Sibelius's Symphonies

Episodes

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01Radio 3 Live In Concert20150210

Sold out for over a year, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic's London residency is the hottest ticket in town. At once celebrating Rattle's sixtieth birthday and one of the great orchestra/conductor partnerships of our times, the residency features repertoire particularly close to Rattle's heart. Their opening concert consists of Sibelius's triumphant First and Second Symphonies, the first of three consecutive nights during which they perform all seven of Sibelius's symphonies at the Barbican Hall. Presented by Martin Handley.

Sibelius: Symphony No 1 in E minor, Op. 39

Sibelius: Symphony No 2 in D, Op. 43

Berlin Philharmonic

Simon Rattle (conductor).

02Radio 3 Live In Concert20150211

Live from the Barbican Hall, London, introduced by Martin Handley.

In one of the great orchestra-conductor partnerships of our time, Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in the second concert in their Sibelius cycle. Their 2015 London residency celebrates both Rattle's sixtieth birthday and the 150th anniversary this year of the birth of Sibelius, a composer close to Rattle's heart.

Sibelius: Symphony No 3 in C major, Op. 52

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

8.40 pm INTERVAL

9.00 pm

Sibelius: Symphony No 4 in A minor, Op. 63

Leonidas Kavakos (violin)

Berlin Philharmonic

Simon Rattle (conductor).

03Radio 3 Live In Concert20150212

Live from the Barbican Hall, London, introduced by Martin Handley.

In one of the great orchestra-conductor partnerships of our time, Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in the final concert in their Sibelius cycle. Their 2015 London residency celebrates both Rattle's sixtieth birthday and the 150th anniversary this year of the birth of Sibelius, a composer close to Rattle's heart.

Sibelius: Symphony No 5 in E flat major, Op. 82

8.10 pm INTERVAL

8.30 pm

Sibelius: Symphony No 6 in D minor, Op. 104

Sibelius: Symphony No 7 in C major, Op. 105

Berlin Philharmonic

Simon Rattle (conductor).

AO301Sibelius Symphony No 120141020

Today is the launch of a two-week survey of Sibelius's Symphonies performed by the BBC Philharmonic with conductor John Storgards, as part of Afternoon on 3's Nordic and Baltic season.

This week numbers 1 to 3 - Sibelius makes his name, and his career takes off in the early years of the twentieth century - these first three symphonies are bold and confident works.

Also running through the week are a series of works by French composer Gabriel Pierné. He succeeded César Franck as organist of St.Clotilde in Paris, and conducted the premiere of Stravinsky's ballet "The Firebird" in Paris in 1910. His music is filled with the ambience of fin-de-siècle Paris. Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet joins the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena in these recordings.

Presented by Penny Gore

2pm

Gabriel Pierné

Fantaisie-ballet Op.6 for piano and orchestra

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)

BBC Philharmonic

Juanjo Mena (conductor)

2.10

Sibelius

Symphony No. 1 in E minor Op.39

John Storgards (conductor

2.50

Irgens-Jensen

Passacaglia for orchestra

Andrew Gourlay (conductor)

3.15

Shostakovich

Symphony No. 10 in E minor Op.93

AO302Sibelius Symphony No 220141021

As part of Afternoon on 3's Nordic and Baltic season the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgards continue their Sibelius Symphony Cycle with No. 2, written in the first years of the twentieth century - as was Nielsen's Helios Overture. And for two heroes of the north (both had just returned from trips to southern Europe - Sibelius in Italy and Nielsen in Greece), oh that cool northern light!

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet returns with the BBC Philharmonic for some more music by Pierné.

With Penny Gore

2pm

Nielsen

Helios - overture (Op.93)

BBC Philharmonic

Michael Seal (conductor)

2.15pm

Sibelius

Symphony No. 2 in D major Op.43

John Storgards (conductor)

3pm

Pierné

Poème symphonique Op.37

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)

Juanjo Mena (conductor)

3.30pm

Schubert

Symphony No. 3 in D major D.200

3.55pm

Walton

Variations on a Theme by Hindemith

4.15

Garcia Abril

Canciones del jardin secreto

Zandra McMaster (mezzo-soprano)

AO303Sibelius Symphony No 320141024

The second act of Rossini's opera Aureliano in Palmira from this year's Pesaro Festival.

A real Rossini rarity, an opera seria that flopped but which Rossini then re-cycled into his comedy "The Barber of Seville" (which also flopped, but which posterity has been kinder to). There's no doubting the quality of the music, so it must all have been in the performance, because the plot is the usual confusion.

Reviews of this production singled out for praise tenor Michael Spyres (Aureliano) and soprano Jessica Pratt (Zenobia). The ensemble is led by the American bel canto specialist, Will Crutchfield.

And the BBC Philharmonic conclude this week's part of the Sibelius Symphony Cycle with No.3 in C. Numbers 4 to 7 next week.

With Penny Gore

2pm

Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira - opera seria in 2 Acts

From the 2014 Pesaro Festival

Act 2

Palmyra has fallen to the Romans - led by Aureliano (Marcus Aurelius), and he generously offers the defeated queen Zenobia the choice to rule alongside him. Zenobia's lover Arsace, the general of the Palmyran army has escaped, but returns to the city to rescue his queen and lover. The pair are caught and brought before Aureliano who at first sentences them to spend the rest of their lives in separate prison cells, before relenting and - after they swear loyalty to Rome - letting the pair rule in Palmyra after all.

