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Time and melody explored by composer Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw opens up a selection of classical music from a composer and performer's point of view - revealing familiar and unfamiliar works in a new light.

Caroline Shaw is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, singer, and violinist. She is a member of the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, and has been nominated for a Grammy for ‘Orange’, an album of compositions played by the Attacca Quartet. She’s regularly commissioned to write for international soloists and orchestras, as well as writing scores for film and TV.

Caroline’s choice of music includes a sparkly Carnival overture, an anonymous 17th-century love song about some beautiful eyes, and a bass and violin duet that sounds like breathing.

She also discusses the power of repetition in music: from a viola solo that keeps coming back in her own piece Its Motion Keeps, to the ‘efficiency and elegance’ of Arvo Pärt’s writing in Spiegel im Spiegel.

Plus, a harpsichord player who uses time delay and expression to create the illusion of dynamics in a piece by Couperin.

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

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

1 hour, 56 minutes

Music Played

  • Hildegard von Bingen

    O quam mirabilis est

    Ensemble: Anonymous 4.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (BWV 1048) - III - Allegro

    Performer: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Lascia la spina (Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno)

    Performer: Jean‐Yves Thibaudet. Singer: Cecilia Bartoli. Ensemble: Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca.
    • DECCA.
  • Björk

    Overture from Dancer in the Dark

  • Johannes Brahms

    Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 - 1st movement

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Marin Alsop.
    • NAXOS.
  • Caroline Shaw

    Its Motion Keeps

    Performer: Caroline Shaw. Choir: Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
  • Clara Schumann

    Piano Trio in G minor - 1st movement

    Ensemble: Swiss Piano Trio.
    • AUDITE.
  • Clyde Otis

    The Bitter Earth

    Performer: Dinah Washington.
  • François Couperin

    Les baricades misterieuses

    Performer: Hanneke van Proosdij.
  • Big Dog Little Dog


    Performer: Jessie Montgomery. Singer: Eleonore Oppenheim.
  • David Lang

    Little Match Girl Passion - Have Mercy, My God

    Ensemble: Theatre of Voices. Ensemble: Ars Nova Copenhagen. Conductor: Paul Hillier.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Harp Quartet, Op. 74 - 1st movement

    Ensemble: Tokyo String Quartet.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Carnival Overture, Op. 92

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY.
  • Arvo Pärt

    Spiegel im Spiegel

    Performer: Benjamin Hudson. Performer: Jürgen Kruse.
  • Anonymous

    O Leggiadri occhi belli

    Performer: György Fischer. Singer: Cecilia Bartoli.
    • DECCA.


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