Discovering Music

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20040320

In the first of three programmes focusing on Mozart and the classical style, conductor Charles Hazlewood, his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband and pianist Ronald Brautigam perform one of the composer's greatest piano concertos - the D minor Concerto , K466.

In this audience workshop, Charles Hazlewood reveals the richness of the invention and the intensity of the emotional thrust of a work that 'almost like no other the child within the mature young man'.

20040327

Mozart composed what were to be his last three symphonies in just ten weeks during the summer of 1788.

Charles Hazlewood and his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband begin this workshop session with the thought that these three final masterpieces form a single span of inspiration, from the imposing slow opening to Symphony No 39 in E flat introduction to the resplendent climax at the end of the Jupiter Symphony, No 41.

Today's programme focuses on the Symphony No 39 in E flat.

20040403

Mozart's Symphony No 40 in G minor was the second of the triptych of symphonies which he completed in the summer of 1788.

In today's workshop session, Charles Hazlewood and his period instrument orchestra The Mozart Collective explore the thematic and harmonic intricacies of this the most personal of Mozart's great symphonies.

20040515

Mahler's youthful song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) is in the spotlight in this workshop session.

Composed in the 1880s with piano accompaniment and to his own poems, Mahler seems not to have made the final orchestral version until 1896.

Charles Hazlewood is joined by baritone Roderick Williams and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to explore the way the songs evolved and the connection between them and the First Symphony.

20040605

Beethoven's Piano and Cello Sonata in C major, Op 102 No 1, is the focus of today's workshop session, recorded last month at the Royal Northern College of Music during the MANCHESTER International Cello Festival.

Stephen Johnson is joined by cellist Frans Helmerson and pianist Peter Frankl in this exploration of one of the most compact and original of Beethoven's late works.

20040612

Stephen Johnson considers the 'tragic' nature of Schubert's Fourth Symphony - what did the composer mean by this title and what does it tell us about Schubert?

Musical illustrations and a complete performance of the symphony are provided by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Douglas Boyd.

20040619

Schoenberg's early masterpiece for strings Verklärte Nacht Op 4, Transfigured Night, is the subject of today's audience workshop, which was recorded last month in the BRISTOL Old Vic Theatre.

Charles Hazlewood is joined by his own chamber orchestra, Excellent Device, and together they reveal how the composer used Richard Dehmel's expressionist poem as the template for one of the musical icons of German late romanticism.

20041023

The jazz pianist and composer Julian Joseph looks at the role of the piano in the story of jazz.

Following a whistle-stop history of "jazz-piano", Joseph focuses his attention on three major artists - Earl Hines, Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock, each of whom has had a major influence on Joseph's own music.

He then deconstructs their music at the piano offering listeners a fascinating insight into how jazz works; what jazz-piano is; and what some of the musical subtleties are that audiences should listen for - while at the same time evaluating the distinct contribution that each of his three chosen legendary artists has made in the development of piano jazz.

The programme ends with Joseph's own "summary": one of his own compositions performed especially for the programme by the Julian Joseph Quartet.

20041106

Stephen Johnson leads a workshop on the Preludes and Fugues of Bach and Shostakovich, recorded in MANCHESTER earlier this year as part of the Royal Northern College of Music's mini-festival exploring Bach and counterpoint.

Stephen is joined by Gary Cooper (harpsichord), who plays extracts from the second book of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues, and by pianist Alexander Melnikov, who performs four of the set of 24 Preludes and Fugues which Shostakovich composed in homage to Bach.

20050122

Charles Hazlewood focuses on one the great British works for string orchestra of the last century, Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli.

Composed in 1953 to celebrate the tercentenary of Corelli's birth, this richly textured work explores, in Corelli's words, "the brilliance of the violin".

Tippett himself described Corelli's adagio as "dark and passionate".

In this workshop session, we hear this journey from "the dark to the light", as Charles and his own orchestra, Excellent Device, reveal the extent to which Tippett views the string music of the baroque through distinctly twentieth century eyes.

20050129

Charles joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for a workshop on Estonian composer Arvo Part, whose work has a profoundly spiritual quality.

20050312

With Stephen Johnson.

Bruckner Motets

Anton Bruckner was a devout CHRISTIAN as well as a great composer.

He dedicated his own skills to the service of God and the Church.

His masses and motets occupy as important a place in his career as the symphonies he composed later in life, as Bruckner authority Stephen Johnson reveals in this workshop session.

Locus iste

Ave Maria (1861)

Vexilla regis

Os justi

Christus factus est (1884)

BBC Singers

Bob Chilcott (conductor).

20050326

In this workshop session recorded in the Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton, pianist David Owen Norris uses a recently restored piano (originally built in 1887) to delve into the musical and symbolic detail in the collection of piano pieces composed by Brahms in 1892, Op 118.

20050409

Charles Hazlewood and his ensemble Excellent Device explore the musical detail behind Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen, a very personal work for 23 solo strings.

20050423

In the late 1920s and early 30s, towards the end of his life, Edward Elgar assembled a number of pages of short sketches and fragments for a Piano Concerto.

Over the past few years, composer Robert Walker has worked on a realisation of those fragments of Elgar, expanding them into a 36-minute work for David Owen Norris to perform.

Robert Walker and David Owen Norris examine the process of composing a romantic piano concerto out of the characteristic elements that Elgar left to posterity.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by David Lloyd Jones.

20050604

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

As a prelude to The Beethoven Experience, Charles Hazlewood presents a workshop on the three movements of Beethoven's great choral work, which he grouped together for a concert performance on 1824 - Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei.

Beethoven considered the Missa Solemnis to be his greatest work.

A complete performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein can be heard in Performance on 3 next Wednesday, 8th June.

Beethoven: Kyrie; Gloria; Agnus Dei, from Missa Solemnis in D, Op 123

Sarah Fox (soprano)

Sara Fulgoni (mezzo soprano)

Mark Wilde (tenor)

Matthew Hargreaves (baritone)

Tallis Chamber Choir

Harmonieband

Charles Hazlewood (conductor).

20050702

Stephen Johnson joins the members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Austin and the traditional folk singer Martin Carthy for a look at the imaginative ways in which Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan-williams have used folk song material in their compositions.

The programme includes a complete performance of Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus by Vaughan-Williams.

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Martin Carthy (folk singer)

Christopher Austin (conductor).

20050716

In a workshop recorded at the Cheltenham Festival, conductor and presenter Charles Hazlewood, his chamber orchestra Excellent Device and pianist Rolf Hind delve into the vivid musical detail of the piano concerto composed by Russian Alfred Schnittke in 1979.

20050723

Stephen Johnson joins the pianist Ashley Wass alongside piano students from the Royal Northern College of Music and the Chethams School in Manchester for a look at Beethoven's last published work for solo piano - the Six Bagatelles, Opus 126.

20050903

Charles Hazlewood is joined by mezzo-soprano Jane Irwin and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a workshop session and performance on the five songs that Wagner composed to poems by Mathilde Wesendonck.

Mathilde was Wagner's muse; Wagner was her creative mentor.

The intensity of their collaboration is enshrined in these five love songs.

20051119

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra explore the key ingredients of the classical symphony, for which Joseph Haydn was predominantly responsible.

They use as their example Haydn's Symphony No 60 in C (Il Distratto) - a six movement work from 1774 fashioned from incidental music which he had composed for an adaptation of a French play - Le Distrait, by Francois Regnard.

Part of a workshop session designed to complement A-Level and Scottish Highers studies.

20051126

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Briger, and cellist Christian Poltera, for a look behind the notes of Elgar's Cello Concerto.

20051203

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC SO and conductor Grant Llewellyn in a programme looking at the background and the structure of Rachmaninov's great symphonic tone poem Isle of the Dead.

20060107

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Philharmonic orchestra and conductor Yasuo Shinozaki in front of an invited audience to explore some of the mysteries of Sibelius' profound last symphony - the Symphony No 7.

Sibelius: Symphony No 7

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Yasuo Shinozaki (conductor).

20060211

Virtually everything that Hector Berlioz composed was inspired by a literary or theatrical idea.

Even when he came to write his first symphony, he wrote it with a subtext - An Episode in the Life of an Artist.

Stephen Johnson considers the different components that make up the Symphonie Fantastique, helped along by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

20060819

Stephen Johnson faces an invited audience at the Royal Northern College of Music alongside Russian pianist Evgenia Rubinova in a detailed look at Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Sonata.

20060923

Mezzo-soprano Ann Murray joins Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Philharmonic to explore the tragic music of Mahler's song cycle, Kindertotenlieder.

20060930

Stephen Johnson and BBC New Generation Artists the Ebène Quartet look at Béla Bartók's second String Quartet, a work he finished in 1917 during the hardships of the First World War.

20061021

Faure's setting of poems by Paul Verlaine, La Bonne Chanson, is one of the composer's greatest masterpieces.

Stephen Johnson unravels some of its subtleties with baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, Quatuor Parisii and double bass player Stephen Williams.

20061028

As part of the inaugural year of the BBC Electric Proms, Stephen Johnson explores two electro-acoustic works by Jonathan Harvey, one of the most skilled and imaginative composers using the electronic medium today.

He joins Stephen Johnson in the studio at London's Roundhouse to delve into two pieces that span the last 12 years of his career.

Pianist Clive Williamson and trumpeter Markus Stockhausen are the two solo performers in Tombeau de Messiaen and Other Presences.

20061111

From the Sage Gateshead, Stephen Johnson joins members of the Northern Sinfonia and conductor Thomas Zehetmair for a workshop on one of Bartok's most popular and original works.

20061216

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra and soloist David Owen Norris in an exploration of Felix Mendelssohn's second (and lesser known) Piano Concerto.

20070106

Recorded in front of an audience at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge with the Quatuor Parisii and soprano Rachel Nichols, Stephen Johnson explores the ideas behind one of Arnold Schoenberg's most extraordinary pieces, the Second String Quartet.

It takes the listener on a journey from the music of late romanticism to the expressionism of the early 20th Century.

20070311

Stephen Johnson joins pianist Ashley Wass and piano students from the Royal Northern College of Music and the Chethams School in Manchester to examine Beethoven's last published work for solo piano, Six Bagatelles, Op 126.

20120309

Arts feature.

*20081005

Charles Hazlewood is joined by his ensemble Excellent Device to explore the music of the waltz king Johann Strauss

* * Tango20080323

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the quintet Tango Volcano and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra to explore the world of the tango.

* Bartok's Divertimento *20080302

Martin Handley teams up with the strings of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for an exploration of some of the ideas behind Bartok's Divertimento.

* Benjamin: Dance Figures20080120

Stephen Johnson meets one of Britain's leading composers, George Benjamin, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to explore some of the ideas behind his orchestral pieces Dance Figures and Sudden Time.

* Britten Sea Interludes And Passacaglia20080203

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an exploration of the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia that Benjamin Britten extracted from his opera Peter Grimes.

* History Of The Serenade - 120080413

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to explore the history of the serenade.

Charles looks at the beginnings of the form, focusing on a serenade by the composer who more than any other shaped the form into a staple of the concert hall - Mozart.

* History Of The Serenade - 2 Last20080420

Charles considers what happened to the form after Mozart and is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to look in depth at two post-Mozartian examples of this music: Dvorak's Serenade for Strings and Martinu's Serenade for Chamber Orchestra.

* Mozart Dissonance Quartet20080113

In a recording made at the Lake District Summer Music Festival, Stephen Johnson is joined by the Royal Quartet to delve into the world of Mozart's Haydn Quartets and, in particular, the famous Dissonance Quartet.

* Ravel's Gaspard De La Nuit20080224

Stephen Johnson and Radio 3 New Generation Artist pianist Cedric Tiberghien consider some of the ingredients that define the piano music of Maurice Ravel with particular emphasis on what is arguably the greatest French 'sonata' for the piano, his Gaspard de la nuit.

* Rimsky-korsakov's Scheherazade20080210

Catherine Bott is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Luke Dollman for an in-depth exploration of Scheherazade, a work inspired by Tales of the Arabian Nights.

* Schubert's Trout Quintet20080330

Recorded before the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club, Stephen Johnson explores, with the help of the Gould Piano Trio and friends, the structure and background of one of Schubert's best-loved chamber pieces, the Trout Quintet.

* Scriabin's World *20080406

William Mival explores the mystic world and rich harmonies of the eccentric Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.

The music includes excerpts from Scriabin's piano sonatas and preludes as well as Prometheus, his large work for choir and orchestra.

* Spohr's Nonet20080316

Stephen Johnson takes a closer look at two nonets.

Paul Allen is in Sheffield's Crucible Studio to explore Louis Spohr's popular Nonet with Ensemble 360, and Stephen delves into Bohuslav Martinu's 1959 Nonet, one of many works the composer wrote in the final year of his life.

Graham Fitkin's Tidal20100912

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the composer Graham Fitkin to explore Fitkin's new BBC commission "Tidal".

Featuring an intriguing look into Fitkin's early work, musical influences and his current compositional techniques with excerpts from the new work and the World Premiere performance.

The programme also features an inside look at a BBC Concert Orchestra education project which ran alongside this Discovering Music.

Charles Hazlewood explores Graham Fitkin's new work Tidal with the composer.

16th Century Polyphony20100926

Catherine Bott explores some of the joys of English ployphony with Harry Christophers, Sally Dunkley and The Sixteen in an exploration of music by Byrd, Tallis and Sheppard.

The programme was recorded at the National Centre for Early Music in York as part of the 2010 York Early Music Festival and unpicks some of the working and ideas behind three contrasting masterpieces from 16th century English chuch music.

William Byrd's "Infelix Ego" is a meditation on Psalm 50 written by the Italian friar Girolamo Savonarola shortly before his execution for heresy.

Thomas Tallis's short but intensely expressive "Miserere Nostri" is an intricate web of musical games and devices around the words "have mercy on us lord, have mercy on us".

Finally John Sheppard's "Media Vita" is a setting of plainsong and text based around the Nunc Dimittis, the traditional song for evening prayer, composed by Sheppard on an uniquely grand scale.

Harry Christophers, the director of The Sixteen, and Sally Dunkley who sings with the group and prepeares many of The Sixteen's editions, discuss and illustrate with Catherine Bott some of musical thinking behind these pieces.

Catherine Bott joins The Sixteen for an exploration of English polyphony.

1964 - The Rise Of Minimalism20101024

In 1964, the American composer Terry Riley put on a concert of his music at the San Francisco Tape Music Centre, a concert which saw the premiere of a work which is now seen as one of the first pieces of musical Minimalism: In C.

Through In C and a host of other works, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the rise of this phenomenon, its popularity today and its roots in both American and European music of the past.

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the rise of minimalism.

A Guide To The Orchestra20060325

In 1947, Benjamin Britten composed his celebrated Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - in which he 'took the whole orchestra to pieces and then put it back together again' in order to give the listener a better understanding of how it works.

Charles Hazlewood offers the same material as a starting point, and probes the subject a little deeper.

A Soldier's Tale20051105

Samuel West and the ensemble Excellent Device join Charles Hazlewood to explore aspects of Stravinsky's dramatic masterpiece, ahead of a complete performance in the Sunday Gala.

Composed in the years after the First World War, the Soldier's Tale is a masterpiece of brevity and economy, telling the Faustian story of the soldier returning from war to sell his violin - his soul - to the devil.

In this workshop, Charles and his small company perform extracts from the complete work.

Aldeburgh Festival - Britten's Nocturne20050625

This exploration of the music and imagery of Benjamin Britten's evocative cycle of night poems for tenor, seven solo instruments and strings was recorded earlier this month in Orford PARISh Church.

Premiered at the LEEDS Festival in 1958, the work was first heard in Orford during the 1959 Festival.

During the workshop Charles Hazlewood, his chamber orchestra and tenor Mark Tucker tease out the detail of the work and also give a complete performance.

Mark Tucker (tenor)

Excellent Device

Charles Hazlewood (conductor).

Ancient Music - Strauss And Respighi *20090222

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra to explore why certain composers have drawn on the past in their music.

He considers movements from a rarely-performed ballet suite by Richard Strauss, his Divertimento, which re-works harpsichord pieces by Francois Couperin.

That's followed by Ottorino Respighi's celebrated suite, The Birds, based on renaissance and baroque harpsichord and lute pieces.

The programme also includes the third of Christopher Gayford's Codas - his brief look at some of the psychological aspects of listening to music.

Charles Hazlewood explores pieces by Strauss and Respighi inspired by music from the past.

And All That Jazz - 3 Last20040424

Charles Hazlewood concludes his exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music of the 1920s and 30s, with a profile of the ENGLISH composer Constant Lambert.

In today's audience workshop, Charles is joined by pianist David Owen Norris and the BBC Concert Orchestra, for an exploration of two of Lambert's youthful piano works, the Elegiac Blues and the extraordinarily precocious Piano Concerto (No.

1), which he composed as an eighteen year old student.

The programme also includes Lambert's arrangement of his friend William Walton's overture Portsmouth Point.

And All That Jazz - 120040410

Charles Hazlewood begins a three part exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music during the 1920s and '30s.

Today he is joined by soprano Tara Harrison, tenor Alan Oke and the BBC Concert Orchestra for an audience workshop on the little known but highly personal music Kurt Weill composed for Georg Kaiser's 1933 anti-Third Reich play with music Der Silbersee (The Silver Lake).

And All That Jazz - 120050806

Charles Hazlewood begins a three part exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music during the 1920s and 30s.

He is joined by soprano Tara Harrison, tenor Alan Oke and the BBC Concert Orchestra for an audience workshop on the little known but highly personal music Kurt Weill composed for Georg Kaiser's 1933 anti-Third Reich play with music Der Silbersee, (The Silver Lake).

And All That Jazz - 220040417

Charles Hazlewood continues his exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music during the 1920s and '30s.

In today's audience workshop, the focus is on two of the most characteristic examples from FRANCE, Darius Milhaud's ballet La Creaton du Monde and Jacques Ibert's Divertissement, in which he is joined by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra.

And All That Jazz - 220050813

Charles Hazlewood continues his exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music during the 1920s and 30s.

In today's audience workshop, the focus is on two of the most characteristic examples from France, Darius Milhaud's ballet La Creation du Monde and Jacques Ibert's Divertissement, in which he is joined by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra.

And All That Jazz - 320050820

Charles Hazlewood concludes his exploration of the impact made by jazz and dance music in European music of the 1920s and 30s, with a profile of the English composer Constant Lambert, born in 1905.

In the audience workshop, Charles is joined by pianist David Owen Norris and the BBC Concert Orchestra, for an exploration of two of Lambert's youthful piano works, the Elegiac Blues and the extraordinarily precocious Piano Concerto No 1, which he composed as an 18-year-old student.

The programme also includes Lambert's arrangement of his friend William Walton's overture, Portsmouth Point.

Anton Bruckner - Motets20060422

Stephen Johnson explores the motets of Anton Bruckner.

His masses and motets occupy as important a place in his career as the symphonies he composed later in life.

Featuring the BBC Singers, conducted by Bob Chilcott.

Locus iste

Ave Maria (1861)

Vexilla regis

Os justi

Christus factus est (1884).

Appalachian Spring20040221

The theme of Aaron Copland's 1944 ballet Appalachian Spring is the pioneer spirit of a young couple about to set out on married life in early nineteenth century Pennsylvania.

The spring celebration is set in their brand new farmhouse.

Copland's music is often described as being among his most American sounding works, not least for the inclusion of the Shaker hymn 'Simple gifts' at its climax.

In this audience workshop Charles Hazlewood and members of his chamber orchestra, Excellent Device, search for the connections between the theme and the character of the music.

Arnold: Symphony No 520091004

Charles Hazlewood delves into the world of Malcolm Arnold's Fifth Symphony.

He discovers that in spite of Arnold's posthumous reputation as a composer of light and superficial music, this a surprisingly dark and complex piece - a work full of irony, conflict and above all, anguish.

Charles also looks back at Arnold's views on social music making, presenting archive interviews with the composer.

Charles Hazlewood delves into the world of Malcolm Arnold's Fifthy Symphony.

Arvo Part At 7020051001

Stephen Johnson leads a workshop on Part's distinctive approach to the writing of sacred choral music.

He is joined by the distinguished choral conductor Paul Hillier and by Estonia's leading professional choir, which has made performing the music of their most famous national composer something of a speciality.

Magnificat

Which was the Son of...

