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May 24, 2019
Dmitry Shostakovich
Donald Macleod explores the music of Dmitry Shostakovich through the lens of his family life. In this week’s episode, Donald introduces us to Shostakovich - the family man. Turning his attention to the middle of the Russian composer's life, we hear the story of his relationships with his two children (Galina, born in 1936, and Maxim, born in 1938) and his first wife Nina, who he was married to from 1935 until her death in 1954. Starting with the complicated early days of building a family, Donald tells us how Shostakovich celebrated the birth of his first daughter, plus the answer to an important question: was Shostakovich a cat or a dog person? Next, we meet the family as wartime evacuees and hear about the symphony that was almost lost in a toilet on a train. We join the Shostakoviches in a country retreat set up by the USSR Union of Composers, where they spent memorable summers, and hear about the terrifying moment Shostakovich received a phone call from Stalin. Lastly, Donald reveals how Shostakovich coped following Nina’s death, and the music which his grief inspired. Music featured: Suite for Variety Orchestra Six Romances on Texts by Japanese Poets, Op 21 The Tale of the Silly Little Mouse Symphony No 4 in C major Op 43 6 Romances on Verses by English Poets, Op 62 - 1. Sir Walter Raleigh to His Sonne Sonata No 2 in B minor, Op 61 Symphony No 7 in C major ‘Leningrad’, Op 60 Children's Notebook Op 69 (1-7) String Quartet 2 in A major, Op 68 Piano Trio No 2 Op 67 Symphony No 8 in C minor Op 65 Pirogov (Finale) Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor Op 77 The Song of the Forests Op 81 String Quartet No 4, Op 83 Festive Overture, Op 96 Symphony No 10 in E minor, Op 93 Piano Concerto No 2 in F major, Op 102 String Quartet No 7 in F sharp minor, Op 108 Youth (Romance) from The Gadfly Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Dmitry Shostakovich https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0005736 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
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56 min
May 10, 2019
Igor Stravinsky
Donald Macleod surveys the life and music of Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky. In this week’s episode, Donald explores the composer who is said, in his music, to have ushered in the 20th century: Igor Stravinsky. His name is probably still most associated with the utterly extraordinary, revolutionary evening that prompted that accolade – the premiere of The Rite of Spring in Paris on the 29th of May 1913. We’ll hear about his pivotal relationships with fellow musician Rimsky-Korsakov, his assistant Robert Craft and the impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Plus, Donald delves into some of the most formative periods in Stravinsky’s life: his creative move towards neo-classicism, the death of his wife, his lonely exile to the USA, and his experiments with serialist methods. Music featured: Rite of Spring Scherzo in G minor Pastorale Four Etudes, Op 7, Nos 3 and 4 Symphony in E flat major (1st and 2nd movements) Faun and Shepherdess Scherzo Fantastique Fireworks The Firebird Suite Three Movements from Petrushka Pulcinella (Overture) Mavra: Russian Song (arr for cello & piano) Octet (2nd movement) Symphony of Psalms Concerto in E flat major 'Dumbarton Oaks' Tango Ebony Concerto (1st and 2nd movements) Scherzo a la Russe Symphony in Three Movements Rake's Progress: Act I Scene 3 (excerpt) Mass (Kyrie, Gloria) In Memoriam Dylan Thomas Movements for Piano and Orchestra Agon: Act IV The dove descending breaks the air Canticum Sacrum Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004y0p 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
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65 min
May 3, 2019
Amy Beach
Donald Macleod follows Amy Beach’s quest to create a uniquely American sound in her music. Amy Beach was born in the 19th century and, like all women composers of her generation, she found her path to greatness strewn with obstacles. This week, Donald Macleod charts her struggle to take control of her own destiny and become one of America’s most cherished cultural figures; a composer who helped lead her nation into the mainstream of classical music. Famed conductor, Leopold Stokowski noted that her symphony was “full of real music, without any pretence or effects but just real, sincere, simple and deep music.” In her search to develop her individual voice as a composer, Donald discusses the impact of her religious beliefs, her marriage and the places which shaped her work: her first tour of Europe, and the MacDowell Colony, where she composed most of her later works. Music featured: Pastorale, Op 151 Romance, Op 23 Symphony in E minor, Op 32 (Gaelic) (Alla sicilana & Lento) Evening Hymn, Op 125 No 2 From Grandmother’s Garden, Op 97 The Year’s at the Spring, Op 44 No 1 Valse Caprice, Op 4 Canticle of the Sun, Op 123 Though I take the wings of morning, Op 152 Trio for violin, cello and piano, Op 150 Ah, love, but a day, Op 44 No 2 A Prelude, Op 71 No 1 When far from her, Op 2 No 2 Come, ah come, Op 48 No 1 Nunc Dimittis, Op 8 No 1 Peace I leave with you, Op 8 No 3 Violin Sonata in A minor, Op 34 Symphony in E minor, Op 32 (Gaelic) (Allegro di molto) Autumn Song, Op 56 No 1 Prelude Op 81 Der Totenkranz, Op 73 No 2 The Candy Lion, Op 75 No 1 Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op 45 On a Hill Je demande à l’oiseau, Op 51 No 4 A Hermit Thrush at Eve, Op 92 No 1 A Hermit Thrush at Morn, Op 92 No 2 Quartet for Strings, Op 89 Ambache Trois morceaux caractéristiques, Op 28 Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Amy Beach https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004ltq 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
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57 min
April 26, 2019
Handel, Messiah and Dublin
Donald Macleod tells the real story behind one of the most popular masterpieces ever composed. In 1741 Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it. To begin this week’s episode, Donald and his guest Ruth Smith paint a picture of Handel’s life in London as he prepared to leave for Ireland, examining the way in which the texts and ideas of Messiah respond to the social and intellectual turbulence of the time. Next, they focus on Handel’s relationship with his extraordinary collaborator, Charles Jennens, who conceived the idea of Messiah. They discuss Handel’s arrival in Dublin and how he gathered his forces for his hotly-awaited concert series, the sensational reception of Messiah’s premiere, and the work’s long association with charity. Finally, we hear about the legacy left embedded in Messiah, and how the work has come to mean so much to generations of singers and music lovers long after the deaths of Handel and Jennens. Music featured: Messiah Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (Final movement) Israel in Egypt (excerpts) Saul: Act I ‘How excellent Thy name’ Athalia: Part I Scene 4 ‘Gloomy tyrants, we disdain’ L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: As steals the morn Alexander’s Feast: Revenge, Timotheus cries Organ Concerto Op 7 No 1 in B flat major, HWV 306 Saul: Act I Scene 5, "O Lord, whose mercies numberless" Utrecht Te Deum, HWV 278 (movements 5 – 10) Samson: Act I, Scene 2 'O first created beam!' Samson: Act II, Scene 1 'Return, O God of hosts!' Belshazzar: Act I, Scene 3 Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Amelia Parker for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 George Frideric Handel https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004dq7 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
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81 min
April 19, 2019
Alban Berg
Donald Macleod surveys the life, loves and music of Alban Berg. As a youngster, Berg loved the music of Brahms, Mahler and Richard Strauss and composed 34 songs as a teenager. Maybe this would have been the end of it, but his brother Charly secretly took some of these songs to show a music professor in the city - Arnold Schoenberg. This week’s episode begins with a look at their stimulating but often turbulent relationship. Donald tells the story of Berg’s long marriage to Viennese beauty Helene Nahowski, and the secrets beneath the surface, including Berg’s love affair with Hanna Fuchs-Robettin which permeated his compositions. We hear about how his time in army training led to physical collapse, from which he emerged to write a brutal opera – Wozzeck. Finally, Berg’s premature death from an infected insect sting, and how his wife Helene set up a shrine to his memory, forbidding the completion of Lulu, the unfinished opera he left behind. Music featured: Über den Bergen – Over the Mountains Lied de Lulu from Lulu Suite Still is where the graves are (Schattenleben) Where the Laburnum Grows Passacaglia (arr. Von Borries) Piano Sonata, Op 1 String Quartet, Op 3 Vielgeliebte schone Frau Seven Early Songs Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op 5 Five Altenberg Lieder Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 wind instruments (Rondo) Ferne Lieder – Distant Songs Wozzeck: Act 3, Tanzt Alle Wozzeck: Act 3, Scenes 4 and 5 Three Pieces for Orchestra Wein, Weib und Gesang (Waltz Op 333 by Johann Strauss II, trans. Berg) Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 wind instruments (Adagio) Lyric Suite Der Wein Schliesse mir die Augen beide (1907) Schliesse mir die Augen beide (1925) Lulu Suite: Variationen Violin Concerto Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Rosie Boulton for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Alban Berg https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00047vv 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
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66 min
April 12, 2019
Joseph Haydn
Donald Macleod explores the prolific life of Joseph Haydn, with a spotlight on his masses Joseph Haydn’s prodigious creativity earned him the titles Father of the Symphony and Father of the String Quartet. However, he was also occupied with sacred music throughout his career. This week, as Donald Macleod follows Haydn’s journey from humble choirboy to Europe’s most celebrated composer, he shines the spotlight on music from Haydn’s many settings of the Mass. It's music that is as chock-full of invention and character as any of the instrumental forms he made his own. In this week’s episode Donald illustrates Haydn’s generosity and sense of humour, the obstacles thrown into Haydn’s path throughout his career, the importance he placed on religion, and the effect war and turmoil had on his music. Also, the extraordinary story of how Haydn lost his head. Music featured: Mass in B flat major ‘Harmoniemesse’ Symphony No 94 in G major ‘Surprise’ (Andante) Mass in B flat major ‘Theresienmesse’ String Quartet in B minor, Op 64 No 2 Organ Concerto in C major Piano Trio No 17 in F major Mass in G major ‘Missa Sancti Nicolai’: Agnus Dei Stabat Mater: Sancta Mater Mass in F major ‘Missa brevis a due soprani’ Arianna a Naxos cantata: Aria ‘Dove sei’ String Quartet in B flat major, Op 64 No 3 Mass in C major Missa in tempore belli ‘Paukenmesse’ Symphony No 100 in G major ‘Military’ (2nd movement) Piano Trio No 39 in G major ‘Gypsy Rondo’ Die Schöpfung, Part 2: Mass in D minor ‘Nelson Mass’ Trumpet Concerto in E flat major: movt I Allegro Symphony No 104 in D major ‘London’: movt IV Finale: Spiritoso Mass in B flat major ‘Schöpfungsmesse’: Kyrie and Gloria Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Eleri Llian Rees for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Joseph Haydn https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00045nb 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
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61 min
April 5, 2019
Francis Poulenc
Donald Macleod surveys the life and work of Francis Poulenc, a man full of contradictions This week Donald Macleod explores five aspects of Poulenc’s personality and how they find expression in his music. 'In Poulenc there is something of the monk and something of the rascal' said the composer’s friend Claude Rostand - but there were other sources of inspiration that drove him. From the gregarious exploits of his youth to his serious engagement with Catholicism, from schmoozing in high society salons to the calm he sought at his country retreat and his struggles with depression, Donald surveys the life and music of a man full of contradictions. Music featured: Chanson à boire Cocardes La Dame de Monte-Carlo Les Biches (Suite) Chansons Gaillardes Nocturne No 4 in C minor ‘Bal fantôme’ Concert Champêtre (1st movement) Trois poèmes de Louise Lalanne Tel Jour, Telle Nuit Concerto in D minor for two pianos and orchestra Ce doux petit visage Chansons villageoises (excerpt) Les Animaux modèles Figure Humaine Priez pour paix Litanies à la Vierge Noire Stabat Mater Sonata for two pianos (3rd movement) Dialogues des Carmélites (Act II, Scene 4) Sonata for flute and piano (2nd movement) Gloria Élégie for horn and piano Sept Répons des Ténèbres (V-VI-VII) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Francis Poulenc https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003sh5 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
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58 min
March 28, 2019
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber
