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Novelist and guitar enthusiast Louis De Bernieres and classical guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden travel to Linares in Andalucia to visit the museum established in honour of its most famous son, Andres Segovia, and to discover more about the man regarded as the greatest guitarist of the 20th century.

Albeniz: Granada

DG 471430-2

Granados: Spanish Dance No 10 (Danse triste)

Granados: Spanish Dance No 5 (Andaluza)

Granados: El Maja de Goya

Bach: Gavotte en rondeau (Lute Suite No 4)

Frescobaldi: Air

DG 471699-22

Tarrega: Estudio in A

EMI R6104720

Sor: Study in D

Sor: Variations on a Theme by Mozart

Naxos 8.111090

Debussy: La fille aux cheveux de lin

Torroba: Torija (Castles of Spain)

Tedesco: Sonata (Omaggio a Boccherini) (finale)

Llobet: El noi de la mare

Naxos 8.111087

Falla: Homenaje

DG 471698-22

Ponce: Concierto del Sur (1st mvt)

Ponce: Sonatina

Naxos 8.111088

Chopin: Prelude No 7 in A

Albeniz: Sevilla

Mompou: Muneira (Suite Compostelana)

Villa-Lobos: Study No 1

Segovia: Estudio sin luz

Torroba: Fandanguillo (Suite Castellana)

Torroba: Los Mayos

Tarrega: Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Rodrigo: Fandango

Louis De Bernieres visits the museum devoted to Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia.


Concentrating on the novels of Jane Austen, Fiona Talkington and Dr Jeanice Brooks of Southampton University present an insight into the world of the amateur musician in the late 18th century, looking at society's attitudes to them and the notion of female 'accomplishment'.


Nigel Simeone visits Paris to tell the story of classical music activity in the city during the years of Nazi occupation.

Historians, musicologists and musicians vividly outline both the oppression and the resistance in the concert halls, conservatoires and radio studios of the time.

Nigel Simeone tells the story of classical music activity in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Bostridge On Britten20130126

Gershwin's Horns20080520 (BBC7)
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Rainer Hersch explores the musical significance of unusual instruments.

Rainer Hersch explores the musical significance of unusual instruments, including cannons, car horns, anvils, typewriters and salad bowls. All have featured in concert performances over the last two hundred years, but who plays them?

With the help of two leading British percussion players, Mick Doran and Neil Percy, Rainer explores the soundscape that can conjured up by bowing a cymbal, rubbing a plastic cup on a gong or hitting a car suspension spring with a hammer.

Musical Comedy Was My Dish20080902 (BBC7)
20150216 (BBC7)
20150217 (BBC7)

Ben Elton explores the lyrical side of PG Wodehouse, who wrote for many musical comedies.

Ben Elton explores a forgotten side of his greatest literary hero. PG Wodehouse wrote lyrics for hundreds of songs which appeared in many musical comedies. He worked with composers such as Jerome Kern and Cole Porter, making an invaluable contribution to the development of musical comedy on Broadway and in the West End.

Our Lady Of Paris2013032320130907

Simon Russell Beale celebrates the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame, Paris, by exploring the tension between the sacred and secular as expressed in the musical and cultural life of this city.

Eight hundred and fifty years ago the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame was founded. The technological and intellectual innovations that erupted at this time gave birth not only to advances in architecture but also to a revolution in western music. Mediaeval musicians veered away from single line plainchant, adding multiple voices and complex harmonies. This extraordinary advance changed the face of music forever as polyphony from Notre Dame flooded across Europe.

But the pre-eminence of Paris wasn't to last as the conservatism of the church came into conflict with the innovation of composers. Simon will discover that the tension between the sacred and the secular, which is so prevalent within France's history, caused musicians to turn away from the churches and towards the secular sphere. But rather than killing the tradition, Simon discovers that the sense of the sacred makes its way into French music in the most surprising places. As composers clash with the clergy, their expression of mystery through music becomes all the more poignant leading to some of the most innovative and effective expressions of the divine.

Despite the restrictions of religion, the violence of the Revolution and the official separation of Church and State, through adaptation and innovation, French sacred music has survived against all odds and it all began at Notre Dame.

Producer: Katharine Longworth

First broadcast in March 2013.

Singing For Britten2013112320140816

Benjamin Britten was notoriously particular about the professional musicians he worked with (a close-knit circle of friends) and he had famously high musical standards. Yet all his life he embraced working with amateurs and children. John Bridcut tracks down amateur singers from Suffolk and beyond to share their experiences of singing for Britten - and to discover why it was so special.