Kanon 3 (Kanon Pokajanen)

Nunc Dimittis

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Paul Hillier (musical director).

Bach Magnificat20110730

Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Richard Egarr examine the music and background to Bach's celebrated setting of the Magnificat with the members of the Academy of Ancient Music.

Bach's Magnificat is a setting of Mary's joyous response to the Annunciation - "My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord".

The words have been set by countless composers, but one of the best loved settings is by JS Bach which exists in two versions.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch, in conversation with the AAM's Music Director, Richard Egarr, examines the better known version, in D major, and looks at the way in which Bach adheres to the traditions of the 18th Century Baroque in his compositional approach, in particular how Bach uses his music to "paint" key ideas suggested by the words, thereby heightening the overall expressive power of the work.

The programme was recorded in the BBC Philharmonic Studios at Media City UK as part of the "Philharmonic Presents...." festival in May.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Richard Egarr examine the music and background to Bach's Magnificat.

Bach: Orchestral Suite No 420120411

Stephen Johnson explores how Leipzig's thriving coffee society found its perfect counterpart in the music of JS Bach, and the orchestral suites which he performed amongst the clinking cups and impassioned conversations. And Bach being Bach, he found ingenious ways of encapsulating this unpromising performing environment in his music.

Stephen Johnson on how Leipzig's coffee society found its counterpart in Bach's music.

Bach's Partita No 4 In D20100711

Stephen Johnson and pianist Leon McCawley examine JS Bach's Partita No 4.

The Sarabande and Gigue are A /AS Level Set Works for Edexcel in 2011.

JS Bach composed six keyboard Partitas, or suites of dances, that have become a landmark of the pianist's repertory, even though the music was probably originally conceived for the harpsichord.

The Fourth Partita, in D major, is arguably the most cohesive in the collection, and it also demonstrates Bach's unfailing imagination and skill with its rich variety of styles and moods.

Stephen Johnson, alongside the pianist Leon McCawley examine the background and the workings of this keyboard masterpiece, in a programme that was recorded before an audience at the 2009 Manchester Piano Festival.

As well as the Partita, they also consider Bach on the piano, and examine a transcription by one of Bach's greatest 20th Century advocates, Ferruccio Busoni: his piano adaptation of Bach's Chaconne for solo violin.

Stephen Johnson and pianist Leon McCawley examine Bach's Partita No 4.

Bach's Partita No 4 In D *20090726

Stephen Johnson and pianist Leon McCawley examine Bach's Partita No 4.

Bach composed six partitas, or suites of dances, that have become a landmark of the pianist's repertoire, even though the music was probably originally conceived for the harpsichord.

The fourth is arguably the most cohesive in the collection, demonstrating Bach's unfailing imagination and skill with its rich variety of styles and moods.

Stephen and Leon examine the background and the workings of the piece in a programme that was recorded before an audience at the 2009 Manchester Piano Festival.

They also examine a piano transcription by one of Bach's greatest 20th-century advocates, Ferruccio Busoni, a keyboard adaptation of Bach's Chaconne for solo violin.

The Sarabande and Gigue from the Fourth Partita are A/AS Level set works for Edexcel from 2011.

Barber Piano Concerto20070610

Stephen Johnson is joined by pianist Andrew Zolinsky and the BBC SO conducted by David Robertson for a look at some of the many contrasting ideas that influenced Samuel Barber's composition of his virtuosic Piano Concerto.

Barber: Violin Concerto And Essay No 1 For Orchestra20100307

Stephen Johnson explores one of Samuel Barber's most tranquil and astonishing wartime orchestral works - his Violin Concerto, which he began in Switzerland in the summer of 1939.

Barber continued writing the finale of the concerto in Paris before he quickly returned to his homeland of Pennsylvania as World War II erupted in Europe.

The Violin Concerto was actually a commission from an American entrepreneur - Samuel Fels, who wanted a virtuosic showpiece for his adopted son to play.

Barber's late Romantic style, though, wasn't exactly what Fels was looking for, so there had to be a number of changes made before the young prodigy Iso Briselli agreed to perform it.

To begin the programme, Stephen Johnson also looks at another work written around the same time as the Violin Concerto - his Essay No.1 for Orchestra.

This was a commission by the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini in 1938.

Toscanini, despite living in the USA for many years, rarely commissioned new works from American composers, but he had been so struck by the simple beauty" of the slow movement of Samuel Barber's String Quartet, that he suggested Barber provide him with a version for full string orchestra.

The First Essay, which has similar melancholic undertones to the resultant, now famous "Adagio for strings", was first performed at that same concert.

Gavin Maloney conducts the Ulster Orchestra in extracts and complete performances of both works, which were recorded in the Ulster Hall, Belfast in September 2009.

The violin soloist is Chloe Hanslip.

Stephen Johnson explores the nuances in Barber's Violin Concerto and First Essay."

Bartok's Dance Suite20041009

In this audience workshop from GLASGOW, Charles Hazlewood reveals how Bartok drew on folk traditions ranging from his native Hungary to Romania and North Africa in shaping the musical material of this colourful orchestral masterpiece.

The extracts and a complete performance of the Dance Suite are performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Bartok's Music For Strings Percussion And Celeste20071007

Stephen Johnson joins members of the Northern Sinfonia and conductor Thomas Zehetmair for a workshop on one of Bartok's most popular, atmospheric and original works.

Beethoven Cello Sonatas *20090118

In a programme recorded at the 2008 Lake District Summer Music Festival in St Martin's College, Ambleside, Stephen Johnson is joined by cellist Colin Carr and pianist Thomas Sauer to explore the first and last of Beethoven's five sonatas for cellos and piano: Op 5 No 1 in F and Op 102 No 2 in D.

The two sonatas fall into the extreme ends of the three periods that Beethoven's music is usually divided into, and Stephen shows how Beethoven develops the relationship between the instruments through them.

An exploration of Beethoven's first and last sonatas for cello and piano.

Beethoven String Quartet - "serioso", Op 9520041218

Stephen Johnson joins the members of the Endellion Quartet before an audience at the Djanogly Concert Hall in Nottingham for an exploration of the ideas behind Beethoven's "Serious" Quartet.

Strange title - is it really more serious than any of the others?

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 320121120

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3.

Beethoven: String Quartet In A Minor, Op 13220110605

Stephen Johnson is the guest of the Sowerby Music in Yorkshire for an exploration of one of the pinnacles of the repertory, Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor, Opus 132.

This is one of the so called "late" quartets of Beethoven, written after he had recovered from a debilitating illness.

Beethoven used the quartet medium to grapple with some of his deepest feelings and sensibilities and the work is striking for the profundity of its expression and its novel and imaginative use of form.

At the heart of the work lies one of the composers' most heart felt slow movements - an expression of an artist's thanks to God after recovering from illness.

Stephen is joined by members of the Wihan Quartet who perform illustrations and a complete performance of the work, and he explores the piece by way of a series of queries and questions from the members of Sowerby Music.

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor, Op 132.

Beethoven: Symphony No 3 (eroica)20100221

Stephen Johnson presents a programme exploring Beethoven's Third Symphony in E flat major, the Eroica.

It is well known that Beethoven intended to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon, but when Napoleon had himself crowned Emperor in 1804, Beethoven angrily scratched out this dedication and the symphony was then titled the 'Heroic' symphony.

Stephen Johnson considers this theme of 'heroism' in the work, illustrated with examples and a complete performance of the symphony by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Christophe Mangou.

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's Third Symphony in E flat, the Eroica.

Beethoven's 6th Symphony20070624

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an in-depth exploration of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.

Beethoven's 7th Symphony20070701

With the help of his period orchestra Harmonieband, Charles Hazlewood delves into a Beethovenian paean to rhythm, his 7th Symphony.

Beethoven's Emperor Concerto20111213

Stephen Johnson explores the history and musical mechanics of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.5 'Emperor'.

The title might have been added by others, but Beethoven's masterpiece has always been obscured by the debate surrounding its supposed imperialist intentions: a heroic concerto, written with a Napoleonic spirit.

Not only does this fly in the face of the composer's own sympathies, but it's also disguised the genius of Beethoven's writing.

Stephen Johnson shifts the focus back to the music, and uncovers the radical innovations under the surface of Beethoven's craft.

Stephen Johnson on the history and musical mechanics of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5.

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony *20090215

Stephen Johnson and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Grant Llewellyn deconstruct Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in a programme that also features examples from the sketches.

The Fifth is probably one of the best known works in the classical repertoire, but how much do we understand Beethoven's intentions by it? And how did the composer arrive at the work we know today?

The programme also includes one of four weekly 'Codas' from conductor and music pyschologist Christopher Gayford, exploring our psychological responses to music.

Stephen Johnson and the BBCSO with Grant Llewellyn explore Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata20120320

Stephen Johnson scales the extraordinary heights of Beethoven's giant among piano sonatas, the Hammerklavier. Completed in 1818, Opus 106 is the most imposing of all Beethoven's 32 sonatas for piano. The sheer scale of Beethoven's intellectual power coupled with the sonata's fearsome technical demands and length make this one of the most inspiring and challenging works in the solo piano repertoire.

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's piano sonata, the Hammerklavier, Op 106.

Beethoven's Piano And Cello Sonata In C Major, Op 102 No 120050212

, is the focus of today's workshop session, recorded last year at the Royal Northern College of Music during the MANCHESTER International Cello Festival.

Stephen Johnson is joined by cellist Frans Helmerson and pianist Peter Frankl in this exploration of one of the most compact and original of Beethoven's late works.

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 320071118

Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto clearly owes a debt to the masterly C minor Concerto of Mozart.

Standing on the shoulders of a musical giant, what might Beethoven achieve? Charles Hazlewood explores with pianist Andrew Zolinksy and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 4 In G20050618

In the last of three Beethoven workshops, Charles Hazlewood and his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband are joined by the Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam to explore the character of this great piano concerto, revealing the extent to which Beethoven was extending the boundaries of the classical concerto form into new and unexpected directions.

Beethoven's Symphony No 420040925

It's often been said that the symphonies of Beethoven that really matter are the odd numbered ones, and that the even numbered ones, particularly numbers 2 and 4 are lighter and somehow less challenging.

In this studio edition, Stephen Johnson searches for those qualities of darkness and light, and those innovative touches of orchestration that make Beethoven's Fourth every bit as absorbing to listen to and study as the mighty Eroica and the revolutionary Fifth.

The BBC Philharmonic is conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and Jason Lai

Beethoven's Trio In E Flat, Op 3820120229

Beethoven's Piano Trio in E flat opus 38, is one of the few instances of an arrangement of an original work by Beethoven himself. It's based on Beethoven's earlier Septet, and is a mark of gratitude by the composer to the Viennese physician Johann Adam Schmidt. Beethoven had been consulting Schmidt since about 1801 with various complaints, principally his increasing deafness. Due to its dedicatee, the Trio was intended to be performed in the domestic circle of the Schmidt household. The original virtuosic writing within the string parts in the Septet, therefore were allotted by Beethoven to the piano part in the Trio.

Stephen Johnson explores the inner workings of Beethoven's Trio in E flat, Op 38.

Beethoven's Triple Concerto20120503

Beethoven composed his Triple Concerto, opus 56, during an intensely creative period when he was also working on his opera Fidelio, the Waldstein piano sonata, and the Eroica symphony. Yet, Beethoven made the point to his publishers that here in the Triple Concerto was something new. It was composed for Beethoven's young piano pupil Archduke Rudolph to perform, with the violinist Seidler and the celebrated virtuoso cellist Anton Kraft, for whom Haydn had composed a cello concerto two decades earlier. Although the cello takes slightly more prominence in the Triple Concerto, it was a novelty at the time to combine a piano trio with orchestra, and also give the orchestra equal importance. Stephen Johnson takes a look at this work which broke new ground, yet despite its freshness, after its Viennese premiere in 1808, was never performed again in Beethoven's lifetime.

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's ground-breaking Triple Concerto, Op 56.

Berg Chamber Concerto *20090503

Stephen Johnson joins the members of the Manchester Camerata and their conductor Douglas Boyd for an exploration of Alban Berg's Chamber Concerto, featuring pianist Martin Roscoe and violinist Jack Liebeck as soloists.

The Concerto was written as a homage to Berg's teacher Arnold Schoenberg on his fiftieth birthday, and it alludes to a close circle of friends and Viennese intellectuals from the mid-1920s, namely Berg, Schoenberg and Berg's friend and fellow Schoenberg pupil Anton Webern.

With a wealth of codes and extra-musical references, Berg crafted a compact and technically accomplished work, which is considered one of the great examples of German Expressionism.

The programme includes a complete performance of the piece.

Berio's Sequenzas20100725

Over a span of 44 years, the Italian composer Luciano Berio wrote fourteen pieces entitled Sequenza - a series of solo instrumental works which are dizzyingly virtuosic and experimental.

Yet, unlike similarly experimental works, the Sequenzas remain at the forefront of contemporary solo instrumental repertoire.

In a programme recorded at the 2010 Aldeburgh festival, Stephen Johnson is joined by Trombonist Byron Fulcher, Viola player Paul Silverthorne and Clarinettist Mark van de Wiel to explore three of these varied compositions.

Stephen Johnson explores three of Luciano Berio's virtuosic and experimental Sequenzas.

Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique20060603

Stephen Johnson considers the different components that make up Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, helped along by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

Berlioz: Les Nuits D'ete20100418

Catherine Bott is joined by the biographer and musicologist David Cairns to explore the nuances in Berlioz's song-cycle Les nuits d'ete".

The settings of these six poems by Theophile Gautier was originally conceived to be performed with piano, but Berlioz completed the orchestral versions in 1856.

It has now become one of his most enduring and often performed works.

As David Cairns explains, Berlioz is so often thought to be just a composer on a grand scale, but in this song-cycle he really shows a softer side, capable of writing beautifully-crafted miniatures as well as for huge orchestral forces.

The whole song-cycle is performed by soprano Elizabth Watts with the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Takuo Yuasa.

Catherine Bott and David Cairns explore the nuances in Berlioz's Les nuits d'ete."

Berlioz's L'enfance Du Christ20110508

Charles Hazlewood examines the background and music to Hector Berlioz's "sacred trilogy" - L'enfance du Christ - The Childhood of Christ which contains some of the composer's most immediate and intimate music.

Berlioz wrote it in the 1850s after penning a short musical sketch in a friend's Vistors' Book, in which he'd set out to parody the sounds of the 17th century.

Liking the sketch, Berlioz worked on it further, expanding it into a three part oratorio recounting the childhood of Christ, with a text by Berlioz himself.

In proved to be one of the composer's most successful and popular pieces during his lifetime.

Charles Hazlewood joins the members of the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers with soloists, Jeremy Ovenden as the Narrator; Catherine Hopper as Marie; Stephan Loges as Joseph and Brindley Sherratt as the Father, in an examination of Berlioz's music, the background and ideas to the piece.

Charles also conducts complete performances of the second and third parts: "The Flight into Egypt" and "The Arrival at Sais".

The programme was recorded before an audience at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Charles Hazlewood examines the background and music to Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ.

Bernstein - Fancy Free20060826

In 1943, Leonard Bernstein was approached by Jerome Robbins, an up-and-coming choreographer, who had an idea for a ballet featuring three sailors on shore leave for 24 hours in wartime Manhattan.

The result was Fancy Free, the ballet that launched Bernstein's composing career.

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra delve into the world of this youthful American masterpiece.

Bernstein Chichester Psalms20061118

Charles Hazlewood explores Leonard Bernstein's 1964 commission by the cathedrals of Chichester and Salisbury, for a piece set from the Book of Psalms.

Chichester Psalms is the work in which Bernstein rediscovered tonality after a brief foray into serialism.

Countertenor William Towers, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Chamber Choir of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama assist Hazlewood in his exploration of this serene masterpiece.

Bernstein Season - Serenade After Plato's Symposium (1954)20050528

Leonard Bernstein's five movement concerto for violin, strings and percussion is one of his most personal compositions.

It was inspired by Plato's Symposium, a discourse on love in all its aspects, and was presented in the form of a series of statements by celebrated guests at a banquet.

In this workshop session Charles Hazlewood explores the relationship between Bernstein's music and the source of his inspiration.

Antje Weithaas (violin)

BBC Concert Orchestra

Charles Hazlewood (conductor).

Borodin - Symphony No 220080914

Stephen Johnson is joined by conductor Andre de Ridder and the BBC Philharmonic to explore some of the many musical ideas that inspired Alexander Borodin's Second Symphony, a work composed by a professional Russian chemist who put pen to paper whenever he felt he had time to spare.

Brahms String Quartet In B Flat, Op 67
Brahms String Quartet In B Flat, Op 67 *20091108

In a programme coming from the University of Cumbria in Ambleside as part of the Lake Disctrict Summer Music Festival 2009, Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's third and final string quartet in B flat, Op 67, written in 1876 soon after he completed his First Symphony.

Brahms's previous quartets, Op 51 Nos 1 and 2, suggest a more classical model and have more of his symphonic drama, but a striking element of the writing in Op 67 is its more conversational or dialogue style.

Stephen is joined by the Kuss Quartet, who illustrate with excerpts and give a complete performance of the quartet.

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's String Quartet No 3 in B flat, Op 67.

Brahms Symphony No 32007091620081026

Stephen Johnson explores the workings of Brahms's 'free but happy' Third Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Boyd.

Brahms: Symphony No 1 *20080803

Following BBC Philharmonic chief conductor Gianandrea Noseda's recent peformance of a complete cycle of the Brahms symphonies, Stephen Johnson takes the opportunity to explore the workings of Brahms' watershed First Symphony from the conductor's perspective.

Brahms: Symphony No 2 *20090517

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms' Second Symphony, with excerpts and a complete performance from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Theodore Kuchar.

While Brahms's First Symphony took nearly 20 years to complete, his second - in D - was written in only one summer holiday in Portschach, an alpine area by the Wothersee that also inspired Mahler and Berg.

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms' Second Symphony, with a performance by the BBCNOW.

Brahms: Symphony No 420110612

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's Fourth Symphony, written in the 2 years following the Third Symphony.

It was Brahms's final work in this genre and is remarkable original; Stephen explores some of the characteristics of the work's opening understated lilting melody, and considers the similarites with one of Brahms's Four Serious Songs, written the year before he died.

The programme includes illustrative extracts, and a complete performance of the work performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and its Chief Conductor Jirí Belohlávek.

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's Symphony No 4, with excerpts and a complete performance.

Brahms: Variations On A Theme Of Haydn (the St Anthony Choral)2005082720061202

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Grant Llewellyn for a look at Brahms' pioneering set of orchestral variations.

Just as Mozart and Beethoven before him had used variation form to demonstrate their skills as performers, so Brahms used the form to show off his skills as a composer.

Brahms's First Symphony20120928

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's Symphony no.1, which took the composer a long time to compose. Brahms had a number of disappointments as an orchestral composer, in particular the reception of his First Piano Concerto. This made him very wary as a symphonist, and he didn't complete his First Symphony until the age of forty-three, despite having begun the work some twenty years earlier. By the time Brahms did feel ready to launch himself onto this purely orchestral scene, it was to a public already used to programmatic works from Wagner and Berlioz. Brahms strove to create his own unique sound, but the critics pounced upon the symphony, in particular the last movement for its Beethovenian echoes.

Brahms's German Requiem20120216

Brahms' German Requiem is often presumed to be a nationalistic, Teutonic celebration. Yet this couldn't have been further from the truth. "I confess, I should have gladly left out 'German' and substituted 'Human'", the composer once wrote.

Stephen Johnson explores the work's influences - from Bach's cantatas to the tragic death of Brahms' mentor, Robert Schumann - and looks at the universal appeal of this very 'humane' requiem.

Stephen Johnson explores the influences behind Brahms's German Requiem.

Brahms's Violin Concerto20100829

Stephen Johnson explores the Violin Concerto by Brahms, one of the most challenging works in the repertoire.

Brahms was clearly inspired by his great friend and violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim, and Brahms sought his advice while he composed this concerto.

Stephen Johnson is joined by the violinist Matthew Trusler, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Grant Llewellyn, who illustrate with musical extracts, and the programme concludes with a complete performance of the work.

Stephen Johnson explores Brahms's challenging Violin Concerto.