Donald Macleod explores the music, and what little is known of the life, of Baroque master Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber. Biber’s first appearance in the historical records is in his early 20s, when we find him in the service of Karl Liechtenstein, prince-bishop of Olomouc in central Moravia. In this week’s episode, we meet Biber as he runs an errand for his boss, but mysteriously absconds en route, trading in his old employer for a new and even more illustrious one, Prince-Archbishop Maximilian Gandolph von Küenburg. In Salzburg, Biber put down roots, married the daughter of a wealthy local businessman, fathered eleven children and gradually rose through the court ranks to become Kapellmeister. His risky career-gamble had paid off. Donald introduces us to the musical legacy the elusive composer left behind, playing Biber’s best-known work (his Mystery, or Rosary, Sonatas) as well as his music for church and stage. We also learn about his close relationships with the violin and his home of Salzburg, and the five remarkable printed collections of instrumental music that spread his name across Europe. Music featured: Missa Alleluia (Kyrie) Sonata ‘La pastorella’ Battalia a 10 (Sonata di marche) Sonata violino solo representativa Partita VI in D (Harmonia Artificioso-Ariosa) The Rosary Sonatas: The Five Joyful Mysteries Passacaglia in G minor for unaccompanied violin Vesperae longiores ac breviores, 1693 Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince (extracts) Litaniae Sancto Josepho Sonata No 11 in A (Sonatae tam Aris, quam Aulis servientes) Partita No 3 in A minor (Mensa sonoris, seu Musica instrumentalis) Sonata No 3 in F (Sonatae violino solo) Sonata No 12 in A major (Fidicinium sacro-profanum) Partita No 1 in D minor (Harmonia artificioso-ariosa) Balletti a 6 (1. Sonata) Missa Salisburgensis Sonata a 7 Sonata Sancti Polycarpi Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003rq6 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
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57 min
March 22, 2019
Astor Piazzolla
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the bandoneon virtuoso and composer Astor Piazzolla, through five key locations. All his life he fought against the tide, and in the end, he was the victor. Astor Piazzolla was a rebel with a cause. A virtuoso bandoneon player and a composer, he set out to break tango free from its roots, and make it a music with a future far beyond the dance halls and cafes of 1950s Buenos Aires. Hits like “Libertango” and collaborations with jazz giants like Gary Burton and Gerry Mulligan made his name beyond the tango world, while his classical compositions brought his instrument, the bandoneon critical acclaim in the concert hall. The secrets of musical technique came, he said, from his studies with French pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger and Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera but they also came from his teenage experiences in Buenos Aires, the city where had played bandoneon and arranged music for Anibal Troilo’s famous tango band. Across the week Donald Macleod traces Astor Piazzolla’s life through the places which played an important part in his musical development: New York, Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome and the Uraguayan resort of Punta del Este. Music featured: Tanguedia Tres minutos con la Realidad Piano sonata No 1, Op 7 Sideral Requiem para un Malandra Adios nonino Concierto para quinteto Buenos Aires hora cera (Buenos Aires zero hour) El desbande Tiernamente El recodo Histoire du Tango for flute and guitar Balada para mi muerte Sinfonía Buenos Aires, Op 15 Otoño porteño Two pieces for clarinet and string orchestra Triunfal Prepárense Tangos, El Exilio de Gardel (excerpts from the original soundtrack) Mumuki Michelangelo 70 Amelitango Maria de Buenos Aires (excerpt) Summit Close your eyes and listen 3 Movimientos Tanguisticos Portenos Tristezas de un Doble A Jeanne y Paul Resurreccion del Angel Concerto for bandoneon, string orchestra & percussion Le Grand Tango La Camorra II Five Tango Sensations Libertango Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Astor Piazzolla https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003c6f 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
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64 min
March 15, 2019
Hector Berlioz
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Hector Berlioz Berlioz is perhaps unique among composers in having had a literary gift almost the equal of his musical one. He earned his bread-and-butter living as a writer, turning out witty and often acerbic music criticism for the influential Journal des débats and Gazette musicale among others. Donald starts this week with a look at Berlioz through his engaging, passionate and entertaining Memoirs. Next, he delves into the world of Berlioz’s literary muses – first and foremost, Virgil, Goethe and Shakespeare. We hear about Benvenuto Cellini, the opera whose “verve, impetus and brilliance” Berlioz feared he would never again equal, and his attempt to secure the coveted Prix de Rome amidst the thundering July Revolution. We also encounter some of the celebrated musicians he rubbed shoulders with – among them Liszt, Cherubini, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner and Paganini. Music featured: Les Nuits d’été, Op 7 (Villanelle) Overture Les Francs-Juges, Op 3 Grande Messe des Morts, Op 5 (Dies irae) La Damnation de Faust, Op 24 (extract) Béatrice et Bénédict (Act 1) Zaïde, Op 19 No 1 La Damnation de Faust, Op 24 (Part 2) Waverley, grande ouverture, Op 1 Les Troyens, Op 29 (Act 1, finale) Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d'Hamlet (Tristia, Op 18) La Captive, Op 12 Harold en Italie, Op 16 (IV. Orgie des brigands) Le carnaval romain, Op 9 Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23 (extracts) Messe solennelle (Quoniam tu solus Sanctus) Épisode de la vie d’un artiste – Grande Symphonie fantastique, arr. Franz Liszt Le roi Lear, grande ouverture, Op 4 Les nuits d’été, Op 7 (Absence) Romeo et Juliette, Op 17 (Part 3) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Hector Berlioz https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000345c 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
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64 min
March 8, 2019
Debbie Wiseman
Donald Macleod visits Debbie Wiseman at home to discuss her long and varied career. Debbie Wiseman has over two hundred credits for her music, ranging from television and film, to the concert hall and music for royal pageantry. Not only is she a multi-award winning composer, but also a teacher, pianist and conductor, often performing in and recording her own works. This week, Donald Macleod visits Debbie Wiseman at her home in London to discuss her long and varied career. We hear about the film composer's craft of evoking different worlds in music, Debbie’s belief in versatility and lifelong learning, the challenges of composing for royal events, and her life outside the studio. Music featured: Wolf Hall The Musical Zodiac Haunted Lesbian Vampire Killers Wilde Judge John Deed (Man of Law) The Andrew Marr Show (Affairs Current) Tom & Viv The Nightingale and the Rose Arsene Lupin Lighthouse The Promise Warriors Edie The Ugly Duckling Quiet Room Gigue The 90th Birthday Celebration Suite The Glorious Garden Tom’s Midnight Garden Flood Middletown The Upper Hand (Joe & Diana) Joanna Lumley’s Nile (Journey of a Lifetime) Father Brown Land Girls (While We’re Away) The Selfish Giant Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Debbie Wiseman https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002zfy 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
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62 min
February 22, 2019
Johann Sebastian Bach
Donald Macleod travels alongside J S Bach as he moves from place to place throughout his life. Donald begins with Bach’s early years in the towns of Eisenach and Ohrdruf, where his excellence as a singer and organist was first recognised. He first moved to Weimar at the age of 18, to work as a court musician, and later as an organist and concertmaster – it was here that he would write most of his organ repertoire, but also spent his time trying to please two antagonistic Dukes. Then we move to the city of Köthen, where Bach was employed at the court of Prince Leopold. The royal court offered Bach exactly what he had been denied in Weimar – the chance to build a really exceptional instrument ensemble. We arrive in Leipzig, where Bach was a public servant again, having to satisfy a plethora of different bodies and individuals. Although his time there was peppered with disputes and discontent, it was his home for 27 years and it is where he composed the bulk of the work that lives on. Finally, Donald explores the afterlife of Bach’s music, including his propulsion into outer space aboard the Voyager spacecraft’s Golden Record. Music featured: Magnificat Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major Concerto in C major for organ Partita No 1 for violin Widerstehe doch der Sunde Capriccio on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother Komm, Jesu, Komm Toccata and Fugue in D minor for organ Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn The Art of Fugue Cello Suite No 1 in G Major Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 Concerto No 2 in F major Well-Tempered Clavier, No 1 in C major Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring Violin Sonata No 1 in G minor Orchestral Suite No 4 in D major Musical Offering Mass in B minor Partita for Violin No 3 in E major Capriccio in E major St Matthew Passion Goldberg Variations Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Johann Sebastian Bach https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002l9v 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
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59 min
February 15, 2019
Max Bruch
Donald Macleod explores Max Bruch’s violin works. Melody, said Bruch, represents the “soul of music” and nowhere is that better represented than in his famous violin concerto. It’s a work which brought him fame and fortune, but it’s also a work he came to hate, since he felt its popularity suppressed performances of his other compositions. It’s a sentiment that has some justification, since Bruch wrote some two hundred odd works, the majority of which are rarely performed. This week, Donald Macleod looks at Max Bruch’s prickly professional relationships, his feeling of being overshadowed by Brahms, and the instrument with which he had a very close affinity. Music featured: Adagio Appassionato Septet 6 pieces for solo piano Op 12 Violin Concerto no 1 in G minor, Op 26 Swedish dances, Op 63 Symphony No 2 Schön Ellen Op 24 for soprano, baritone and orchestra Violin Concerto No 2 in D minor, Op 44 Bei den roten Rosen Odysseus, Op 41 Scottish Fantasy Kol nidrei Op 47 Symphony No 3 Romance in A minor, Op 42 Das Lied von der Glocke, Op 45 Violin concerto No 3 Eight pieces for clarinet, viola and piano, Op 83 Serenade, Op 75 String Octet in B flat major Konzertstück in F sharp minor, Op 84 Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Max Bruch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002gxf 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
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54 min
February 8, 2019
William Grant Still
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of African-American composer William Grant Still (1895-1978). This week Composer of the Week looks at Still’s transformative period of study with mentor Edgard Varèse, the writing of his breakthrough 1st Symphony the ‘Afro-American’, being embraced by the American musical establishment and becoming the first African-American to conduct a major US symphony orchestra, and his uphill struggles to establish himself as a composer of opera. Music featured: Brown Baby Darker America Breath of a Rose La Guiablesse (The She-Devil), ballet Africa, suite for orchestra (1. Land of Peace) Quit Dat Fool’nish Symphony No 1 in A flat, ‘Afro-American’ A Deserted Plantation Kaintuck’, poem for piano and orchestra Blues, Pt 1 Lenox Avenue (The Crap Game; The Flirtation; The Fight; The Law) Symphony No 2 in G minor, ‘Song of a New Race’ (4. Moderately Slow) Out of the Silence (Seven Traceries, No 4) And They Lynched Him on a Tree Old California ‘A Black Pierrot’ (Songs of Separation) Incantation and Dance, for oboe and piano Festive Overture Bells Symphony No 4, ‘Autochthonous’ Whippoorwill's Shoes (Wood Notes) Little Black Slave Child (Troubled Island) Ennanga, for harp, piano and string quartet (1. Moderately fast) Symphony No 3, ‘The Sunday Symphony’ (2. Prayer – very slowly; 3. Relaxation – Gaily) Lyric Quartette Highway One: Act I (extract) Grief (Weeping Angel) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 William Grant Still: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002cbd 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
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65 min
February 1, 2019
Michael Tippett
Donald Macleod and Oliver Soden look at Michael Tippett through his intense personal relationships. Michael Tippett was a particularly absorbent composer, soaking up an incredibly wide range of inspirations and influences from the world around him, and perhaps most often from outside the field of music. His huge intellectual capacity and endless interest in other people combined with immense charisma to make him a personality to which everyone who met him seemed irresistibly drawn. His - often complex - relationships were particularly intense ones, and frequently blurred the lines between professional and personal, artistic and sexual. This week Composer of the Week looks at some of the people closest to Tippett and asks what influence they had on the life and music of a man whose story has still never been fully told. Joining Donald Macleod to explore sometimes uncharted territory is Oliver Soden, the author of a new - and the first complete - biography of the composer. Music featured: Where The Bee Sucks from Songs for Ariel A Child of Our Time (Part 1) Byzantium  Purcell arr. Tippett: If music be the food of love  Piano Sonata No 1, 1st movement: Allegro Suite in D for the Birthday of Prince Charles The Heart’s Assurance Variations on an Elizabethan Theme: Lament Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli The Midsummer Marriage Praeludium For Brass, Bells And Percussion Music String Quartet No 1: Lento Cantabile Symphony No 2: Adagio molto e tranquillo Songs for Achilles The Knot Garden: Enough, Enough Tippett: Dance, Clarion Air Piano Concerto – 1: Allegro non troppo Crown of the Year The Blue Guitar The Rose Lake Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Dominic Jewel for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Michael Tippett: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00028h7 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
