Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Andrew McGregor with Ivan Hewett, Kirsten Gibson and Kate Kennedy

Building a Library: Ivan Hewett on Shostakovich's Piano Quintet, and Kirsten Gibson and Kate Kennedy reflect on how recordings have documented changing performance styles.

Live from Sage Gateshead with Andrew McGregor

Building a Library: Ivan Hewett picks a personal favourite from among the recordings of Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57.

Shostakovich hoped the clear, tunefully muscular style of his 1940 Piano Quintet would mark another step on the way to rehabilitation with the Soviet authorities. But Shostakovich himself couldn't have predicted the enormous popular and critical success of the work. The bitterest and sweetest icing on the cake came the following year when the Quintet won the Stalin Prize (Category One).

Kirsten Gibson and Kate Kennedy reflect on how recordings have documented ever-changing fashions in performance styles. Does what was considered a moving performance in the past still communicate to us now, or does it just sound ridiculous and weird?

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

3 hours, 12 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No.8 in F, Op.93: III. Tempo di Menuetto

    Orchestra: Wiener Symphoniker. Conductor: Philippe Jordan.
    • Wiener Symphoniker.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Lagrime mie

    Singer: Emőke Baráth. Ensemble: Il Pomo d’Oro. Conductor: Francesco Corti.
    • Erato.
  • Robert Schumann

    Album for the Young, Op. 68 'For Adults' Nos.35 & 39: Mignon and Wintertime II

    Music Arranger: Anssi Karttunen. Ensemble: Zebra Trio.
    • R. Schumann: Album for the Young, Op. 68 (Arr. A. Karttunen for String Trio).
    • Toccata Classics.
    • 35, 39.
  • Kinan Azmeh

    Suite for Improvisor and Orchestra: III. Wedding

    Performer: Kinan Azmeh. Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Conductor: Manuel Nawri.
    • Dreyer Gaido.
  • John Taverner

    Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas: Agnus Dei

    Choir: Queen's College Choir, Oxford. Ensemble: Contrapunctus. Conductor: Owen Rees.
    • Gloria Tibi Trinitas.
    • Signum Classics.
    • 6.
  • Manuel de Falla

    La Vida Breve (End of Act 1)

    Singer: Nancy Fabiola Herrera. Singer: Aquiles Machado. Singer: Cristina Faus. Singer: José Antonio López. Choir: RTVE Symphony Chorus. Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Juanjo Mena.
    • Chandos.
  • Henry Purcell

    Oedipus, King of Thebes, Z. 583: Music for a while (arr. R. Boothby)

    Composer: Richard Boothby. Singer: Iestyn Davies. Ensemble: Fretwork.
    • If: Michael Nyman, Henry Purcell.
    • Signum Classics.
    • 11.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No.7 in E minor: III. Scherzo

    Orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra. Conductor: Iván Fischer.
    • Channel Classics.
  • Edward Elgar

    Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85: I. Adagio - Moderato

    Performer: Beatrice Harrison. Orchestra: New Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Edward Elgar.
    • The Elgar Edition: The Complete Electrical Recordings of Sir Edward Elgar..
    • Warner Classics.
    • 9.
  • Edward Elgar

    Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: I. Adagio - Moderato

    Performer: Jacqueline du Pré. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Barbirolli.
    • Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures.
    • Warner Classics.
    • 2.
  • Thomas Morley

    It was a lover and his lass

    Performer: Julian Bream. Singer: Peter Pears.
    • DECCA.
  • Thomas Morley

    Consort Lessons, Book 1: La Coranta

    Ensemble: The Morley Consort. Director: David Munrow.
    • David Munrow.
    • Testament.
    • 21.
  • John Dowland

    Say love if ever thou didst find

    Performer: Anthony Rooley. Singer: Emma Kirkby.
    • Bis.
  • Ivor Gurney

    On the Idle Hill of Summer (Ludlow and Teme) Daniels

    Performer: Michael Dussek. Singer: Charles Daniels. Ensemble: Bridge String Quartet.
    • EM Records.
  • Ivor Gurney

    On the Idle Hill of Summ (Ludlow and Teme)

    Performer: Simon Crawford‐Phillips. Singer: Andrew Kennedy. Ensemble: Dante Quartet.
    • Signum.
  • John Dowland

    In Darkness let me dwell

    Performer: Barry Guy. Performer: Stephen Stubbs. Performer: John Surman. Performer: Maya Homburger. Singer: John Potter.
    • ECM.
  • John Playford

    Wallom Green (From The English Dancing Master)

    Music Arranger: Bjarte Eike. Ensemble: Barokksolistene.
    • The Alehouse Sessions.
    • RUBICON.
    • 101.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

    Performer: Yevgeny Sudbin.
    • Beethoven: 6 Bagatelles & Piano Sonatas Nos. 31 & 32.
    • BIS.
    • 201.