Brandenburg Concertos - 120110227

In the first of two programmes, Sara Mohr-Pietsch joins Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music to unpick some of the musical ideas in Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

Today, Richard and Sara in conversation, focus on concertos numbers 1, 3 and 6, with examples performed by members of the Academy of Ancient Music, and look at how Bach sought to encompass many musical worlds in the celebrated collection of baroque masterpieces.

Sara and Richard refer to the set as Bach's "calling card" - a demonstration of what Bach could achieve as a composer in the modern concerto form.

The works are generally regarded to be some of the greatest instrumental music of the 18th century.

The man he was trying to impress was Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg.

Richard Egarr draws attention to many of the symbolic references in these three concertos, and how these chime in with many of the ideas and occupations of Bach's age.

In the First Concerto we have music inspired by the great outdoors and the hunt.

In the Third Concerto Bach seems to make use of numbers and numerology as allegories of religion and faith.

The Sixth Concerto, in which Bach masterfully combines the old with the new; can be interpreted as an allegory of love.

The programmes were recorded before an audience in the Turner Sims Concert Hall of Southampton University, and feature complete performances as well the workshop.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Richard Egarr explore Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos 1, 3 and 6.

Brandenburg Concertos - 2 Last20110306

In the second of two programmes, Sara Mohr-Pietsch joins Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music to unpick some of the musical ideas in Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

Today, Richard and Sara in conversation, focus on concertos numbers 2, 3 and 5, with examples performed by members of the Academy of Ancient Music, and look at how through the whole set Bach is exploring and developing the musical possibilities of the concerto form.

These concertos feature a remarkable array of instruments, no two concertos are alike, and to good effect.

Bach's ear for subtle balance and contrast creates a model of instrumental writing of the baroque age.

The programmes were recorded before an audience, in the Turner Sims Concert Hall of Southampton University, and feature complete performances as well as the workshop.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Richard Egarr explore Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos 2, 3 and 5.

Brett Dean20110410

Sara Mohr-Pietsch explores the music of Australian born composer Brett Dean in the company of the man himself, and with soprano Claire Booth and members of BCMG.

Brett Dean has quickly established himself as one Australia's foremost musicians and composers.

His most recent opera, "Bliss", with a libretto by Amanda Holden inspired by a story by Australian writer Peter Carey, will be broadcast on Radio 3 next weekend.

As a prelude to that Sara Mohr-Pietsch joins the composer before an invited audience, and with the soprano Claire Booth and members of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) for an exploration of the composers work.

The programme focuses on two pieces: "Recollections" for ensemble, and "Wolf-Leider" inspired by the life and songs of the great 19th Century romantic Hugo Wolf.

The programme was recorded at last year's Cheltenham Festival where Brett Dean was a featured composer.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch explores the music of Brett Dean in the company of the composer.

Britten - Sea Interludes And Passacaglia20070422

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an exploration of the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia that Benjamin Britten extracted from his opera Peter Grimes

Britten - Les Illuminations20060506

Tenor Daniel Norman joins Charles Hazlewood and the strings of the BBC Philharmonic to explore the music meaning of Britten's youthful settings of Rimbaud's poetry.

Britten Cello Symphony20091018

Stephen Johnson visits Glasgow for an exploration of Benjamin Britten's Cello Symphony, and presents a complete performance of the work by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Takuo Yuasa with soloist Tim Hugh.

Written in 1963 for the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who gave the premiere a year later, with the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by the composer, the piece is full of very dark colours.

It uses the bass sonorities of the orchestral texture, like low strings, bassoons, tuba and bass drum, allowing the cello's tenor register to sing out of the mire.

It has a four-movement symphonic structure, with the last two linked by a solo cello cadenza, which, Stephen argues, makes the piece more of a symphony than a cello concerto, as the composer suggests in the work's title.

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC SSO to explore the intricacies in Britten's Cello Symphony.

Britten: Saint Nicolas20111219

Stephen Johnson reveals the inner workings of Britten's first major work for children's chorus, his cantata Saint Nicolas.

Premiered at the first ever Aldeburgh Festival, the work drew on the skills of both amateur and professional performers.

Stephen Johnson explores how their spirit permeated the work, typifying Britten's personal passion to make his music accessible and meaningful to everyone.

Stephen Johnson explores Britten's work for children's chorus, his cantata Saint Nicolas.

Britten's Sinfonia Da Requiem20040131

The Sinfonia da Requiem (1940) by Benjamin Britten was the outcome of a commission from the Japanese Government, but was rejected by them on account of its CHRISTIAN subject matter.

The music is both highly dramatic and personal, being a tribute to the memory of the composer's parents.

In this audience workshop session, Charles Hazlewood explores the sources of Britten's inspiration, both personal and musical, and conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a complete performance of what is one of the most personal and controversial British symphonies of the last century.

Britten's Variations On A Theme Of Frank Bridge20070923

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra examine Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge alongside Bridge's own Three Idylls.

Bruch - Violin Concerto No 120060429

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner and Radio 3 New Generation Artist Alina Ibragimova in front of an invited audience for an exploration into the workings of one of Max Bruch's most inspired compositions.

Bruckner: Symphony No 920121116

Stephen Johnson explores Bruckner's Symphony No 9.

Bruckner's Symphony No 420111012

Bruckner was an abundance of contradictions: full of naivety but fascinated by politics, a writer with conviction but plagued by self-doubt, an eternal student with a passion for teaching, a lover of improvisation fascinated by the strictest musical forms.

Stephen Johnson explores how all of this fed into his 4th Symphony, and uncovers why the composer might have decided to break from his usual habit and give it a published nickname: 'Romantic'.

Charles Ives *20090125

American conductor David Robertson joins the BBCSO for an exploration of the music of one of his nation's most innovative composers, Charles Ives.

He considers the imaginative way Ives evokes a sense of place - in particular his homeland around Boston - and what some of the wider implications of this might be.

He focuses on three Ives masterpieces: Central Park in the Dark, The Unanswered Question and Three Places in New England.

There is also a feature about a complementary project created by amateur musicians in London based on some of Ives's musical ideas.

Conductor David Robertson explores ideas of place in the music of Charles Ives.

Chinese Myths20040306

Stephen Johnson presents a special programme exploring aspects of Chinese music and discusses the themes and ideas behind Chen Yi's Chinese Myths Cantata, which fuses Eastern and Western musical traditions.

You can hear a performance of the complete cantata in Thursday's Performance on 3.

Chopin Preludes20100321

Stephen Johnson with pianists Llyr Williams and Benjamin Frith, examine the history and musical ideas behind Chopin's cycle of Preludes.

Chopin composed his celebrated set of Preludes Opus 28, while staying in Majorca with his lover, the novelist George Sand.

One of his inspirations for the set was the keyboard music of JS Bach, especially Bach's celebrated cycle of Preludes and Fugues - the 48".

In this programme Stephen Johnson examines the ideas behind Chopin's Preludes.

Unlike Bach's prices, these are not a prelude to anything in particular, so what did Chopin mean by the title? Did the composer intend the cycle for performance or are they didactic pieces, intended to explore different aspects of pianisim? Should the cycle be regarded as one whole or treated as an anthology? Stephen is assisted in his exploration by the pianist Lyr Williams, who also performs the Preludes.

The programme was recorded before an audience at the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton.

In addition to the Opus 28 Preludes, Stephen Johnson also examines the three other pieces for piano which Chopin called Prelude.

With the pianist Benjamin Frith, he takes apart the Prelude in C sharp minor Op45.

A work that is sometimes called the 25th Prelude.Through meticulous examination of the piece, Stephen offers an insight into Chopin's compositional world, examining his romantic style; his harmonic and melodic invention; and his imaginative exploitation of musical form.

Stephen Johnson, with pianists Llyr Williams and Benjamin Frith, on Chopin's Preludes."

Chopin's Mazurkas20101017

As part of the 2010 Birmingham International Piano Academy, Stephen Johnson is joined by pianist Ashley Wass at the Birmingham Conservatoire to explore the intricacies and folk-music elements in Chopin's Mazurkas and Polonaises.

It's widely thought that Chopin's first ever composition was a Polonaise (which he wrote at the age of seven) and his last, fittingly, was a Mazurka.

His 58 Mazurkas and 25 Polonaises, based on traditional Polish folk-dances, signalled new ideas of musical nationalism which influenced and inspired other composers to support their national music.

Stephen Johnson on the intricacies and folk elements in Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises.

Chopin's Piano Concerto No 1 In E Minor20070429

Stephen Johnson joins pianist Piers Lane and members of BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Kenneth Woods for an investigation into a distinct genre of concerto.

Chopin's Piano Preludes Opus 2820050305

Stephen Johnson and the Radio 3 New Generation artist Llyr Williams appear before an audience in the Turner Simms Concert Hall in Southampton for an exploration of Chopin's celebrated cycle of Opus 28 Preludes for the piano.

Composing For The Silver Screen2006022520100516

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra are joined by film composer Debbie Wiseman to uncover what's involved in composing music for movies.

Featured music used includes extracts from Debbie's own score for Wilde.

Plus some iconic film moments where music carries the drama - the opening scene of On the Waterfront, with music by Leonard Bernstein; the Shower scene from Psycho, with music by Bernard Hermann; and the main theme from Harry Potter, by John Williams.

Composing for the Silver Screen

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra are joined by special guest film composer Debbie Wiseman to uncover what's involved in composing music for films The music used includes extracts from Debbie's own score for Wilde plus some iconic film moments where music carries the drama: the opening scene of On the Waterfront, with music by Leonard Bernstein, the Shower scene from Psycho, with music by Bernard Hermann and the main theme from Harry Potter by John Williams.

This is a programme designed to complement A level study.

(Repeat).

Charles Hazlewood and Debbie Wiseman with the BBC CO on composing for the cinema.

Copland Clarinet Concerto20061014

David Owen Norris explores Aaron Copland's jazz-infused piece with celebrated American clarinettist Richard Stoltzman.

David Lockington conducts the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage Gateshead.

Corelli's Opus 6 Concertos20101226

Stephen Johnson unpicks the ideas and background behind Corelli's ground breaking set of Opus 6 Violin Concertos which includes the celebrated "Christmas Concerto".

He joins the members of the European Union Baroque Orchestra directed from the violin by Enrico Onofri, and violinist Margaret Faultless, for a look at how some of the artistic innovations of late 17th Century Rome, focused the mind of a young violin virtuoso, Arcangelo Corelli, and prompted him to create what became the foundation of the influential and ubiquitous late baroque concerto.

Stephen fosues on three concertos from the Opus 6 set of 12: Numbers 4, 8 and 12, which includes the famous Christmas Concerto.

The programme was recorded as part of the 2010 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music.

Stephen Johnson unpicks the ideas behind Corelli's famous set of Opus 6 Concertos.

Debussy's La Mer20110723

Stephen Johnson examines the music and background to Debussy's La Mer with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tito Ceccherini and the South Bank Gamelan Ensemble.

Debussy's three movement symphonic masterpiece takes much of its inspiration from the sea, as its title suggests, but it is more than just a piece of music with an extra musical programme.

Stephen Johnson takes the work to pieces with the help of the players of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and looks at how Debussy was inspired not only by the Japanese wood block prints for a pictorial depiction of the sea, but by the structures and scales of far eastern music as well, to create what many regard to be the greatest ever symphony by a Frenchman.

This programme has been filmed for a visualisation on the Radio 3 website.

Debussy's La Mer is featured in the 2011 Proms on 6th September.

Stephen Johnson examines the music and background to Debussy's La mer with the BBC SO.

Delius And The Orchestra20041127

Frederick Delius was a truly international composer - born in Bradford of German parents, lived for much of his life in rural FRANCE and was greatly inspired painters and landscapes.

His orchestral style is also a unique amalgam of sensuous imagery and intuition.

Today conductor Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra examine the way Delius's orchestral music works, focusing on three contrasting pieces, "On hearing the first cuckoo in spring", "The walk to the Paradise Garden" and Dance Rhapsody No 2.

Discovering Music: Szymanowski's Third Symphony20120222

Setting the second Divan, Song of the Night, by the thirteenth-century mystical poet Rumi, Szymanowski's Symphony no.3 marks a high point in the composer's Impressionistic style. Forging a link between western musical language and oriental beliefs in those worlds which lie beyond our physically and emotionally conditioned lives, Szymanowski realised that this work for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra, had surpassed his previous compositions. Once the work was complete, Szymanowski commented that "not even a musician like myself can have any idea of what it will sound like with an orchestra." The work has been described by composer Sorabji, as music that is permeated with the very essence of the choicest and rarest specimens of Iranian art...like a Persian painting or silk rug.

Stephen Johnson explores the inner world of Szymanowski's Symphony No 3.

Dvorak - Symphony No 920070318

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an exploration of Antonin Dvorak's masterpiece his Symphony No 9, to which the composer gave the subtitle From the New World.

Dvorak Overtures20040207

Dvorak originally conceived his three overtures, In Nature's Realm, Carnival and Othello as a philosophical three movement romantic tone poem depicting Nature, Life and Love.

Stephen Johnson explores some of the links between the three pieces and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Matthew Rowe offer a rare opportunity to hear them performed as a sequence.

Dvorak's 7th Symphony20121130

Stephen Johnson explores Dvorak's Seventh symphony, a work that marks a milestone in the composer's symphonic language. Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1884, Dvorak's intention was ambitious from the outset. He wanted to create a work that "must be capable of stirring the world." The creative intensity Dvorak displayed during the symphony's composition extended to its first performance. Completed on March 17th, 1885, a mere five weeks later Dvorak conducted the first performance in London.

Dvorak's American String Quintet20110327

The Skampa Quartet and viola player Garfield Jackson join Stephen Johnson in dissecting Dvorak's 'American' String Quintet Op 97.

Along with his Symphony No 9 (From the New World) and the American String Quartet Op 96, the String Quintet was a work Dvorak wrote during the 3 years he spent in the USA.

The programme was recorded at last year's Lake District Summer Music Festival in Kendal, and features extracts and complete performance of the String Quintet.

Stephen Johnson explores Dvorak's American String Quintet.

Dvorak's Dumky Trio20120403

was so well-received at its first performance in 1891, with Dvorak himself at the piano, that he took it on a 40-date farewell tour of Bohemia and Moravia, before leaving his homeland for a new life in America. Stephen Johnson explores what a dumka is, and how Dvorak adapted this native folk music for use in his classical compositions.

Stephen Johnson explores Dvorak's Piano Trio No 4 in E minor - the Dumky Trio.

Dvorak's New World Symphony20121023

The Ninth Symphony by Dvorak, was the first completed work after the composer had arrived in New York, taking up his post as Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. The symphony has definite links to Negro spirituals and plantation songs, and Dvorak encouraged this connection with America, giving it the name "From the New World". Yet at this time, Dvorak greatly missed his homeland, and the music of Czechoslovakia is also very much present within the work. Stephen Johnson explores the Symphony no.9 by Dvorak, within the context of its own musical heritage.

Eight Songs For A Mad King20081102

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the composer Peter Maxwell Davies for an in-depth exploration of his iconic music theatre work Eight Songs for a Mad King.

With the ensemble Psappha and baritone Kelvin Thomas.

Considered one of the most celebrated and shocking pieces of British music theatre ever written, the work portrays the tragic madness of King George III.

Eighteenth Century Tchaikovsky20081019

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Philharmonic and cellist Robert Cohen to explore two of Tchaikovsky's 18th century-inspired works - the Rococo Variations and the orchestral suite Mozartiana.

Tchaikovsky's music appears to embody the romantic passions and storms of the his age, but the composer himself often took solace reflecting idealistically on the sensibilities of the 18th century and in particular on his beloved Mozart.

Electronic Music20080217

Alwynne Pritchard takes us on a journey through the rich and colourful landscape of electronic music with composer Jonathan Harvey discussing his Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco and pioneering works by Varese and Stockhausen.

Elgar - The South *20090719

Mark Elder and the Halle Orchestra explore Elgar's orchestral works, focusing on In the South, an extrovert concert overture inspired by an Italian holiday.

The programme contains a complete performance of the overture.

Elgar And The Orchestra20041120

Three great British composers of the 20th century died in 1934 - Elgar, Delius and Holst.

Over the next three weeks the orchestral music of each of them is put under the microscope.

Today conductor Mark Elder and the Halle Orchestra explore the unique sound world of Elgar's orchestra focussing on the extrovert concert overture inspired by an Italian holiday, "In the South".

Elgar And The Orchestra20050917

Three great British composers of the 20th century died in 1934 - Elgar, Delius and Holst.

In this programme, conductor Mark Elder and the Halle Orchestra explore the unique sound world of Elgar's orchestra focussing on the extrovert concert overture inspired by an Italian holiday, 'In the South'.

Elgar Cello Concerto20071202

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Briger, and cellist Christian Poltera for a look behind the notes of one of the best loved cello concertos in the repertory.

Elgar: A Very English Composer? *2008012720080921

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the string section of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to explore what makes Elgar such a quintessentially 'English' composer, focusing on his 1905 Introduction and Allegro, and the 1892 Serenade for Strings.

As a contrast, Charles also examines the music of Holst, another English composer who was writing in the early part of the 20th century, looking at his Saint Paul's Suite for string orchestra.

Could Holst's style possibly be more authentically English than that of Elgar?

Elgar's Enigma Variations20121205

Stephen Johnson explores Elgar's "Enigma Variations", a series of 13 musical sketches of the composer's friends which concludes with a representation of Elgar himself. The theme of the variations was spotted by his wife, as an exhausted Elgar strummed on the piano to relax after a long day teaching violin. When it was completed, this impromptu session turned into Elgar's most ambitious orchestral work to date, which, after it was first performed in London on 19th June 1899, went on to secure his reputation as a composer of international standing.

Elgar's Second Symphony20120315

Stephen Johnson explores Elgar's Second Symphony, which was inspired by stays in Italy and Tintagel in Cornwall, and a poem by Shelley. When it was first heard in 1911, the shifting moods and complex underlying spirit of the symphony confounded many of the audience, perhaps anticipating the troubled times that were about to overtake Europe.

Stephen Johnson explores Elgar's Second Symphony.

Elgar's Symphony No 120120110

Stephen Johnson explores a work which was ten years in the gestation, but worth waiting for - Elgar's Symphony no.1, which was an immediate and phenomenal success at its first performance in 1908.

Stephen Johnson explores Elgar's Symphony No 1, which was ten years in the making.

Elliott Carter At 10020081214

Stephen Johnson travels to New York City to talk to the composer Elliott Carter, who celebrates his 100th birthday in 2008.

Focusing on four of his pieces - Elegy, Triple Duo, String Quartet No 5 and Dialogues - Carter delves into the techniques behind his music, together with stories from his life.

Eta Hoffmann20101205

Stephen Johnson and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the impact of writer ETA Hoffmann on music, not least on Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker.

The fantastical writings of ETA Hoffmann made an enormous impact on composers in the 19th Century.

In this programme Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Johannes Wildner, before an audience at London's South Bank, for an exploration of Hoffmann's writings and ideas.

Hoffmann began his career as a composer and music always played a large part in his life.

In the programme the Concert Orchestra offer an opportunity to hear some of Hoffmann's music alongside a focus on Tchaikovsky's Hoffmann inspired ballet The Nutcracker.

Stephen Johnson examines Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and the impact of writer ETA Hoffmann.

Fairy Tales20040710

The literature of music contains some vivid examples of story telling in music.

Charles is joined by an audience of school students for a workshop, recorded last year in the Ulster Hall Belfast, in which he tells the musical stories behind some familiar and less well known fairy tales, including items from Carl Nielsen's incidental music for Aladdin, Ravel's ballet Mother Goose and Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel.

The music is performed by the Ulster Orchestra and the Choir of Methodist College.

Falla's Nights In The Gardens Of Spain20110710

Stephen Johnson joins the pianist Artur Pizarro and the BBCCO conducted by Barry Wordsworth for a look at the music and ideas of Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

Falla finished his musical evocation of Spanish landscapes, scored for piano and orchestra, in 1915.

As well as the many native Spanish influences that shaped the music, Falla was also guided by the French Impressionists, Debussy and Ravel, so that his three movement portrait has a telling atmospheric quality.

It also demonstrates many of the Spanish influences taken from the Arab world.

Stephen unpicks the work with playing and comment from the Lisbon born pianist Artur Pizarro.

Stephen Johnson considers the music of Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

Faure Requiem *20100117

Stephen Johnson explores the nuances and different versions of Faure's great Requiem, using the recordings by John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir and The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers.