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78 min
January 25, 2019
Franz Liszt
Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of Franz Liszt through five striking images. Franz Liszt was the most photographed man of the 19th century and the most sculpted man aside from Napoleon - one of the most recognisable figures of his age. Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of the prolific composer and virtuoso pianist through five intriguing images. Through these, he examines the promotion of Liszt as a child prodigy, and how his persona of the ‘dramatic virtuoso’ was created. We also hear about Liszt’s complicated relationships: with women and his friend Richard Wagner, and his frantic threefold existence, living between Rome, Weimar and Budapest. Music featured: 50 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli – Variation 24 Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 Transcendental Etude No 4 'Mazeppa' Don Sanche (The Castle of Love): Overture Malédiction Christus Grandes Etudes de Paganini No 3 'La Campanella' Totentanz El Contrabandista – Rondo Fantastique Grand Galop Chromatique Cantata for Inauguration of the Beethoven Monument: Soirées de Vienne No 6 Liebestraum No 3 (Nocturne) Années de pèlerinage: Au lac de Wallenstadt A Symphony to Dante's Divine Comedy Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Cantique d'amour Orpheus Wieder möcht' ich dir begegnen Richard Wagner (arr. Franz Liszt) Tannhäuser: Choeur des Pèlerins Prometheus A Faust Symphony: III. Mephistopheles In Liebeslust The Legend of St Elizabeth: Chorus of the Angels At the Grave of Richard Wagner Legend of St Francis of Assisi: St Francis preaches to the birds Via Crucis (Cruxis): Station VI Hungarian Rhapsody No 9 Nuages Gris Mephisto Waltz No 2 Années de pèlerinage: IV. Au bord d’une source Richard Wagner (arr. Franz Liszt) Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Franz Liszt: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00022zn 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
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85 min
January 18, 2019
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Donald Macleod explores the operas of Jean-Phillipe Rameau. At his death in 1764, Rameau, by then an octogenarian, had more than 30 stage works to his credit. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider he produced his first opera at the age of 50. Up to that point, although details about his life are surprisingly patchy, he appears to have held a succession of posts in the provinces, as an organist, teacher and theoretician, seemingly without even a whiff of greasepaint. Then, at an age when one might assume his chosen path was settled, Rameau upped sticks, came back to Paris and conquered the stage with breathtaking speed. Across the week Donald Macleod focusses on those heady, initial years in the French capital, building a picture of what made Rameau into a highly successful, if controversial, theatrical composer. Music featured: Hippolyte et Aricie Thétis Concert No. 1 in C minor Les Indes Galantes (suite) La Pouplinière Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin Castor et Pollux Quatrième concert Les fêtes d’Hébé, (opera-ballet) Le Rappel des Oiseaux Les soupirs Les cyclops Les fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour Dardanus Les tricotets L’indifferente La poule l’enharmonique l’égiptienne Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Jean-Philippe Rameau: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00893kl 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
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59 min
January 11, 2019
Felix Mendelssohn
Donald Macleod journeys through the life of Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn was a leading figure of German music in his day, and became something of an international celebrity. He was at the very forefront of music making during the 1830s and 1840s, as a composer, conductor, pianist and organist. He began as a highly gifted and versatile prodigy, and rose to become one of Germany’s first rank composers of the early romantic period. He composed music in many genres including concertos, oratorios, symphonies, songs and chamber music. Amongst some of his most famous works are the highly evocative and dramatic overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and his mature and richly romantic Violin Concerto. In Composer of the Week, Donald Macleod journeys through the life of Felix Mendelssohn, exploring in particular a number of influences upon the composer’s works: Mozart, his travels in Italy, Bach, his visits to London, and his wife and muse, Cecile. Music featured: Die beiden Padagogen Duo Sonata in G minor Piano Quartet No 2 in F minor, Op 2 (Allegro molto vivace) Piano Concerto in A minor Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19B No 6 (Venetianisches Gondellied) Psalm 115 Non nobis Domine, Op 31 Nachspiel in D major Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90 (Italian) String Symphony No 5 in B flat major (Allegro vivace) Prelude and Fugue No 1 in E minor, Op 35 Paulus, Op 36 (Rise! Up! Arise!) Organ Sonata in C minor, No 2 Op 65 Elijah, Op 70 (It is enough) Sechs Lieder ohne Worte, Book 1 Op 19b (Moderato) Daniel Barenboim, piano A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Overture) Rondo Brillant, Op 29 Erntelied, Op 8 No 4 Pilgerspruch, Op 8 No 5 Elijah, Op 70 (For the mountains shall depart) Sechs Lieder ohne Worte Op 38 No 6 (Duetto: Andante) Ich wollt’ meine Lieb’ ergosse sich, Op 63 No 1 Herbstlied, Op 63 No 4 Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op 37 No 1 Concerto in E minor for violin and orchestra, Op 64 String Quartet in E minor, Op 44 No 2 (Presto agitato) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001xj5 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
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59 min
January 4, 2019
George Gershwin
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of George Gershwin. When a second-hand piano was hoisted through the window of the Gershwin family’s Lower East Side apartment, a window was quite literally opened onto a new world. Donald begins by looking at Gershwin’s early and lifelong love of the instrument. For many, he was the foremost composer of the "jazz age" and it's through jazz-inflected interpretations that his music has reached its widest audience. Next, Donald tells the story of Gershwin's excursions in the concert hall. He may have been the toast of Broadway, but his attempts to move musically out of the theatre district and into the hallowed portals of the city’s concert halls were, despite some successes, constantly frustrated and a source of disappointment to him. To end, Donald charts George Gershwin's final years, partly spent in a ramshackle beach cottage on Folly Island in South Carolina. His memorable musical experiences with the local Gullah people eventually inspired his magnum opus, the opera Porgy and Bess. Music featured: Summertime That Certain Feeling Three Preludes Piano Concerto in F Has Anyone Seen Joe The Real American Folk Song Fascinating Rhythm Embraceable You I Got Rhythm I Got Rhythm Variations Someone to Watch Over Me Rhapsody in Blue Second Rhapsody American in Paris Strike Up the Band Overture Cuban Overture My Man's Gone Now I Got Plenty of Nothin' Bess, You Is My Woman Now It Ain’t Necessarily So I Loves You Porgy Catfish Row Suite Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Martin Williams For full tracklistings, 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 George Gershwin: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001tjn 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
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50 min
December 28, 2018
Heinrich Schütz
Donald Macleod journeys through Christmas week in the company of Heinrich Schütz. Donald begins by dipping a toe into the fertile archival territory of Schütz’s own writings, a fascinating window onto the life of the composer. Then we’re to the Striezelmarkt for a pastry and a glass of Glühwein, with a look at Christmas in 17th-century Dresden. Onwards to Venice, where Schütz studies with Gabrieli and hobnobs with Monteverdi. Next, things turn serious, as Schütz is swept up in the convulsions of the 30 Years’ War and its impact is felt on musical life. Finally, Donald looks at the great music of Schütz’s final years, his attempts to retire – and eventually bids farewell with his Schwanengesang. Music featured: Cantate Domino canticum novum, SWV 281 O quam tu pulchra es, SWV 265 Wie sehr lieblich und schöne sind doch die Wohnung dein, SWV 181 Habe deine Lust an dem Herren, SWV 311 Concert in Form einer teutschen Begräbnis-Missa, SWV 279 Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort, SWV 485 Hodie Christus natus est, SWV 456 Warum toben die Heiden, SWV 23 Ein Kind ist uns geboren, SWV 302 Verbum caro factum est, SWV 314 The Christmas Story, SWV 435 Jubilate Deo in chordis et organo, SWV 276 Ride la primavera, SWV 7 Di marmo siete voi, SWV 17 Vasto mar, nel cui seno, SWV 19 Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, SWV 41 Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, SWV 29 Ich danke dem Herrn von ganzem Herzen, SWV 34 Fili mi, Absalon, SWV 269 In te, Domine, speravi, SWV 259 Es steh Gott auf, SWV 356 ‘O, Herr, hilf’, SWV 402 Syncharma musicum, SWV 49 Da pacem, Domine’, SWV 465 Veni, Sancte Spiritus, SWV 328 O süsser, o freundlicher Herr Jesu Christ, SWV 285 Erhöre mich, wenn ich dich rufe, SWV 289 Ist Gott für uns, SWV 329 Ich bin eine rufende Stimme, SWV 383 Verleih uns Frieden genädiglich, SWV 372 Das Wort ward Fleisch, SWV 385 Das ist je gewisslich wah, SWV 388 Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich, SWV 45 Auf dem Gebirge, SWV 396 Feget den alten Sauerteig aus, SWV 404 Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich? SWV 415 Komm, heiliger Geist SWV 417 Ich danke dem Herrn von ganzem Herzen, SWV 424 Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt (Psalm 100), SWV 493 St Matthew Passion, SWV 479 Mein Seele erhebt den Herren, SWV 494 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Heinrich Schütz: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001qgh 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
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56 min
December 21, 2018
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Donald Macleod surveys the life and work of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Rimsky-Korsakov’s music is filled with lush orchestration and hints of orientalism and folk music. These elements and his role as a leading member of “The Mighty Handful” of composers who sought to forge a truly nationalistic music have led him to be regarded as the main architect of the Russian style of composition we know today. We hear about Rimsky Korsakov’s lifelong relationship with the sea, his fascination with myths and folklore, the acts of rebellion which pepper his life, his changing religious beliefs and his carefully constructed legacy. Music featured: By the Sea, Op 46: The Wave Breaks into a Spray Scheherazade (I. The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship) From Homer Op.60 Symphony No 1 (II. Andante tranquillo) Sadko, Op. 6 Trombone Concerto (I. Allegro Vivace) Captivated by the Rose, the Nightingale (4 Songs, Op 2 No 2) Antar: IV. Allegretto - Adagio Skazka, Op 29 Capriccio Espagnol, Op 34 Hymn to the Sun from The Golden Cockerel Allegro in B flat major (Les Vendredis, Book II) Overture on Russian Themes, Op 28 Symphony No 3: II. Scherzo Kashchey the Immortal: Tableau 3 Suite from “The Golden Cockerel”: IV. Wedding Feast – Death of King Dodon - Finale Octave (5 Songs “To the Poet”, Op 45) May Night: Overture Snow Maiden: Act IV Finale Russian Easter Festival Overture Chants for Holy Week The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya Suite: I. Hymn to Nature Flight of the Bumblebee (Tsar Saltan) Maid of Pskov – Overture Night on the Bare Mountain Polonaise (Christmas Eve Suite) Mlada: Act III, Scenes 2 and 3 Mozart & Salieri: Scene 2 (extract) Upon the hills of Georgia, Op 3 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Sam Phillips for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001n89 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
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69 min
December 7, 2018
Camille Saint-Saëns
