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Composer of the Week

BBC

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Language:

English


Episodes

Composer of the Week: Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884): Northern Exposure

2/27/2024
Smetana decides to abandon his woes, his family and his homeland. With Donald Macleod.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884): Ambition and Struggle

2/26/2024
Smetana’s talent was obvious, but would that be enough to survive? With Donald Macleod.

Duration:01:00:00

Maddalena Sirmen and her World

2/23/2024
Donald Macleod delves into the world of Venetian composer, Maddalena Sirmen Maddalena Sirmen was born in Venice in 1745 and christened Maddalena Laura Lombardini. Her poverty-stricken family were unable to support her and by the age of seven she was admitted to one of Venice’s ‘Ospedali’. The Ospedali were hospitals and orphanages set up to help the needy but also celebrated for the musical education they provided to their residents . Sirmen soon excelled in her training. By the age of fourteen she was accepted for additional music lessons in Padua with the famed violinist, Tartini, and became one of his favourite students. In 1767 she married fellow composer, Lodovico Sirmen, and was able to leave the Ospedale, at last. There followed many successful years of travelling and performing as a virtuoso violinist, often presenting her own works. Sirmen’s music was published in many leading European cities, and Leopold Mozart said of one of her works, that it was “beautifully written”. When visiting London for a third time, Sirmen decided to present herself as a singer, rather than a violinist. This proved to be a mistake and she was greatly criticised in the press. From this point onwards her reputation diminished despite further concerts, as a violinist, in Paris, Dresden and St Petersburg. Sirmen eventually settled back in Venice, where she died in 1818. Music Featured: Violin Concerto No 3 in A major, Op 3 No 3 (excerpt) Trio Sonata No 5 in G, Op 1 No 5 (Allegro Moderato) Ferdinando Bertoni: Veni Creator (excerpt) Trio Sonata No 5 in G, Op 1 No 5 (Rondo Allegro) Ferdinando Bertoni: Orfeo (excerpt) String Quartet No 5 in F major Violin Concerto No 3 in A major, Op 3 No 3 Giuseppe Tartini: Violin Sonata in G minor, “Devils Trill” (excerpt) String Quartet No 1 in E flat major (Andante) String Quartet No 1 in E flat major (Allegretto) Giuseppe Tartini: Stabat Mater Violin Concerto No 2 in E major, Op 3 No 2 String Quartet No 4 in B flat major String Quartet No 2 in E flat major (excerpt) Duet in C major, Op 4 No 6 Ludovico Sirmen: Sonata in A major (Moderato) Violin Concerto No 5 in B flat major, Op 3 No 5 Ludovico Sirmen: Sonata in A major (Lento) String Quartet No 2 in E flat major Violin Concerto No 1 in B flat major, Op 3 No 1 (Allegro) J. C. Bach: Gioas, re di Giuda (Fe giuriamo) Maddalena Sirmen: Violin Concerto No 1 in B flat major, Op 3 No 1 (excerpt) J. C. Bach: Sonata in G, Op 10 No 3, W. B4 (Rondeaux) String Quartet No 3 in G minor Violin Concerto No 6 in C major, Op 3 No 6 Violin Concerto No 4 in C major, Op 3 No 4 (excerpt) String Quartet No 6 in E major (Andantino) Thomas Linley Junior: The Song of Moses (Chorus: Praise be to God, and God alone) String Quartet No 6 in E major (Con brio) Ludovico Sirmen: Sonata in A major (Adagio cantabile) Violin Concerto No 4 in C major, Op 3 No 4 String Quartet No 5 in F minor Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Maddalena Sirmen and her World https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001w8gx And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:00:31

Composer of the Week: Maddalena Sirmen and her World: A return to Venice

2/23/2024
Donald Macleod explores a fiasco for Sirmen in London.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Maddalena Sirmen and her World: A sensation in London

2/22/2024
Donald Macleod explores Maddalena Sirmen’s entry into London's cultural society.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Maddalena Sirmen and her World: Sirmen the Virtuoso Violinist

2/21/2024
Donald Macleod explores Sirmen’s rise to fame as a virtuoso violinist in Europe.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Maddalena Sirmen and her World: Lessons with Tartini

2/20/2024
Donald Macleod follows Sirmen as she meets a new mentor who will transform her fortunes.

