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Thursday - 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: two pieces of music are played together - can you identify them?

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 pays homage to the city's great waltz tradition and 'Waltz King', Johann Strauss II.

Double Take
Rob explores the nature of performance by highlighting the differences in style between two interpretations of a song by Granados arranged for the guitar, played by Julian Bream and Andrés Segovia.

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. Tomorrow (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.

Les Biches: Suite
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • John Dowland

    Fantasia in G major

    Performer: Sean Shibe.
    • DELPHIAN .
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Introduction et Polonaise brillante, Op 3

    Performer: Truls Mørk. Performer: Kathryn Stott.
    • VIRGIN.
  • Nicolaus Bruhns

    Prelude in E minor 'The Larger'

    Performer: Ton Koopman.
  • Leos Janáček


    Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Gardner.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Traditional

    Jesus din søte forening å smake

    Music Arranger: Knut Nystedt. Choir: Norwegian Soloists' Choir. Conductor: Grete Pedersen.
    • BIS.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Horn Concerto No 4 in E flat major, K 495

    Performer: Roger Montgomery. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Director: Margaret Faultless.
    • Signum.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Intermezzo in B minor, Op 119 No 1

    Performer: Nicholas Angelich.
    • ERATO.
  • Michael Morpurgo's first choice

    • George Frideric Handel

      'Lascia ch'io pianga' (Rinaldo, Act 2)

      Singer: Marilyn Horne. Ensemble: I Solisti Veneti. Conductor: Claudio Scimone.
      • ERATO.
  • Michael Morpurgo's second choice

    • George Frideric Handel

      'Where e'er you walk' (Semele, Act 2)

      Singer: Kenneth McKellar. Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Adrian Boult.
      • BELART.
  • Michael Morpurgo's third choice

    • Henry Purcell

      Fairest isle (King Arthur)

      Singer: Véronique Gens. Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
      • Erato.
  • Fritz Kreisler

    Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani

    Performer: Midori. Performer: Robert McDonald.
    • SONY.
  • Music on Location: Vienna

    • Johann Strauss II

      Tales from the Vienna Woods

      Orchestra: Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester. Conductor: Willi Boskovsky.
      • EMI.
  • Double Take

    • Enrique Granados

      La Maja de Goya (12 Tonadillas en estilo antiguo) 

      Music Arranger: Miguel Llobet Solés. Performer: Julian Bream.
      • RCA.
    • Enrique Granados

      La Maja de Goya (12 Tonadillas en estilo antiguo) 

      Performer: Andrés Segovia. Music Arranger: Miguel Llobet Solés.
      • DG.
  • Johann David Heinichen

    Pastorale in A major

    Ensemble: Musica Antiqua Köln. Conductor: Reinhard Goebel.
    • Concerti "per l'orchestra di Dresda": Musica Antiqua Koln.
    • Archiv Produktion.
    • 16.
  • Proms Artists of the Week: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Francis Poulenc

      Les Biches Suite  

      Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
      • Q DISC.
  • Herbert Howells

    Take him, earth, for cherishing

    Choir: Tenebrae. Conductor: Nigel Short.
    • SIGNUM.
  • Claude Debussy

    String Quartet in G minor, Op 10

    Ensemble: Quatuor Ébène.
    • Virgin.

Musical Challenge: Imperfect Harmony

The two pieces were Herbert Howells's motet 'Take him, earth, for cherishing' & Brahms's Intermezzo in B minor, Op 119 No 1


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