Gabriel Faure composed his Requiem in D minor, arguably his magnum opus, between 1870 and 1890, but his reasons for composing the piece are uncertain.

He lost both his parents within two years of each other, which may have been his original impetus, but by the time of his mother's death he had already begun the work, which he later declared was 'composed for nothing...for fun, if I may be permitted to say so!'

The first version of the work, which he called 'un petit Requiem' included just five movements, but not the Libera Me.

It was first performed at La Madeleine in Paris, with Faure himself conducting - the occasion being the funeral of the architect, Joseph La Soufache.

Over the next two years the composer expanded the piece to the now more familiar seven movements and altered some of his original orchestrations.

In 1899-1900, the score was reworked again for full orchestra, probably by one of his students.

It was the definitive version of the Requiem - played at Faure's own funeral in 1924 - until John Rutter rediscovered the original manuscript of the chamber orchestra version in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris in the early 1980s.

It has now become one of the most popular pieces for choirs and choral societies all over the world.

Stephen Johnson explores the nuances and different versions of Faure's Requiem in D minor.

Figures In The Garden20050205

Charles Hazlewood joins wind players from the National Orchestra of Wales to explore Jonathan Dove's Figures in the Garden, a serenade for Wind Octet inspired by Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Finzi's In Terra Pax20121219

'In Terra Pax' was one of Finzi's very last compositions before leukaemia claimed him at the age of 55. Stephen Johnson unpacks the origins of this Christmas favourite and explores how, despite the many tragic events that shaped Finzi's world, he left behind a work filled with hope and beauty.

Foxtrots *20100110

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore how the foxtrot of the dance halls of the 1920s and 40s had a creative impact on the imagination of 20th-century composers such as Maurice Ravel, John Adams and Peter Maxwell Davies.

The iconic sounds of the popular foxtrots, which reached mass audiences through the wind-up gramophone, through the dance halls and through radio, have become a useful vehicle with which some composers have chosen to present extra-musical and sometimes ironic references in their 'serious' music.

Charles briefly analyses the substance of the foxtrot and considers how Ravel used the dance in his opera L'enfant et les sortileges to evoke the spirit of his times; of how American composer John Adams uses the distinctive sounds of the dance played on a 78 rpm record, as the basis for short orchestral concert work The Chairman Dances; and of how Peter Maxwell Davies's recollection of the foxtrots of his childhood culminate in observations about political and moral responsibility in his St Thomas Wake for orchestra.

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore classical foxtrots for orchestra.

Fung Lam - Unlocking *20090111

Charles Hazlewood with the BBC CO and composer Fung Lam explore his new work Unlocking.

Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra and composer Fung Lam to explore his new work Unlocking.

Through conversation and diary entries which Fung recorded during the compositional process, they trace how this work was written from its conception through to the final version of the piece.

Fung was commisioned by the BBC to write a piece for the programme, the first of a series of three works specially commissioned from contemporary composers.

Taking inspiration from the exhibition of padlocks at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Fung's piece explores ideas of codes, secrets and locks.

The programme also looks at an education project which composer and animateur Fraser Trainer has been running alongside the composition of Fung's new piece, a project which also took this exhibition as a starting point.

George Benjamin *20090308

Stephen Johnson meets one of Britain's leading composers, George Benjamin, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to explore some of the ideas behind his orchestral pieces Dance Figures and Sudden Time.

Composer George Benjamin talks about his orchestral pieces Dance Figures and Sudden Time.

Gershwin's Piano Concerto *20080504

Charles Hazlewood is joined by pianist Joanna MacGregor and the BBC Concert Orchestra for an exploration of one of Gershwin's first concert masterpieces - the Piano Concerto.

Fresh from his success in the concert hall with Rhapsody in Blue and with his triumphs on Broadway running in tandem, Gershwin consolidated his skills to produce a fully fledged piano concerto for the Boston Symphony.

Gesualdo's Madrigals20070909

Stephen Johnson is joined by the vocal group Exaudi to take a closer look at the extraordinary music of Carlo Gesualdo.

Gospel Roots!20041016

In this audience workshop, recorded last week, Stephen Johnson is joined by Ken Burton and the LONDON Adventist Chorale to reveal the roots of gospel choral singing.

Taking a number of contemporary arrangements and compositions as their starting point, they consider the function of the gospel singing in CHRISTIAN worship and examine how the gospel style evolved through influences and traditions from Africa, from European hymnology, from the spiritual, from jazz and from improvisation.

Grieg Piano Concerto20071230

Grieg was a great miniaturist who struggled with large scale forms.

Stephen Johnson with pianist Ronan O'Hora and the Ulster Orchestra conducted by George Vass put this idea to the test.

Grieg Piano Concerto *20081012

Grieg was a great miniaturist who struggled with large scale forms.

Stephen Johnson with pianist Ronan O'Hora and the Ulster Orchestra conducted by George Vass put this idea to the test.

Handel Operas20090301

As part of Radio 3's 2009 Handel celebrations, Catherine Bott and Laurence Cummings explore Handelian opera seria - or serious opera.

This was the dominant operatic form in the 18th Century, with its own rhetoric and conventions, and would have been widely understood and appreciated then.

With soprano Rebecca Outram and countertenor Andrew Radley, Catherine and Laurence consider examples from a range of different operas by Handel, suggesting ways in which the composer took the operatic conventions of his day and, through his genius, transformed them to create dramatic music of great expressivity and imagination.

The programme also includes the last of Christopher Gayford's Codas - his brief look at some of the psychological aspects of listening to music.

Catherine Bott and Laurence Cummings explore the workings of Handelian 'opera seria'.

Handel Week: Ode For The Birthday Of Queen Anne *20090412

Charles Hazlewood is in the heart of Handel's London at St James's Church, Piccadilly, to explore the maestro's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne.

He is joined by soloists Rebecca Outram, Iestyn Davies, Michael George, a small chorus and his period ensemble Harmonieband.

Charles Hazlewood explores Handel's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne.

Handel: Dixit Dominus20101107

Handel's Dixit Dominus is one of his earliest choral works, written in Rome in 1707 when he was just 22.

Robert Hollingworth explores this youthful and vivacious work and is joined by James O'Donnell, who conducts the BBC Singers and St James's Baroque in extracts and a complete performance of Dixit Dominus.

The programme also includes a look at a project led by Tim Steiner with students from St Marylebone Church of England Secondary School.

Robert Hollingworth explores Handel's youthful choral work Dixit Dominus.

Handel's Israel In Egypt20120521

During the 1730s Handel was making his living in London as a composer of Italian opera, but when plans for the 1738-39 season collapsed due to lack of subscribers, he turned instead to oratorio. Stephen Johnson explores one of the fruits of this change of direction - Handel's monumental choral work, Israel in Egypt.

Handel's Messiah20121214

Stephen Johnson explores in detail Handel's sacred oratorio Messiah, a setting of the story of Christ.

Handel's Ode For The Birthday Of Queen Anne20070506

Charles Hazlewood is in the heart of Handel's London at St James's, Piccadilly, to explore the maestro's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne.

He is joined by soloists Rebecca Outram, Iestyn Davies, Michael George, a small chorus and his period ensemble Harmonieband.

Harrison Birtwistle
Harrison Birtwistle *20090712

Stephen Johnson is joined in the Britten Studio at the 2009 Aldeburgh Festival by composer Harrison Birtwistle, the London Sinfonietta and conductor Elgar Howarth to delve into Birtwistle's musical world of drama and ritual, as they explore two of his works - Cortege and Secret Theatre.

Hary Janos2008051120100103

Charles Hazelwood joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra before an audience at Glasgow's City Halls for an exploration of Kodaly's famous Hary Janos, an opera that in the 1920s established the composer as a musician of international standing.

Considered a Hungarian 'nationalist' work, it tells the story of a figure who singlehandedly saves the country from Napoleon's army.

And cimbalom player Heather Corbett joins Charles for a profile of the cimbalom, Hungary's national instrument and a prominent feature in Hary Janos.

They consider the development of the instrument from the traditional folk dulcimar, and look at how composers as diverse as Liszt, Stravinsky and Boulez have written for it.

Looking at Kodaly's opera Hary Janos and profiling the cimbalom, which features in it.

Haydn Symphonies Nos 22 And 9220090607

Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Nicholas Kraemer, explore two titled Haydn symphonies, considering how the composer's musical imagination was inspired by the day-to-day happenings in his life.

His symphony No 22 (The Philosopher) is believed to have been inspired by the appearance of a pair of unusual instruments - both cor anglais - at his workplace in Esterhazy.

Whatever prompted Haydn to use these rare instruments resulted in a work that remains one of the most popular among his early symphonies.

Stephen also explores some of the novelties in one of Haydn's later symphonies, the Oxford.

It was supposedly composed to celebrate Haydn's honorary degree at the English University, but was in fact slightly reworked and composed a short while earlier.

Stephen Johnson unpicks Haydn's Symphonies Nos 22 and 92.

Haydn Symphony No 98 And Piano Variations2007082620110123

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Nicholas Kraemer for an exploration of Haydn's wit and invention in the Symphony No 98 in B flat, and fortepianist Matthew Halls looks at the wonderfully inventive F minor Variations.

Stephen Johnson and conductor Nicholas Kraemer explore Haydn's wit and invention.

Haydn Symphony No 98 And Piano Variations *20090405

Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Nicholas Kraemer for an exploration of Haydn's wit and invention in the Symphony No 98 in B flat, and fortepianist Matthew Halls looks at the wonderfully inventive F minor Variations.

Stephen Johnson and conductor Nicholas Kraemer explore Haydn's wit and invention.

Haydn Trumpet Concerto20060218

Stephen Johnson takes the trumpet concerto as his subject, journeying from the baroque with a concerto by Telemann to Haydn's ground breaking masterpiece.

Phillipe Schartz is the soloist who at one point even ventures to play an original keyed bugle - the instrument that inspired Haydn to put pen to paper.

The BBC NOW is conducted by Kenneth Woods.

Haydn Trumpet Concerto20070527

Stephen Johnson takes the trumpet concerto as his subject, journeying from the baroque with a concerto by Telemann, to Haydn's ground breaking masterpiece.

Soloist Philippe Schartz at one point even ventures to play an original keyed bugle, the instrument that inspired Haydn to put pen to paper.

The BBC NOW is conducted by Kenneth Woods.

Haydn's Opus 33 Quartets2004121120050521

The six string quartets that Joseph Haydn composed around 1781 - his Opus 31 - contain some of his most inspired and innovative music.

Stephen Johnson joins the members of the Wihan Quartet in front of an audience at the Jacqueline du Pre Hall in OXFORD to reveal and to revel in the delights of Haydn's musical wit and invention.

Haydn's Symphony No 1002006100720081130

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore Haydn's Symphony No 100 (Military), arguably the greatest and most immediate success of Haydn's career.

Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the world of Haydn's Symphony No 100 in G - 'the military'.

Henri Dutilleux20080309

Stephen Johnson explores some of the ideas behind the music of one of France's leading composers, Henri Dutilleux, focusing on his second Symphony (Le double).

Thierry Fischer conducts a performance given by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as part of their Discovering Dutilleux festival.

Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis20121213

Stephen Johnson explores the relationship between Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis" and the themes by the German romantic composer, Carl Maria von Weber, on which it is loosely based. By the time he completed the work in 1943 Hindemith had been living in America for some time. Originally the composer had intended to produce a ballet with the impresario LĂ©onide Massine but the two of them fell out and the project was dropped. Three years later Hindemith revisited the material, reworking it into the "Symphonic Metamorphosis".

Holst And The Orchestra20041204

Gustav Holst is thought of as a quintessentially ENGLISH composer of the 20th Century.

But his ancestry was German and he was as interested in ancient Hindu writings, astrology and mysticism as he was in ENGLISH folk song and literature.

Today Stephen Johnson focuses on three of Holst's orchestral landscapes - the Fugal Overture, the Suite "Beni Mora" and his masterpiece "Egdon Heath".

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Vernon Handley.

Impressionism20040522

When we think of 'Impressionism' in music we think of late 19th century FRANCE, Ravel and Debussy, but as Stephen Johnson explores in this programme, the origins of impressionism are many.

The programme includes examples performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Kenneth Woods, including a complete performance of Debussy's L'Apres Midi d'un Faune.

James Macmillan. Sinfonietta20060722

As part of the Cheltenham Festival, Charles Hazlewood and his group Excellent Device are at Cheltenham Town Hall to delve into James MacMillan's 1991 work, Sinfonietta.

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass2009042620101121

Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, a cantata for soloists, choir, orchestra and organ, was written in 1926 to a tex in the Old Church Slavonic language; from an early age Janacek had been passionate about the traditions of the Slavic peoples.

Stephen Johnson explores this mighty work, playing illustrative excerpts and the whole work from a recording of the mass by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karel Ancerl.

Stephen Johnson explores Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, playing excerpts and the entire work.

Stephen Johnson explores Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, a cantata for soli, choir, orchestra and organ written in 1926, playing excerpts and the entire work from a recording by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karel Ancerl.

The text of the mass is in old Slavonic language: from an early age, Janacek had been passionate about the traditions of the Slavonic peoples.

Excerpts:

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass

  • (original version)
  • Colin Davis (conductor)
  • bavarian radio symphony orchestra and chorus
  • beno blachut
  • cd 2 track 1

    beethoven: missa solemnis

  • chandos chan 9310, trs 2 and 5

    full performance:

    soloists:

  • charles mackerras (conductor)
  • collegium vocale
  • czech philharmonic orchestra
  • czech singers' chorus
  • eduard haken
  • harmonia mundi
  • hmc 901614.15
  • jadwiga rappe (alto)
  • jan-hendrik rootering (bass)
  • jaroslav vodrazka (organ)

    soloists:

  • karel ancerl (conductor)
  • libor pesek (conductor)
  • libuse domaninska
  • luba orgonasova (soprano)
  • michael tilson thomas (conductor)
  • philip herreweghe (conductor)
  • rca 09026 60967 2 cd 1, tr 3

    janacek: taras bulba

  • san francisco symphony 821936-0001-2 cd 2, tr 1

    bach: b minor mass

  • san francisco symphony orchestra
  • the danish national radio symphony orchestra and choir
  • the philharmonia
  • uwe heilmann (tenor)
  • vanguard gcd283052
  • vanguard gcd283052, trs 1-8.

    Stephen Johnson explores janacek's glagolitic mass, playing excerpts and the entire work

  • various tracks

    mahler: alpine symphony no 6 in a minor

  • vc791506-2, tr 10

    janacek: glagolitic mass

  • vera soukupova
  • virgin

  • Joe Cutler's Music For Cello And Strings And Grieg's Holberg Suite *20080727

    Charles Hazlewood joins the BBC Concert Orchestra, cellist Robin Michael and composer Joe Cutler to look at Cutler's own Music for cello and strings and Grieg's From Holberg's Time: Suite in the olden style.

    John Adams - The Wound Dresser2006090220070819

    Iain Burnside joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tim Weiss, and baritone Jeremy Huw Williams for a look at John Adams' The Wound Dresser.

    It's a powerful setting of words by Walt Whitman, inspired by his work in a field hospital during the American Civil War.

    Stephen Johnson looks at the music of the award-winning American composer John Adams ahead of the premiere of his new work at the Proms.

    There's also another chance to hear Iain Burnside's examination of Adams' The Wound Dresser, a powerful setting of words by Walt Whitman, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, conducted by Tim Weiss.

    John Dowland's Lachrymae2005022620070708

    Andrew Manze takes a close look at the music and ideas behind the seven pavans from John Dowland's Lachrymae or Seven Teares, published in 1605 for lute and viol consort.

    The profoundly intimate and expressive music has been described as the renaissance equivalent to Beethoven's late quartets and is performed by the viol group Concordia.

    The profoundly intimate and expressive music has been described as the renaissance equivalent to Beethoven's late quartets, and is performed here by viol group Concordia.

    Joseph Haydn And The Classical Style20060513

    In this workshop session designed to complement A-Level and Scottish Highers studies, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra explore the key ingredients of the classical symphony.

    They use as their exemplar Haydn's Symphony No 60 in C, Il Distratto - a six movement work from 1774, fashioned from incidental music which he had composed for an adaptation of a French play, Le Distrait, by Francois Regnard.

    Kind Of Blue20051008

    Miles Davis' 1959 album is one of the most significant achievements in the history of post war jazz.

    Geoffrey Smith dissects the different numbers on the album.

    Korngold's Violin Concerto20110522

    From the Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conductor Rumon Gamba & soloist Matthew Trusler for an in-depth look at Korngold's colourful post-war Violin Concerto.

    Having escaped the Anschluss in his native Vienna, Korngold finally settled in Hollywood in 1938 and began writing music for film scores such as "The Adventures of Robin Hood", which won him his second Oscar.

    Once the war was over, Korngold set about composing music for the concert platform once again, and this concerto was one of the first to be put before the public in a performance by Jascha Heifetz.

    Stephen Johnson explores the musical nuances of Korngold's post-war Violin Concerto.

    Kurt Weill - Violin Concerto20060909

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and soloist Clio Gould to explore an early work by Kurt Weill - his Violin Concerto.

    It's a piece in which Weill was influenced by the two main musical minds of the 1920s - Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky.

    Kurtag - Scenes From A Novel *20080629

    In a programme recorded at the Aldeburgh festival, Stephen Johnson is joined by soprano Maria Husmann and the ensemble Psappha to delve into the musical world of the featured composer of this year's festival - Gyorgy Kurtag.

    They examine Kurtag's work Scenes from a Novel alongside some of the piano miniatures - Jatekok (Games) and the orchestral work Stele.

    La Mer20040529

    Debussy's La Mer - 'The Sea' - is a straight forward title and description of the piece, but he also called it 'Trois esquises symphoniques' - Three Symphonic Sketches.

    What did Debussy mean by that and how much does it tell us about the kind of music that Debussy was writing? Stephen Johnson probes into the depths of La Mer assisted by members of the BBC NOW conducted by Kenneth Woods.

    Ligeti Piano Concerto20090906

    Composed between 1985 and 1988, Ligeti's Piano Concerto is one of the composer's most dynamic examples of music inspired by contemporary ideas about structure, pattern and rhythm.

    The mathematics of Fractals and Chaos Theory is one starting point in understanding this colourful and arresting work, as are some of the more individual and distinctive folk traditions of Africa, Indonesia and Eastern Europe.

    Tom Service is joined by composer Julian Anderson, who is a great advocate of Ligeti's work, and a team of celebrated contemporary music specialists - pianist Rolf Hind, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), and conductor Martyn Brabbins - for an exploration of the musical workings and ideas behind this virtuoso tour de force and one of the late 20th century's musical masterpieces.

    Tom Service explores the musical workings and ideas behind Ligeti's Piano Concerto.

    Ligeti Violin Concerto20071209

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and violinist Ernst Kovacic for an in-depth exploration of Gyorgy Ligeti's Violin Concerto.

    Plus Jennifer Martin takes an inside look at a BBC SSO learning programme centred around another challenging work by Ligeti, his Chamber Concerto.

    Light Fantastic: Eric Coates20110626

    Catherine Bott and John Wilson explore the supreme musical craftsmanship of Eric Coates with the help of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra focusing on one of his popular marches, and from 1935, The Three Men Suite.

    It is characteristic of Light Music that it is direct in its appeal and uncomplex in its make up.

    In the years between the two World Wars, Eric Coates was the uncrowned king of the genre.

    Hugely popular and immensely successful, Coates prided himself on never being short of a tune.

    But as Catherine Bott and conductor John Wilson explain, Coates's musical talents were far in excess of merely having the ability to create a catchy melody.

    By exploring Coates's various musical beliefs and influences, and examining his music in detail, they demonstrate a musician with a perceptive and eclectic ear, and a master musical craftsman.

    Music featured in the programme includes The Knightsbridge March; The Three Men Suite as well as excerpts from Elgar, German and Delius.

    Catherine Bott and John Wilson explore the musical craftsmanship of Eric Coates.

    Listening To Webern20050910

    As we approach the 60th anniversary of Webern's death, Stephen Johnson takes a close look at the music of this great Austrian figure who still provokes bewilderment in certain quarters.

    What is there to hear in Webern?

    Liszt Piano Concertos20100523

    Sara Mohr-pietsch considers the background and music to Liszt's first two piano concertos with pianist Piers Lane and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart.

    Liszt wrote, and serially revised, what we now call Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat and No 2 in A, over a period of 30 years.

