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Rachel Portman and The Duchess

Donald Macleod in conversation with Rachel Portman discusses The Duchess which has been included in the A-level music syllabus.

Donald Macleod in conversation with Rachel Portman discusses The Duchess which has been included in the A-level music syllabus

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

In conversation with Donald Macleod, the composer Rachel Portman reveals how films can take over your life when you work on them. Specifically how a dark and traumatic film may impact upon her, to working on a lighter film such as Chocolat, and how during the process of composing for this film she kept on eating and craving chocolate. Portman also talks about her environmental concerns, and working with the poet Owen Sheers on the ecological music drama The Water Diviner's Tale. In recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been included on the A-level music syllabus, and Portman discusses how she thinks this came about.

The Battle of Watermelons (The Emperor's New Clothes)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

The Little Prince (Act II: The Fox; The Taming; Here's my Secret; If We Don't Find a Well; The Walk to the Well)
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Pilot), baritone
Joseph McManners (The Little Prince), boy soprano
Lesley Garrett (Fox), soprano
Vocal Ensemble
Children's Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell, conductor

Oliver Twist (excerpts)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Thea Musgrave
I am my mammy's ae bairn; Ca' the yowes to the knowes (Songs for a Winter's Evening)
Lisa Milne, soprano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor

Portman
The Water Diviner's Tale (excerpt)
Nonso Anozie, narrator
Helen Williams, soprano
Frances Bourne, mezzo-soprano
Robert Burt, tenor
Riccardo Simonetti, baritone
Paul Reeves, bass
Hertfordshire Country Youth Choir
Berkshire Youth Choir
Bromley Youth Choir
Chantage
Taplow Youth Chorus
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Water Children
David Charles Abell, conductor
BBC Concert Orchestra

The Duchess (excerpts)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Rachel Portman

    The Battle of Watermelons (The Emperor's New Clothes)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Emperor's New Clothes Soundtrack.
    • CUBE FLYCUB.
    • 3.
  • Rachel Portman

    The Little Prince, Act II (excerpts)

    Singer: Teddy Tahu Rhodes. Singer: Joseph McManners. Singer: Lesley Garrett. Ensemble: Vocal Ensemble. Choir: Children'S Chorus. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Conductor: David Charles Abell.
    • The Little Prince Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 4.
  • Rachel Portman

    The Escape from Fagin (Oliver Twist)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • Oliver Twist Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 10.
  • Rachel Portman

    Nancy's Secret Journey (Oliver Twist)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • Oliver Twist Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 14.
  • Rachel Portman

    Newgate Prison (Oliver Twist)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • Oliver Twist Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 18.
  • Thea Musgrave

    I am my mammy's ae bairn (Songs for a Winter's Evening)

    Singer: Lisa Milne. Orchestra: BBC Scottish S O. Conductor: Osmo Vänskä.
    • Turbulent Landscapes.
    • NMC.
    • 10.
  • Thea Musgrave

    Ca' the yowes to the knowes (Songs for a Winter's Evening)

    Singer: Lisa Milne. Orchestra: BBC Scottish S O. Conductor: Osmo Vänskä.
    • Turbulent Landscapes.
    • NMC.
    • 7.
  • Rachel Portman

    We Could Serve Up Our Coffee - Song of Industry (The Water Diviner's Tale)

    Narrator: Nonso Anozie. Singer: Helen Williams. Singer: Frances Bourne. Singer: Robert Burt. Singer: Riccardo Simonetti. Singer: Paul Reeves. Choir: Hertfordshire County Youth Choir. Choir: Berkshire Youth Choir. Choir: Bromley Youth Choirs. Choir: Chantage. Choir: Taplow Youth Chorus. Choir: National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Choir: Water Children. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Conductor: David Charles Abell.
  • Rachel Portman

    Mistake of your life (The Duchess)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Duchess Soundtrack.
    • Lakeshore.
    • 2.
  • Rachel Portman

    Awakening (The Duchess)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Duchess Soundtrack.
    • Lakeshore.
    • 8.
  • Rachel Portman

    Gee is taken to the country (The Duchess)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Duchess Soundtrack.
    • Lakeshore.
    • 17.
  • Rachel Portman

    End Titles (The Duchess)

    Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Duchess Soundtrack.
    • Lakeshore.
    • 18.

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