Duration:01:00:00

Karl Jenkins

2/16/2024
Karl Jenkins has had a career of contrasts – from accomplished jazz fusion, prog rock and the worlds of film and advertising, to phenomenal success in concert halls around the world as a composer of music that delights audiences and often defies categorisation; music that is rhythmic, emotional – and hugely popular: he just might be the most performed living composer in the world. In these special programmes, Sir Karl Jenkins joins Donald Macleod to talk about his life and music ahead of the composer’s 80th birthday. Music Featured: Benedictus One World: In the Beginning One World: Let’s Go (The Tower of Babel), One World: Yet, Here I Am Sarakiz (Dance) Stabat Mater (excerpt) One World: Tikkun Olam Suo Gan Quirky Blue Hazard Profile, pt 1 Carol Ann La Folia – concerto for marimba and strings Cantata Memoria (excerpt) Cantilena Adiemus Hymn Kayama Cancion Plateada Palladio, concerto grosso for string orchestra (i Allegretto) Stella Natalis (excerpt) Gloria (excerpt) The Peacemakers (excerpt) The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace (excerpt) Quirk (Chasing the Goose) White Water One World: The Golden Age Begins Anew Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra (‘It takes two…’ Seductively) Over the Stone (iv, Tros y Garreg) One World: Sakura, Spring has Come Requiem (excerpt) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Karl Jenkins https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001w1jw And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:09:36

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

2/2/2024
Kate Molleson explores the legends and lore of Igor Stravinsky Music Featured: Rite of Spring Fireworks Three Movements from Petrushka (Russian Dance) The Firebird: Infernal Dance The Rite of Spring, Part 2: The Sacrifice Three Pieces for String Quartet (Excentrique) Four Russian Peasant Songs Song of the Nightingale (The Mechanical Nightingale) Renard (excerpt) Soldier’s Tale (excerpt) Les Noces: The Wedding Feast Pulcinella Suite (Sinfonia) Suite Italienne Sonata for Piano Symphonies of Wind Instruments Octet Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments Oedipus Rex(excerpt) Serenade in A for piano (Romanza) Orpheus (excerpt) Apollo (excerpt) Duo Concertant Otche nash Symphony of Psalms Mass (Santus) Ode (iii Epitaph) In Memoriam Dylan Thomas Requiem Canticles Presented by Kate Molleson Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001vld7 And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:07:57

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)

1/26/2024
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Jacques Offenbach Jacques Offenbach’s life throws a light on the political turbulence and identity within 19th century Europe. He struggled to break into the musical establishment of Paris, but he didn’t struggle with creating a dazzling array of work for the theatre. His 98 stage works established and defined what operetta was, paving the way for modern musical theatre. Music Featured: Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), Act III: Barcarolle (arr. A. Sedlar) Grand Concerto in G Major for cello and orchestra, Concerto Militaire (I. Allegro maestoso) Les fleurs d’hiver Musette, Op 24 Pepito (excerpt) Les bavards: Overture Decameron dramatique (excerpt) Le “66”(excerpt) 6 Fables de Lafontaine (orchestrated by J.-P. Haeck) (excerpt) Rends-moi mon âme L'etoile Les brigands: Overture Ba-ta-clan (excerpt) Orphee aux enfers (excerpt) Le Papillon (excerpt) Die Rheinnixen: Overture Abendblatter La Vie parisienne: Overture La belle Helene (excerpt) Barbe-bleue (except) La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein (excerpt) La Haine, Act IV: Marche religieuse Les contes d'Hoffmann (excerpt) American Eagle Waltz Le voyage dans la lune (except) Madame Favart: Overture Ouverture a grand orchestra Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Iain Chamber for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001vcpj And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:10:14