Donald Macleod delves into the character and music of Camille Saint-Saëns This week’s episode begins with a look at Saint-Saëns the innovator, who introduced new-fangled ideas to an opera-loving Parisian public. Donald investigates the driving force behind the composer’s unstoppable ambition and his dogged determination to find an audience for his music. Next, the playful side of Saint-Saëns’ character - one which he kept under wraps in public, yet amongst friends and in private correspondence he sparkled with wit, and it reveals itself in some of his most popular and enduring music. We hear about the many obstacles Saint-Saëns encountered in his attempts to be recognised as a serious operatic composer, and finally, the composer’s critical views on emerging musical trends in the final decades of his life, when he was condemned as a reactionary for his outmoded attitudes. Music featured: Guitares et mandolines Havanaise Piano Trio No 1 in F, Op 18 (1st mvt) Piano Concerto No 2 Danse Macabre Tarantelle Piano Quintet in A minor Op 14 (final mvt) Cello Concerto No 1 Septet La Cigale et la Fourmi Wedding Cake Waltz La Coccinelle Suzette et Suzon Tournoiement ‘Songe d’opium’ Six Studies for the Left Hand, Op 135 (Nos 4, 5 & 6) Le Carnaval des Animaux La Princesse Jaune: Overture O Cruel Souvenir (Henry VIII) Samson et Dalila: Act II (excerpt) Bacchanale (Samson et Dalila) Proserpine: Act II (excerpt) L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise (5th tableau) Fantaisie for violin and harp Piano Concerto No 5 (1st mvt) Romance for flute and piano Organ Symphony (2nd mvt) Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Deborah Preston for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Camille Saint-Saëns: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001d2q 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
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67 min
November 23, 2018
Billy Strayhorn
Donald Macleod looks at five key environments that shaped Billy Strayhorn's personal and musical trajectory. Donald starts the journey in Homewood, Pittsburgh, where Billy Strayhorn’s early life was over-shadowed by poverty and a violent father. Over six years of toil as a “soda jerk and delivery boy” he saved up for music college, but an Art Tatum record showed him that everything he loved about classical music was there in one form or another in jazz. Strayhorn cut free and moved to New York, where his path crossed with Duke Ellington. He was quick to discover an exciting new world of opportunity, playing and writing for Ellington’s famous band – a complex relationship that continued for almost thirty years. Work took him to Hollywood - Donald explores the reasons why this turned out to be both an opportunity and a source of disillusionment. We also hear of Strayhorn’s love affair with Paris, the city where he found the night-life and the artistic independence he craved, and where he was given the chance to record his first album under his own name. Finally, Donald charts the ups and many downs of Strayhorn's final years, which he spent in Riverside Drive, New York. Music featured: Take the “A” Train Lush Life Valse Something to Live For Fantastic Rhythm Suite for the Duo My little Brown Book The Hues Snibor Tonk Passion Flower Your Love has faded Three and Six Grouya/Anderson, arr. Strayhorn: Flamingo Chelsea Bridge Strayhorn/Ellington: The Perfume Suite Clementine Ellington/Strayhorn/Gaines: Just a-sittin' and a rockin' Rain Check Pentonsilic You're the One Tchaikovsky, arr Strayhorn: The Nutcracker Suite Boo-dah Ballad for very tired and very sad lotus eaters Johnny Come Lately Satin Doll Music for The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belisa in their Garden The Newport Jazz Festival Suite Multicoloured Blue Day Dream UMMG Ellington/Strayhorn: Smada Cue's Blue Now Far East Suite Blood Count Cashmere Cutie Le Sacre Supreme Lotus Blossom Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Johannah Smith for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Billy Strayhorn: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00016tc 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
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72 min
November 16, 2018
Gioachino Rossini
Donald Macleod presents five takes on the life and music of Gioachino Rossini. Donald starts by unpacking the winning formula Rossini hit on right at the start of his operatic career. Aged 18, Rossini was thrown in at the deep end, learning on the job at Venice’s Teatro San Moisè, and the structural groundplan he concocted for his early farces continued to come in handy later in life. Rossini is best known as a composer of comic operas, but Donald introduces us to his serious side, looking at three of his opere serie: Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Zelmira and Ermione. Next, a look at Rossini’s life through the enthusiastic but distorting lens of the writer Stendahl, the composer’s earliest biographer and an eyewitness of his most productive period. Donald then delves into the large collection of music that Rossini didn’t have to write – his forays into other genres and forms that came out of his spare time and retirement. Finally, we journey to Paris, to explore the composer’s on-off relationship with the city where he wrote so many of his most celebrated works. Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Gioachino Rossini: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00013x1 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
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61 min
November 9, 2018
François Couperin
Donald Macleod marks 350 years since the birth of François Couperin, one of France’s most dazzling musical talents. Donald begins by leading us through a gallery of the musical portraits that Couperin composed – depicting his contemporaries Lully and Corelli, his aristocratic patrons, and well-known mythological figures. Next, he delves into Couperin’s extraordinary musical family tree, boasting a long line of 7 Couperins who served as organist of St Gervais in Paris. Throughout his glittering career at court, Francois Couperin maintained a loyal connection with his family church and dedicated several works for liturgical use there. We also hear about Couperin’s time in the court of Louis XIV – as the Sun King's composer, writing music for the Versailles Chapel and court entertainment, but also as royal harpsichord tutor. Finally, Donald examines how Couperin embraced the new musical idioms emerging from other countries, and in particular introduced Italian flavours to his native French style. Music featured: La Couperin Salve Regina L’Apothéose de Corelli La Charoloise La Princesse de Sens Arianne consolée par Bacchus Regina coeli laetare, Alleluia Louis Couperin: Five Fantasies Pange lingua en basse Quatre versets du motet Armand-Louis Couperin: Simphonie de clavecins, in D major La Manon L’Enchanteresse La Fleurie ou la tendre Nanette Les plaisirs de Saint Germain en Laye Domine salvum fac regem Messe pour les couvents (Gloria) Troisième Leçon Les Nations (La Francois) Messe pour les paroisses (Agnus Dei) L’Art de toucher le clavecin Respice in me Concert Royaux (Premier Concert) Pieces de violes avec la basse chifree (Deuxième Suite) La Milordine La Piemontoise Les Gouts-reunis ou Nouveaux Concerts (Cinquième Concert) Quatrième livre de Pieces de clavecin, Vingt-troisième ordre Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Francois Couperin : https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000114n 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
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51 min
November 2, 2018
Anton Bruckner
Donald Macleod explores five personality traits of the strange genius Anton Bruckner. Donald starts with Bruckner’s obsessive tendencies – from bar-counting to full-blown ‘numeromania’ which landed him in a sanatorium. We hear about Bruckner’s unshakeable religious belief, his influential divine visions, and his music for the church. Next, his veneration for Wagner - he was transformed by the experience of hearing Tannhaüser, and paid frequent tribute to the man he was wont to call “the master of all masters”. Bruckner was also one of music history’s great re-thinkers. His many musical revisions were driven by artistic insecurity, criticism and his constant search for proportion and balance. Finally, Bruckner’s superstitious nature is explored, particularly his fear of writing a ninth symphony. Music featured: Locus iste, WAB23 Symphony No 1 in C minor Mass No 3 in F minor, WAB 28 (Kyrie) Symphony No 5 in B flat, WAB105 Germanenzug (The Germanic Host), WAB 70 Mass No 1 in D minor, WAB 26 (Sanctus) Ave Maria, WAB 6 Mass No 2 in E minor, WAB 27 (Credo) Os iusti, WAB 30 Ecce sacerdos magnus, WAB 13 Virga Jesse, WAB 52 Psalm 150, for soprano, chorus and orchestra, WAB 38 Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act 3 (‘Ehrt eure deutschen Meister’) Symphony No 3 in D minor, WAB 103 Christus factus est, WAB 11 Symphony No 7 in E, WAB 107 Symphony No 2 in C minor, WAB 102 Symphony No 4 in E flat, WAB 104 (‘Romantic’) Symphony No 8 in C minor, WAB 108 Bruckner: Symphony No 9 in D minor, WAB 109 Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109 Te Deum, WAB 45 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Anton Bruckner: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000xj9 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
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65 min
October 26, 2018
Dora Pejačević
Donald Macleod introduces a first in Composer of the Week’s seventy-year history, the Croatian Countess Dora Pejačević. Donald is joined by Professor Koraljka Kos and Professor Iskra Iveljic to discuss the known facts about the life and music of this Countess and her family. Although Pejačević was born into one of the most influential aristocratic families in Croatia, she became rather critical of her own class in later life. Through her position she did have the opportunity to study in Germany with noted music teachers of the day, and met and collaborated with some of the literary giants of the early twentieth century. Upon her death at the age of only 37, she left a catalogue of over one hundred compositions displaying a unique voice now largely forgotten. Music featured: Romance, Op 22 Symphony in F sharp minor, Op 41 Zwei Nocturnes, Op 50 No 2 Piano Concerto in G minor, Op 33 Zwei Lieder, Op 27 No 1 (I creep along my way) Warum? Op 13 Berceuse, Op 2 Papillon, Op 6 Sechs Fantasiestucke, Op 17 String Quartet in C major, Op 58 Canzonetta, Op 8 Violin Sonata, Op 43 (Adagio) Phantasie Concertante, Op 48 Verwandlung, Op 37 Blumenleben, Op 19 Madchengestalten, Op 42 Drei Gesange, Op 53 Piano Quintet in B minor, Op 40 (Poco sostenuto) Humoreske and Caprice, Op 54 Trio in C major, Op 29 (Scherzo: Allegro & Lento) Liebeslied, Op 39 Piano Sonata in A flat major, Op 57 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Dora Pejačević: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000tqb 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
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79 min
October 12, 2018
Hubert Parry
Marking the centenary of his death, Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Hubert Parry. Donald begins with the story of Parry's early years, rooted at Highnam Court in Gloucestershire, before looking at the period he was centred around Orme Square in London, the home of his teacher and mentor Edward Dannreuther. We hear about Parry’s connection with the long-running Three Choirs Festival: Parry’s father, Thomas Gambier Parry, was energetic and generous in his efforts to ensure the Festival’s survival, and the Three Choirs was to prove an important platform for his son’s music. Another hugely important institution to Parry was the Royal College of Music - in time, he would become Director of the College and an inspiration to the next generation of composers. We finish with the final years of Parry’s life, during World War One, when Parry's most enduring composition, Jerusalem, was first performed at the Queen’s Hall in London. Music featured: I was Glad Freundschaftslieder Bright Star Fantasie Sonata in B major Choral Prelude for Organ "On SS Wesley's Hampton" Symphony No.1 (2nd movement) Love is a bable Cello Sonata in A Take, O take those lips away Partita in D Minor String Quintet in E-Flat Major Symphony No. 2 in F major (The Cambridge) Long Since In Egypt's Plenteous Land Blest Pair of Sirens The Soul's Ransom Symphony No.3 in C major (The English) Who Can Dwell in Greatness The Birds of Aristophanes Crabbed Age and Youth From Death to Life Symphony No.4 (4th movement) Jerusalem Ode on the Nativity Lord Let Me Know Mine End Symphony No.5 in B minor (ii. Love) Jerusalem Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Martin Williams for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Hubert Parry: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000nl6 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
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68 min
October 5, 2018
Thea Musgrave
Donald Macleod is in conversation with Thea Musgrave as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Donald and Thea begin by discussing her dream of becoming a composer, and the dreams that have inspired her works. Born in Edinburgh, Thea left her medical degree for music, winning a composition prize which took her to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. A dream about a subversive clarinettist helped formed the idea for her breakthrough commission from the CBSO, the Concerto for Orchestra. They talk about her early electronic experimentation, and her idea of the dramatic abstract, where she experiments with spatial configurations of players and acoustic possibilities. Thea is also one of Britain’s most prolific living opera composers, bringing to the stage stories of figures like Mary Queen of Scots, Harriet Tubman, and Simón Bolívar. In 1970 she was offered the post of Guest Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and has lived and made her life as a composer in the States ever since. Donald asks her about her approach to teaching and encouraging young composers. They look at the importance of visual art in Thea’s life and imagination, leading to significant compositions inspired by Edward Hopper and J. M. W. Turner. Finally, Thea reflects on the continuing pleasure she derives from composing, as well as her on-going friendships with players, and she stresses the vital part that music plays in all of our lives. Music featured: Driving in the Highlands (Excursions for piano duet) Four Madrigals Rorate Coeli Impromptu for flute and oboe Concerto for Orchestra Niobe for oboe and pre-recorded tape Concerto for horn and orchestra Wild Winter I The Peace Chorus (Mary Queen of Scots, Act 1) The Seasons Helios - Concerto for oboe and orchestra On the Underground, Set 2: The Strange and the Exotic Night Windows for oboe and piano Turbulent Landscapes for orchestra On the Underground, Set 1: Sometimes Songs for a Winter’s Evening Two’s Company – a concerto for percussion and orchestra Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Rosie Boulton for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Thea Musgrave: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000kg9 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