    Sara Mohr-Pietch considers the ways in which the pianist/composer strove to create a new kind of concerto worthy of the sensibilities and aesthetic of the early romantic period during the first half of the 19th Century.

    Sara Mohr-pietsch considers the background and music of Liszt's first two piano concertos.

    Liszt Transcriptions20110814

    Stephen Johnson is joined by pianist Leslie Howard at the Birmingham International Piano Academy to uncover the musical nuances in some of Liszt's piano transcriptions.

    Liszt was a celebrated virtuoso pianist and European superstar.

    His myriad piano transcriptions served a number of purposes.

    Some showed off his incredible technique, others were more easily playable by amateur musicians and so served to disseminate well-known pieces to a bigger audience.

    In others, there's a real sense that Liszt thought that the piano, as an instrument, actually had something different to bring to the original composition.

    He tackled Schubert songs, mammoth Beethoven symphonies, Wagnerian leitmotifs and Verdi grand operas, but none of his transcriptions are in any way a pastiche.

    All of them seem to carry a sense that Liszt cared deeply about the music and about the piano.

    Stephen Johnson unpicks some of the musical nuances in Liszt's piano transcriptions.

    Lully's Religious Works20120627

    They say that Louis XIV was 'occupied constantly with the idea of grandeur'. Given this starting-point, Lully as court composer could have been forgiven if his sacred music had overindulged in the spectacular. Stephen Johnson uncovers the subtleties of Lully's surviving religious works with Richard Egarr, director of tonight's concert, and finds a composer remarkably attuned to the opportunities and pitfalls of combining theatre and church in music.

    Lutoslawski: Symphonic Variations20100627

    Stephen Johnson explores two works by Witold Lutoslawski: the Symphonic Variations, his orchestral debut written while the composer was just 25, and the work which established Lutoslawski as an international figure, the Concerto for Orchestra, completed in 1954.

    Stephen explores the colourful and alluring sound world and influences of the composer.

    The programme includes musical examples and full performances from both works by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Krzysztof Urbanski.

    Stephen Johnson explores Lutoslawski's Symphonic Variations and Concerto for Orchestra.

    Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde20100620

    Stephen Johnson examines the ideas and meaning of Mahler's great symphony of song, Das Lied von der Erde, through the chamber version made by Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Riehn after Mahler's death.

    For superstitious reasons, Mahler would not call it his Symphony No 10 (too many composers in the past had died while writing a tenth symphony) and Mahler's own frail health at the time strengthened his fatalistic instincts.

    The Song of the Earth, is based on translations of Chinese poems, and as Stephen explains, there is a strong Eastern philosophical influence throughout the entire work.

    Stephen's workshop is illustrated by the Manchester Camerata and Douglas Boyd, with singers Jane Irwin and Peter Wedd, and the programme was recorded as part of the Manchester Mahler celebrations at the start of 2010.

    Stephen Johnson examines Mahler's Song of the Earth with the Manchester Camerata.

    Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn20121004

    Stephen Johnson explores Mahler's settings of the collection of German folk poetry, Des Knaben Wunderhorn.

    Mahler: Symphonies Of Songs - 120050917
    Mahler: Symphonies Of Songs - 120100502

    Gustav Mahler frequently incorporated singers into the line ups of his Symphonies, but he also used elements from his own songs in them.

    In the first of two programmes, in a year that sees the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, Stephen Johnson delves into the world of Mahler's Symphonies to explore these echoes.

    Stephen Johnson on Mahler's use of singers and echoes of his own songs in his symphonies.

    Mahler: Symphonies Of Songs - 220050924

    Charles Hazlewood joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for a workshop exploring the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose music has a profoundly spiritual quality.

    Much of his work is also underpinned by rigorous mathematical principles and Charles and the orchestra explore these and other techniques in three works: Collage on Bach, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten and Silouan's Song.

    Mahler: Symphonies Of Songs - 220100509

    Stephen Johnson continues his exploration of Mahler, examining the echoes of his songs in his later symphonies.

    Whilst their influence is not as obvious as in the first four symphonies, the songs' subtle resonances in these later works play an important role in the understanding and unpicking of the emotional depths of Symphonies 5-10.

    Stephen Johnson examines the echoes of Mahler's songs in his later symphonies.

    Mahler's First Symphony20121107

    Stephen Johnson gets inside Mahler's first symphony to try and discover its true meaning among the folksongs, military fanfares, and sounds of nature that abound in his score.

    Mahler's Resurrection Symphony20110515

    Stephen Johnson hosts a round the table discussion about Mahler's monumental work, his 2nd Symphony, sometimes called the "Resurrection." Stephen is joined by 3 guests: Jeremy Barham, writer and editor of the Cambridge Companion to Mahler; Lesley Chamberlain, writer, critic and journalist, and author of the widely acclaimed book "Nietzsche in Turin"; and Colin Matthews, composer who collaborated with Dereyck Cooke on the performing version of Mahler's 10th Symphony.

    Their discussion includes the social context of the work and Mahler's development as a symphonist, and also ideas about interpreting the death and resurrection theme of the symphony.

    The discussion is illustrated by short musical extracts, and the programme concludes with a recording of Mahler's tone-poem Totenfeier, which was later to become the first movement of the 2nd symphony.

    Stephen Johnson hosts a round table discussion about Mahler's monumental Second Symphony.

    Mahler's Symphony No 420120420

    With its pipe tunes and folky finale, Mahler's Symphony no.4 presents itself as the odd man out amongst the composer's grand and imposing symphonies. But is it really? Stephen Johnson explores darker undercurrents in the work, as well as shadows of the composer's other life as one of the greatest opera conductors of his day.

    Stephen Johnson explores darker undercurrents in Mahler's Symphony No 4.

    Malcolm Arnold's Fifth Symphony20101031

    Malcolm Arnold has gained a posthumous reputation as a composer of light and superficial music.

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra delve into the world of his 5th Symphony however and discover a surprisingly dark and complex world - a work full of irony, conflict and above all: anguish.

    The programme also looks back at Arnold's views on social music making, featuring archive interviews with the composer.

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore Malcolm Arnold's Fifth Symphony.

    Mark-anthony Turnage's Momentum And Kai20070520

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by cellist Matthew Barley and the BBC Philharmonic to explore the music of contemporary British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage through his works Momentum for orchestra and Kai for solo cello and ensemble.

    The programme also includes a look back over a week at Eccles College in Salford, where Matthew, Charles and members of the orchestra worked with amateur groups on their own piece inspired by Turnage's music.

    Mark-anthony Turnage's Momentum And Kai20071125

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by cellist Matthew Barley and the BBC Philharmonic to explore the music of contemporary British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage through his works Momentum for orchestra and Kai for solo cello and ensemble.

    The programme also includes a look back over a week at Eccles College in Salford, where Matthew, Charles and members of the orchestra worked with amateur groups on their own piece inspired by Turnage's music.

    Martinu: Piano Concerto No 2
    Martinu's Piano Concerto No 2 *20091206

    As part of Radio 3's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bohuslav Martinu's death, entitled Bohemian Rhapsodies, Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conductor Tecwyn Evans and pianist Martin Roscoe for an exploration of music by Bohuslav Martinu.

    The programme is part of a series of performance of all five of the Czech-born composer's piano concertos.

    Stephen focuses on the Second Piano Concerto, written in the mid 1930s during Martinu's years in Paris.

    Paris was the hothouse of modernism in the 20s and 30s, attracting artists such as Picasso and composers such as Stravinsky, and while such charismatic figures left their mark on Martinu, the composer nonetheless ploughed his own distinctive artistic furrow, resulting in a very individual voice.

    Stephen also explores Martinu's Three Inventions for Orchestra, composed at the same time, and which paved the way for his subsequent series of five symphonies.

    Stephen Johnson on Martinu's Piano Concerto No 2 and Three Inventions for Orchestra.

    Mendelssohn Overtures *20080608

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Benjamin Ellin for an exploration of the musical workings of three of Mendelssohn 'symphonic poems' - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and The Hebrides.

    Mendelssohn Weekend - Italian Symphony *20090510

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the history and workings of Mendelssohn's popular 4th Symphony - the Italian, discovering that the composer was torn between two artistic ideals - using music to express the poetic and extra-musical, and creating a taut, pure symphonic construction that would be deemed worthy of a successor to Beethoven.

    Mendelssohn never managed to fully reconcile the two and he remained dissatisfied with his symphony.

    He withdrew it and it was never published in his lifetime.

    But that didn't stop it becoming immensely popular and a staple part of the symphonic repertoire.

    In considering the work and its revisions, Charles provides an insight into Mendelssohn's philosophy as a symphonist, as well as the role that Mendelssohn's mentor, Goethe, played in directing the young composer.

    The programme also features a performance of Mendelssohn's overture inspired by a poem of Goethe, Die Erste Walpurgisnacht.

    Charles Hazelwood explores the history and ideas behind Mendelssohn's Italian symphony.

    Mendelssohn: Concerto In D Minor For Violin And Piano20111025

    Mendelssohn had already written over a hundred pieces in nearly every genre before he turned to his Concerto for violin and piano at the age of just fourteen years old.

    Stephen Johnson sifts through this rarely heard early work to see how the young composer was already racing down the path from child prodigy to incipient genius.

    Stephen Johnson explores Mendelssohn's rarely-heard Concerto for violin and piano.

    Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto20110424

    Catherine Bott joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conductor Garry Walker and soloist Jennifer Pike at Cardiff's Hoddinott Hall to look at some of the musical nuances to be found in Mendelssohn's popular Violin Concerto in E minor.

    Catherine Bott explores the musical nuances of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.

    Messiaen - St Francis Of Assisi20080831

    Ahead of next Sunday's broadcast of the complete opera, Alwynne Pritchard explores Messiaen's vast St Francis of Assisi.

    She is joined by conductor Kent Nagano who worked very closely with Messiaen himself in preparing the original production of the work.

    Messiaen: Quartet For The End Of Time *20081207

    Stephen Johnson is joined by members of the Fibonacci Sequence for a detailed exploration of Messiaen's wartime piece Quartet for the End of Time, with pianist Kathron Sturrock, violinist Jack Liebeck, clarinettist Julian Farrell and cellist Benjamin Hughes, before a complete performance of the work, given at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

    In 1941, Messiaen was captured by the German army and held as a prisoner of war at Stalag VIII-A in Gorlitz.

    It was there, to an audience of about 400 fellow prisoners that he, along with clarinettist Henry Akoka, violinist Jean le Boulaire and cellist Etienne Pasquier, gave the world premiere performance of his eight-movement piece.

    'Never was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension', the composer recalled after the event.

    Metamorphosen20060204

    Richard Strauss conceived his late masterpiece for 23 solo strings as a memorial for a lost musical culture, particularly the bombing of the Munich Opera House, the scene of so many of his operatic triumphs.

    In this workshop session, Charles Hazlewood and his ensemble Excellent Device explore the musical detail behind this very personal work, revealing in the process how strongly the shadow of Beethoven is cast over the music, particularly the Eroica Symphony.

    Michael Tippett's Concerto For Double String Orchestra20050416

    Tadaaki Otaka and the BBC Symphony Orchestra join Stephen Johnson to examine one of Tippett's most exuberant works.

    Miles Davis Celebration - Kind Of Blue20060527

    Miles Davis' 1959 album Kind of Blue is one of the most significant achievements in the history of post-War jazz.

    Geoffrey Smith dissects the different numbers on the album to discover what makes them such landmark pieces.

    Milhaud And Poulenc
    Moeran's Symphony No 220120601

    Towards the end of his life, Ernest John Moeran was working on his second Symphony, inspired by the mountains of Kerry. On the 1st of December 1950, during an overcast and stormy day, Moeran was spotted walking towards the end of the pier at Kenmare in County Kerry. As he made to return, Moeran fell, possibly from a brain haemorrhage, and he never got to complete this work. Conductor Martin Yates has now realised and completed this second Symphony, and joins Stephen Johnson to discuss Moeran's last major orchestral project.

    Monteverdi's Il Combattimento Di Tancredi E Clorinda * *20080622

    In a programme made as part of the 2008 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, Robert Hollingworth and his group I Fagiolini explore the background and music to Monteverdi's operatic scena, The Battle of Tancredi and Clorinda, for which the composer claimed to use a new form of musical expression.

    Monteverdi's L'orfeo2007093020110320

    Robert Hollingworth joins a special group of period performers for an exploration of some of the pioneering musical ideas behind the operatic masterpiece.

    Robert Hollingworth joins a specially gathered group of performers for an exploration of some of the pioneering musical ideas behind music's first operatic masterpiece - L'Orfeo.

    Robert considers the way in which Monteverdi's ideas about creating opera developed from his experience of writing madrigals.

    He looks at Monteverdi's expressive use of music to colour and highlight the meaning of the text and features performances of several contrasting episodes from the opera.

    Robert Hollingworth and period performers explore musical ideas of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.

    Mozart - Serenade In Cm, K388.20060708

    Charles Hazlewood and members of his ensemble Harmonieband are in the Chapel of Greenwich's Old Royal Naval College to take a closer look at Mozart's Serenade in Cm, K388.

    Mozart The Improviser20061230

    David Owen Norris and pianist Ashley Wass consider the qualities that governed how Mozart improvised at the piano drawing on clues from his published scores.

    Mozart: Symphony No 4120121129

    Stephen Johnson explores Mozart's Symphony no.41, "Jupiter".

    Mozart's Clarinet Concerto20070218

    Charles Hazlewood conducts Emma Johnson and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in an exploration of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto.

    Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik20110109

    As part of the "Genius of Mozart" season, Stephen Johnson visits Clandon Park House in Surrey to study the nuances found in Mozart's most famous serenade - "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik".

    He's joined by the architect Jonathan Foyle to discuss the links between Mozart's musical structures and the Palladian-style architecture of the period, and by the historian Steven Parissien who'll be giving his insight into the social history of the time and into the European-wide concept of 18th century sensibility.

    Musical extracts will be played by The Doric Quartet and double-bass player Tim Gibbs.

    Stephen Johnson explores the musical nuances found in Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

    Mozart's Last Piano Concerto20050709

    In January 1791, Mozart completed what was to be his last piano concerto, K 595 in B flat.

    In this workshop session, Charles Hazlewood and pianist Ronald Brautigam explore the extent to which Mozart was expanding the boundaries of the classical concerto.

    Ronald Brautigam (piano)

    BBC Philharmonic

    Charles Hazlewood (conductor).

    Mozart's Linz Symphony20110116

    Mozart's Symphony No.

    36, is known as the 'Linz Symphony' because it was composed in just four days during a visit to the Austrian town of Linz.

    Tom Service joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andrew Manze to explore this incredible work.

    He also talks with Fraser Trainer about an education project which the orchestra ran alongside this Discovering Music recording, which involved players from the orchestra working with Glasgow School Students and National Youth Orchestra of Scotland players, writing a new piece in the same amount of time as Mozart.

    Tom Service and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra explore Mozart's Linz Symphony.

    Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, K3642006012820060916

    Mozart 'discovered' the sinfonia concertante or concertos involving more than one soloist in Mannheim, played by the fine orchestra there, in 1778.

    Back in Salzburg a year or so later he wrote one of his own - the Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, which is one of the greatest and most original of all his concertos.

    In this workshop and performance, Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with soloists Lesley Hatfield (violin) and Steven Burnard (viola).

    Mozart's Symphony No 2920060715

    Mozart was just eighteen years old when he wrote his 29th Symphony, the work which is regarded by many as a turning point in his development as a composer.

    Charles Hazelwood delves into this landmark symphony with his ensemble Harmonieband, in the lavish surroundings of Greenwich's Old Royal Naval College Chapel.

    Music And Meaning In The Magic Flute20060121

    As a prelude to the opera Live from the Met, Charles Hazlewood leads a workshop recorded in Cardiff in which he explores the music and meaning of Mozart's great singspiel, through three of the principal characters - Pamina, Tamino and Papageno.

    Pamina....Aylish Tynan (soprano)

    Tamino....James Gilchrist (tenor)

    Papageno....Roderick Williams (baritone)

    Students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

    BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    Charles Hazlewood (conductor).

    Music From The Russian Ballet20051231

    In this workshop session, recorded in St David's Hall, Cardiff, Charles is joined by David Nixon, Artistic Director of the Northern Ballet Theatre, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for an exploration of key moments in the evolution of the Russian Ballet, from the time of ballet-master Petipa and composer Tchaikovsky in the 1870s, to the ground-breaking contributions of impressario Diaghilev and composer Stravinsky in the early years of the 20th century, and the new wave of 'realistic' ballets in the Soviet Union.

    The music comes from Tchaikovsky's three ballets, Stravinsky's Petrushka, Gliere's The Red Poppy and Shostakovich's The Golden Age.

    Music Of Mexico20091101

    Charles Hazlewood with the BBC Concert Orchestra take up a Latin American theme as they explore the music of Mexico in the concert hall.

    As Latin American rhythms became universally popular in the first half of the 20th century, and countries such as Mexico strove to reflect their own voice on the world stage, so a new palette of musical colours and ideas found their way onto the concert programme.

    Charles focuses on two works by Mexican born composers.

    Jose Pablo Moncayo's Huapango is a short orchestral piece based on popular rural dances from his native country and has become his most often performed piece.

    Silvestre Revueltas' Sensemaya draws on the mythology of the ancient Mayan civilisation and is a symphonic poem infused with Latin American colours, but which also reflects the composer's interest and understanding of Western European music from the first half of the 20th century.

    There is also a nod towards Mexico from a North American master, Aaron Copland.

    His El Salon Mexico came about as a result of a visit to Mexico during which he heard popular music in late night bars and cafes.

    Playlist:

    El Palo Verde (Mexican folk song)

    Cynthia Gooding sings Spanish Mexican and Turkish folk songs

    Collectors' Choice CCM-626 Tr 12.

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert orchestra focus on music inspired by Mexico.

    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition *20091025

    In front of an audience at BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, Charles Hazlewood joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and pianist Ashley Wass for an examination of both the original piano and the orchestral versions of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

    Charles is also joined in his analysis by David Nice, an authority on Russian music.

    What exactly were the images that so fired Mussorgsky's imagination and what do they tell us about the personality of this complex and often misunderstood 19th-century composer? Why did the composer seek a synthesis of Western and Slavic influences, and to what extent is Pictures an 'international' piece, countering arguments that Ravel's orchestration is not Russian enough?

    Following the death of his close friend, Russian artist Victor Hartmann in 1873, Mussorsgky attended an exhibtion of his work and was inspired to compose a piano suite depicting some of the paintings, drawings and designs that he had seen.

    The composer wrote the suite very quickly and it became a potent example of his Russian nationalist sentiments and his desire to 'realistically' capture pictorial ideas in music.

    The piano suite cried out to be arranged for orchestra, and one who took up the challenge was Frenchman Maurice Ravel, who made his remarkable orchestration in 1922.

    The work has never waned in popularity since.

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC NOW explore Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

    Nielsen Flute Concerto20070408

    Nielsen composed his witty and imaginative flute concerto for a member of the Danish Wind Quintet, conveying much of the character and personality of the player in the piece.

    Radio 3 New Generation Artist Sharon Bezalay is the soloist in this workshop with BBC NOW conducted by Ken Woods.

    Presented by Stephen Johnson

    Nielsen's 4th Symphony - The Inextinguishable20100808

    Tom Service is joined by the BBC Philharmonic and conductor John Storgards to explore Nielsen's 4th Symphony, one of the most stirring and intriguing works the Dane ever composed.

    Nielsen himself wrote of the piece: Music is life and like it inextinguishable.

    Tom Service and conductor John Storgards explore Nielsen's Fourth Symphony.

    Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto20070415

    Stephen Johnson takes a closer look at Carl Nielsen's last major orchestral work, his clarinet concerto, with clarinetist John Bradbury and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Petri Sakari

    Nielsen's Second Symphony20111206

    It may have been inspired by a kitsch picture hanging in a village pub, but Nielsen's Symphony no.2 'The Four Temperaments' took the composer to new artistic heights.

    Stephen Johnson lifts the lid on Nielsen's symphony and explores how it translates the spirit and imagery of ancient medical science into music.

    Stephen Johnson lifts the lid on Nielsen's Second Symphony (The Four Temperaments).