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

1/19/2024
Donald Macleod explores Mendelssohn’s experience in the British Isles Mendelssohn’s relationship with Britain began when he was 20 years old, when London became the first stop of his Grand Tour. This week Donald Macleod explores the composer's experiences in Britain, considering the mark he left on musical life in these islands, the works he wrote here, and what he got up to in the course of the ten visits he made across his lifetime. Mendelssohn took inspiration from the scenery, but he also got his first professional engagements in Britain, and in return, by the end of his life, Britain lionized him. Music Featured: Songs Without Words Op 19b No 1 Symphony No 1 in C minor (1st mvt) 12 Lieder Pp 9: III – Wartend Octet in E flat major (3rd mvt) Concerto in E major for Two pianos (2nd & 3rd mvts) Fantasie in F# minor (Mvt 1) Symphony No 3 in A minor 'Scottish' (1st mvt) 3 Fantasies (or Caprices) Op 16 String Quartet in E flat Major (1st mvt) Organ Sonata No 3 (1st mvt) Symphony No 3 in A minor 'Scottish' (4th mvt) Songs without Words Op 19b No 3 Hebrides Overture Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor (2nd & 3rd mvts)) Songs Without Words Op 19b (Nos 2, 5, 6) Symphony No 4 in A major 'Italian' (3rd & 4th mvts) Songs Without Words Op 102 No 1 Piano Concerto No 2 in D minor (2nd & 3rd mvts) Piano Trio No 1 (1st mvt) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nos 5 & 7) Violin Concerto in E minor (1st mvt) 6 Songs Op 99 No 5 Elijah Part 1 (excerpt) Octet in E flat major (1st mvt) String Quartet No 6 in F minor (3rd mvt) Elijah Part 2 (excerpt) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001v4jh And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:05:17

Caroline Shaw

1/5/2024
Kate Molleson talks to Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Caroline Shaw At the age of just 30, in 2013 American composer Caroline Shaw made the headlines when she became the youngest person to win a Pulitzer Prize for her vocal work "Partita for Eight Voices". It's a mind blowing, joyous celebration of every sound and technique the human voice can achieve. The unexpectedly gained Pulitzer could have pigeon-holed Shaw's future career, as a "composer", but central to her identity as a creator is the fact that Shaw regards herself as musician. She's a violinist, a vocalist, producer, and a composer and it's the sum of all these parts that make up the creative impetus for her music. Blending performance with composition, blurring the lines between different musical genres, Shaw has avoided categorisation in the multiplicity of her enthusiasms. She's worked with rappers Kanye West and Nas, and soprano Renée Fleming, and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter. Her more than one hundred works encompass classical works, film scores, vocal music, and performing and working collaboratively she continues to engage in a diverse range of multi-media projects. Shaw's passion for music formed early. Born in North Carolina in 1982, Shaw was taught the Suzuki method of violin by her mother from the age of 2. Her father, a specialist in respiratory disease, was a keen amateur pianist. Shaw grew up in a culture of community music-making, singing in the church choir and summer camp. Formal studies followed at Rice in performance and Yale in composition, after which she undertook a doctoral programme in composition at Princeton. Plan and Elevation (IV: The Orangery) And So Partita for 8 Singers (IV: Passacaglia) Gustave Le Gray Entr’acte (version for String Orchestra) Valencia Limestone and Felt Punctum Boris Kerner Thousandth Orange for violin, viola, cello, piano Fleishman is in Trouble (Beef Lo Mein) And the Swallow Partita for 8 Singers (I: Allemande) To the Hands (Seven Responses project) (excerpt) Narrow Sea (excerpt) Its motion keeps “The Listeners” (excerpt) Plan and Elevation (V: The Beech Tree) Three Essays (III: Ruby) The Isle (excerpt) Taxidermy Blueprint for String Quartet To the Sky Partita for 8 Singers (II: Sarabande) Fleishman is in Trouble (excerpts) Ritornello 2.sq.2.j.a for string quartet Presented by Kate Molleson Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Caroline Shaw https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001trhs And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:27:24