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69 min
September 28, 2018
Sergei Rachmaninov
Donald Macleod explores Sergei Rachmaninov’s years in America. Reluctant even to visit at first, and once there always more than a little homesick, this proudly Russian composer in fact lived in the United States of America for 25 years, from the end of the First World War until his death in 1943. His life there was principally that of a virtuoso performer, not a composer; and Rachmaninov gave recitals for presidents, recorded discs for Thomas Edison, and felt obliged to rattle off his “hated” Prelude in C sharp minor for concert audiences wherever he went. All this week, Donald looks at Rachmaninov’s equivocal relationship with his adopted homeland. Rachmaninov’s first toured the USA in 1909, but it was only when he fled the 1917 revolution that he had to properly adjust to life as a concert pianist there. His intense performing schedule left him exhausted – we hear about the year 1926, which dedicated solely to composition, and how he found productive solace during his in summers in Switzerland. Although Rachmaninov was slow to embrace his adopted country, never really learning proper English and always looking back longingly to mother Russia, he did come to love the United States, and eventually, in the final year of his life, became a citizen. By then he’d become immersed in American cultural life, relishing jazz music and even admiring Mickey Mouse’s take on his ubiquitous Prelude. Music featured: Prelude in C sharp minor Piano concerto in D minor, 1st movement The Isle of the Dead, Op 29 A Dream (6 Songs, Op 38 No 5) The Star-Spangled Banner for piano Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, 1st movement Polichinelle in F sharp minor, Op 3 No 4 Lento a capriccio (The Bells) Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 in C sharp minor (Liszt, arr. Rachmaninov) Liebeslied (arr. for piano) Etudes Tableaux, Op 33, Nos 2 and 7 3 Russian Songs, Op 41 Marche (Etudes Tableaux, orch. Respighi) Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op 42 Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op 43 Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 44, second movement Prelude in C sharp minor (arr. Barnet) 3 Symphonic Dances, Op 45 The Muse; What Happiness; Vocalise (14 Songs, Op 34) Lilacs Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Dominic Jewel for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Rachmaninov: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000hb7 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
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65 min
September 14, 2018
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Donald Macleod explores the conflicted relationships and mysteries in the life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Donald begins this week’s episode by looking at Tchaikovsky’s early years as a civil servant, wrestling with the tension between his desire to compose music and his responsibilities as a bureaucrat in St Petersburg. We hear about some of the composer’s tricky relationships - with the ascendant Nationalist school of Russian composers, and also with money. His need to earn a living and support himself by the music he composed led to an unconventional connection with one wealthy woman in particular. Donald traces Tchaikovsky’s long period of wandering, in which he spent years away from Russia, seemingly compelled by a disordered, un-reconciled personal life. Tchaikovsky was a mystery to the end, and there are many questions surrounding the puzzle of his death, which happened just days after the premiere of his sixth symphony, considered by many to be his finest work. Music featured: Swan Lake (Act 2) Eugene Onegin (Act 3, Scene 1) Song for the Golden Jubilee of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence Piano Concerto No. 1 (1st movement) Romeo and Juliet Chant sans paroles (Souvenir de Hapsal) None but the Lonely Heart String Quartet no.1 The Snow Maiden, First Song of Lel Finale: Moderato assai - allegro vivo – presto (Symphony No. 2) 1812 Overture March: The Song of the Lark (The Seasons) The Tempest Piano Trio, 1st movement Finale (Symphony No 4) Pimpinella (Romances, Op 38, No 6) Valse Sentimentale Violin Concerto Danse des polichinelles et des histrions (Maid of Orleans) Souvenir de Florence (1st and 2nd movements) We Sat Together Act 1, March (The Nutcracker) Piano Concerto No 3 Adagio & Waltz (The Sleeping Beauty - Suite) Symphony No 6 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Martin Williams for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, 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 Tchaikovsky: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000bbv 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
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58 min
September 7, 2018
Ernest Chausson
Donald Macleod explores the friendships, influences and struggles in the life and work of Ernest Chausson. Amédée-Ernest Chausson grew up in Paris during a period of great political, social and economic upheaval in France, from the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War to the advent of the Third Republic. His family, however, was materially little affected, profiting from their involvement in Napoleon’s remodelling of the medieval city into wide open boulevards. Living a bourgeois lifestyle amongst the salon society of the mid-nineteenth century, they boasted an extensive art collection in their family mansion, where Chausson later remained with his wife and children. Supported by a private income unlike most of his creative peers, he was able to devote himself to composing with no financial pressure. But Chausson’s life wasn’t without a care in the world. Critics saw him as a dilettante, and his relatively small output reflects the agonies of doubt in his mind. He battled to find his own voice at a time when Wagner had cast a long shadow over French music - his only opera took almost ten years to complete. This struggle for artistic recognition was only just turning a corner when he died unexpectedly at the age of 44 in 1899. In this episode, Donald Macleod looks at the cultural advantages of Chausson’s family circle, fostering his passion for art which he indulged at home and on his travels. He uncovers Chausson’s musical friendships with Debussy and Franck, and his struggles to create – the torment of writing a symphony, and how enchanted forests, myths and legends inspired his rare forays into the world of theatre. Music featured: Pièce for cello (or viola) and piano, Op 39 Sérénade italienne; Les papillons; La dernière feuille, (7 Melodies, Op 2) La caravane Serres chaudes, Op 24 Poème for violin and orchestra L’aveu; Apaisement, Op 13 Andante and Allegro Viviane, op 5 Piano Trio in G minor, Op 3 (4th mvt) Symphony in B flat, Op 20 (3rd mvt) Sicilienne, Op 21 4 Mélodies, Op 8 Symphony in B flat, Op 20 (1st mvt) Poème de l’amour et de la mer, Op 19 La Nuit, Op 11 Chanson perpetuelle, Op 37 Soir de Fête, Op 32 Piano Quartet in A major Op 30 (1st mvt) La Légende de Sainte-Cécile, Op 22 (Act 3 Finale) Dans la forêt du charme et de l’enchantement, Op 36 no 2 Excerpts from La Tempête; La Légende de Ste Cécile; Le roi Arthus For full tracklistings, 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 Chausson: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000092k 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
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59 min
August 24, 2018
Leonard Bernstein
Donald Macleod is joined by Bernstein protegée, conductor Marin Alsop, to look back at Bernstein’s hectic life as composer, pianist, thinker and entertainer. There are no neutrals when it comes to Leonard Bernstein: exhibitionist, a playboy touring Italy in a Maserati, an exhilarating conductor, provocative thinker, ‘one of the most electrifying personalities of our time’. 2018 marks the centenary of this life-affirming composer who always preferred to call himself, simply, ‘musician’. Donald and Marin begin in the world of jazz which inspired much of Bernstein’s finest work, then look at the composer’s gift for reaching new audiences through the theatre. They discuss Bernstein’s reputation as a musical thinker– treading a delicate line between the innovative and the kitsch, and trace his journey from upstart son of a Jewish immigrant to superstar ambassador for American music. Thanks to the BBC radio and TV archives, we hear from Bernstein himself in interviews he gave through the course of his prolific career. We discover a man who was forceful in his views, passionate to the extreme, charismatic on the stage, but also latterly tormented by regrets and a feeling that he had never quite achieved the magnum opus inside him. Music featured: Enter Three Sailors (Fancy Free) Prelude, Fugue and Riffs The Lark (Latin Choruses) The Age of Anxiety (part 2) arr. Buddy Rich: West Side Story The Children Fly (Peter Pan) Wonderful Town (Overture) A Quiet Place (Act 1 finale) West Side Story (excerpts) Slava! A Political Overture Mass (excerpts) I Hate Music! Kaddish (1st mvt) Samba (Divertimento) Mr and Mrs Webb Say Goodnight (Arias and Barcarolles) On the Waterfront (Suite) Songfest (excerpts) Lucky to be Me (On the Town) For full tracklistings, 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 Bernstein: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00007gc 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 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales
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73 min
August 3, 2018
Alfred Schnittke
Donald Macleod explores the strange, brilliant and occasionally nightmarish world of the Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke. The music of Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) is like being lost in a hall of mirrors. Staring back at you is the whole of music history - from Bach to modern pop via tangos, Soviet work songs, Gregorian chant and Viennese waltzes - refracted and distorted, and woven together to create a uniquely personal style. Thrilling, grotesque, occasionally nightmarish - Schnittke creates a world where everything has a hidden meaning. Beethoven's Fifth suddenly springs terrifyingly out of the darkness in the midst of an otherwise chaotic symphony. Or a cheap Russian pop song appears inexplicably amidst a Baroque chorale. Schnittke's world of suppressed meanings perfectly captured life under the cosh of Soviet Communism. All this week, Donald Macleod unpicks the strands of a musician often seen as the heir to Shostakovich - and perhaps the last truly great composer of the 20th century. Donald begins by exploring the connections - musical, psychological and spiritual - between Alfred Schnittke and the great titan of Soviet music, Dmitri Shostakovich. He then unravels the term "polystylism", which Schnittke himself coined to describe his fusing of wildly eclectic styles - from Bach to pop to hypermodernism to Tchaikovsky. We hear about Schnittke’s intense fame in the 1970s, and how his turn to a deeply devout musical style shocked the avant-garde and won him a whole new spectrum of admirers. Donald takes us through Schnittke’s most rollicking and significant year – 1985 – which saw the creation of five acknowledged masterpieces and the first of several crippling strokes. Seemingly, Schnittke’s mortality drove him to create ever more shattering music in his final years - to compose to the very bitter end, in the face of almost unimaginable physical challenges. Music featured: Concerto Grosso No 1 (arr. for flute, oboe, harpsichord, prepared piano and strings) (2nd mvt) Violin Concerto No 1 (2nd mvt) Piano Quintet (2nd mvt - "In Tempo Di Valse") Violin Sonata No 1 Symphony No 1 (2nd mvt) The Cloak (Gogol Suite) Concerto Grosso No 3 Voices Of Nature Schnittke, arr Boguslavsky Suite In The Old Style Hymn No 3, for cello, bassoon, harp, harpsichord and tubular bells Complete This Work Which I Began (Choir Concerto - 4th mvt) Gloria - Credo - Crucifixus (Symphony No 2 "St Florian") O Master Of All Living (Choir Concerto - 1st mvt) When They Beheld The Ship That Suddenly Came; If You Wish To Overcome Unending Sorrow; I Entered This Life Of Tears A Naked Infant (Psalms Of Repentance) Moz-Art A La Haydn Viola Concerto (1st & 2nd mvts) Concerto Grosso No 4 / Symphony No 5 (2nd mvt) Doctor Faustus lamented and wept...It came to pass (Faust Cantata) Menuet, for violin, viola and 'cello Stille Nacht Symphony No 6 (3rd & 4th mvts) Piano Sonata No 1 For full tracklistings, 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 Schnittke: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bcpr22 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 Presenter: Donald Macleod Producer: Steven Rajam for BBC Wales
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64 min
July 27, 2018
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of undisputed master, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
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62 min
July 20, 2018
Josquin des Prez
Donald Macleod and Jeremy Summerly discuss elusive Renaissance master, Josquin des Prez.
