Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Andrew McGregor with Mahan Esfahani and Suzanne Aspden

Andrew McGregor focuses on Cesar Franck's Symphony in D minor with Mahan Esfahani for Building a Library, and Suzanne Aspden rounds up recent recordings of baroque stage works.

with Andrew McGregor.

Building a Library: Mahan Esfahani recommends a recording of César Franck's Symphony in D minor.

Today, a new recording of Franck's only symphony is a rare event and it has all but disappeared from the concert hall. But with its satisfying cyclic form and impressive fusion of French and German musical traditions it was once a work that every self-respecting maestro had in his repertoire and which generated an impressive recorded legacy, a veritable Who's Who of the great conductors of the last century. There have been signs, though, of a renewed interest in it among some of today's conductors, represented by a handful of more recent recordings.

Suzanne Aspden rounds up some recent recordings of Baroque stage works including Purcell's The Fairy Queen, Rameau's Pygmalion and Handel's Lucio Cornelio Silla.

Andrew chooses an outstanding new release as his Disc of the Week.

3 hours, 12 minutes

Music Played

  • Igor Stravinsky

    Petrushka - Opening

    Performer: Peter Hill. Performer: Benjamin Frith.
    • Russian Works for Piano Four Hands.
    • Delphian.
    • 30.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Violin Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002 nos. 4 & 5

    Performer: Christian Tetzlaff.
    • J.S. Bach - Sonatas & Partitas.
    • Ondine.
    • 8.
  • Traditional

    De peña en peña las ondas

    Conductor: Tiago Simas Freire. Ensemble: Capella Sanctæ Crucis.
    • Capella Sanctæ Crucis: Zuguambé - harmonia nova #3.
    • harmonia mundi.
    • 6.
  • Henry Purcell

    Sound the trumpet, beat the drum

    Ensemble: The Sixteen. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
    • Royal Welcome Songs.
    • Coro.
    • 17.
  • Henry Purcell

    Sound the Trumpet/Lost is my Quiet

    Performer: Joseph Middleton. Singer: Carolyn Sampson. Singer: Iestyn Davies.
    • Lost is My Quiet - Duets and Solo Songs.
    • BIS.
    • 1.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Ich Woltt', Meine Lieb' Ergosse Sich, Op.63 No.1

    Performer: Joseph Middleton. Singer: Carolyn Sampson. Singer: Iestyn Davies.
    • Lost is My Quiet - Duets and Solo Songs.
    • BIS.
    • 7.
  • Michael Nyman

    Full Fathom Five/Prepare to Die

    Composer: Nathaniel Patrick. Ensemble: Ensemble Celadon. Singer: Paulin Bundgen. Director: Paulin Bundgen.
    • No Time in Eternity.
    • Aeon.
    • 1.
  • Christopher Tye

    In nomine 'Cry' & Sit fast (prima et secunda pars)

    Ensemble: Phantasm.
    • Christopher Tye: Complete Consort Music.
    • Linn Records.
    • 12.
  • Henry Purcell

    A Dance for the followers of night

    Ensemble: Les Nouveaux Caracteres. Director: Sébastien d'Hérin.
    • The Fairy Queen.
    • Glossa.
    • 19.
  • Henry Purcell

    Song (Spring): "Thus the ever Grateful Spring"

    Singer: Caroline Mutel. Ensemble: Les Nouveaux Caracteres. Director: Sébastien d'Hérin.
    • The Fairy Queen.
    • Glossa.
    • 7.
  • Henry Purcell

    Song (A Chinese Man): "Thus the gloomy World" & (A Chinese Woman): "Thus Happy and Free"

    Performer: Emmanuel Mure. Singer: Samuel Boden. Ensemble: Les Nouveaux Caracteres. Director: Sébastien d'Hérin. Singer: Hjördis Thébault.
    • The Fairy Queen.
    • Glossa.
    • 16.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Silla - Lepido's 'Se ben tuona il ciel irato'

    Singer: Vivica Genaux. Ensemble: Europa Galante. Director: Fabio Biondi.
    • Handel - Silla.
    • Glossa.
    • 8.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Silla's 'Dolce nume de'mortali', Il Dio's 'Guerra, stagi e furor!'