Greatest Showstoppers

12/29/2023
The 19th century was an exciting time for classical musicians. Urban centres across Europe and the New World were expanding rapidly, creating a profitable music circuit for touring performers – particularly if you had the talent and star-power to attract audiences in large numbers! A new breed of performer began to emerge: extraordinary virtuosos whose dazzling abilities made them into international sensations. Liszt, Chopin, Clara Schumann and Paganini are among the names best remembered today but there were many others. This week, Donald Macleod explores the life and music of four more 19th century ‘showstoppers’ who were equally celebrated in their day, and who also turned their talents to composing. Music Featured: Teresa Carreño: Vals gayo Teresa Carreño: Florence, Cantilène Op.34 Teresa Carreño: Souvenirs de mon pays, Op. 10 Teresa Carreño: Le printemps, Op. 25 Teresa Carreño: String quartet in B minor: I. Allegro, II. Andante Teresa Carreño: Elégie Op. 22, No. 6, ‘Plaintes au borde d'une tombe’ Teresa Carreño: Little Waltz ‘Mi Teresita’ Elias Parish Alvars: Introduction, Cadenza & Rondo (extract) Elias Parish Alvars:Grand March Op.67 Elias Parish Alvars: Grand Duo on Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix, Op.65 Elias Parish Alvars: Harp Concerto in E flat Op.98, I. Allegro brillante Elias Parish Alvars: Grand Study in Imitation of a Mandolin Op.84 Maria Szymanowska: Polonaise in C major Maria Szymanowska: Prélude No. 18 in E major Maria Szymanowska: 24 Mazurkas, Nos. 21-24 Maria Szymanowska: Caprice sur la romance de Joconde in E major Maria Szymanowska: Fantaisie in F major Maria Szymanowska: Cotillon, ou valse figurée Maria Szymanowska Nocturne in B flat major Maria Szymanowska: 18 Dances of Different Genres, Nos. 9-12 & No.18 Joseph Joachim: 3 Stücke, Op.2, No.1, Romanze Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major (1st movt cadenza by Joseph Joachim) Joseph Joachim: Notturno Op.12 Joseph Joachim: Quartettsatz Joseph Joachim: Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.11 'A la hongroise': III. Finale alla Zingara: Allegro con spirito Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Greatest Showstoppers https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001th7g And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:05:33

A Vaughan Williams Christmas

12/22/2023
“I’ve always loved carols,” Vaughan Williams wrote to Cecil Sharp in 1911. Despite being called a “most determined atheist” by Bertrand Russell at University, and in later life “a cheerful agnostic”, the composer never lost his love for Christmas. It dated back to childhood memories of singing carols from Stainer and Bramley’s Christmas Carols New and Old at his home at Leith Hill Place, Surrey. As an adult, his lifelong passion for the Christmas period was demonstrated in his music - the Fantasia on Christmas Carols, On Christmas Night based on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the cantata Hodie and the nativity play The First Nowell. His passion for collecting folk tunes in various counties of England – armed with a trusty pencil and paper, or at times a phonograph - also led to a plethora of carol settings using these folk tunes, as Vaughan Williams himself said “Every day some old village singer dies, and with him there probably die half-a-dozen beautiful melodies, which are lost to the world for ever: if we would preserve what still remains we must set about it at once.” This week. Kate Molleson explores Vaughan Williams’s experiences of Christmas across his life alongside some of his best loved pieces, and the music he wrote to celebrate the festive period. Music Featured: Dives and Lazarus The First Nowell (extract) Trad. The Murder of Maria Marten Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ Suite for Viola and Small Orchestra – Group 1 The Wasps Overture I Saw Three Ships Come In Willow Wood Folk Songs of the Four Seasons: Orchestral Suite Trad. The High-low well The Holy Well (version 1) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis As Joseph was Walking A London Symphony (III. Scherzo) Fantasia on Christmas Carols Symphony 3 (II. Lento) Trad. On Christmas Night Sussex Carol The Lark Ascending Hodie (This Day): The Oxen On Christmas Night (extract) Dona Nobis Pacem (III. Reconcilliation) Trad. Ploughboy’s Dream O Little Town of Bethlehem Prelude: 49th parallel Symphony No 5 in D Major (III. Romanza) God rest you merry, gentlemen The First Nowell: IX: In Bethlehem City On Wenlock Edge (V. Bredon Hill) Epithalamion (the bridal day) – Procession of the bride Hodie (extract) Symphony No 7 (V. Epilogue) Trad. Seven Virgins (Leaves of Life) The Seven Virgins The First Nowell: XX. The First Nowell Presented by Kate Molleson Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for A Vaughan Williams Christmas https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001t9wp And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:18:13

Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921)