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88 min
July 13, 2018
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams
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73 min
July 6, 2018
Luciano Berio
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Italian experimental composer, Luciano Berio
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70 min
June 22, 2018
Carl Maria von Weber
Donald Macleod examines the life and work of German composer Carl Maria von Weber
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62 min
June 15, 2018
Charles Gounod
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of French composer Charles Gounod
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64 min
June 1, 2018
Giovanni Gabrieli
Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of Giovanni Gabrieli
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66 min
May 25, 2018
Maurice Ravel
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of French composer Maurice Ravel.
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74 min
May 18, 2018
Johannes Brahms
Donald Macleod explores the lifelong friendship between Brahms and the great violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim - and the music of genius that resulted
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59 min
May 11, 2018
Lili Boulanger
Donald Macleod explores the life of Lili Boulanger, the first female winner of France's most prestigious composition competition, the Prix de Rome
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62 min
May 4, 2018
Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland is the composer who, more than any other, defined the sound of American classical music. Copland's life spanned every decade of the 20th Century, and this week Donald Macleod explores the composer's life and music against the background of the events of that Century.
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62 min
April 20, 2018
Giuseppe Verdi
Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music.
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73 min
April 13, 2018
Johann Pachelbel
Donald Macleod unravels the rich musical legacy of a composer known almost exclusively for one iconic work: the "Canon in D".
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69 min
March 30, 2018
Carlo Gesualdo
Donald Macleod looks at the life and music of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, notorious for the murder of his first wife and cousin, Maria d'Avalos.
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68 min
March 23, 2018
Claude Debussy
Donald Macleod looks at the development of Debussy's career against his personal life
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65 min
March 16, 2018
Joseph Haydn
Donald Macleod explores a hugely successful episode in Haydn's life, his London years.
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64 min
March 9, 2018
Rachel Portman
Donald Macleod joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform.
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82 min
March 2, 2018
Richard Strauss
Donald Macleod introduces the life and music of the German composer and conductor, Richard Strauss.
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59 min
February 23, 2018
John Dowland
Donald Macleod introduces John Dowland, and those influenced by his exquisite melodies.
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63 min
February 16, 2018
Jean Sibelius
Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of the man who is almost universally recognised as Finland's greatest ever composer – Jean Sibelius.
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76 min
February 9, 2018
Toru Takemitsu
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.
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58 min
February 2, 2018
Handel
Donald Macleod introduces a variety of music across the whole of Handel's life
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56 min
January 26, 2018
Lutoslawski
Donald Macleod is joined by Dr Nicholas Reyland to explore Witold Lutoslawski's life
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67 min
January 19, 2018
Beethoven
Donald Macleod explores Beethoven the pianist and composer for the piano.
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48 min
January 12, 2018
Schubert
Donald focuses on five years through Franz Schubert's short life.
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48 min
December 22, 2017
J S Bach
Donald Macleod traces J S Bach's early life from Eisenach through to his first marriage.
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59 min
December 15, 2017
Tchaikovsky
Donald Macleod explores the rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy in Tchaikovsky's music
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39 min
December 8, 2017
21st Century Opera
Paul Griffiths joins Donald Macleod to give opera a health check in the 21st century.
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58 min
November 24, 2017
Thelonious Monk
Donald Macleod and Brian Priestley celebrate the centenary of jazz legend Thelonious Monk
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75 min
November 17, 2017
Breaking Free: A Century of Russian Culture: Soviet Russia (1953-1991)
Donald and Marina Frolova-Walker look at the lives and masterpieces of the musicians.
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87 min
November 10, 2017
Breaking Free: A Century of Russian Culture: Soviet Russia (1917-1953)
Donald and Marina Frolova-Walker look at the lives and masterpieces of the musicians.
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74 min
November 3, 2017
Elgar
Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses
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65 min
October 20, 2017
Puccini
Donald Macleod and Sir Antonio Pappano trace the developmental line of Puccini's heroines
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92 min
October 13, 2017
Vivaldi's operas
A look behind the curtain and onto the stage to explore the world of Vivaldi's operas
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65 min
September 29, 2017
Mussorgsky
Donald Macleod explores Mussorgsky's music, with the spotlight on his songs
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46 min
September 22, 2017
Purcell
Donald Macleod explores the music of English composer Henry Purcell.
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61 min
September 15, 2017
Alexander Goehr - Part 2
Donald Macleod in conversation with composer Alexander Goehr at his home near Cambridge
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39 min
September 15, 2017
Alexander Goehr - Part 1
Donald Macleod in conversation with composer Alexander Goehr at his home near Cambridge
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53 min
September 8, 2017
Mozart
Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years
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41 min
August 11, 2017
Grieg
Donald Macleod looks at the multi-talented Norwegian composer, pianist and conductor
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54 min
August 4, 2017
Birth of Polyphony
Donald Macleod takes a close look at the change from pure monophony to complex polyphony.
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67 min
July 28, 2017
Mathias
Donald Macleod explores Mathias's student days in Aberystwyth and London
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64 min
July 21, 2017
Haydn
Donald Macleod explores Haydn's often overlooked piano sonatas.
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58 min
July 14, 2017
Messiaen
Donald Macleod explores the organ music of Olivier Messiaen.
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51 min
July 7, 2017
Charpentier
Donald Macleod explores the music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
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57 min
June 30, 2017
Mahler
Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Gustav and Alma Mahler
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57 min
June 16, 2017
Bizet
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Georges Bizet
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64 min
June 9, 2017
Chopin
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin
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61 min
June 2, 2017
Rebecca Clarke
Donald Macleod looks at life of Rebecca Clarke with Christopher Johnson and Ian Jones.
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64 min
May 19, 2017
Monteverdi
Donald Macleod recounts Monteverdi's rise from humble beginnings in Cremona.
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59 min
May 5, 2017
Praetorius
Donald Macleod focuses on Praetorius's final years and works.
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66 min
April 28, 2017
LeFanu
Donald Macleod talks to British composer Nicola LeFanu in the year of her 70th birthday
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75 min
April 28, 2017
LeFanu
British composer Nicola LeFanu discusses her life and music with Donald Macleod.
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75 min
April 21, 2017
Schumann
Donald Macleod explores Schumann's Dusseldorf years.
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58 min
April 14, 2017
Dvorak
Donald explores the critical period in the late 1870s when Dvorak first made his name.
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52 min
April 7, 2017
Joplin
Donald Macleod looks at the African-American composer Scott Joplin.
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71 min
March 24, 2017
Zemlinsky
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Alexander Zemlinsky
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55 min
March 17, 2017
Maxwell Davies
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Peter Maxwell Davies.
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61 min
March 10, 2017
The Women of Renaissance Ferrara
Donald with Laurie Stras explore the work of the female composers of Renaissance Ferrara.
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88 min
February 24, 2017
Gade
Donald Macleod is joined by Dr Colin Roth to explore the life and work of Niels Gade.
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64 min
February 17, 2017
Ravel
Donald Macleod explores the enigmatic personality and vibrant music of Maurice Ravel.
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62 min
February 10, 2017
Mackenzie
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Alexander Mackenzie.
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64 min
February 3, 2017
Britten
Donald Macleod explores the music of Benjamin Britten's formative years.
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65 min
January 20, 2017
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
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52 min
January 6, 2017
Schoenberg
Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints
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74 min
December 30, 2016
Novello
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Ivor Novello.
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82 min
December 23, 2016
Prokofiev
Donald Macleod explores Prokofiev's triumphant and ultimately tragic return to the USSR.
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72 min
December 16, 2016
Caccini
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle.
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63 min
December 9, 2016
Handel
Donald Macleod focuses on Handel the organist.
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63 min
November 25, 2016
Faure
Donald Macleod follows the dramatic thread running through Gabriel Faure's musical output
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52 min
November 11, 2016
Schubert
Donald Macleod explores the remarkable and prolific final year of Schubert's life.
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63 min
November 4, 2016
Meredith Monk
Donald Macleod talks to Meredith Monk about her remarkable life and unique music
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84 min
October 28, 2016
Michael Haydn
Michael Haydn. He was a composer admired and respected by Mozart and revered by Schubert
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71 min
October 14, 2016
Martinu
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Bohuslav Martinu.
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62 min
October 7, 2016
Daniel Kidane
Donald is in conversation with Composer Daniel Kidane .
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21 min
October 7, 2016
Anna Meredith
Donald Macleod talks to acoustic and electronic music composer Anna Meredith.
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25 min
October 6, 2016
Helen Grime
Donald Macleod speaks to British composer Helen Grime about her work.
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23 min
October 4, 2016
Gwilym Simcock
Donald's joined by composer and jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock .
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21 min
October 4, 2016
Anoushka Shankar
Donald is joined by composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar.
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29 min
October 3, 2016
Oliver Knussen
Donald Macleod invites composer Oliver Knussen to join him to discuss his life and career
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95 min
September 23, 2016
Rubbra
Donald is joined by Edmund Rubbra's sons Benedict and Adrian, who discuss their father and his music
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72 min
September 16, 2016
Rimsky-Korsakov
Donald Macleod explores Rimsky-Korsakov's final years through the lens of his biographer, Vasily Vasilyevitch Yastrebtsev
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69 min
August 26, 2016
Mendelssohn
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of composers.
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79 min
August 19, 2016
Janacek
Donald looks at Janacek's life through his instrumental and small-scale compositions.
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58 min
August 12, 2016
Villa Lobos
Donald explores the music and life of Villa-Lobos with musicologist Manoel Correa do Lago
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89 min
August 5, 2016
Butterworth
Donald Macleod explores the music of George Butterworth and four of his contemporaries
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73 min
July 29, 2016
Brahms
Looking at the life and work of Johannes Brahms and some of his larger orchestral works
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53 min
July 15, 2016
Mozart
Donald explores Mozart's relationship with his home city of Salzburg.
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67 min
July 8, 2016
Bernard Stevens
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of neglected British composer Bernard Stevens
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67 min
July 1, 2016
Stravinsky and the Symphony
Donald Macleod explores Igor Stravinsky's life through his symphonies.
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54 min
June 17, 2016
Johann Strauss I and II
Donald Macleod explores the lives of and music of Johann Strauss I and his son, Johann
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82 min
June 3, 2016
Gershwin
Donald explores the colourful life and music of George Gershwin, a pianist and composer.
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69 min
May 27, 2016
Clara Schumann and Her Circle
Donald Macleod explores the lives and music of Clara Schumann and the extraordinary circle of composers and musicians she moved in
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82 min
May 20, 2016
Satie
Satie the Onion: his surreal life viewed in reverse.
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81 min
May 13, 2016
Dussek
Donald Macleod explores Dussek’s early years traveling through Europe.
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68 min
April 29, 2016
Purcell
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Henry Purcell, a musical revolutionary remembered as Britain's 'musical Shakespeare'
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77 min
April 22, 2016
Byrd
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of William Byrd.
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81 min
April 15, 2016
Sterndale Bennett
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of William Sterndale Bennett.
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83 min
April 8, 2016
Vaughan Williams
Donald Macleod charts the long life and career of Vaughan Williams.
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67 min
April 1, 2016
Telemann
Donald Macleod explores who the real Telemann was.
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69 min
March 25, 2016
Granados
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Spanish composer-pianist Enrique Granados.