    Singer: Sonia Prina. Singer: Luca Tittoto. Ensemble: Europa Galante. Director: Fabio Biondi.
    • Handel - Silla.
    • Glossa.
    • 20.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Silla - 'Ti lascio, idolo mio'

    Singer: Sonia Prina. Singer: Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli. Ensemble: Europa Galante. Director: Fabio Biondi.
    • Handel - Silla.
    • Glossa.
    • 7.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Pygmalion's 'Fatal Amour'

    Singer: Cyrille Dubois. Orchestra: Les Talens Lyriques. Conductor: Christophe Rousset.
    • Pygmalion.
    • Aparte Music.
    • 2.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Pygmalion 'Quel prodige? Quel dieu?'

    Singer: Cyrille Dubois. Singer: Céline Scheen. Orchestra: Les Talens Lyriques. Director: Christophe Rousset.
    • Pygmalion.
    • Aparte Music.
    • 6.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Pygmalion - Air gracieux & Contredanse

    Orchestra: Les Talens Lyriques. Director: Christophe Rousset.
    • Pygmalion.
    • Aparte Music.
    • 19.
  • Richard Strauss

    Also sprach Zarathustra Op.30

    Orchestra: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski.
    • Strauss/Mahler.
    • Pentatone.
    • 1.

Record Review



Russian Works for Piano Four Hands

RACHMANINOV: Morceaux (6) Op. 11

STRAVINSKY: Petrushka (for four hands piano)

TCHAIKOVSKY: 50 Russian Folk Songs: excerpts

Peter Hill, Benjamin Frith (piano duet)




J.S. Bach - Sonatas & Partitas

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH:  Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV1001; Violin Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002; Violin Sonata No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003; Violin Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004; Violin Sonata No.3 in C major, BWV 1005; Violin Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006.

Christian Tetzlaff (violin)

Ondine: ODE 1299-2D (2 CDs)



Zuguambe –Music for Liturgy from the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra c.1650 – Harmonia Nova #3

Invacatio; In nativitate domini; Intermedium primum; In festo Corporis Christi; Intermedium secundum; In Nativitate Domini; Intermedium tertium; In Ascensio Domini festis; Dimissio.

Capella Sanctae Crucis, Tiago Simas Freire

Harmonia mundi HMM 916107  (CD)


9.30am – Building a Library


Building a Library: a weekly look at a piece of music, a comparison of the available recordings, and a recommendation.


Composer: César Franck

Piece: Symphony in D minor M.48

Reviewer: Mahan Esfahani



Recommended recording:


Orchestre de Paris, Semyon Bychkov (conductor)

Philips 4320962 (download)

Decca 4826331 (51 CDs – The Art of Semyon Bychkov)





Also recommended:


Orchestre National de France, Leonard Bernstein (conductor)

Deutsche Grammophon 4786971 (CD)



Historical choice:


Concertgebouw Orchestra, Willem Mengelberg (conductor)

Decca 4807636 (15 CDs Willem Mengelberg: The Concertgebouw Recordings)







1017 – New Releases



Purcell: Royal Welcome Songs for King James II

H.PURCELL: Chacony in G minor - for Two Violins, Viola and Bass Z730; When on my sick bed I languish, Z144; True Englishmen drink a good health (Catch No. 45), Z284; Ye tuneful Muses (Welcome Song for James II, 1686); A New Irish Tune Z646; God is gone up with a merry noise (Canon a 7), Z107; A New Scotch Tune Z 655; Save me, O God, Z51; Sound the trumpet, beat the drum, Z335

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (conductor)

CORO COR16151 (CD)


Lost Is My Quiet

MENDELSSOHN: Ich wollt' meine Lieb' ergosse sich Op. 63. No. 1; Gruss Op. 63 No. 3; Volkslied Op. 63 No. 5; Maiglockchen und die Blumelein Op. 63 No. 6; Scheidend Op. 9 No. 6; Neue Liebe Op. 19a No. 4; Duets (3) Op. 77

H.PURCELL: Sound the trumpet, beat the drum, Z335; Lost is my quiet for ever, Z502; If music be the food of love, third version, Z379C; Music for a while, Z583; No, resistance is but vain (from The Maid's Last Prayer or Any Rather Than Fail, Z601); Oroonoko: Celemene, pray tell me, Z584