12/15/2023
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of German composer Engelbert Humperdinck German composer, Engelbert Humperdinck, became an international celebrity with his music for the stage. His lasting hit was his opera, Hansel and Gretel. There were other huge successes too. Die Heirat wider Willen (The Reluctant Marriage) was highly praised after its premiere at the Royal Opera in Berlin, and Humperdinck took 19 curtain calls in London for his stage work Das Wunder (The Miracle). In New York, at the Metropolitan Opera House, after the premiere of Humperdinck’s opera Königskinder (King's Children), the applause just kept going so that the management had to turn the lights off, in order to force the audience to leave. Humperdinck was born in Siegburg, and from early on his parents encouraged his musical abilities, provided he focused on his other school commitments, too. He went on to study at the Cologne Conservatoire and soon fell under the spell of Wagner whom he met, and later worked with, in the preparation of Wagner’s opera, Parsifal. Humperdinck travelled Europe, and in the early 1890s he saw the premiere of his own opera Hansel and Gretel, which was performed on sixty-nine German stages within one year. Humperdinck became a professor of composition in Berlin and, between his teaching duties, he continued to write many works for the stage. Opera houses clambered to give the premiere of a new work by Humperdinck and he became a giant of his times. Music Featured: Evening Prayer (Hansel and Gretel) Weihnachten Piano Quintet in G (Allegro moderato) Hansel and Gretel (Overture) Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar (excerpt) Notturno in G, for violin and string quartet Junge Lieder Die Lerche String Quartet in C minor Wagner arr. Humperdinck: Parsifal (Herzeleide) Hansel and Gretel (excerpt) Nachtstück in A flat Christkindleins Wiegenlied An das Christkind Frühlingssehnsucht Altdeutsches Liebeslied Wiegenlied Piano Quintet in G (Adagio) Das Licht der Welt Erinnerung Liebesorakel Königskinder (excerpt) Moorish Rhapsody (Elegy at Sunset) Die Heirat wider Willen (excerpt) Winterlied Shakespeare Suite No 1 (Ferdinand und Miranda) Die Lerche II Verratene Liebe Unter der Linden Das Wunder (excerpt) String Quartet in C (Lebhaft) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001t2k8 And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:02:38

A Medieval Christmas

12/8/2023
This week, Donald Macleod marks the beginning of the season of Advent by exploring Christmas music and stories from the Middle Ages. Christmas celebrations encompassed a great variety of colourful traditions and musical occasions during medieval times. Peasants and nobles alike could look forward to many weeks of festivities, from Advent at the start of December, right through to Candlemas on 2nd February. Some of those customs we still recognise and celebrate today. Many are now lost or significantly altered. Donald is joined by early music expert, William Lyons, to examine how Christmas might have felt and sounded to our medieval ancestors. Music Featured: Gaudete Personent hodie; Gaudete; Omnis mundus jucundetur Perotin: Alleluia Nativitas Miri it is while sumer ilast Blowe, Northerne Wynd (arr. William Lyons) Seint Nicholas was borne in the citee of Patras; Cantu mirro, summa laude; Sainte nicholaes; Salve cleri speculum - Salve iubar presulum Dufay: Ce jour de l'an Orientis partibus The Play of Daniel (Ludus Danielis) Hec est Clara dies Procedenti puero Pérotin: Salvatoris hodie Dum sigillum summi patris [instrumental] Perotin: Viderunt Omnes Hodie Christus natus est Viderunt Emmanuel Lux hodie, Lux leticie Psallat chorus; Eximie pater et regie; Aptatur Descendit de cælis In natali Domini Isaias Cecinit Perotin: Sederunt Principes Verbum patris umanatur O O Edi beo thu hevene-queene Angelus ad virginem Ecce quod natura Ther is no rose of swych vertu Verbum Patris humanatur Verbum Patris (intrumental) Thys endere nyght Ave Maris Stella Nowell, owt of youre sleep aryse Adam lay ibowndyn (arr. William Lyons) Ye have so longe kepe schepe (instrumental) Nowell, nowell, nowell Hayl Mary ful of grace Coventry Carol Halle: Dieus soit en cheste maison Sequentia Dufay: Bonjour, bon mois Lantins, A: Ce jour de l’an, belle je vous supply Dufay: Ce jour de l'an Gresley Dances (arr. William Lyons) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for A Mediaeval Christmas https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001svqt And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:17:44

Ned Rorem (1923-2022)

