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Friday - 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 three clues and identify a mystery musical object.

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 featuring Robert Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien, which he began writing whilst in Vienna at carnival time.

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 evening (Ist 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 1 in G minor, 'Winter Daydreams'
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly (conductor).

3 hours

Music Played

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    December (The Seasons)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
  • Proms artists of the week: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Franz Schubert

      Overture in C major D.591 (in the Italian style)

      Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
  • Alessandro Striggio

    Fuggi, spene mia

    Singer: Clare Wilkinson. Ensemble: I Fagiolini. Conductor: Robert Hollingworth.
    • DECCA.
  • Alessandro Striggio


    Singer: Matthew Long. Ensemble: I Fagiolini. Conductor: Robert Hollingworth.
    • DECCA.
  • Samuel Barber

    Adagio for strings

    Orchestra: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Manfred Honeck.
  • Thomas Tallis

    In Nomine a 4 No 1

    Ensemble: Fretwork. Performer: Christopher Wilson.
    • AMON RA.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Midnight on the Great Western (Winter Words)

    Singer: Philip Langridge. Performer: Steuart Bedford.
    • NAXOS.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537

    Orchestrator: Edward Elgar. Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor: Esa‐Pekka Salonen.
    • Bach: Transcriptions.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 3.
  • John Adams

    Short Ride in a Fast Machine

    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Marin Alsop.
    • Adams: The Shaker Loops/The Wound Dresser: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Alsop.
    • Naxos.
    • 1.
  • Erik Satie

    Le Yachting (Sports et divertissements)

    Performer: Anne Queffélec.
    • Satie: Gymnopedies, Gnossiennes & Sports et Divertissements: Anne Queffelec.
    • Virgin Classics.
  • Michael Morpurgo's choice

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Sonata in G Minor for solo violin, BWV1001

      Performer: Nathan Milstein.
      • DG.
  • Rob's choice for Michael Morpurgo

    • Gabriel Pierné

      Marche des petits soldats de plomb

      Orchestra: Paris Conservatoire Concert Society Orchestra. Conductor: René Leibowitz.
  • Music on Location: Vienna

    • Robert Schumann

      Carnival in Vienna, Op 26 

      Performer: Arturo Michelangeli.
      • MEMBRAN.
  • Anonymous

    Al alva venid buen amigo

    Performer: Catherine Bott. Performer: David Miller.
  • Proms artists of the week: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

      Symphony No 1 in G minor, 'Winter Daydreams' 

      Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
      • RCO LIVE.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Concerto in D major for strings, 'Basle Concerto'

    Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Igor Stravinsky.
    • SONY.

Musical Challenge: Mystery Object

The mystery object was a wood block


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