QUILTER: It was a lover and his lass; Weep ye no more, sad fountains; Music, when soft voices die Op. 25 No. 5 (Shelley); Drink to me only; Love's Philosophy Op. 3 No. 1 (Shelley); Love calls through the summer night

SCHUMANN: Drei Duette Op. 43; Nachtlied Op. 96 No. 1; Stille Liebe Op. 35 No. 8; Der Einsiedler Op. 83 No. 3; Auftrage Op. 77 No. 5; So wahr die Sonne scheinet Op. 37, No. 12

Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Joseph Middleton (piano)

BIS BIS2279 (Hybrid SACD)




NYMAN: No Time in Eternity

NYMAN: Full fathom five; While you here do snoring lie; Where the bee sucks; Come and Go; No Time in Eternity; Come unto these yellow sands; Self-Laudatory hymn of Inanna.

PATRICK: Prepare to die; Send forth thy sighs.

BENNET: Eliza, her name gives honour.

TYE: Sit Fast; In nomine (Crye).

BYRD: Ye sacred muses, race of Jove.

ANONYME: In Paradise.

PICFORTH: In Nomine.

FARRANT: O Jove, from stately throne.

Ensemble Celadon, Paulin Bundgen (countertenor & director)




Christopher Tye: Complete Consort Music

TYE: In nomine a 4; In nomine a 5 'Trust'; Rachell's weepinge; Dum transisset sabbatum; Laudes Deo; In nomine 'Free for all'; In Nomine ‘Rounde’; In nomine 'Weep no more Rachel'; In Nomine ‘Saye so’; In nomine 'Follow me'; Christus resurgens; In nomine a 5 'Crye'; Rubum quem; In nomine 'Hold fast'; Seldom sene; In Nomine ‘Re la re’; Dum transisset sabbatum III; Sit fast; In Nomine ‘Surrexit non hic'; In Nomine ‘Beleeve me’; In Nomine ‘Report'; In nomine a 5; In Nomine ‘I come'; Dum transisset sabbatum II; O lux beata trinitas; In Nomine ‘My Death Bed'; In nomine a 5 blamles; In nomine Xl Farwell my good one, for ever; Dum transisset sabbatum IV; Amavit eum Dominus; In nomine a 6




1055  - Susanne Aspden on Baroque Opera


PURCELL: The Fairy Queen, Z629

Caroline Mutel (soprano), Guillaume Andrieux (baritone), Kevin Greenlaw (baritone), Virginie Pochon (soprano), Caitlin Hulcup (mezzo-soprano), Samuel Boden (tenor), Christophe Baska (counter-tenor), Julien Picard (tenor), Ronan Nedelec (bass), Anders J. Dahlin (tenor), Frederic Caton (bass), Hjordis Thebault (soprano), Les Nouveaux Caracteres, Sebastien d'Herin

GLOSSA GCD922702 (2CD)



HANDEL: Lucio Cornelio Silla, HWV10

Sonia Prina (Silla), Martina Belli (Claudio), Sunhae Im (Metella), Vivica Genaux (Lepido), Roberta Invernizzi (Flavia), Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (Celia), Luca Tittoto (Il Dio), Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi (conductor)

GLOSSA GCD923408 (2CD)



Rameau: Pygmalion

RAMEAU: Pygmalion; Les Fetes de Polymnie: Suite

Cyrille Dubois (Pygmalion), Marie-Claude Chappuis (Cephise), Celine Scheen (La Statue), Eugenie Warnier (L’Amour), Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset (conductor)




1140 – Disc of the Week


STRAUS: Also sprach Zarathustra Op.30

MAHLER: Totenfeier; Sinfonisches Praludium fur Orchester

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Rainer Wolters (concertmaster), Tobias Berndt (organ), Vladimir Jurowski (conductor).

PENTATONE PTC 5186 597 (Hybrid SACD)


  • Sat 23 Sep 2017 09:00

Browse previous episodes of the Record Review Podcast

Browse previous episodes of the Record Review Podcast

All episodes since 2010, listed alphabetically by composer surname.

Why the music we love as teens stays with us for life

Why the music we love as teens stays with us for life

Cognitive neuropyschology can explain why we return to old favourites again and again.