12/1/2023
Ned Rorem was an American composer and writer, and was hailed by some as the greatest art-song composer of his time. Writing over 500 songs, his music has been described as Neoromantic, leaning at times towards a more lyrical nature. Early musical influences upon Rorem were Margaret Bonds, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland and also Arthur Honegger. After a period of living in Paris where he associated with members of Les Six, as well as frequent trips to Morocco, Rorem eventually settled back in the USA for the rest of his life. He went on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his orchestral work, Air Music. Rorem also wrote seventeen books, six of which were intimate diaries. These earned him a certain reputation from the 1960s onwards, particularly for his openness about his regular sexual encounters with men. During this period, Rorem also had issues with alcohol and drugs, but his life steadily settled when he entered into a long-term relationship with the composer and choral director James Holmes. They purchased a house together in Nantucket, and Rorem often relied upon Holmes for feedback concerning his own music. This week, Donald Macleod reflects on Ned Rorem’s life and music, remembering his own encounter with the composer when he interviewed Rorem for this series in 2003. Music Featured: Early in the morning The Lordly Hudson Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Dance Suite (excerpt) Piano Concerto No 2 (excerpt) Piano Sonata No 3 (excerpt) Sing My Soul Symphony No 2 (excerpt) For Poulenc Two Psalms and A Proverb (excerpt) Lions Love Divine, All Loves Excelling I will always love you Book of Hours Sky Music (Brisk and Smooth) Santa Fe Songs (excerpt) Praise the Lord, O My Soul Violin Concerto (excerpt) While all things were in quiet silence (Seven Motets for the Church Year) Breath on Me, Breath of God String Symphony (excerpt) Spring Music (Bagatelle) String Quartet No 4 (Still Life) More than a Day (excerpt) Evidence of things not seen (excerpt) Piano Album 1 (excerpts) Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (excerpt) United States: Seven Viewpoints for String Quartet (excerpt) Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra (Recurring Dream) Our Town (excerpt) For Six Friends Four Prayers From An Unknown Past Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Ned Rorem (1923-2022) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001slxs And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:05:30

John and Alice Coltrane

11/17/2023
Kate Molleson and Kevin Le Gendre dive into the lives and music of John & Alice Coltrane Coltrane is a name you’re likely to have heard, even if you know little to nothing about jazz. More than half a century after his death, saxophonist and composer John Coltrane is hailed as a giant of American cultural history, and one of 20th-century music’s greatest visionaries. But he’s not the only Coltrane. His wife, Alice, was an accomplished keyboardist and harpist who made revolutionary music in her own right, and whose contribution to John’s late output has not always been fully recognised. As soulmates and fellow seekers in sound, John and Alice both transcended cultural and genre boundaries, helping to pioneer avant-garde and spiritual jazz. But following John’s premature death in 1967, Alice began her solo career and would take forward their journey of creative and religious expansion. This week, Kate Molleson is joined by journalist and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre to dive into the lives and music of these monumental figures, and explore their contributions to the jazz world and beyond. Music featured: Straight Street (from Coltrane) Blue Train (from Blue Train) Miles Davis/John Coltrane: So What (from Kind of Blue) Giant Steps (from Giant Steps) Syeeda’s Song Flute (from Giant Steps) Naima (from Giant Steps) Rodgers/Hart: It’s Easy to Remember (from Ballads) Up ‘Gainst the Wall (from Impressions) Rodgers/Hammerstein: My Favorite Things (from My Favorite Things) Blues Minor (from Africa/Brass) India (from Impressions) Alabama (from Live at Birdland 1963) Bessie’s Blues (from Crescent) Terry Gibbs: Sherry Bossa Nova (from Plays Terry Gibbs feat. Alice McLeod) Ogunde (from Expression) A Love Supreme, Pts 1 and 2 (from A Love Supreme) Expression (from Expression) Dear Lord (from Transition) Stopover Bombay (from Journey in Satchidananda) The Sun (from Cosmic Music) Lovely Sky Boat (from A Monastic Trio) Ohnedaruth (from A Monastic Trio) Blue Nile (from Ptah the el Daoud) A Love Supreme (from World Galaxy) Journey in Satchidananda (from Journey in Satchidananda) Spiritual Eternal (from Eternity) Sivaya (from Transcendence) Going Home (from Lord of Lords) Krishna Krishna (from Turiya Sings) Translinear Light (from Translinear Light) Rama rama (from The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda) Govinda Jai Jai (from Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana) Presented by Kate Molleson Produced by Amelia Parker & Martin Williams for BBC Audio Wales For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for John and Alice Coltrane https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001s5st And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:22:02