    Ockeghem's Requiem Mass20110703

    In a programme recorded at the 2011 Aldeburgh Festival, Stephen Johnson is joined by Ensemble Organum and Marcel Peres to explore the earliest surviving setting of the Requiem mass by the 15th Century composer Johannes Ockeghem.

    Stephen Johnson explores the earliest surviving setting of the Requiem mass by Ockeghem.

    Piano Keys20120917

    Sara Mohr-Pietsch and guests answer your questions about anything to do with the piano and Richard Sisson, pianist and composer, guides us through the quirks and features of the main piano keys used by the great classical music composers. Plus, a look ahead to the second half of tonight's concert.

    Email us your questions: pianoseason@bbc.co.uk.

    Portraits Day - Opera Portraits20120507

    Stephen Johnson turns to portraits in opera, and looks at some of the best ways in which the music in opera describes, develops and enhances individual characters.

    Poulenc Mass In G20060520

    Stephen Johnson takes a look at the workings and influences upon Francis Poulenc's distinctive and virtuosic unaccompanied setting of the mass with the BBC Singers conducted by Bob Chilcott.

    Poulenc Organ Concerto20061125

    Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in an exploration of Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani.

    Organ soloist is David Goode.

    Prokofiev Symphony No 520090628

    David Nice joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson for an exploration of the ideas and background to Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony.

    It has been labelled as 'a symphony of the grandeur of the human spirit' ever since the composer used that phrase on Moscow radio around the time of the premiere in 1945.

    But what kind of grandeur is this - the triumph of the individual or the spirit of Soviet man?

    A Prokofiev authority and biographer, Nice considers the symphony in the light of the time in which it was written, comparing it to other works the composer wrote in the 1940s.

    Prokofiev's Classical Symphony20070729

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the world of Prokofiev's Symphony No 1 in D, which was inspired by the classical style of Haydn.

    The programme also includes movements from Haydn's Symphonies Nos 93, 95, 100 and 101.

    Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije20061223

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije.

    Prokofiev's Romeo And Juliet20041113

    In his famous ballet music, Prokofiev provides the tragic young lovers with some of his most lyrical and colourful music.

    In this studio edition, Charles Hazlewood charts the doom laden love of Romeo and Juliet as it is revealed in the evolution of the musical material assembled by Prokofiev in five movements from the second of the three orchestral suites.

    The performance is given by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Jason Lai

    Puccini: La Boheme20070225

    The great Italian composer is revered as one of music's great tunesmiths, but Catherine Bott reveals there is much more to his art as she explores his Parisian masterpiece with singers Katie van Kooten and Peter Auty.

    Edward Gardner conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    Puccini's La Boheme20100822

    Puccini is revered as one of music's great tunesmiths but as Catherine Bott reveals there is much more to his art - with singers Katie van Kooten and Peter Auty and the BBC SO conducted by Edward Gardner, Catherine Bott examines the final scene of Act One of the opera, examining Puccini's artful means of sustaining dramatic narrative through music.

    Producer: Chris Wines.

    Catherine Bott explores Puccini's La Boheme with singers Katie van Kooten and Peter Auty.

    Purcell - Dido And Aeneas20100207

    WATCH THE VIDEO ANALYSIS OF THIS SHOW AND A PERFORMANCE OF DIDO'S LAMENT BELOW.

    Stephen Johnson and Nicholas Kraemer examine Purcell's Dido and Aeneas - the first truly great opera in the English language.

    Along with members of the Manchester Camerata, and before an audience at the RNCM in Manchester, they examine Purcell's masterpiece in the light of its time and look at some of the musical devices that Purcell employs to create a tightly knit narrative and evoke real tragic human emotions.

    The programme includes a complete performance featuring:

    Carolina Krogius - Dido

    Philip Smith - Aeneas

    Fleur Bray - Belinda

    Hanna-Liisa Midwood Kirchin - 2nd Woman

    Katie Lowe - Sorceress

    Elise Dye - 1st Witch

    Soraya Mafi - 2nd Witch

    David Shaw - Sailor

    Jenny France - Spirit

    RNCM Chorus and Manchester Camerata directed by Nicholas Kraemer

    Stephen Johnson and Nicholas Kraemer offer an insight into Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

    Purcell - Dido And Aeneas *20090322

    As part of BBC Radio 3's Purcell celebrations, Stephen Johnson and Nicholas Kraemer examine Purcell's Dido and Aeneas - considered to be the first truly great opera in the English language.

    Along with members of the Manchester Camerata, and before an audience at the RNCM in Manchester, they examine Purcell's masterpiece in the light of its time and look at some of the musical devices that Purcell employs to create a tightly knit narrative and evoke real tragic human emotions.

    The programme includes a complete performance of Dido and Aeneas featuring:

    Dido....Carolina Krogius

  • aeneas....philip smith
  • belinda....fleur bray
  • first witch....elise dye
  • nicholas kraemer (director).

    Stephen Johnson and nicholas kraemer offer an insight into purcell's dido and aeneas

  • rncm chorus and manchester camerata
  • sailor....david shaw
  • second witch....soraya mafi
  • second woman....hanna-liisa midwood kirchin
  • sorceress....katie lowe
  • spirit....jenny france

  • Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances20110403

    Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the City Halls in Glasgow, for an exploration of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.

    Written when he was 67, the Symphonic Dances was his last completed composition, and Rachmaninov himself considered it to be have been the best work that he had composed.

    Stephen Johnson explores the work with musical extracts, and the programme concludes with a complete performance given by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Russian conductor Alexander Titov.

    Stephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.

    Rachmaninov: Third Piano Concerto20090208

    In programme recorded in Glasgow's City Halls, as part of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's Russian Winter series, Stephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto.

    Featuring excerpts and a complete performance by pianist Nelson Goerner and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stefan Solyom.

    As well as considering its great significance in the piano repertoire, Stephen also looks at the many subtleties of the work.

    The programme also includes one of four weekly 'Codas' in which conductor and music pyschologist Christopher Gayford looks at some of ways in which humans process music.

    Stephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto, with pianist Nelson Goerner.

    Rachmaninov's Elegiac Trio No 220121105

    Stephen Johnson looks at how Rachmaninov's second Elegiac Trio pays tribute to Tchaikovsky, and follows that composer's own work of the same name in a long tradition of memorial piano trios in Eastern European classical music.

    Rachmaninov's Third Symphony20121101

    The Third Symphony by Sergei Rachmaninov was not a success when premiered in the USA. It was composed at a time when Rachmaninov and his family had left Bolshevik Russia for good. However, the composer still felt a deep connection with his homeland, and when the symphony was performed in Moscow just after the composer's death, it was a great success, touching the hearts of those in attendance. Stephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Third Symphony, which despite having been written far from the composer's homeland, is deeply entrenched in a Russian heritage.

    Ragas From Dawn To Dusk20040313

    In today's audience workshop, Nishat Khan, one of the world's foremost virtuosos of the sitar, demonstrates how INDIAn classical music works.

    He explores the rich centuries old heritage of the raga.

    He reveals how his own family tradition is rooted in the vocal music of INDIA; and he shows how, in this oral tradition, he constructs a musical performance, through improvisation, with his colleagues on tabla (drums) and tampura (drone).

    Ravel Piano Concertos20100404

    Stephen Johnson considers the background and music to Ravel's two contrasting concertos for piano with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Pascal Rophe and French pianist Roger Muraro.

    Ravel's two concertos for piano were written almost simultaneously in the late 1920s, and were among the last orchestral works that Ravel composed.

    They are remarkable in many ways, not least for the contrast that one provides with the other.

    The Concerto for the Left-Hand was commissioned for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, brother of the famous philosopher, who had lost his right arm in the First World War.

    Ravel created a virtuosic single movement work which emerges from the sombre depths of the orchestral to grow into a powerful statement of triumph over adversity.

    Stephen Johnson unpicks the piece, examining some of Ravel's imaginative writing for the left-hand.

    The G major Piano Concerto was written for the French pianist Marguerite Long, and is characterised with some of the fashionable sounds of the day.

    The three movement concerto is heavily influenced by the sounds of jazz and as Stephen Johnson argues, the sound of the Parisian music hall.

    Stephen also examines the influence of Mozart on the concerto, especially in the beautiful and emotionally charged slow movement.

    The programme includes complete performances of both works and there will be an opportunity to see a visualisation of the programme on the Discovering Music website.

    Stephen Johnson explores two contrasting Piano Concertos from Ravel.

    Ravel: Mother Goose
    Ravel: Mother Goose *2006061020090913

    Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Boldur Broennimann in Glasgow for an exploration of the musical thinking behind Ravel's Mother Goose, a work that began life as an amusement at the piano and developed into an orchestral ballet score inspired by the fairy tales of Charles Perrault.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC SSO explore Ravel's Mother Goose.

    Ravel's Gaspard De La Nuit20070715

    Stephen Johnson and Radio 3 New Generation Artist pianist Cedric Tiberghien consider some of the ingredients that define the piano music of Maurice Ravel with particular emphasis on what is arguably the greatest French 'sonata' for the piano, his Gaspard de la Nuit.

    Ravel's La Valse20120202

    We think of the waltz as the apotheosis of elegance, refinement, high society. But it wasn't always so...

    In today's "Discovering Music", Stephen Johnson explores the roots of the waltz - from rustic German dances, to sinister, dizzy treatments by Schumann and Mahler - before looking in-depth at "La Valse" by Maurice Ravel. Ravel was fascinated by the history and cultural trappings of the waltz form - as well as its dark underbelly...and his "choreographic poem" for orchestra is a dazzling evocation of gliding dancers warped and transmuted into something rather more sinister...v.

    Stephen Johnson on the dark underbelly of Ravel's ode to the Viennese waltz, La valse.

    Richard Strauss - Sonatina No 120060805

    Charles Hazlewood conducts the sixteen wind soloists of the BBC Concert Orchestra as they delve in the world of Richard Strauss' Sonatina No 1, written when the composer was nearly 80 years old.

    Rimsky-korsakov's Scheherazade *20080706

    Catherine Bott is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Luke Dollman for an in-depth exploration of Scheherazade, a work inspired by Tales of the Arabian Nights.

    Rodrigo Guitar Concertos *20100124

    Charles Hazlewood, the BBC Concert Orchestra and Craig Ogden examine two guitar concertos by Rodrigo - the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.

    The Concierto de Aranjuez, with its emotionally charged slow movement, is one of classical music's most popular pieces.

    It was composed during Rodrigo's years in Paris before the outbreak of the Second World War where the composer and his wife were living in near poverty.

    Its success made the blind composer world famous.

    Written in braille, it is one of the earliest examples of a concerto for guitar and orchestra and before its first performance, Rodrigo suffered sleepless nights worried that the quiet sounding guitar wouldn't be heard about the forces of the orchestra.

    However, Rodrigo's subtle orchestration and novel writing for the instrument proved his fears groundless.

    The other concerto in the programme is the Fantasia para un Gentilhombre written for the great Spanish guitarist Segovia which draws on some of the rich heritage of music for the guitar from Spain's past, as Craig Ogden explains and demonstrates.

    The programme was recorded before an audience at LSO St Luke's in London.

    Charles Hazlewood on Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.

    Rossini
    Rossini *20090802

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra are joined by mezzo-soprano Liora Grodnikaite for an exploration of some of the workings of Rossini's opera buffa - comic opera - style, focusing on The Italian Girl in Algiers.

    They explain and demonstrate operatic terms such as cavatina, cabaletta and cavata, as well as considering the impact that Rossini's ideas made on some of his contemporaries, examining Rossini's influence on Schubert's Overture in C (In the Italian Style).

    Gioacchino Rossini was one of the most successful composers of the first half of the 19th century.

    In particular, he became the foremost creator of comic opera, producing such masterpieces as The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola and The Italian Girl in Algiers, providing mezzo-sopranos with some of their finest leading operatic roles.

    Charles Hazlewood explores some of workings of Rossini's comic opera style.

    Roussel's Bacchus Et Ariane20120127

    Albert Roussel became a successful composer almost by accident. Born in 1869, he was a passionate mathematician and - perhaps improbably - navy man, who served several years aboard ships in the French colony of Cochinchina (now Vietnam).

    It was only after resigning from the Navy at the age of 25 that Roussel turned to composition; yet still for several decades his pupils - among them Erik Satie and Bohuslav Martinu - were to be more feted than their teacher. This was to change with the debut of his ballet "Bacchus et Ariane" at the Paris Opera in 1931, choreographed by the great dancer Serge Lifar.

    Stephen Johnson gets under the skin of the incisive, neo-classical elan of Roussel's masterpiece.

    Stephen Johnson explores the ballet Bacchus et Ariane by French composer Albert Roussel.

    Saint Saens - Africa And Piano Concerto No 220090705

    Stephen Johnson joins the Ulster Orchestra and conductor Michael Seal for an exploration of Camille Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No 2 - with pianist Ronan O'Hora as soloist - and his lesser-known piece Africa.

    The first piece, written in 1868, includes vibrant melodies, Italian dance tunes and Chopinesque flourishes, rejecting the music of two of Saint-Saens' other musical heroes - Bach and Mendelssohn.

    Saint-Saens lived until the age of 86, and he produced a large amount of orchestral and chamber music, as well as operas, choral works and even - towards the end of his career - music for film.

    His work Africa - for piano and orchestra - grew out of the places he travelled to following the death of his mother in 1886.

    Saint-Saens spent a great deal of time travelling to exotic locations all over the world, including parts of Southeast Asia, South America and North Africa.

    He settled in Algeria towards the end of his life, and his last pieces are often inspired by the modal Arabic folk-tunes of the region.

    Stephen Johnson and the Ulster Orchestra explore Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No 2.

    Schnittke And Mahler *20090920

    In a programme recorded at the Pittville Pump Room, as part of the 2009 Cheltenham Festival of Music, Stephen Johnson is joined by the Aronowitz Ensemble to explore the music of Schnittke and Mahler.

    The festival's focus is on the music of Jewish heritage, and these composers, as well as being Jewish, had clear musical links.

    The main pieces discussed are Mahler's early Piano Quartet movement, Schnittke's Piano Quintet and the Mahler/Schnittke Piano Quartet.

    Stephen Johnson and the Aronowitz Ensemble explore music by Schnittke and Mahler.

    Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire20060624

    Recorded at this year's Aldeburgh Festival, Charles Hazlewood delves into Schoenberg's landmark work Pierrot Lunaire, with soprano Claire Booth joining his ensemble Excellent Device.

    Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony20050507

    Charles Hazlewood delves into the detail of one of the landmarks of European music in the early years of the 20th Century, when Schoenberg was striving to break free from the conventions of traditional tonality.

    Written for 15 solo instruments the symphony is rich in thematic detail, which took the composer much time and effort to get right.

    Charles Hazlewood explores Schoenberg's creative journey in a workshop session with his own chamber orchestra Excellent Device.

    Schoenberg's String Quartet No 22006081220070513

    Recorded in front of an audience at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge with the Quatuor Parisii and the soprano Rachel Nichols, Stephen Johnson explores the ideas behind one of Arnold Schoenberg's most extraordinary pieces, the Second String Quartet, in which the composer takes the listener on a journey from the music of late romanticism to the expressionism of the early twentieth century.

    Schubert - Octet20071021

    Stephen Johnson examines some of the ideas that inspired Schubert's celebrated masterpiece for wind and strings with members of Britten Sinfonia.

    Schubert - Symphony No 520060701

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore the ways in which a teenage Schubert learnt from the past to help him fashion his Symphony No 5.

    Schubert Lieder20060408

    David Owen Norris joins tenor Andrew Kennedy and pianist Christopher Glynn to probe the workings of Schubert lieder.

    The songs chosen are Die Forelle, Du Bist die Rüh, Doppelganger and Erlkönig.

    Schubert: Octet *20080928

    Stephen Johnson examines some of the ideas that inspired Schubert's celebrated masterpiece for wind and strings with members of Britten Sinfonia.

    Schubert's Symphony No 52005021920061104

    In this workshop session, recorded in Cardiff, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore the ways in which the 19 year old Schubert learned examples from the recent past, especially Mozart's Symphony No 40, to help him fashion this, his most engaging early symphony.

    Schubert's Trout Quintet20090927

    Recorded before the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club, Stephen Johnson explores, with the help of the Gould Piano Trio and friends, the structure and background of one of Schubert's best-loved chamber pieces, the Trout Quintet.

    Stephen Johnson with the Gould Piano Trio and friends explore Schubert's Quintet.

    Schubert's Trout Quintet *20071223

    Recorded before the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club, Stephen Johnson explores the structure and background of one of Schubert's best loved chamber pieces, the Trout Quintet, with the Gould Piano Trio and friends.

    Schubert's Unfinished20060401

    Charles Hazlewood leads the first of two workshops - The Symphonies and Songs of Franz Schubert - which was part of a Schubert A-Level study day recorded a little while ago in Manchester.

    Charles is joined by the BBC Philharmonic to explore the sound and structure of Schubert's Unfinished symphony.

    Schumann Piano Quintet20101114

    Stephen Johnson visits the Mananan Festival at the Erin Arts Centre on the Isle of Man for this weekend's Discovering Music programme.

    He's joined there by The Elias Quartet (one of Radio 3's current New Generation Artists) as well as pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips for a detailed breakdown of one of Robert Schumann's most popular and enduring works - the Piano Quintet in E flat, Op.44.

    Schumann was the first romantic composer to pair the piano with the string quartet, but the combination was really taken up in the mid 19th century by notable composers like Brahms, Franck, Dvorak and Elgar.

    The work was composed in just a few weeks in the autumn of 1842, during Schumann's so-called "chamber music year." Prior to that year Schumann had completed no chamber music at all, with the exception of an early piano quartet in 1829.

    However, during his year-long concentration on the genre he wrote three string quartets, a piano trio and a piano quartet as well as this popular piano quintet.

    The first performance of the work was given by the composer's wife, Clara Schumann, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in January 1843.

    Stephen Johnson considers the musical nuances to be found in Schumann's Piano Quintet.

    Schumann Symphony In Dm (1841)20050402

    Charles Hazlewood sheds new light on Robert Schumann's Symphony No 4 by exploring the original version of the work, composed in 1841.

    In the process, Charles questions the often quoted statement that Schumann could not orchestrate and explores the innovative way in which the composer shaped the work into a single span of invention.

    The performances are provided by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Boyd.

    Schumann Violin Concerto20101003

    Stephen Johnson considers the music and historical context to Schumann's Violin Concerto with Matthew Trussler and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rory McDonald.

    The Violin Concerto was Schumann's last orchestral work, written shortly before the composer's traumatic breakdown in the 1850s.

    It was never performed in the composer's lifetime; indeed according to Stephen Johnson , it is a work "with one of the strangest histories in the repertory".

    In this programme, Stephen considers the music in the light of Schumann's biography and sets it alongside another dark work from this period, The Manfred Overture, which appeared with the Violin Concerto during its first orchestral run-through.

    What do these pieces tell us about the musical world of Schumann's final years?

    Stephen Johnson considers the music and historical context to Schumann's Violin Concerto.

    Schumann: Dichterliebe20100530

    Stephen Johnson is joined, at Manchester Grammar School, by the Swedish baritone Håkan Vramsmo and pianist David Quigley for an exploration of Schumann's intensely Romantic song-cycle Dichterliebe".

    Composed in 1840, "The Poet's Love" is arguably Schumann's best-known song-cycle.

    The texts for the 16 songs are taken from Heinrich Heine's "Lyrisches Intermezzo", which he wrote between 1822 and 1823.

    The very natural, almost hyper-sensitive poetical affections of the poems are beautifully mirrored in Schumann's settings, with their miniaturist chromaticism and suspensions.

    The poet's love is a hothouse of nuanced responses to the delicate language of flowers, dreams and fairy-tales.

    Stephen Johnson explores the nuances of Schumann's Romantic song cycle Dichterliebe."

    Schumann's Symphony No 3 (rhenish)2007111120080427

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thierry Fischer to explore one of Schumann's most joyous symphonies, inspired by the romance of the Rhinelands.

    Schwanengesang *20080810

    Baritone Hakan Vramsmo and pianist Julius Drake join Stephen Johnson for an exploration of the musical nuances to be found in Schubert's posthumous song-cycle Schwanengesang, settings of poems by Ludwig Rellstab and Heinrich Heine.

    Serenades And Symphonies20050430

    Charles Hazlewood explores the very different ways in which Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky approached writing for the wind ensemble.