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61 min
March 18, 2016
Women of the MacDowell Colony
Donald Macleod explores the work of the many female composers who have visited the Edward MacDowell artists' colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire
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82 min
March 11, 2016
Strozzi
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Barbara Strozzi, with Dr Sara Pecknold
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84 min
March 4, 2016
Haydn
Donald Macleod explores Haydn's final works.
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57 min
February 26, 2016
Debussy
Donald Macleod discusses the fruits of a number of Debussy's important friendships
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67 min
February 19, 2016
Cimarosa
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Domenico Cimarosa
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60 min
February 12, 2016
Ponce
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.
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76 min
February 5, 2016
Rubinstein
Anton Rubinstein was called the Michelangelo of music and was one of the most prolific and charismatic musical figures of the 19th century.
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62 min
January 29, 2016
Dvorak
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Dvorak
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58 min
January 26, 2016
Dutilleux
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of French composer Henri Dutilleux
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63 min
January 15, 2016
Coulthard
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Canadian composer Jean Coulthard
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54 min
January 8, 2016
Stockhausen
Donald Macleod and Robert Worby explore the life and music of Karlheinz Stockhausen
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73 min
December 25, 2015
Berwald
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Berwald,
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68 min
December 11, 2015
Sibelius
Donald Macleod explores how Sibelius's music helped bring the nation of Finland into being
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80 min
December 10, 2015
CPE Bach
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second son of Johann Sebastian
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63 min
December 2, 2015
Handel
Donald Macleod explores Handel's early years
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65 min
November 20, 2015
Hoagy Carmichael
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Hoagy Carmichael.
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64 min
November 13, 2015
Chabrier
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Emmanuel Chabrier.
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62 min
November 6, 2015
Farrenc
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc
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49 min
October 30, 2015
Nielsen
Carl Nielsen's early life in rural Denmark in the aftermath of the 1864 war with Prussia
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62 min
October 23, 2015
Cowell
A profile of US composer and pianist Henry Cowell
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90 min
October 16, 2015
Kapralova
A profile of Czech composer and conductor Vitezslava Kapralova
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78 min
October 9, 2015
Rachmaninov
Donald Macleod explores Rachmaninov the pianist-composer.
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49 min
October 2, 2015
Vanhal
Donald Macleod explores the work of Vanhal.
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63 min
September 25, 2015
Bellini
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini
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63 min
September 18, 2015
Shostakovich
Donald Macleod views Dmitry Shostakovich through the prism of his string quartets
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51 min
September 11, 2015
Elgar
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Edward Elgar.
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57 min
August 7, 2015
Walton
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of English composer William Walton
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69 min
July 31, 2015
Three Choirs
Donald Macleod explores the 300-year history of the Three Choirs Festival.
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81 min
July 24, 2015
Poulenc
Donald Macleod charts some of Francis Poulenc's important musical friendships
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62 min
June 26, 2015
Arvo Part
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Estonian composer Arvo Part.
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52 min
June 19, 2015
Bach
Donald Macleod explores Bach's vocal music.
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60 min
June 5, 2015
Kodaly
In conversation with David Vinden, Donald Macleod evaluates the life Zoltán Kodály.
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62 min
May 29, 2015
Bacewicz
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of composer and violinist Grazyna Bacewicz
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51 min
May 22, 2015
Schutz
Donald Macleod explores the early years of the man described as the "father of German Music", Heinrich Schutz.
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65 min
May 15, 2015
Widor
Dr John Near joins Donald Macleod to journey through the world of Widor, looking beyond his famous organ Toccata to explore the composer's chamber and orchestral music.
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81 min
May 8, 2015
Mozart
As part of Young Artists Day on Radio 3, Martin James Bartlett, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014, joins Donald to explore the early life of Mozart. Donald continues with Mozart’s pioneering piano concertos.
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62 min
May 1, 2015
Scriabin
Donald Macleod explores the life and career of the virtuoso pianist and composer Alexander Scriabin, described as 'one of the most enigmatic and controversial and artistic personalities of all time'
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77 min
April 17, 2015
Tailleferre
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Germaine Tailleferre, whose published legacy reveals a rich treasure trove of chamber works, solo piano, concertos, ballets, operas and songs
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64 min
April 10, 2015
Chopin
Donald Macleod explores the music and life of Chopin, zooming in on five key places on his lifetime itinerary
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78 min
April 3, 2015
Judith Weir
Donald Macleod is joined by composer Judith Weir to discuss her life and work. Her music draws on a wide variety of sources: fairy tales, folk stories, Chinese philosophy and Indian music and culture
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76 min
March 27, 2015
Holst
Donald Macleod explores the life and career of English composer Gustav Holst
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72 min
March 20, 2015
Weber
Donald Macleod explores works by Carl Maria von Weber
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60 min
March 13, 2015
Five Under 35
Donald Macleod speaks to five members of a new generation of British composers about their work and the issue of women in music from a contemporary perspective
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80 min
March 6, 2015
Jacquet de la Guerre
Hailed by scholars as one of the most successful women in the history of French music, Donald Macleod explores with Mary Cyr, the life and music of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre.
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58 min
February 27, 2015
Verdi
Donald Macleod explores Giuseppe Verdi’s middle period.
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56 min
February 13, 2015
Purcell
Henry Purcell's stageworks: William and Mary's accession heralds a change in direction for one of England's most brilliant and respected composers. Donald Macleod charts Purcell's activities during their reign.
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61 min
February 6, 2015
Schubert
Donald Macleod explores music written in a critical time in Schubert's life, following the diagnosis of serious illness
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67 min
January 30, 2015
Bartok
Donald Macleod explores the life and career of composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945), one of the most influential composers of the 20th Century. Today he focuses on Bartok's sickly childhood, early life and musical beginnings, including his first major work Kossuth, influenced by Strauss and inspired by a Hungarian revolutionary.
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72 min
January 23, 2015
Haydn
Exploring Haydn's time at the Hungarian palace of Eszterhaza, the composer's primary base of operations for nearly a quarter of a century and where, he said, he 'was forced to become original'
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69 min
January 16, 2015
Lassus
Donald Macleod surveys the life and music of Orlande de Lassus, a cosmopolitan composer who became so famous he was known as 'the divine Orlando'.
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56 min
January 9, 2015
Liszt
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Franz Liszt with a rare opportunity to hear all 13 of his symphonic poems
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49 min
January 2, 2015
Chabrier
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Emmanuel Chabrier, a composer whose originality is acknowledged by leading voices of French music in the 20th century.
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51 min
December 26, 2014
Vivaldi
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Antonio Vivaldi, a Venetian priest, feted in his lifetime as both composer and violinist, yet destined to die in obscurity in faraway Vienna
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62 min
December 19, 2014
Previn
In conversation with Donald Macleod, celebrated conductor, composer, jazz performer and classical pianist Andre Previn discusses his remarkable life and music
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91 min
December 12, 2014
Schumann
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Robert Schumann, focusing on the literary influences that helped shape his work
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55 min
December 5, 2014
Lord Berners
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the colourful and eccentric British composer Lord Berners. While he behaved as a very English gentleman, his compositions had a distinctive European slant.
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63 min
November 28, 2014
Falla
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla
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56 min
November 14, 2014
Mozart
Donald Macleod explores five key years of Mozart's life and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings
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63 min
November 7, 2014
Stradella
Donald Macleod on the music of Alessandro Stradella. Highly respected and successful, he wrote in all genres: oratorios, cantatas, theatre music, opera seria, songs, and sacred and instrumental music
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57 min
October 31, 2014
Khachaturian
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Aram Khachaturian, a composer whose colourful scores led him to be dubbed the 'Rubens of Russian Music'
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58 min
October 17, 2014
Debussy
Donald Macleod explores a less celebrated, but important, area of Debussy's output - his chamber works
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55 min
October 10, 2014
Brahms Experience- Johannes Brahms
Exploring the friendship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, who would become a lifelong friend, critic and inspiration
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70 min
October 3, 2014
Dyson
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of George Dyson, celebrated composer, broadcaster, teacher and author of the first manual on hand grenade use
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72 min
September 26, 2014
Panufnik
Donald Macleod celebrates the life and music of Warsaw-born composer Andrzej Panufnik
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62 min
September 19, 2014
Donizetti
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Gaetano Donizetti, who composed almost 70 operas in 19th-century Italy
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59 min
September 12, 2014
Rameau
Donald Macleod is joined by Professor Graham Sadler to celebrate the work of one of the greatest figures in French musical history, composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau
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68 min
September 5, 2014
Dvorak
Donald Macleod explores Dvorak's relationship with the British Isles, which he visited nine times between 1884 and 1896
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53 min
August 8, 2014
Stravinsky
Donald Macleod explores Igor Stravinsky's life and work up to the end of World War I, introducing rarely-heard and early compositions
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62 min
August 1, 2014
Cole Porter
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Cole Porter, one of the most famous Broadway composers of his time. His achievements include a catalogue of witty, sophisticated and sometimes risque songs
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77 min
July 25, 2014
Janacek
Donald Macleod celebrates the life and music of Leos Janacek. Known primarily as a folklorist and teacher, he didn't achieve international recognition as a composer until he was into his sixties
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51 min
July 18, 2014
Dittersdorf
Donald Macleod on the life and music of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, a composer whose concertos, operas, string quartets and over 100 symphonies made him a rival to Haydn in the late 18th century.
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53 min
July 11, 2014
Buxtehude
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Danish organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude
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50 min
July 4, 2014
Gurney
Donald Macleod is joined by Dr Kate Kennedy to explore the life and work of Ivor Gurney. Including works specially recorded for the series.
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90 min
June 13, 2014
Strauss
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Richard Strauss
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51 min
June 6, 2014
Weinberg
Donald Macleod and Martin Anderson explore the life and work of Mieczyslaw Weinberg
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64 min
May 30, 2014
Berlioz
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of quintessential romantic, Hector Berlioz
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59 min
May 23, 2014
Monteverdi
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Claudio Monteverdi
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44 min
May 16, 2014
Grieg
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Edvard Grieg, including five key works and the vast array of arrangements
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64 min
May 9, 2014
Hans Gal
Donald Macleod is joined by conductor, cellist and Gal expert Kenneth Woods to explore the life and prolific career of Hans Gal
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57 min
April 25, 2014
Handel
Donald Macleod explores the music Handel composed for Kings George I and II and to commemorate major events in their reigns
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59 min
April 4, 2014
Locatelli
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Pietro Locatelli. He became famous for his innovative, virtuosic playing which informed his music and challenged views of the violin's capabilities
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54 min
March 21, 2014
Leopold Mozart
Donald Macleod is joined by Prof Cliff Eisen to explore the life and work of Wolfgang Mozart's father, Leopold. He was at the forefront of early symphonic writing and composed music across many forms
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76 min
March 14, 2014
Mendelssohn
Donald Macleod explores Mendelssohn's formative years and the musical treasures they inspired
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62 min
February 28, 2014
Franck
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Belgian composer Cesar Franck
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60 min
February 21, 2014
Rossini
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Gioachino Rossini, most successful composer of the early 19th century,
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55 min
February 14, 2014
Mahler
Donald Macleod explores Mahler's childhood in Bohemia, where he was inspired by the sounds and songs of the countryside.
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58 min
February 7, 2014
Taneyev
Donald Macleod is joined by Dr Anastasia Belina-Johnson to explore the life and music of Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, a one-time child prodigy, who became an excellent pianist and a great composer.
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73 min
January 31, 2014
Massenet
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of one of France's most spectaular operatic superstars, Jules Massenet.
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57 min
January 24, 2014
Schubert
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Franz Schubert
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64 min
January 10, 2014
Vienna on the Brink
Donald Macleod explores the music of Vienna, the most exciting cultural city in the world in the early 1900s and home of Mahler, Schoenberg and Freud.
