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Andrew McGregor with Flora Willson and William Mival

Building a Library on Verdi's opera Force of Destiny and William Mival reviews new releases of Sibelius, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.

with Andrew McGregor.

Building a Library: Flora Willson listens to and compares recordings of Verdi's opera La forza del destino

La forza del destino, or The Force of Destiny, is an opera written and conceived on the grandest scale. An accidental death in the first scene ignites a drama of retribution in which the heroine, Leonora and her lover, Don Alvaro, are stalked by Leonora's vengeful brother Don Carlo. This dark tale is offset by lively scenes of daily life in military encampments and monastic orders than in many ways anticipates the great epic tableaux of Russian opera.

Andrew talks to William Mival about new releases of symphonies by Sibelius, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

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

3 hours, 13 minutes

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.67 in F major, Hob. I:67: I. Presto

    Orchestra: Kammerorchester Basel. Conductor: Giovanni Antonini.
    • Alpha.
  • Marin Marais

    Couplets de Folies

    Performer: Lucie Horsch. Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music.
    • Decca.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Peter and the Wolf: I. Full of devilment

    Music Arranger: Tommy Smith. Orchestra: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Narrator: Tam Dean Burn. Conductor: Tommy Smith.
    • Spartacus Records.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.40: III. Finale. Presto scherzando

    Performer: Jan Lisiecki. Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
  • Franz Schubert

    Symphony No. 5 in B flat D485 i. Allegro

    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Gardner.
    • Chandos.
  • Bernd Alois Zimmermann

    Violin Concerto: I. Sonata

    Performer: Leila Josefowicz. Orchestra: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Hannu Lintu.
    • Ondine.
  • Marchetto Cara

    Ostinato vo' seguire

    Singer: Marco Beasley. Ensemble: Accordone. Director: Guido Morini.
    • Cypres.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony No.40 in G minor, K550: I. Molto Allegro

    Orchestra: NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Andrew Manze.
  • Francesco Cavalli


    Ensemble: Galilei Consort. Director: Benjamin Chénier.
    • Chateau de Versailles.
  • Francesco Cavalli

    Kyrie (Grand Venetian Mass for Franco-Spanish Peace)

    Ensemble: Galilei Consort. Director: Benjamin Chénier.
    • Chateau de Versailles.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Keyboard Sonata in C Minor, Hob.XVI:20

    Performer: Kristian Bezuidenhout.
    • Haydn: Piano Sonatas.
    • harmonia mundi.
    • 1.

Record Review


‘Haydn 2032, Vol.7: Gli Impresari’ – Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 9, 65 & 67; Mozart: Thamos, King of Egypt
Kammerorchester Basel
Giovanni Antonini (conductor)
Alpha 680

‘Baroque Journey’ – Music for recorders by Handel, Bach, Sammartini, Marais, Couperin, Purcell etc.
Lucie Horsch (recorders)
Charlotte Barbour-Condini (recorder)
Thomas Dunford (lute)
Academy of Ancient Music (ensemble)
Decca 483 4722

Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf (Arr. for jazz orchestra by Tommy Smith, text adapted by Liz Lochhead)
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra
Tommy Smith (conductor)
Tam Dean Burn (narrator)
Spartacus Records STS027

Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Variations sérieuses & Rondo capriccioso
Jan Lisiecki (piano)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon 483 6471

9.30am – Building a Library – Flora Willson on Verdi’s La Forza del Destino

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi

Reviewer: Flora Willson

Recommended Recording:

Donna Leonora           Leontyne Price (soprano)
Don Alvaro                 Richard Tucker (tenor)
Don Carlo                   Robert Merrill (baritone)
Preziosilla                    Shirley Verrett (mezzo-soprano)
Padre Guardiano         Giorgio Tozzi (bass)
RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Thomas Schippers (conductor)
Sony G010003563730H(Digital download)
Recorded 1964

Other Recommended Recordings:


Donna Leonora           Anja Harteros (soprano)
Don Alvaro                 Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Don Carlo                   Ludovic Tézier (baritone)
Preziosilla                    Nadia Krasteva (mezzo-soprano)
Padre Guardiano         Vitalij Kowaljow (bass)
Bayerischen Staatsoper Chorus & Orchestra
Asher Fisch (conductor)
Directed by Martin Kusej
Sony 88875160649 (2 DVDs)

10.20am – New Releases


Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 3, 5 & 8 ‘Unfinished’
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor)
Chandos CHSA 5234 (Hybrid SACD)

Zimmermann: Violin Concerto, Photoptosis & Vocal Symphony for 6 singers ‘Die Soldaten’
Leila Josefowicz (violin)
Anu Komsi (soprano)
Jeni packalen (alto)
Hilary Summers (contralto)
Peter Tantsits (tenor)
Ville Rusanen (baritone)
Juha Uusitalo (bass-baritone)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu (conductor)
Ondine ODE 1325-2

‘Inamorato: Trilogia Italiana’ – Italian vocal music from the Renaissance to the 18th Century including works by Marco Cara, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi etc.
Marco Beasley (vocalist)
Accordone (ensemble)
Guido Morini (conductor)
Cypres CYP9620 (3 CDs)

Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 40 & 41 ‘Jupiter’
NDR Radiophilharmonie
Andrew Manze (conductor)
Pentatone PTC 5186 757 (Hybrid SACD)

Cavalli: Missa 1660
Galilei Consort (ensemble)
Benjamin Chénier (director)
Chateau de Versailles CVS006

10.50am – William Mival on orchestral new releases

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 & Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
London Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)
LSO 0810 (Hybrid SACD)

Shostakovich: Symphony No.5 & Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin
James Platt (bass)
Mark Elder (conductor)
Hallé CD HLL 7550

Sibelius: Complete Symphonies 1-7
Orchestre de Paris
Paavo Järvi (conductor)
RCA 19075924512 (3 CDs)

11.45am – Disc of the Week

Haydn: Keyboard Sonatas Nos. 20 & 48, Partita in G major Hob.XVI:6, Variations Hob.XVII:6 & Variations on the theme ‘Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser’
Kristian Bezuidenhout (Fortepiano: McNulty copy of A.Walter & Sohn, Vienna 1805)
Harmonia Mundi HMM 902273!/albums/2493 


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