    He compares the youthful and the mature Strauss through the Serenade and Sonatina No 1, and examines how Stravinsky marshalled his larger forces in the iconic Symphonies of Wind Instruments.

    Strauss: Serenade, 1881 and Romance and Minuet, 1943

    Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments, 1926

    BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    Douglas Boyd (conductor).

    Shall We Dance?20060304

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra reveal the extent to which the forms and styles of classical and modern dance music provided the basis for great works for the concert hall.

    We follow the evolution of the modest Minuet into symphonic Scherzo - courtesy of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven; the journey of the Landler into the waltz - with Johan Strauss II and Tchaikovsky; and the transformation of the Habanera into the Tango - from Bizet to Piazolla.

    Shostakovich - 8th Quartet20060311

    When Shostakovich wrote his 8th Quartet, he believed it would be his musical valedictory.

    Stephen Johnson joins members of the Royal String Quartet in Norwich for a closer look at the work.

    Shostakovich 8th String Quartet2007032520110130

    When Shostakovich wrote his 8th quartet he believed it would be his musical valedictory.

    Stephen Johnson joins the members of the Royal String Quartet in Norwich for a closer look at the ideas behind this, the composer's most often performed quartet.

    When Shostakovich wrote his 8th quartet he believed it would be his musical valediction.

    Shostakovich wrote the highly charged and compact quartet in 1960, after being diagnosed with polio.

    But as well as the devastating news of his poor health, this period in his life was riddled with other acute political and personal pressures.

    It was suggested by friends close to the composer that he intended taking his own life after writing the piece.

    The quartet was written in just three days, in Dresden, against the backdrop of a city devastated following its bombing of the Second World War.

    (repeat).

    Stephen Johnson and the Royal String Quartet explore Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet.

    Shostakovich Piano Trios20101010

    Stephen Johnson visits Wootton Upper School in Bedfordshire for an exploration of Shostakovich's two very different trios for piano and strings.

    The first was written in 1923 when the 17-year old composer was a student at the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

    At that time, Shostakovich often played music to accompany films at a local cinema, and his sister remembers Shostakovich being booed and whistled by the paying audience when he and his friends tried playing the trio along to the movies!

    A recording of the slow movement of Shostakovich's second trio was played at the composer's memorial service in 1975; it's a much more mature work, full of emotion, but also full of sardonic humour: grotesqueries which act as thinly veiled stabs at the Soviet dictatorship of Jozef Stalin.

    It also contains some fascinating Jewish music in the finale - something Shostakovich had been particularly intrigued by in his middle years: "Jewish music has made a most powerful impression on me.

    I never tire of delighting in it; it is multifaceted, it can appear to be happy when it is tragic.

    It is almost always laughter through tears".

    The programme ends with a complete performance by The Kungsbacka Trio, of Shostakovich's Piano Trio No.2 in E minor, Op.67.

    Stephen Johnson on the intricacies of Shostakovich's two trios for piano and strings.

    Shostakovich Piano Trios, Op 8 And 6720091011

    Stephen Johnson visits Wootton Upper School in Bedfordshire for an exploration of Shostakovich's two very different trios for piano and strings.

    The first was written in 1923 when the 17-year-old composer was a student at the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

    At that time, Shostakovich often played music to accompany films at a local cinema, and his sister remembers Shostakovich being booed and whistled by the paying audience when he and his friends tried playing the trio along to the movies.

    A recording of the slow movement of Shostakovich's second trio was played at the composer's memorial service in 1975; it's a much more mature work, full of emotion, but also full of sardonic humour: grotesqueries which act as thinly-veiled stabs at the Soviet dictatorship of Jozef Stalin.

    It also contains some fascinating Jewish music in the finale - something Shostakovich had been particularly intrigued by in his middle years.

    The programme ends with a complete performance by The Kungsbacka Trio, of Shostakovich's Piano Trio No 2 in E minor, Op 67.

    Stephen Johnson on the intricacies of Shostakovich's two trios for piano and strings.

    Shostakovich Symphony No 420121003

    Shostakovich was in the middle of writing his fourth symphony when an anonymous article appeared in Pravda, attacking his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Everybody knew that the vicious editorial represented the official position of the Party, and perhaps Stalin himself, who had stormed out of a performance of the piece. Two more articles quickly followed, but in spite of the official condemnation of his work, Shostakovich carried on writing his Symphony and planning the first performance for 11th December 1936. In the end though, the political pressure was too much to bear and he withdrew the work. It wasn't heard in public until 25 years had passed. Stephen Johnson explores the Fourth Symphony's fascinating history and sound.

    Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 120060318

    Written for Mstislav Rostropovich in the early 1960s, Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto quickly established itself as a first division piece in the cellist's repertory.

    Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Philharmonic - conducted by Lancelot Fuhry, with Swiss cellist Christian Poltera - in an exploration of the personal and practical aspects of this dynamic work.

    Shostakovich: Symphony No 920100314

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Michal Dworzynski are joined by the Danel String Quartet to explore the music and ideas of Dmitri Shostakovich's 9th Symphony.

    Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his 9th Symphony in 1945, and it was planned to commemorate the Soviet victory over Germany in the second World War.

    The composer himself had said two years earlier that the symphony would be a work for large forces including orchestra, soloists and chorus with the idea of celebrating the Russian people, and the great Red Army's liberation of their homeland.

    However, when it finally appeared, the Symphony was without parts for either soloists or chorus, and the work's light" style surprised many.

    Shortly after it's premiere, the work was censored and banned from performance by the Soviet authorities.

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Michal Dworzynski and by the Danel String Quartet to explore this controversial work.

    Stephen Johnson explores the music and ideas behind Shostakovich's 9th Symphony."

    Sibelius - Symphony No 220070120

    Stephen Johnson joins the members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stefan Solyom to explore Sibelius' Symphony No 2, one of the great Finnish masterpieces.

    Sibelius - Symphony No 420110529

    Sibelius wrote his 4th Symphony in 1910/11, a period of great darkness for the composer.

    He had recently undergone an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his throat, and he seems to have been convinced that the cancer had spread.

    The operation also meant that for two years he had to do without his two main emotional props: alcohol and tobacco.

    It was also a terrible time outside of Sibelius's personal life, the world was hurtling towards the great war and closer to home, Finland was still recovering from the previous century's famine during which starving Scandinavians had had to eat the bark of trees to survive.

    On top of all this turmoil, in the musical world, Sibelius felt profoundly challenged by Schoenberg's opening up of the world of atonality.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Petri Sakari explore this intense masterpiece, regarded by many as the greatest work Sibelius ever wrote.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic explore Sibelius's Symphony No 4.

    Sibelius - The Oceanides And Pohjola's Daughter20060415

    Stephen Johnson explores the varied moods and impressions conveyed by Sibelius in two of his greatest tone poems - The Oceanides and Pohjola's Daughter.

    The Oceanides is a haunting seascape inspired by his first Atlantic crossing, while Pohjola's Daughter is a vivid fantasy inspired by one of the legends from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala.

    Performances are provided by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Tecwin Evans.

    Sibelius: Symphony No 2 In D20111104

    Sibelius's popular second symphony, with its grandiose finale, was connected by some with the struggle for Finnish independence, even being dubbed the "Symphony of Independence," as it was written at a time of Russian sanctions on Finnish language and culture.

    Sibelius's reaction to this has been widely debated; some claim that he had not intended any patriotic message and was purely identified as a nationalist composer, while others believe that he wrote the piece with an independent Finland in mind.

    Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's Symphony no.2 in D ahead of a live performance by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

    Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's popular Symphony No 2 in D.

    Sibelius: Tapiola.20061209

    Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, for a workshop on the great Finnish composer's final orchestral work.

    The tone poem Tapiola was inspired by the legends and atmosphere of the great Finnish forests.

    Sibelius: The Swan Of Tuonela, And Night Ride And Sunrise *20090524

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Petri Sakari to explore Sibelius' tone poem Night Ride and Sunrise, as well as The Swan of Tuonela, the most famous part of the composer's Lemminkainen Suite.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic explore Sibelius' tone poem Night Ride & Sunrise.

    Sibelius: The Swan Of Tuonela, And Night Ride And Sunrise *2007101420080525

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Petri Sakari to explore one of Sibelius' most gripping tone poems, Night Ride and Sunrise, and The Swan of Tuonela, the most famous part of the composer's Lemminkainen Suite.

    Sibelius's Fifth Symphony20100815

    Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's 5th Symphony in E flat.

    In his diary at about the time he was sketching the symphony, Sibelius wrote that he wanted to compare the musical thoughts and motifs of the symphony to the rivulets of a river proceeding to the sea.

    Stephen Johnson considers this idea, illustrated by extracts and a performance of the work by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pietari Inkinen.

    The programme also includes extracts from the original version of the work from 1915.

    Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's Fifth Symphony in E flat.

    Sibelius's Symphony No 220070722

    Stephen Johnson joins the members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stefan Solyom to explore Sibelius's Symphony No 2, one of the great Finnish masterpieces.

    Sibelius's Violin Concerto20110910

    Stephen Johnson offers an insight into Sibelius's Violin Concerto with the help of violinist Vilde Frang and the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pietari Inkinen.

    Sibelius began his musical career with high hopes of becoming a concert violinist.

    When destiny forged another path for him, then he expressed his relationship with his instrument through this - his only concerto, a work that combines intense virtuosity with profound depths of expression.

    Stephen Johnson examines the history and background of the piece and with the help of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the remarkable young Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, he unpicks the work to reveal a distinctly original and challenging solo concerto, that has consistently proved a firm favourite with musicians and public alike.

    Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's Violin Concerto.

    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies At 7520091129

    As part of the celebrations of Peter Maxwell Davies's 75th birthday, Stephen Johnson and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are joined by the composer himself at Glasgow's City Halls for a exploration of the ideas and workings of his half-hour orchestral tone poem A Reel of Seven Fishermen.

    The work was composed in 1998 and was inspired by Maxwell Davies's home in Orkney and verses by the Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown.

    Stephen examines the way that the composer evokes a personal seascape in the piece and how certain musical references are used to evoke some of the extra-musical themes suggested by the poem alongside some of the themes and ideas that have occupied the Master of the Queen's Music in recent years.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC SSO explore Peter Maxwell Davies's A Reel of Seven Fishermen.

    Split Choir Tradition20100411

    Robert Hollingworth presents a programme looking at the split choir tradition in Renaissance music, and specifically in repertoire from north Italy which was the birthplace of the polychoral style of writing.

    Robert demonstrates how the element of musical dialogue between groups developed from the age-old tradition of psalm singing, illustrated in the music of Willaert's Salmi Spezzati, through to more elaborate polychoral repertoire by composers such as Striggio, Marenzio and Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli.

    The programme also includes extracts performed by members of the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and a complete performance of Giovanni Gabrieli's 'In Ecclesiis' from the recording made by the Taverner Consort and Players.

    Robert Hollingworth explores the split choir tradition in Renaissance music.

    Strauss Four Last Songs20110911

    Stephen Johnson considers two works by Richard Strauss, his early tone poem "Death and Transfiguration" and the Four Last Songs with the soprano Katie Van Kooten and the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Juanjo Mena.

    These two great works were composed at opposite ends of the composer's life but both are occupied with philosophical ideas of death and the passing over to the next world.

    "Tod und Verklarung" - Death and Transfiguration - is a symphonic depiction of the subject and was a work that clearly came to mind when the Strauss composed his Four Last Songs in the final years of his life, as he quotes from the tone poem in the music.

    Stephen Johnson considers Strauss's attitude to the subject as depicted at the begining and at the end of his life and and unpicks both pieces offering an insight in to their background and musical workings.

    Complete performances of both pieces were given before an audience at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall.

    Stephen Johnson explores Strauss's Death and Transfiguration and the Four Last Songs.

    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra20111019

    Strauss's famous sunrise opening of Also sprach Zarathustra is rather better known than the book which inspired it: Nietzsche's dense, philosophical novel of the same name.

    Stephen Johnson looks at what Strauss made of Nietzsche's deeply complex, and controversial ideas, and how he wielded this philosopher's grand vision for humanity into the questioning, and strangely unresolved musical work that follows.

    Stephen Johnson explores Strauss's tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra.

    Strauss's don Quixote * *20080615

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Philharmonic and cellist Peter Dixon to explore Richard Strauss's famous tone poem Don Quixote, based on the Cervantes epic novel.

    Charles also looks at the relationship between Don Quixote and another of Strauss's great tone poems, Ein Heldenleben.

    Strauss's Alpine Symphony20120615

    Stephen Johnson explores Strauss's massive Alpine Symphony. Was it an attempt to glorify nature in music, or more a testament to the composer's own ego?

    Stravinsky Firebird Suite (1945)20091115

    In a programme recorded at City Halls, Glasgow, Stephen Johnson explores the version of Stravinsky's Firebird suite from 1945, and begins by examining a work by one of Stravinsky's musical father figures, the Overture on Russian Themes by Rimsky-Korsakov.

    With excerpts and complete performances of both works from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Takuo Yuasa.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC SSO explore the 1945 version of Stravinsky's Firebird suite.

    Stravinsky: Symphony In Three Movements20070603

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Shelley, for an exploration of some of the ideas behind Stravinsky's wartime orchestral masterpiece.

    Stravinsky's Petrushka2009080920100801

    Stephen Johnston is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to delve into the world of one of Igor Stravinsky's most famous works - his music for the ballet Petrushka, exploring the lesser-known original version from 1911.

    By looking at the changes that Stravinsky made in his more famous 1947 revision, can we learn much about the composer?

    Stephen Johnston explores Igor Stravinsky's ballet score Petrushka.

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to delve into the world of one of Igor Stravinsky's most iconic works - his music for the ballet "Petrushka", exploring the lesser-known original version of the work which Stravinsky wrote in 1911.

    Stravinsky's Symphony Of Psalms20110313

    Tom Service, composer Julian Anderson and Stravinsky biographer Stephen Walsh examine the Symphony of Psalms with the BBC Singers and the BBCSO conducted by Michal Dworzynski.

    Stravinsky composed his psalm settings in the years between the two World Wars, and they are one of the first musical expressions of his re-discovered Christian faith.

    The work has proved one of the composer's most succesful and influential pieces.

    Tom Service hosts a round table forum on the piece, examining its background and the ideas behind the music with illustrations and a complete performance given by the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    Tom Service ,Stephen Walsh and Julian Anderson examine Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.

    Symphony No 2 In D20050611

    In today's workshop session, Charles Hazlewood focuses on perhaps the least heralded of the nine Beethoven symphonies, delving into the detail of this essentially classical work, to reveal its unpredictability, its quixotic character, its serious moments and its many playful passages of humour.

    Charles is joined by his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband.

    Szymanowski And Lutoslawski20110501

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Philharmonic, violinist Alina Ibragimova and conductor Leo Hussain to explore music by two great 20th Century Polish composers: Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No 1 and Witold Lutoslawski's Symphony No 4.

    Stephen Johnson explores music by Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutoslawski.

    Tallis's Spem In Alium And 40-part Motets20071028

    As part of Radio 3's 40th anniversary, Stephen Johnson is joined in the studio by Jeffrey Skidmore, Deborah Roberts and Antony Pitts for an exploration of Thomas Tallis's magnificent 40-part motet Spem in Alium.

    Including a look at works that may have inspired it and the music which it has itself inspired.

    Tango20081123

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by the quintet Tango Volcano and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra to explore the world of the tango.

    It started life as music of the slums of Buenos Aires in Argentina and took on the form of an earthy and sensual dance.

    The music exudes strong feelings of sensuality, passion and a tragic romantic element.

    Essentially the music of exiled people, the themes of tangos are often broken love, the sadness for having left a country behind for a new life, as well as a desire and passion for life.

    Tansy Davies *20090621

    Charles Hazlewood talks to composer Tansy Davies about how she came to create Rift, her new work for the BBC Concert Orchestra.

    Davies composed the piece alongside a project for schools and colleges in the Watford area, and, taking as her inspiration two musical worlds colliding, she explores a way of combining her new work and the workshop material together.

    Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Concert Orchestra explore the music of Tansy Davies.

    Tavener - The Protecting Veil *20080601

    Charles Hazlewood and Matthew Barley are joined by the BBC Philharmonic and cellist Josephine Knight to explore John Tavener's seminal work The Protecting Veil, a piece which Tavener describes as trying to 'capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God'.

    The programme also looks at a BBC Philharmonic learning project focusing on The Protecting Veil, which was run alongside Discovering Music at the University of Salford.

    Tchaikovsky: Francesca Da Rimini20121121

    Stephen Johnson explores Tchaikovsky's symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini.

    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 120100704

    Stephen Johnson examines Tchaikovsky's popular 1st Piano Concerto with pianist Ashley Wass and the BBC Philharmonic.

    Tchaikovsky's piece is one of the best loved in the repertory, an archetype of the great romantic concerto, with its weighty gestures and great sweeping melodies.

    The concerto has often been criticised however for seemingly lacking cohesion - something that Stephen Johnson refutes as he examines the idea of relationships in the work with the help of pianist Ashley Wass and the BBC Phil conducted by Alexander Walker.

    Stephen Johnson examines Tchaikovsky's popular First Piano Concerto.

    Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo And Juliet20070127

    Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in an exploration of Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet.

    Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony20120918

    Stephen Johnson unpacks Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, the first of what was to become a trilogy of profound orchestral statements plundering the breadth of human emotion.

    Tchaikovsky's Serenade For Strings20121009

    Stephen Johnson explores Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings.

    Tchaikovsky's Symphonie Pathetique (first Movement)20070203

    Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 begins with a section which is as compelling as any tone poem.

    Charles Hazlewood explores this great movement with the BBC Philharmonic.

    Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto20071104

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky for an in-depth examination of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, a work originally rejected by its dedicatee, violinist Leopold Auer, as unplayable.

    The Art Of Jazz Improvisation *20090104

    Julian Joseph discusses the art of improvisation from the 2008 London Jazz Festival.

    Pianist and broadcaster Julian Joseph presents the programem from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as part of the 2008 London Jazz Festival.

    Performing alongside his own Trio, singer Cleveland Watkiss and the Guildhall Big Band, Julian provides a unique insight into the art of improvisation, using excerpts from jazz standards as well as form his own music, including performances of The Reverend and Mountain of Hope.

    The Benny Goodman Legacy20091213

    As part of the 2009 London Jazz Festival, Alyn Shipton presents a special programme from the BBC Radio Theatre exploring two remarkable but very different 'classical' clarinet concertos which were composed for the great jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman: works by Malcolm Arnold and Aaron Copland.

    Alyn chooses tracks from Goodman's extensive jazz discography to illustrate some of the focal points in the concertos, while the two pieces are bought to life with the help of soloist Julian Bliss and the Trinity College of Music Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andrew Gourlay.

    Born in 1909, Goodman was an astonishing child prodigy and young master of jazz and, by the end of the 1930s, he was arguably the most famous clarinettist in the world.

    But as his fame grew, he became increasingly anxious about what he saw as the limitations of his skills.

    He completely re-learned his technique and, in the late 1940s when Aaron Copland was writing a concerto for him, Goodman adopted a new embouchure and even had some surgery on his hands to get rid of the calluses that he had created by his unorthodox fingering.

    Copland's concerto, economically scored for harp, piano and strings, contains music inspired by many different styles - jazz, American country dance, the blues and even a touch of the Latin influence, which was thought to be a result of the composer's living in Rio de Janeiro.

    It is clear to many that Copland kept Benny Goodman absolutely in mind when he was writing the piece, as the work is a showcase for the soloist to demonstrate not only his dexterity and articulation, but also his warm, luxurious tone.

    At the 2009 London Jazz Festival, Alyn Shipton explores pieces written for Benny Goodman

    The Bernstein Beat20051112

    Charles Hazlewood and the Ulster Orchestra are joined by guest Jamie Bernstein for a special edition designed to introduce younger listeners to the music of her father Leonard.

    This workshop focuses on the rhythmic vitality and the energy of some of Bernstein's dance-based theatre music, with extracts from On the Town, Candide, Mass and West Side Story.

    The Concerto Grosso And Beyond20041002

    In today's audience workshop, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore some of the ways in which composers have combined groups of soloists with the full orchestra.

    Charles begins with the baroque master Archangelo Corelli and his Concerto Grosso in F major, Op 6 No 2, continues with the first movement of Mozart's effervescent Sinfonia Concertante for wind soloists and orchestra, K297b, and ends with the witty second movement from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

    The Confession Of Isobel Gowdie2005010820100228

    With Stephen Johnson.