John Bridcut sang for Britten as a student in 1971, on the recording of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. It's an experience he will never forget:

'How I wish I could remember every moment of those recording sessions. But at the time I was far too busy getting the notes right. What has stayed with me is Britten's crystal-clear beat, and his nervous intensity. He demanded the most of you. When he first appeared, he greeted our chorus master with a kiss on both cheeks - that sort of thing was quite rare in those days - and the whole of the London Symphony Chorus cheered!'

John returns to Suffolk, to Britten's Snape Maltings, to swap memories with two fellow singers from that summer more than forty years ago. He also talks to long-standing members of Britten's 'house choir', the Aldeburgh Festival Singers; Suffolk children who sang for Britten in the 1940s and 1950s; and two retired doctors who've not seen each other since they sang on Britten's celebrated recording of his War Requiem as schoolboys.

Britten worked with amateur singers right to the end of his career. John Bridcut asks what he drew from them, and why working with amateurs was so central to his vision of music being 'useful, and to the living'.

Producers: Jane Greenwood and Elizabeth Burke

First broadcast November 2013.

Benjamin Britten was notoriously particular about the professional musicians he worked with ? a close-knit circle of friends ? and he had famously high musical standards. Yet all his life he embraced working with amateurs and children. John Bridcut tracks down amateur singers from Suffolk and beyond to share their experiences of singing for Britten ? and to discover why it was so special.

Sound Of Cinema: Chaplin And Music2012122920130928

Charlie Chaplin's role as a pioneering actor, comedian and film maker we know. Less well known is his work as a film composer. Although he could not read music, he worked very closely with music collaborators, singing ideas and giving advice about instrumentation. Matthew Sweet explores the importance of music in Chaplin's creative life and the crucial role it played in his films.

String Theory2008122720100102

International violinist Daniel Hope examines the mysteries of the violin. No one knows who invented it and it was often seen as the Devil's instrument, certainly one that most resembles the human voice and thought at one time to be able to steal men's souls. Exploring its history, Hope offers up his own thoughts on the violin's musical DNA, what he calls the 'soul and feeling of the violin' that can be traced back to countries as diverse as Mongolia, China, India and Arabia. As well as featuring music from the four corners of the world, the programme looks at the transformation of the bow as a tool of war to an instrument of music. And there's a rare chance for Daniel to get his hands on an early instrument built by a descendant of the Father of the Violin, Andrea Amati, on which he plays excerpts from the earliest published violin sonata, written in 1610.

The Fantastical World Of Robert Schumann2010052920131221

Launching Radio 3's Schumann 200 season, pianist Lucy Parham discovers how literature inspired Schumann to write some of his celebrated piano cycles - Papillons, Carnaval, Fantasiestucke and Kreisleriana. In the 200th year since Schumann's birth, this feature looks behind the music. Schumann turned to the novels of Jean Paul and ETA Hoffmann to access a fantasy world of dual personalities, the ordinary becoming extraordinary, humour and irony. This inspired him to write some of his most idiosyncratic and ground-breaking piano works.

Lucy Parham is a well known Schumann interpreter and artistic director of Schumann festivals. She reveals how literary links have shed new light on her interpretation. Visiting Schumann's birthplace in Zwickau, Lucy looks at Schumann's extraordinary collection of books, immaculately preserved, including a novel by Jean Paul, Flegeljahre, with annotations by the composer. A description of a masked ball from this book became Papillons. Also in the collection, she discovers Shakespeare's Macbeth and looks at a score with a quotation from Macbeth in Schumann's hand. As the director of the museum Thomas Synofzik explains, Schumann could never have written music without literature and he might well have become a writer. Lucy plays Schumann's music in the museum, on a piano from 1860 played by Clara Schumann and belonging to the Wieck family, and talks about how her intepretation has deepened. The feature includes insights into German literature from academics Ricarda Schmidt and Erika Reiman and the writer Laura Tunbridge.

Throughout the programme you hear Schumann's own words, and passages from the books he turned to for inspiration, read by the renowned actor and music enthusiast Henry Goodman

The Practice Of Practising2013122820140726

Celebrated pianist Stephen Hough reflects on a life spent practising. Told through a series of intensive rehearsal sessions as he prepares for the first night of the Proms in 2013, Stephen gives an in-depth and frank account of the hard work, self-examination, isolation and forensic scrutiny required to turn a seemingly impossible collection of notes into an effortless and awe inspiring performance.