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77 min
January 3, 2014
The Sammartini Brothers
Donald Macleod explores the lives and music of Giuseppe and Giovanni Sammartini
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50 min
December 27, 2013
Beethoven
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven, focusing on how he transformed the classical legacy of Haydn and Mozart
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65 min
December 20, 2013
70th Anniversary Special - Louise Farrenc
Donald Macleod marks Composer of the Week's 70th birthday by featuring a composer suggested by Radio 3 listeners: Louise Farrenc
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46 min
December 13, 2013
Iceland
Donald Macleod explores the landscapes and vistas of Iceland, to discover its unique musical culture, including the work of its greatest 20th-century composer, Jon Leifs
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78 min
December 6, 2013
Pietro Mascagni
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Mascagni, who triumphed in his early twenties with his opera Cavalleria Rusticana and, during his lifetime, was one of the most famous figures in Italy
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67 min
November 29, 2013
Saint-Saens
Donald Macleod explores the charming and eccentric variety of later works by Camille Saint-Saens
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65 min
November 22, 2013
Britten 100
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Benjamin Benjamin Britten for the 100th anniverary of the composer's birth. From humdrum origins, he rose to be the pre-eminent British composer of his day.
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63 min
November 15, 2013
Bill Evans
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Bill Evans, the 'poet of the piano' and the 'Chopin of jazz'. He came to prominence working with Miles Davis and played with Tony Bennett and Stan Getz
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66 min
November 8, 2013
Ethel Smyth
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of composer, author and women's rights champion Ethel Smyth
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50 min
November 1, 2013
Franz Joseph Haydn
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Haydn through another musical form apart from the symphony that the composer made his own, his music for trio
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48 min
October 25, 2013
Lully
Donald Macleod explores the work of Lully, the pre-eminent composer of the French court in the late 17th century, the founding father of French opera and a leading figure in the music of his era.
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60 min
October 18, 2013
Chaminade and Holmes
Donald Macleod, with the help of experts Marcia Citron of Rice University and Karen Henson of Columbia University, explores the life and work of Cecile Chaminade and Augusta Holmes
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64 min
October 11, 2013
Verdi 200
Donald Macleod explores Verdi's later life and music when, after years of honing his craft, he propelled opera from the world of the 19th century into the modern age
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51 min
September 27, 2013
British Film Music
Donald Macleod is joined by writer and film music expert John Huckvale to explore British film music. Covering over eight decades, their focus embraces Ealing comedy, Hammer horror, jazz and rock
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61 min
September 20, 2013
Golden Age of Hollywood
"Sound of Cinema" continues as Donald Macleod explores the soundtrack of The Golden Age of Hollywood, in the company of conductor and film music expert, John Wilson.
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55 min
September 13, 2013
Gluck
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Christoph Willibald Gluck, seen as having 'reformed' opera in the second half of the 18th century, rescuing it from the excesses of the opera seria style
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51 min
September 6, 2013
Dvorak
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Antonin Dvorak.
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57 min
August 23, 2013
Sibelius
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, from his early years to his famous silent period
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59 min
August 9, 2013
200 Years of the Royal Philharmonic Society
Donald Macleod recalls the story of the Royal Philharmonic Society - and the remarkable roll-call of commissions and world premieres given by the Society during its two centuries of existence
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72 min
August 2, 2013
Robert Schumann
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Robert Schumann, who drew his inspiration as much from literature and the dramas of his own life as from the music of the composers he revered
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47 min
July 26, 2013
Tchaikovsky
Donald Macleod explores the life and works of Russia's most popular Romatic composer.
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62 min
July 5, 2013
Ravel and His World
Donald Macleod explores Ravel's life and music in context with his friends in the artistic group Les Apaches. As well as Ravel, there is music by Maurice Delage, Déodat de Séverac and Florent Schmitt
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67 min
June 28, 2013
George Lloyd
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of George Lloyd, the English Romantic composer who never stopped writing tunes, long after they had gone out of fashion.
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50 min
June 21, 2013
Elgar
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' Edward Elgar, a composer who nevertheless had musical roots firmly in Europe
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57 min
June 7, 2013
Vaughan Williams
Donald Macleod reflects on Vaughan Williams's highly productive later years
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56 min
May 31, 2013
Faure
Donald Macleod charts the life and work of Gabriel Faure. He's joined by the composer's biographer Jessica Duchen, pianist Billy Eidi, and the leading authority on Faure's music, Jean-Michel Nectoux.
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63 min
May 24, 2013
Wagner and His World
Donald Macleod explores the connections and relationships that helped establish Wagner as the most revolutionary musical thinker of the 19th century
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66 min
May 17, 2013
Hummel
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Hummel, regarded by Chopin as one of the three greatest masters alongside Mozart and Beethoven
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53 min
May 10, 2013
Copland
Donald Macleod explores Copland's life and work through the places he lived, visited, and evoked in his music
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59 min
May 3, 2013
Meyerbeer
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Giacomo Meyerbeer in conversation with one of the composer's leading advocates, Robert Letellier
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57 min
April 19, 2013
Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz
Donald is joined by Joseph Horovitz,to talk about his own career and that of Gordon Jacob
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87 min
April 19, 2013
Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz
Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob
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88 min
April 5, 2013
Giacomo Puccini
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Giacomo Puccini
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40 min
March 29, 2013
J S Bach
As part of Baroque Spring, a month-long season of Baroque music and culture, Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Bach
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67 min
March 22, 2013
Vivaldi
As part of Baroque Spring, Radio 3's season celebrating Baroque music and culture, Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Vivaldi.
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57 min
March 15, 2013
Purcell
For Radio 3's Baroque Spring season, Donald Macleod explores the life and music of arguably the greatest English composer of the era, Henry Purcell
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55 min
March 8, 2013
Handel
For Radio 3's Baroque Spring season, Donald Macleod explores Handel's years spent in Italy with the help of novelist, biographer and avid Handelian Jonathan Keates
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57 min
March 1, 2013
Gounod
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Charles Gounod, known today for little other than the song Ave Maria and the hugely popular opera Faust, yet an important French composer
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52 min
February 22, 2013
WF Bach
Donald Macleod presents a rare glimpse of WF Bach's life and legacy in conversation with Bach scholar David Schulenberg, featuring concerti, flute duets, cantatas and compositions for solo keyboard
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65 min
February 8, 2013
Avison and Stanley
Donald Macleod explores the lives and music of two composers who were 18th-century contemporaries but worked at opposite ends of the country: Charles Avison in Newcastle and John Stanley in London
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55 min
February 1, 2013
Bruckner
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Anton Bruckner, now celebrated as one of the greatest symphonists of the 19th century
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55 min
January 25, 2013
Jommelli
Donald Macleod surveys the life and music of Niccolo Jommelli, who was once dubbed 'the new Orpheus'
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50 min
January 18, 2013
John Williams
To mark the composer's 80th birthday year, Donald Macleod is joined by John Williams for an exploration of his life and music
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74 min
January 11, 2013
Prokofiev
Donald Macleod explores Prokofiev's life and music during his time as an emigre in Europe in the 1920s, as well as his return to Russia
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65 min
January 4, 2013
Respighi
Donald Macleod explores the lesser-known masterpieces of popular and controversial Italian composer Ottorino Respighi
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47 min
December 28, 2012
Offenbach
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Jacques Offenbach.
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57 min
December 21, 2012
Brahms
Donald Macleod presents an exploration of the life and vocal music of Johannes Brahms.
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59 min
December 14, 2012
Marais and Delalande
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Marin Marais and Michel-Richard Delalande, successors to Lully at the Louis XIV's court
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58 min
December 7, 2012
Napoleon's Music
As part of BBC Radio 3's Napoleon season, marking 200 years since his historic retreat from Moscow, Donald Macleod follows the French dictator's relationship with music
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67 min
November 30, 2012
Glazunov
Donald Macleod explore the life and work of Russian composer Aleksandr Glazunov, who has been descried as 'the last of the Mohicans'
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60 min
November 23, 2012
Telemann
Donald Macleod reviews the life and work of Telemann, most prolific composer of the baroque era, whose reputation, in his time, was even greater than that of his compatriot, Bach.
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53 min
November 16, 2012
Big Band
Donald Macleod is joined by jazz trumpeter, composer and conductor Guy Barker to explore the story of big band jazz.
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86 min
November 2, 2012
Koechlin
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Charles Koechlin, an out-of-favour, free-thinking musician regarded as the 'missing link' between Debussy, Satie and Poulenc.
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56 min
October 26, 2012
Rachmaninov and Medtner
For the BBC's piano season, Donald Macleod explores the intersections between the lives of Rachmaninov and Medtner, as both forged their careers in the face of revolution, war and cultural exile
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62 min
October 19, 2012
Granados and Albeniz
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Spanish composers Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz
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62 min
October 12, 2012
Debussy
Donald Macleod focuses on French composer and pianist Claude Debussy, examining his life, loves and passion for the piano.
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60 min
October 5, 2012
Liszt and his world
Donald Macleod explores Liszt's extraordinary contribution to the piano repertoire, alongside the music of his friends, rivals and proteges
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65 min
September 28, 2012
Field and Chopin
Donald Macleod is joined by pianist Miceal O'Rourke to explore the work of Romantic composer Fryderyk Chopin, and the 'father of the nocturne', John Field.
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72 min
September 21, 2012
Muzio Clementi
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the Italian-born composer Muzio Clementi, popularly regarded as 'the father of the pianoforte'
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65 min
September 14, 2012
Coleridge-Taylor
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Anglo-African composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, an internationally renowned figure in late Victorian times.
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54 min
September 7, 2012
Adams
Donald Macleod talks to America's most frequently performed living composer, John Adams, about his work
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70 min
August 17, 2012
English Pastoralists
Donald Macleod explores the lives and works of the English Pastoralist composers. A feeling for landscape and place was important to them, and they often responded to places they knew and loved
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61 min
August 10, 2012
Berlioz
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the great musical innovator Hector Berlioz
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58 min
August 3, 2012
J S Bach
Donald Macleod explores the music of Bach's final years in Leipzig
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55 min
July 27, 2012
Beethoven
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Beethoven, taking a snapshot view through the window of five of the composer's 32 piano sonatas.
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53 min
July 20, 2012
Handel
Donald Macleod explores the music of Handel through five key 'years in the life' of the composer: 1707, 1717, 1725, 1739 and 1749
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61 min
July 13, 2012
Nyman
Donald Macleod presents an exclusive week of interview with Michael Nyman.
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57 min
July 6, 2012
Paganini
Donald Macleod unmasks the real Paganini, with the help of biographer Andrew McGee
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62 min
June 29, 2012
Mozart
Donald Macleod explores Mozart's work as a musician away from home, from his earliest outings as an infant phenomenon to his final trip three decades later.
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59 min
June 15, 2012
Poulenc
Donald Macleod explores Francis Poulenc's unique musical voice - and sometimes troublesome character - showcasing a blend of much-loved favourites and rare works
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60 min
June 8, 2012
Haydn
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Joseph Haydn through a genre of music he virtually invented, the string quartet
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59 min
June 1, 2012
Irving Berlin
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Irving Berlin, a composer whose career spanned Dvorak to The Beatles. A celebrated songwriter, he composed for both Hollywood and Broadway
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70 min
May 25, 2012
Grieg
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of multi-talented Norwegian composer, pianist and conductor Edward Grieg, who is today regarded as the foremost Scandinavian composer of his generation
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57 min
May 18, 2012
Chapel Royal
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of five itinerant musicians of the British Chapel Royal
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73 min
May 11, 2012
Strauss Portraits
Donald Macleod and guest Professor Julian Johnson from Royal Holloway, University of London explore Richard Strauss's life and music
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59 min
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