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Wednesday - 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 today's musical challenge: listen to the music and name the two composers associated with it.

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 focusing on Beethoven's first piano sonata, which was published a few years after he moved there.

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.

Die Nacht
Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Anthony Holborne

    Muy linda

    Ensemble: Barokksolistene. Director: Bjarte Eike.
    • BIS.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    The Magic Flute: Overture

    Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
    • EMI.
  • Leos Janáček

    Mladi (Youth Suite)

    Performer: Philippa Davies. Performer: Gareth Hulse. Performer: Michael Collins. Performer: Richard Watkins. Performer: Robin O'Neill. Performer: Peter Sparks. Ensemble: London Winds.
    • CHANDOS.
  • John Tavener

    Diodia for String Quartet: Solemn

    Ensemble: RTE Vanbrugh String Quartet.
    • NAXOS.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Royal Hunt and Storm (The Trojans)

    Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Paul Paray.
    • MERCURY.
  • Robert Schumann

    Carnaval: XII. Chopin

    Performer: Jorge Bolet.
    • DECCA.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op 48 No 2

    Performer: Maurizio Pollini.
    • DG.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Morceau de lecture

    Performer: Isabelle Faust. Performer: Florent Boffard.
    • Faure: Violin sonatas: Isabelle Faust/Florent Boffard.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Michael Morpurgo's first choice

    • Henry Wood

      Fantasia on British Sea Songs

      Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Conductor: Barry Wordsworth.
      • Philips.
  • Michael Morpurgo's second choice

    • Orlando Gibbons

      The Silver Swan

      Choir: Deller Consort. Director: Alfred Deller.
      • ARCHIV.
  • Antonio Caldara

    Sedecia: "Profezie, di me diceste"

    Singer: Cecilia Bartoli. Ensemble: Il Giardino Armonico. Conductor: Giovanni Antonini.
    • Sacrificium.
    • Decca.
    • 2.
  • Music on Location: Vienna

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Piano Sonata in F minor, Op.2 No.1 

      Performer: Richard Goode.
      • NONESUCH.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Symphony in E major, Wq 182 No 6

    Ensemble: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • Archiv.
  • PROMS ARTISTS OF THE WEEK: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Alphons Diepenbrock

      Die Nacht 

      Singer: Janet Baker. Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
      • Q DISC.
    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595

      Performer: Clifford Curzon. Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
      • Q DISC.
  • Henryk Mikolaj Górecki

    Totus tuus sum, Maria, Op 60

    Choir: Choir of New College Oxford. Conductor: Edward Higginbottom.
    • Agnus Dei: Choir of New College, Oxford/Higginbottom.
    • Erato.

Musical Challenge: By Association

The two composers were Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin. The music was Schumann's musical portrait of Chopin from his piano work Carnaval.


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