Aureliano - Michael Spyres (tenor)

Zenobia - Jessica Pratt (soprano)

Arsace - Lena Belkina (mezzo-soprano)

Publia - Raffaella Lupinacci (mezzo-soprano)

Oraspe - Dempsey C'Rivera (tenor)

High Priest - Dimitri Pkhaladze (bass)

Priest - Raffaele Constantini (bass)

Licinio - Sergio Vitale (baritone)

Chorus of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna

Gioachino Rossini Symphony Orchestra/

Will Crutchfield (conductor)

3.35pm

Pierné

Scherzo-caprice for piano and orchestra, Op.25

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)

BBC Philharmonic

Juanjo Mena (conductor)

Nielsen

Saga-drom, Op.39

Michael Seal (conductor)

4pm

Sibelius

Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op.52

John Storgards (conductor).

AO30420141027

Today Verity Sharp starts our second week surveying Sibelius Symphonies performed by the BBC Philharmonic with conductor John Storgards, as part of Afternoon on 3's Nordic and Baltic season.

The afternoon begins with Berlioz's overture to his opera Benvenuto Cellini, with conductor Gergely Madaras. It's followed by virtuoso clarinettist Sabine Meyer performing Weber's Concerto in F minor, under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.Then the Italian maestro leads the orchestra again in Beethoven's 7th Symphony, before we hear a selection of songs by Schubert, arranged for orchestra and voice by Reger and Brahms. Soprano Ruby Hughes performs the songs, under conductor Juanjo Mena. Then comes Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, with Sol Gabetta the soloist and Mena again at the rostrum. The afternoon ends with the BBC Philharmonic performing Sibelius's Symphony No. 4, under John Storgards.

Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini - Overture

BBC Philharmonic

Gergely Madaras (conductor)

2.15pm

Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73

Sabine Meyer (clarinet)

Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

2.35pm

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 72

3.15pm

Schubert: Nacht und Träume (D 827), arr. Reger

Schubert: Geheimes (D.719), arr. Brahms

Schubert: Am Tage aller Seelen (Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen) D.343a, arr. Reger

Schubert: Gruppe aus dem Tartarus - 2nd setting (D.583), arr. Reger

Ruby Hughes (soprano)

Juanjo Mena (conductor)

3.35pm

Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

Sol Gabetta (cello)

3.50pm

Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op.63

John Storgards (conductor).

AO305Sibelius Symphony No 420141028

Live from Media City, Salford, Stuart Flinders introduces a concert by the BBC Philharmonic with Gustavo Gimeno conducting Grieg's Holberg Suite for string orchestra, followed by Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic poem Sheherazade.

Then, Verity Sharp in London continues the afternoon with Bruch's First Violin Concerto, performed by soloist Elena Urioste with the orchestra conducted by Gergely Madaras. Then, as part of Afternoon on 3's Nordic and Baltic season, Sibelius's Fifth Symphony, with John Storgards on the rostrum. The afternoon comes to an end with composer Edward Gregson's view of pre-Columbian times in his Aztec Dances for flute and ensemble, with soloist Wissam Boustany and conductor Bramwell Tovey.

Live from Salford -

Grieg: Holberg Suite, Op.40

2.25pm

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade - symphonic suite, Op.35

BBC Philharmonic

Gustavo Gimeno (conductor)

Then, back from London -

3.15pm

Bruch: Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op.26 for violin and orchestra

Elena Urioste (violin)

Gergely Madaras (conductor)

3.40

Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op.82

John Storgards (conductor)

4.05pm

Edward Gregson: Aztec Dances for flute and ensemble

Wissam Boustany (flute)

Bramwell Tovey (conductor).

AO306Sibelius Symphony No 620141029

Continuing with Radio 3's Nordic and Baltic season Verity Sharp introduces performances by the BBC Philharmonic with music by Sibelius, Nielsen, Vasks and Peter Maxwell Davies, all under the baton of John Storgards. First this afternoon, Sibelius's Sixth Symphony, followed by music recorded in a recent concert given by the orchestra in Salford, including Carl Nielsen's rhapsodic overture An Imaginary Journey to the Faroes; then, Cantabile for orchestra by the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, ending with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's Fifth Symphony.

Sibelius: Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op.104

2.30pm

Nielsen: An Imaginary journey to the Faroes - rhapsodic overture

2.45pm

Peteris Vasks: Cantabile for orchestra

2.55pm

Peter Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 5

BBC Philharmonic

John Storgards (conductor).

AO307 LASTSibelius Symphony No 720141031

Verity Sharp introduces recordings by the BBC Philharmonic including Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, with Mark Simpson playing the basset clarinet, under Gianandrea Noseda, Then, Juanjo Mena conducts the ensemble in a recent concert featuring Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture, Moeran's Violin Concerto with Tasmin Little soloist, who also performs Vaughan Williams's The Lark ascending. Next is Kodaly's Variations on a Hungarian folk-song (The Peacock), conducted by Gergely Madaras. Closing the afternoon, and the week too, is Sibelius's Seventh Symphony, his last work in the genre, as part of Radio 3's Nordic and Baltic season. Conducting the BBC Philharmonic is John Storgards.

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622

Mark Simpson (basset clarinet)

BBC Philharmonic

Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

2.30pm

Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture, Op.26

2.40pm

Moeran: Violin Concerto

3.15pm

Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Tasmin Little (violin)

Juanjo Mena (conductor)

3.40pm

Kodaly: Variations on a Hungarian folk-song (The Peacock)

Gergely Madaras (conductor)

4.05pm

Sibelius Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op.105

John Storgards (conductor).