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More than the score

Why are there so many performances and recordings of the same pieces? Tom Service explores Western classical music's insatiable need for endless interpretation.

Are the 100s of recordings of each Beethoven symphony (and the thousands upon thousands of live performances over the years) really so very different from each other? Can one interpretation be better than another? What is interpretation and why is it apparently so central to Western classical music? Why do we keep coming back for more? With the help of music critic Fiona Maddocks and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, Tom Service is on the case.

David Papp (producer)

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 21 Feb 2020 16:30

Music Played

  • Benjamin Britten

    The Young person's guide to the orchestra Op.34 (Variations and fugue on a theme of Purcell)

    Performer: Benjamin Britten. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • Decca.
    • 4175092.
  • Thomas Tallis

    Spem in alium for 40 voices

    Performer: Robert Hollingworth. Performer: I Fagiolini.
    • Decca.
    • 4782734.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Symphony no. 2 in D major Op.73

    Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Performer: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
    • SDG.
    • SDG703.
  • Eminem

    Rap God

    Performer: Eminem.
    • Interscope Records.
    • 602537588114.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Concerto no. 2 in F minor Op.21 for piano and orchestra

    Conductor: Charles Dutoit. Performer: Martha Argerich. Performer: Montreal S O.
    • WARNER CLASSICS.
    • 5567982.
  • Claude Debussy

    12 Studies for piano

    Performer: Mitsuko Uchida.
    • Philips.
    • 4224122.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no. 5 in C minor Op.67

    Conductor: Carlos Kleiber. Performer: Vienna Philharmonic.
    • DG.
    • 4474002.
  • Walter Murphy

    A Fifth of Beethoven

    Performer: Walter Murphy.
    • KENWEST MUSIC.
    • KNEWCD-735.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no. 5 in C minor Op.67

    Performer: Portsmouth Sinfonia.
    • Transatlantic Records.
    • TRA 275.
  • Anton Bruckner

    Symphony no. 7 in E major

    Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache (1912 - 1996). Performer: Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • EMI.
    • 5566952.
  • Anton Bruckner

    Symphony no. 7 in E major

    Conductor: Sir Roger Norrington. Performer: Stuttgart R S O.
    • Hänssler.
    • HAEN93243.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Concerto in D major Op.35 for violin and orchestra

    Conductor: Valery Gergiev. Performer: Vadim Repin. Performer: Mariinsky Orchestra.
    • philips.
    • 4733432.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Concerto in D major Op.35 for violin and orchestra

    Conductor: Teodor Currentzis. Performer: Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Performer: MusicAeterna.
    • Sony.
    • 88875190402.
  • Julie Andrews

    My Favourite Things

    • Unknown.
    • RCA-07863 67965 2.
  • John Coltrane

    My Favourite Things

    • Rhino.
    • 8122-79778-2.
  • Cole Porter

    NIGHT AND DAY

    Performer: Peter Skellern.
    • Mercury.
    • 826 8591.
  • Cole Porter

    Night and Day

    Performer: Ella Fitzgerald.
    • Verve.
    • 5372-572.
  • Kurt Weill

    Die Dreigroschenoper (Mack the Knife)

    Performer: Lotte Lenya. Performer: Turk Murphy.
    • Sony.
    • MHK60647.
  • Kurt Weill

    Mack the Knife

    Music Arranger: ARMSTRONG. Performer: Louis Armstrong.
    • Philips.
    • BBL-7216.
  • Gallagher

    Wonderwall

    Performer: Oasis.
    • POLYGRAM TV.
    • 535-814-2.
  • Gallagher

    Wonderwall

    Performer: The Mike Flowers Pops.
    • London.
    • LONCD-378.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Concerto no. 22 in E flat major K.482

    Conductor: Petra Müllejans. Performer: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Performer: Kristian Bezuidenhout.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • HMC902147.

Broadcasts

  • Sun 16 Feb 2020 17:00
  • Fri 21 Feb 2020 16:30

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