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A sublime voyage to the moon (and back) with pianist Víkingur Ólafsson

Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson opens up a colourful selection of classical music from the inside - revealing familiar and unfamiliar works in a new light.

Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson takes us on a journey featuring earthly delights from Jean Sibelius, Joseph Haydn and Béla Bartók, and otherworldly musical beauty from Leos Janacek, Thomas Adès and Edmund Finnis.

To start, Víkingur introduces a selection of tracks by the composer he refers to as ‘the Alpha and Omega of music’, JS Bach: choral intimacy and splendour from conductor John Eliot Gardiner, tragic beauty from pianist Edwin Fischer and a quirky take by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Plus Víkingur discusses how lighting in a recording studio led to just the right performance of his transcription of Widerstehe doch der Sünde from Bach’s Cantata BWV54.

A series in which each week a musician reveals a selection of music - from the inside.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

1 hour, 56 minutes

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen from Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11)

    Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • SDG.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Prelude and Fugue in B flat minor (BWV 867)

    Performer: Edwin Fischer.
    • EMI.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Prelude C sharp major (BWV 848)

    Composer: Peter Maxwell Davies. Ensemble: Fires of London.
    • UNICORN.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Widerstehe doch der Sünde (BWV 54) arr. Vikingur Olafsson

    Performer: Víkingur Ólafsson.
    • DG.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39 - Scherzo

    Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Santtu-Matias Rouvali.
    • ALPHA.
  • Sofia Gubaidulina

    Piano Quintet - Presto

    Performer: Rieko Aizawa. Performer: Kai Vogler. Performer: Mira Wang. Performer: Ulrich Eichenauer. Performer: Peter Bruns.
    • BIS.
  • Jean‐Philippe Rameau

    Entrée pour les muses etc. from Les Boréades

    Ensemble: MusicAeterna. Conductor: Teodor Currentzis.
    • SONY.
  • Maurice Ravel

    String Quartet in F - Assez vif

    Ensemble: Quatuor Ébène.
    • VIRGIN.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet No. 4 - Allegretto

    Ensemble: Takács Quartet.
    • DECCA.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Impromptu in B minor, Op.5 no.5

    Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes.
    • SONY.
  • Franz Schubert

    Symphony No. 3 - Presto vivace

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Carlos Kleiber.
    • DC.
  • Henri Duparc

    L'invitation au voyage

    Singer: Elly Ameling. Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony. Conductor: Edo de Waart.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Claude Debussy

    Fêtes Galantes - I - Clair de lune

    Performer: Dalton Baldwin. Singer: Elly Ameling.
    • EMI.
  • Leos Janáček

    Interlude - Cupriny tvé stale vence from The Excursions of Mr Broucek

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek.
    • DG.
  • Joseph Haydn

    The Representation of Chaos from The Creation

    Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
    • BR KLASSIK.
  • Jean‐Féry Rebel

    Le Chaos from Les Elémens

    Ensemble: Academy for Ancient Music Berlin.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
  • Thomas Adès

    Stars, sun, moon from In Seven Days

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta.
    • SIGNUM.
  • Edmund Finnis

    No. 2 from 4 Duets

    Performer: Mark Simpson. Performer: Víkingur Ólafsson.
    • NMC.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Nos. 7-9 from Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248)

    Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • ARCHIV.

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