov. Performer: Vag Papian. Ensemble: Virtuosi.
      • Vengerov and Virtuosi.
      • EMI.
      • 15.
  • Michael Morpurgo's third choice

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Symphony No 1 in E flat major: III. Presto

      Performer: Jaap Schröder. Performer: Christopher Hogwood. Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music.
      • L'OISEAU-LYRE.
  • Music on Location: Vienna

    • Ruggero Leoncavallo

      Vesti la giubba (I Pagliacci)

      Singer: Franco Corelli. Orchestra: La Scala Orchestra, Milan. Conductor: Lovro von Matačić.
      • WARNER.
  • DOuble Take

    • Alexander Scriabin

      Desir (Two Pieces, Op 57 No 1)

      Performer: Vladimir Sofronitsky.
    • Alexander Scriabin

      Desir (Two Pieces, Op 57 No 1)

      Performer: Glenn Gould.
      • SONY.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Cantata No 139, 'Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott'

    Singer: Gillian Keith. Singer: Hilary Summers. Singer: William Kendall. Singer: Peter Harvey. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • J.S. Bach, Cantatas Vol 12: Gardiner.
    • Soli Deo Gloria.
    • 6-11.
  • PROMS ARTISTS OF THE WEEK: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Joseph Haydn

      Symphony No.97 in C major 

      Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
      • TELDEC.
  • Karol Szymanowski

    Violin Concerto No 2

    Performer: Tasmin Little. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Gardner.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Polonaise in C sharp minor, Op 26 No 1

    Performer: Ivan Moravec.
    • MMG.

Musical Challenge: Recording Rewind

The piece played in reverse was Dvořák's Slavonic Dance in G minor, Op 46 No 8


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