    In 1662 Isobel Gowdie, from Nairn in Scotland, was strangled at the stake and burned in pitch after having confessed to being a witch and consorting with the devil.

    Composer James MacMillan was drawn by the dramatic potential of this horrific event to compose what he has described as a "complicated act of contrition - the requiem that Isobel Gowdie never had".

    James MacMillan joins Stephen Johnson to reveal how the work was composed and the ways in which he has tried to capture the soul of Scotland in music.

    The composer also conducts the BBC Philharmonic in extracts and a complete performance of the work.

    The English Viol Consort20091122

    Purcell Weekend

    As part of BBC Radio 3's celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the birth of Henry Purcell, Catherine Bott joins Laurence Dreyfus and his celebrated viol group Phantasm at the 2009 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music for a guided tour of the Golden Age of English viol music, the culmination of which was the Fantasies and In Nomines of Henry Purcell.

    Catherine and Laurence offer an illustrated insider's view to this music, explaining the ideas that inspired it and highlighting many of characteristics that define it.

    They draw on music by Robert Parsons, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, John Jenkins and William Lawes - all of whom provided the catalyst for the Fourth Fantasia of Henry Purcell which tops and tails the programme.

    A well as many musical illustrations, Catherine presents complete performances given by Phantasm during the 2009 Lufthansa festival.

    Taverner: In Nomine (Sanctus of the Missa Tibi Trinitas - arranged for viols) (excerpt)

    Parsons: De La Court (In Nomine III)

    Byrd: Fantasia a 5 - two parts in one (Queen's Goodnight - Prelude and Ground a 5)

    Gibbons: In Nomine a 5

    Jenkins: Fantasy 1 a 5 in G (excerpt); Fantasy 15 a 5 in C minor (excerpt)

    Lawes: Pavan and Ayre (Consort Set IV a 5 in F)

    Purcell: Fantazia 4 a 4.

    Catherine Bott, Laurence Dreyfus and Phantasm on the Golden Age of English viol music.

    The Firebird20040703

    In this audience workshop, recorded last year in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, Charles and the Ulster Orchestra explore the element of story telling which lies behind the colourful score which Stravinsky composed in 1910.

    The programme includes a performance of the complete suite which the composer assembled in 1945.

    The Four Last Songs20040918

    In the 1940's, Richard Strauss entered what has become known as his "INDIAn Summer", writing a series of serene, nostalgic masterpieces.

    The Four Last Songs were his farewell to composition.

    In this studio edition, Charles Hazelwood reveals something of their autumnal character, contrasting them with two songs, also composed for Strauss's favourite soprano voice, from much earlier in his career.

    Rebecca Evans (soprano)

    BBC Philharmonic

    Jason Lai (conductor)

    Strauss:Morgen; Zueignung; Four Last Songs.

    The Golden Spinning Wheel20050514

    Stephen Johnson joins the members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Neil Thomson for a look at the workings and inspiration behind Antonin Dvorak's fairy-tale inspired tone poem, The Golden Spinning Wheel.

    The Marriage Of Figaro20080713

    Stephen Johnson is joined by singers from the Royal Academy Opera and members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with conductor Ewa Strusinska for an exploration of Mozart's musical depiction of character and drama in The Marriage of Figaro.

    The Planets20100919

    Originally titled Seven Pieces for Large Orchestra, Gustav Holst's The Planets was a remarkably original composition when it was written.

    The first movement, Mars, the Bringer of War, was conceived in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I, almost forseeing rather than reacting to war.

    The work was forward looking in many ways - Holst scored the work for a huge orchestra, creating extraordinary sounds and colours from this vast orchestral palette, and each movement has strikingly original characteristics.

    Stephen Johnson is joined by an expanded BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by David Atherton, who perform extracts and a complete performance of this monumental work.

    Stephen Johnson explores Holst's The Planets.

    The Play Of Daniel20081228

    Stephen Johnson explores the Play of Daniel, one of the earliest pieces of music theatre.

    Stephen Johnson is joined by Andrew Lawrence King and members of the Harp Consort to explore the music and ideas in the medieval Play of Daniel, one of the earliest pieces of musical theatre.

    A 13th-century 'opera' about the prophet Daniel, first executed by young clerics at Beauvais Cathedral, it was performed in the New Year as part of the Feast of Fools and combines burlesque with the mysteries of the Daniel story.

    With a complete staged performance of the work, recorded at York Minster as part of the 2008 York Early Music Festival.

    The Romantic Horn20100214

    The sound of the horn took on a special significance to the Romantic composers of the early 19th century with its suggestions of woodland magic and heroism.

    Charles Hazlewood deconstructs music by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann with the BBC Concert Orchestra, in an exploration of an instrument which achieved iconic status and came very much into its own when conveying the spirit of early Romanticism.

    Also helping Charles in his exploration are the hornists Stephen Bell and Michael Thompson.

    Charles looks at Weber's Overture to the opera Oberon; Mendelssohn's Nocturne from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Schumann's formidable Konzertstuck for four horns, the latter being a piece that also exploited the Romantic fascination for virtuosity.

    The programme was recorded before an audience in Watford.

    Charles Hazlewood considers the significance of the horn to early Romantic composers.

    The Spirit Of Schubert, Schubert Fragments20120329

    Stephen Johnson talks to Hull University's Brian Newbould about his work on reconstructing a number of Schubert fragments and incomplete works, including the Symphony in D, D.708a which will be given its world première in the second half of the concert. Stephen Johnson and Professor Newbould will explore the ways in which works can be completed and orchestrated from original piano score fragments and explain how close to the composer's original thoughts they really are.

    Brian Newbould talks to Stephen Johnson about his reconstructions of Schubert fragments.

    The Trumpet Concerto20060617

    Stephen Johnson looks at the trumpet concerto, journeying from the baroque with a concerto by Telemann to Haydn's ground breaking masterpiece.

    Phillipe Schartz is the soloist who at one point even ventures to play an original keyed bugle - the instrument that inspired Haydn to put pen to paper.

    Tippett's Songs For Dov20051210

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by members of the BBC Philharmonic to unravel the complexities of Tippett's song cycle.

    The composer regarded Songs for Dov as one of his most personal works, revealing much about his 'take' on the musical and cultural world of the 1960s.

    Taking on the demanding role of Dov is tenor Nigel Robson, who sang the work for the composer on many occasions.

    Trumpet Concertos - Telemann, Haydn20100718

    Stephen Johnson takes the trumpet concerto as his subject, journeying from the baroque with a concerto by Telemann to Haydn's ground breaking masterpiece of the classical era.

    Phillipe Schartz is the soloist who at one point even ventures to play an original keyed bugle - a new kind of instrument that enabled the player for the first time to play all twelve notes of the scale, across the whole range of instrument, and which inspired Haydn to put pen to paper.

    BBC National Orchestra of Wales is conducted by Kenneth Woods.

    Stephen Johnson explores the trumpet concerto, from Telemann to Haydn.

    Vaughan Williams And The Lost Generation *20081109

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Michael Seal, with violinist Lesley Hatfield and tenor James Gilchrist for an exploration of the English idyll in the light of some of the music to have appeared in the lead-up to the First World War, specifically Butterworth's A Shrophsire Lad and Vaughan Williams's On Wenlock Edge and The Lark Ascending.

    Vaughan Williams Flos Campi2007040120080824

    Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales with violist Philip Dukes in an exploration of Ralph Vaughan Williams suite for solo viola, small chorus and orchestra.

    Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 52009032920091227

    Stephen Johnson explores one of Vaughan Williams's most tranquil works - his Symphony No 5 in D.

    The work was begun in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and completed in 1943, and its serenity was set against the horrific backdrop of violence taking place throughout Europe at the time.

    Vaughan Williams conjures tonal images of the English countryside and often alludes to the sounds of Elizabethan polyphony.

    In a recording made at Glasgow's City Halls in October 2008, Paul Daniel conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in excerpts and a complete performance of the work.

    Stephen Johnson explores Vaughan Williams's Symphony No 5.

    Stephen Johnson explores Vaughan Williams' tranquil Symphony No 5 in D.

    A work which was begun in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and then completed in 1943, its serenity was set against the horrific backdrop of violence taking place throughout Europe at that time.

    In a recording from Glasgow's City Halls in October 2008, Paul Daniel conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in excerpts and a complete performance of the work.

    Stephen Johnson explores Vaughan Williams' Symphony No 5.

    Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 6 *20081116

    Stephen Johnson explores Vaughan Williams's Sixth Symphony, with excerpts and a complete performance of the work, from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

    First heard in 1948, the symphony's violence and dissonance came as a huge shock after the serenity of Symphony No 5.

    Vaughan Williams always denied this work was a 'war' symphony but in some passages war imagery is, for many, hard to ignore.

    The first three movements are wild and complex both rhythmically and harmonically, while the conclusion is a desolate and haunting epilogue.

    Vaughan-williams: Mass In G Minor20040626

    Stephen Johnson joins the BBC Singers for a look at one of the great glories of the ENGLISH choral repertory - Vaughan-Williams' Mass in G minor - in which the composer pays homage to the traditions of Tudor church music while remaining distinctively twentieth century.

    Verdi's Otello20090823

    Stephen Johnson is joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Lawrence Renes, to unpick and explain some of the many ingredients that make Verdi's opera Otello arguably as equal an achievement in the art of theatre as the Shakespeare play on which it is based.

    How does the composer suggest the complex psychology of his characters through his music? How does he use the orchestra to evoke the poetic equivalent of Shakespeares verse?

    Otello is one of two great masterpieces of the operatic repertory that Verdi composed in the eighth decade of his life.

    Written in 1887, it was followed six years later by his final opera, Falstaff.

    The two works were the fruits of his association with librettist and composer Arrigo Boito, both taking as their inspiration plays by Shakespeare.

    With relevant excerpts performed by a cast of leading singers, including Amanda Roocroft as Desdemona, Anthony Michaels-Moore as Iago and David Rendall as Otello.

    The programme also features appearances from Edward Price as Montano, Edward Goater as Cassio and Christopher Bowen as Rodrigo.

    Stephen Johnson and the BBC SO consider the musical workings of Verdi's opera Otello.

    Verdi's Rigoletto20101212

    Stephen Johnson with players and performers explore some of the ideas and music for one of the most popular and effective Italian operas of the 19th century, Verdi's Rigoletto.

    Verdi composed this powerful drama for Venice between 1850 and 1851, and while critics were initially a little ambivalent, audiences immeadiately took the opera to their hearts.

    Since that time it has never been out of the repertory.

    It provides singers with some of the most inspiring and challenging roles in Romantic opera, in a piece that contains some of Verdi's most affecting; best-loved and best-known music.

    Stephen Johnson focuses on the final act of the opera and joins a cast of singers that includes Anthony Michaels-moore as Rigoletto; Laura Claycomb as Gilda; Madeleine Shaw as Maddalena; David Soar as Sparafucile and Gwyn Hughes Jones as the Duke; with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers conducted by Andrew Litton; and opera Director Graham Vick, for an examination of some of Verdi's musical and theatrical achievements in this work that proved the turning point in the career of one of the most significant composers of the operatic genre.

    Verdi's Te Deum20120921

    Stephen Johnson explores Verdi's powerful Te Deum for double chorus and orchestra from his Quattro Pezzi Sacri. Written after the composer had produced his masterpiece operas "Otello" and "Falstaff", it's a work that reveals the octogenarian's roots in Gregorian chant and polyphony.

    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons20120427

    Barking dogs, sleeping goatherds, bagpipes, finches and bluebottles - Vivaldi's Four Seasons has them all. But is there more to these exquisite violin concertos than a collection of pictures in sound? Stephen Johnson traces the work's roots to a set of mysterious sonnets and explores what motivated Vivaldi to translate poetry into music.

    Stephen Johnson explores the roots of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

    Vivaldi's Gloria20090315

    Robert Hollingworth explores one of the most famous of all baroque choral works - Vivaldi's Gloria in D, RV 589 - often simply refered to as the Vivaldi Gloria, although the composer made more than one setting.

    Robert conducts the BBC Singers and St James' Baroque in excerpts and a complete performance of the work, which was given in the Maida Vale Studios in November 2008.

    The programme also looks at a collaborative project called Gloria Revisited in which Tim Steiner guided nine A-level students from St Marylebone C of E Secondary School and The Greycoat School in Westminster in a series of workshops.

    The young composers each wrote a movement inspired by Vivaldi's Gloria.

    An exploration of Vivaldi's Gloria with Robert Hollingworth

    Wagner's Die Walkure20120620

    With its massive line-up of instruments, Wagner's orchestra for Die Walkure should by rights have been a recipe for nothing but gluttony. But with the skill of a watercolourist Wagner used it brilliantly to convey the subtlest of emotions. Stephen Johnson descends to the orchestra pit and uncovers the secrets of the composer's orchestral writing. En route he explores how this opera revolutionary marshalled the likes of Wagner tubas, six harps and a medieval bugle horn to create some of the most transfixing musical sounds ever produced.

    Wagner's Siegfried Idyll2004022820101128

    In today's audience workshop, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra reveal the musical and emotional depths behind two very different birthday serenades.

    Wagner composed his Siegfried Idyll as a surprise greeting for his wife Cosima which she heard wafting to her room from the stairs on her birthday.

    He based the work on themes from his latest opera.

    The young Peter Warlock's boyhood hero was the composer Frederick Delius, whose 60th birthday he marked with a short Serenade for strings, composed in pastiche style, but with his own personal twist.

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to reveal the musical and emotional depths behind two very different birthday serenades.

    Wagner composed his "Siegfried Idyll" as a surprise greeting for his wife Cosima which she heard wafting to her room from the stairs on her birthday.

    Charles Hazlewood explores some of the nuances to be found in Wagner's Siegfried Idyll.

    Walton's Cello Concerto20070902

    Cellist Matthew Barley joins Charles Hazlewood and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to delve into the world of Walton's bittersweet Cello Concerto.

    Warlock *20090816

    From the 2009 Mananan International Festival of Music and the Arts, in Port Erin on the Isle of Man, Stephen Johnson explores the nuances and intricacies of the music of Peter Warlock.

    Warlock, who was born Philip Heseltine in 1894, was an eccentric musician, and in the 1920s edited the wonderfully combative music magazine The Sackbut.

    He was renowned as a hellraiser - a riotous prankster and great drinker, whose circle included fellow musicians such as Moeran, Constant Lambert and, occasionally, William Walton.

    But this was just one side to the man - Heseltine could also be a man of intense melancholy, and his behaviour has been the subject of much conjecture since his death (most likely by his own hand) in 1930.

    Stephen asks questions about Warlock's perceived bipolarity and the duality of his personality which may have led to the diversity in his songs.

    Tenor Michael Slattery and pianist Stephen Coombs help to uncover the genius behind some of Warlock's most beautiful songs, with reference to the many intriguing and diverse influences behind Warlock's unique sound palette.

    Warlock's lush harmonies and skill at word painting stem from his absorption in the music of the Tudor and Restoration periods, as well as his childhood obsession with Delius, and his friendship and admiration for Bartok and Bernard van Dieren.

    The programme also features a detailed look at Warlock's magnum opus The Curlew, a chamber song-cycle setting of words by WB Yeats, for tenor voice, flute, cor anglais and string quartet, performed by Michael Slattery and The Doric Quartet, with flautist Adam Walker and cor anglais player Daniel Bates.

    Stephen Johnson takes an in-depth look at the music of Peter Warlock

    What Is Fugue? - 120040501

    Charles Hazlewood poses the question 'what is fugue?' in the first of two programmes exploring this mysterious art.

    Charles and the BBC Concert Orchestra examine fugues by three composers who were inspired by the genius of fugue himself, JS Bach.

    Mozart, Elgar and Britten all used the technique to create their own masterpieces, years after Bach's death, and today's programme culminates in a performance of Britten's Prelude and Fugue for String Orchestra.

    What Is Fugue? - 2 Last20040508

    Stephen Johnson leads a workshop on the Preludes and Fugues of Bach and Shostakovich, recorded in MANCHESTER last month as part of the Royal Northern College of Music's mini-festival exploring Bach and counterpoint.

    Stephen is joined by Gary Cooper (harpsichord), who plays extracts from the second book of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues, and by pianist Alexander Melnikov, who performs four of the set of 24 Preludes and Fugues which Shostakovich composed in homage to Bach.

    White Man Sleeps20051015

    The composer Kevin Volans achieved early fame with his evocative and unusually scored chamber piece White Man Sleeps, inspired by the traditional music of his native Southern Africa.

    Stephen Johnson meets the composer with an ensemble of musicians for a special workshop exploring some of the work's ideas.

    William Walton's Cello Concerto20070304

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by cellist Matthew Barley and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to explore William Walton's Cello Concerto.

    Words And Music2004091120050319

    Charles Hazlewood is joined by mezzo soprano Pamela Helen Stephen, tenor James Gilchrist, and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a workshop session exploring the many different ways composers over the past 300 years have approached the setting of words in opera arias and in song.

    Purcell: See, See the Many Coloured Fields, The Fairy Queen

    Handel: Svegliatevi ne core, Julius Caesar

    Mozart: Dies Bildnis, The Magic Flute

    Berlioz: Spectre de la rose, Nuits d'été

    Britten: Midnight's Bell, Nocturne

    Finzi: It Was a Lover and His Lass.

    To begin a new season of programmes, Charles Hazlewood is joined by mezzo soprano Pamela Helen Stephen, tenor James Gilchrist and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a workshop session exploring the many different ways composer over the past three hundred years have approached the setting of words in opera arias and in song.

    Purcell: See, see the many coloured fields ("The Fairy Queen")

    Handel: Svegliatevi ne core ("Julius Caesar")

    Mozart: Dies bildnis ("The Magic Flute")

    Berlioz: Spectre de la rose ("Nuits d'ete")

    Britten: Midnight's Bell ("Nocturne")

    Xhosa Songs Of South Africa - 120051022

    Charles Hazlewood leads a workshop on the rich and varied musical tradition of the Xhosa people of the Western Cape.

    Music Director Dimpho di Kopane talks about the region's unique musical heritage, and there are songs performed by his award-winning music theatre company.

    Xhosa Songs Of South Africa - 2 - North Meets South20051029

    In a unique fusion of European themes and ideas with South African spirit and language, the award-winning music and theatre company Dimpho di Kopane performs a selection of music based on productions of The Mysteries, U-Carmen, The Snow Queen and The Beggar's Opera.

    Zemlinsky - A Florentine Tragedy20120926

    Stephen Johnson surveys the compelling opera, A Florentine Tragedy by Alexander Zemlinsky. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, this one act opera was premiered in 1917, and is a tragic tale of jealousy and revenge, masked behind the façade of good living. It is a disturbing work in which a husband and wife realise their feelings for one another and their relationship is rejuvenated through a catastrophic event, the merciless act of murder.

    By the time this opera was premiered, Zemlinsky was famed as an opera conductor in Prague. Out of the five operas he composed, A Florentine Tragedy has received the most performances and was described as 'a splendid work' by Zemlinsky's pupil and brother-in-law, the composer Arnold Schoenberg

    02Melody20040110

    Today, Leonard and the BBC Philharmonic explore melody.

    They rewrite a Tchaikovsky melody to prove that composers really do know best, Leonard outlines scale systems used by Debussy in Voiles, and they end the programme by working out how Brahms used one of his greatest melodies in the last movement of his Symphony no 1.

    03Harmony20040117

    Today, a look at harmony, and those luscious chords that send ripples up the spine.

    Leonard and the BBC Philharmonic examine some of Beethoven's structures in the Eroica Symphony, Leonard does his own 'Guess the Tune' mystery harmonisation of a popular ballad, and the programme ends with a close look at a work more remembered for its orchestration than for remarkable harmonies - Respighi's Pines of Rome.

    04 LASTTone Colour20040124

    The last of four programmes in which conductor Leonard Slatkin explores ways of listening with fresh ears to the basic elements of music.

    Composer Aaron Copland wrote that "timbre in music is analogous to colour in painting".

    How do composers use tone colour? How would the opening of Beethoven's Fifth sound if he had written it for brass? Leonard and the BBC Philharmonic try out alternative orchestrations to various works, and end with a complete performance of that masterpiece of tone-colour, Rimsky-Korsakov's Cappriccio Espagnol.