With contributions from fellow musicians including violinist Nicola Benedetti, mezzo soprano Joyce Di Donato and guitarist Julian Bream, The Practice of Practising also examines the firm but distant approach needed by parents of musical children, how singers push themselves past the emotional brink in rehearsal rather than on stage and what happens to the superstar instrumentalist in retirement, when the need to practice is no longer there.

Producer: Freya Hellier.

Theodorakis - Greece's Musical Revolutionary20100130

85 this year, Mikis Theodorakis is best known for the music to 1974 film Zorba the Greek, but as Miranda Hinkley discovers, there's also a wealth of chamber, opera and symphonic music. Part of the resistance during the Second World War, imprisoned during the Greek Civil War, exiled during the military dictatorship, his story mirrors that of modern Greece. And he's been responsible for a musical revolution, a uniquely Greek sound. Mikis Theodorakis is joined by singers Maria Farantouri and Marios Frangoulis and by violinist Georgos Demertzis, to look back on a 60-year career.

Presented and produced by Miranda Hinkley. Executive Producer Alan Hall.

A Nightjar production.

Vaughan Williams: Late Love, Late Life20080715 (BBC7)
20150205 (BBC7)
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Julian Lloyd Webber examines composer Ralph Vaughan Williams's affair with Ursula Wood.

Julian Lloyd Webber examines the impact of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams's affair with Ursula Wood on his life and music. The affair began in March 1938, when he was 66 and Ursula 25, and lasted until 1951, when they were able to marry following the death of his wife Adeline.

Verdi 200: Verdi The Opera Director - The Composer's Other Artistic Side20131012

Verdi 200

Throughout his career of nearly 30 operas, Giuseppe Verdi developed an interest in the genre well beyond the world of sound to encompass other aspects of the spectacle on stage. That he was able to take control of the latter as he gained fame and strengthened his position around Europe remains a relatively unknown and obscure side of his artistic life - until now. With the help of valuable archive material and visiting opera houses and institutions in Milan, Venice and Parma - key places for Verdi - opera scholar Susan Rutherford explains how he brought things full circle, completing the journey from composer to 'director', a role he was crucial to develop in 19th-century Italy. This documentary shows how he intervened in the making of staging designs, the latest scenic effects, and - not least - the acting and delivery techniques of his singers as he aimed towards the perfect fusion between music and drama. His role of 'director' was particularly prominent, this programme shows, in his last three works: Aida, Otello and Falstaff. With contributions from, among others, singer Placido Domingo, opera director Graham Vick, the Superintendent of Venice's La Fenice Theatre Cristiano Chiarot, and the director of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani in Parma, Emilio Sala.

Why Do We Sing?20080819 (BBC7)
20150206 (BBC7)
20150207 (BBC7)

Gareth Malone explores how man developed the ability to sing and how this evolved.

Gareth Malone explores how man developed the vocal capability to sing. He investigates how singing as we know it today began hundreds of millions of years ago and how prehistoric man used a type of vocal communication which could be called the precursor of singing. He finds out how this changed and developed as man evolved and explores what this tells us about human communication and how our relationship with song has grown out of moments in early history.

Why Do Women Die In Opera?2010062620110226 (R3)

Where would opera be without dead women? Associate editor of the Guardian and opera fanatic, Martin Kettle, considers the fact that, be it through suicide, murder, asphyxiation, drowning, execution, consumption, leaping off a balcony or dying in an avalanche, when it comes to the most popular tragic operas, to a disconcerting extent it's the sopranos, and occasionally the mezzos, who get the chop.

Together with singers Natalie Dessay and Christine Rice, singer/director Catherine Malfitano, director David McVicar, ENO music director Edward Gardner, The Royal Opera House's director of opera Elaine Padmore and scholars Peter Conrad, Susan McClary and Margaret Reynolds, Martin considers the social, historical, political and artistic contexts in which to understand the dying operatic heroine in canonical operas including La Traviata, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Carmen, Manon, Tristan and Isolde, the Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, Gotterdammerung, Salome, Elektra and Lulu.

He looks at how composers' own relationships with women might shed light on their dying divas and he weighs up a certain feminist approach to nineteenth century tragic opera which presents death as a punishment that the female romantic lead is required (by a 19th century bourgeois audience) to pay for living too passionately.