Berlioz and Shakespeare

11/10/2023
Donald Macleod surveys the spell Shakespeare cast on Berlioz's life and music Berlioz burst onto the musical stage of 19th century Paris determined to break the mould of France’s elegant and refined classical style. He wanted to create music that could be bombastic, barbaric and grotesque, as well as sentimental, scintillating and sorrowful. In this, he was inspired by writers as much as fellow musicians. He was captivated by stories and crowded his imagination with the tales of Virgil, Scott, Goethe and, most of all, William Shakespeare. This week, Donald Macleod traces the tangled literary connections in Berlioz’s life and music, including the profound spell cast by Shakespeare over the composer’s art and personality. Music featured: Symphonie fantastique: IV. Marche au supplice Harold en Italie: III. Sérénade Les Nuits d'été: IV. Absence, VI. L'île inconnue Waverley, Grande Ouverture Roméo et Juliette: Part 1 (extracts) Roméo et Juliette, Op 17: Part 2 (extract) La Damnation de Faust: Scène 15. Symphonie fantastique: II. Un bal (Valse) Lélio, ou Le Retour a la vie: VI. Fantaisie sur ‘La tempête’ de Shakespeare Symphonie fantastique: V. Songe d'une nuit du Sabbat Lélio, ou Le Retour a la vie: II. Choeur d'Ombres La Mort d’Ophélie Roméo et Juliette: Part 2, II. Scene d'amour Tristia: III. Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d'Hamlet Le Roi Lear Marche hongroise La Damnation de Faust: Part 2 (excerpts) L'Enfance du Christ: Part 2, ‘La fuite en Egypte’ (excerpts) Les Troyens, Act 4: ‘Nuit d'ivresse et d'extase infinie !’ Roméo et Juliette, Parts 4 & 5 Béatrice et Bénédict: (excerpts) Roméo et Juliette: Part 6 & 7 (excerpts) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Berlioz and Shakespeare https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001ryz1 And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:05:42

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

11/3/2023
Donald Macleod explores Beethoven’s life through his most iconic works Beethoven remains one of the most lauded composers in history, famed for both his music, and for his personal triumph as a musician over the adversity of his catastrophic hearing loss. Donald Macleod takes five of Beethoven’s most iconic works, spread out through the composer’s life, and tracks the journey of each of them. Through these stories, Donald discovers both the pieces’ direct importance to the composer, and also finds wider issues which each of them point to in the general life of a complex, and troubled man. From his carefully stage-managed debut on the Viennese scene as a young man, and his steadily increasing anguish at the loss of his hearing, and the betrayal by Napoleon of his political ideals, to the close relationship between Beethoven and his most loyal patron, and the composer’s late credo of joy through suffering which allowed him to continue to flourish artistically despite all of his personal demons. Music Featured: Symphony No 7 (IV. Finale) Piano Quartet No 1 in E-flat major, WoO 36 (II. Allegro con spirito) Cantata on death of Emperor Joseph II (I. Todt! Todt!; III. Da kam Joseph) Piano Sonata in C major, Op 2`3 (IV. Allegro Assai) Piano Concerto No 1 in C major, Op 15 (1st movement) The Creatures of Prometheus, Op 43 (Overture) Piano Sonata No 12 in A-flat, Op 26 (III. Funeral march on the death of a hero) Christus am Olberge, Op 85 (III. “Meine seele ist erschuttert”) An die hoffnung, Op 32 Symphony No 3 in E-flat major, Op 55 “Eroica” (I. Allegro con brio) Leonore, Op 72a (original version, 1805), Act I Nr. 12. Finale “O, welche Lust, in freier Luft" Ich bin der Herr von zu, Du bist der Herr von von, WoO 199 Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58 (III. Rondo) Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67 (IV. Allegro) Piano Sonata No 26 in E flat major, Op 81a “Les Adieux” (I. Das lebewohl) Piano Trio in B flat major, Op 97 “Archduke” (I. Allegro Molto) Missa Solemnis in D major, Op 123 (Gloria; Quoniam) Piano Sonata No 29 in Bb major, Op 106 “Hammerklavier” (II. Scherzo) Adelaide, Op 46 Sonata for Cello and Piano in D major, Op 102 An die ferne geliebte, Op 98 Symphony No 8 in F major (IV. Allegro Vivace) Piano Sonata No 29 in Bb major, Op 106 “Hammerklavier” (IV. Largo – Allegro risoluto) Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op 125 “Choral” (Finale (excerpt)) Piano Sonata No 32 in C minor, Op 111 (I. Maestoso) Missa Solemnis in D major, Op 123 (Credo: Et Incarnatus Est) Diabelli variations in C major, Op 120 (excerpt) Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op 133 Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Audio Wales and West For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001rr0t And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Duration:01:08:53