An emotional response, an intellectual, studied reading, a gut feeling or a spontaneous reaction? How does an artist develop and reach their own unique interpretation of a particular work? In this new three part series various artists discuss how they reach their own interpretation.


0101Bach's Fifth Cello Suite2003122320040510

In the first programme cellists Steven Isserlis and Ralph Kirshbaum discuss Bach's fifth cello suite.

Steven believes the suites may tell the story of the crucifixion - does this effect the way he plays? Whatever, both agreed that the longer they play them the more complex they appear.


Most of the great classical actresses have played the part of Rosalind in Shakespeare's As You Like It, so how do they reach their own interpretation?

Juliet Stephenson took the role for the RSC in 1985, Nina Sosanya in 2003.

They discuss the phenomena of love at first sight and female friendships as they reveal how they came to appreciate the power of one of the theatre's most popular heroines.

0103 LASTFidelio2004010620040524

Opera directors Sir Peter Hall and Graham Vick discuss their interpretation of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio.

How do the political and social issues of the time influence their staging? Is it important to stay true to the composer's intentions but how do they interpret what those were?


The tenors Robert Tear and John Graham Hall reflect on love, lust, megalomania and marriage as they discuss their approach to the role of Herod in Richard Strauss' opera Salome.


For John Caird, his desire to work with the actor Simon Russell Beale was the main Influence in his wish to direct Macbeth.

Max Stafford Clarke wanted to direct a play about Africa.

In this programme, they discuss their Interpretations of Shakespeare's shortest and most popular tragedy.

0203 LASTBrahms' Requiem2005100620051010

Conductors Marin Alsop and Jane Glover discuss the factors that influence their interpretation of Brahms' Requiem.

For Jane, it is a piece associated with 9/11.