Record Review Listings


Beethoven: Symphonies Nos.6 & 8
Wiener Symphoniker
Philippe Jordan (conductor)
Wiener Symphoniker WS 016

‘Voglio Cantar’ – Baroque arias by Strozzi + Marini, Cesti, Merula & Cavalli
Emöke Baráth (soprano)
Il Pomo d'Oro (ensemble)
Francesco Corti
Erato 0190295632212,0190295632212/emoke-barath-voglio-cantar

Schumann: Album for the Young (orch. for string trio by Anssi Karttunen)
Zebra Trio
Toccata Classics TOCC 0522

‘Kinan Azmeh – Uneven Sky’ – Azmeh: Suite for Improvisor & Orchestra, Ibn Arabi Suite, ‘The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant sea’; Roustom: Clarinet Concerto ‘Adrift on the Wine-Dark Sea’; Jabri: Clarinet Concerto; Succari: Suite for Clarinet & Orchestra
Kinan Azmeh (clarinet)
Bodek Janke (percussion)
Hogir Göregen (percussion)
Dima Orsho (voice)
David Adorján (cello)
Yo-Yo Ma (cello)
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Manuel Nawri (conductor)
Dreyer Gaido CD21114 (2 CDs)

9.30am – Building a Library – Ivan Hewett on Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

Reviewer: Ivan Hewett

Recommended Recording:

Martha Argerich (piano)
Renaud Capuçon (violin)
Alissa Margulis (violin)
Lyda Chen (viola)
Mischa Maisky (cello)
Warner Classics 5045042

Other Recommended Recordings:

Victor Aller (piano)
Hollywood String Quartet
Testament SBT1077

Yefim Bronfman (piano)
Juilliard String Quartet
Sony Classical SK60677

10.20am – New Releases

Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi trinitas
Choir of Queen’s College, Oxford
Owen Rees (conductor)
Signum Classics SIGCD570

Falla: La vida breve
Salud – Nancy Fabiola Herrera (mezzo-soprano)
La Abuela – Cristina Faus (mezzo-soprano)
Paco – Aquiles Machado (tenor)
Tio Sarvaor – José Antonio López (baritone)
Carmela – Raquel Lojendio (soprano)
RTVE Symphont Chorus
BBC Philharmonic
Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Chandos CHAN 20032

‘If’: Michael Nyman & Henry Purcell – Nyman: No Time in Eternity, Balancing the Books, If & Why from ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, Music After a While & The Self-Laudatory Hymn in Inanna and her Omnipotence; Henry Purcell: Music for a While No.2, Evening Hymn & O Solitude, my Sweetest Choice (arrangements: Richard Boothby)
Iestyn Davies (countertenor)
Fretwork (ensemble)
Signum Classics SIGCD 586

Mahler: Symphony No.7
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ivan Fischer (conductor)
Channel Classics CCS SA 38019 (Hybrid SACD)

10.50am – Freethinking Weekend: How recordings have documented changing attitudes to emotional expression in music with Kirsten Gibson and Kate Kennedy

Elgar: Cello Concerto (The Elgar Edition: The Complete Electrical Recordings)
Beatrice Harrison (cello)
New Symphony Orchestra
Edwaqrd Elgar (conductor)
Warner Classics 0956942

Elgar: Cello Concerto (Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures etc.)
Jacueline du Pre (cello)
London Symphony Orchestra
John Barbirolli (conductor)
Warner Classics 6230752

Morley: It was a lover and his lass (The world of Peter Pears)
Peter Pears (tenor)
Julian Bream (lute)
Decca 4731472

Morley: La Coranta (Monteverdi’s Contemporaries)
The Morley Consort
David Munrow (conductor)
Testament SBT1080

John Dowland: Say love if ever thou didst find (Honey From The Hive)
Emma Kirkby (soprano)
Anthony Rooley (lute)

Gurney: On the Idle Hill of Summer (‘Heracleitus – Songs by Gurney, Butterworth and Warlock’)
Charles Daniels (tenor)
Michael Dussek (piano)
Bridge String Quartet
EM Records EMRCD036

Gurney: On the Idle Hill of Summer (‘On Wenlock Edge’ – Songs by Vaughan Williams, Gurney and Venables)
Andrew Kennedy (tenor)
Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)
Dante Quartet
Signum SIGCD112

Dowland: In Darkness let me dwell (Songs by John Dowland)
John Potter (tenor)
John Surman (soprano saxophone, bass clarinet)
Maya Homburger (violin)
Barry Guy (double bass)
Stephen Stubbs (lute)
ECM 4652342

John Playford: Wallom Green (arr. B. Eike) (‘The Alehouse Sessions’ – Purcell, Playford, etc.)
Barokksolistene (ensemble
Bjarte Eike (violin & director)
Rubicon RCD1017

11.45am – Disc of the Week

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op.110 & Op.111 + Six Bagatelles, Op.126
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
BIS-2208 SACD (Hybrid SACD)



  • Sat 30 Mar 2019 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.