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Twenty Minutes

Stormy Weather

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Suzy Klein explores composers' orchestral depictions of weather.

Suzy Klein explores composers' orchestral depictions of weather, focusing on music by Vivaldi, Handel, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Beethoven.

Suzy Klein with a little summer lightning for tonight's Prom, ahead of a performance of Richard Strauss's 'Alpine' Symphony, featuring as it does a tumultuous storm amongst the peaks. From Vivaldi to Handel, via Vaughan Williams, Britten and of course Beethoven, composers have used the outer limits the musical palette of the orchestra to depict one of nature's most reliable and noisy events. Featuring torrential rain, harmonic hailstones, bolts of choral lightning and howling wind...

Producer: Simon Elmes.

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
1 hour, 4 minutes Available for over a year Web Only

Donald Macleod introduces John Dowland, and those influenced by his exquisite melodies.

Composer of the Week

Giuseppe Verdi

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
1 hour, 13 minutes Available for over a year Web Only

Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music.

Being Beethoven

Series 1 Episode 1

Audio Described
Signed
BBC Four
BBC Four logo
59 minutes Available for 10 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Young Beethoven is an unstoppable force until the onset of deafness tears his world apart.

Groomed for greatness by an often abusive father, Beethoven emerges as a great but difficult talent, an unstoppable force, until the onset of deafness tears his world apart.

‘…this strange deafness…’

Unfolding chronologically, Being Beethoven grapples with the living, breathing human being often lost behind the myth of the Romantic genius. Beethoven emerges as a man of contrasts and extremes — driven by love, anguish, fury and joy — qualities woven through both his life and his music.

By returning the composer to the context of his own time and place, telling his life story in the present tense, Being Beethoven reveals how the composer’s life frequently appears to follow an entirely different trajectory to his art. What emerges is a complex and often contradictory individual living a life marked by isolation, ill-health and deafness. A man who, despite the frequent wretchedness of his personal circumstances, manages to create musical masterpieces that have enthralled and uplifted the world for 250 years.

Episode 1 explores Beethoven's childhood, the crucible in which the man and his music are formed, and his subsequent rise to fame as a piano virtuoso, then composer, in late 18th-century Vienna. Groomed as a prodigy by a demanding and often violent father, Beethoven’s psyche is also marked by the death of his mother when he is 16 years old. Beethoven emerges as a great but troubled talent, an unstoppable force of nature until the onset of deafness tears his world apart.

The realisation that Beethoven is losing his hearing — the sense upon which not only his career is built, but his very sense of self — leads to a devastating psychological collapse and a letter, written to his brothers Carl and Johann, known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. In it, Beethoven not only contemplates suicide but also looks at his future and accepts that he will have to create his art under extraordinary circumstances.

As well as interviews with Beethoven biographers and scholars such as Jan Swafford and Barry Cooper, the series features contributions and performances from musicians including Iván Fischer, Marin Alsop, the Takács Quartet, Evelyn Glennie, Paul Lewis, Mark Padmore and Chi-chi Nwanoku.

Credits

Editor
Judith Robson
Executive Producer
Ross Wilson
Producer
Flora Stewart
Producer
Phil Cairney
Director
Phil Cairney
Production Company
Matchlight

Three Minute Epiphany

Beverly Glenn Copeland: New Audiences

BBC Radio 6 Music
BBC Radio 6 Music logo
5 minutes Available for over a year Web Only

He has released seven albums over the years and shows no sign of slowing at 75.

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore programme symphonies - plus Mahler and Schnittke.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore the programme symphonies of the Romantic era, plus the private enigmas buried in the symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Schnittke.

Comedienne Sue Perkins joins Tom Service to unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the most famous form in classical music. In the third programme of the series, the pair look at symphonies with a story to tell...

How can a symphony tell a story? Today's episode explores the rise of the 'programme symphony' in the mid-19th century in the hands of Berlioz, Liszt and Richard Strauss, as a host of composers, from Berlioz to Schumann to Liszt, sought to make their music tell fantastic tales of life, death, sex and the underworld...

But away from these symphonies' explicit texts, in the works of Tchaikovsky and Mahler, a new type of 'extra-musical' symphony developed: musical works with hidden subtexts that hinted at the composers' inner world. These would come to a peak in the works of two of the greatest 20th century symphonists: Dmitri Shostakovich and Alfred Schnittke.

Don't forget, you can join the online conversation via Twitter - tweet with the hashtag #r3symphonyqt, or visit the Radio 3 Facebook page - www.facebook.com/radio3

And remember, you can download the entire Symphony Question Time series as a podcast - visit www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/symphony.

Twenty Minutes

Your First 1812

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Children from Amersham Music Centre prepare to perform Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Sarah Taylor listens to children from Amersham Music Centre as conductor Fiona Jacob leads rehearsals for their first performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is well known to music lovers and is performed frequently in concert halls all over the country. It's such an established orchestral perennial that most musicians could probably play it without even looking at the music.

But all professional musicians have to start somewhere and many of them will have played in youth orchestras in their early musical lives.

Amersham Music Centre in Buckinghamshire is one of many local authority Saturday music schools around the country which nurture the talent and enthusiasm of budding young musicians. Children from the ages of 7 upwards are encouraged to sing, play an instrument and develop a love of music. Sarah Taylor has been eavesdropping on the Senior Orchestra as they prepare for their first ever performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. The conductor, Fiona Jacob and the children share their nerves and excitement as they try and master this tricky piece.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio Wales logo
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Nicola Heywood-Thomas looks at the life and legacy of the Treforest-born composer.

Morfydd Owen died in tragic circumstances a century ago. Nicola Heywood-Thomas looks at the life and musical legacy of the composer, who was born in Treforest.

Born in Treforest in 1891, Morfydd Owen was the bright hope of Welsh music when she took up a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music. And yet she would die tragically young, following an operation conducted at the Oystermouth home of her parents-in-law. Nicola Heywood-Thomas looks at the life, the mystery and the musical legacy of Morfydd, one of whose compositions has featured in this years's BBC Proms.

Credits

Featured Artist
Morfydd Llwyn Owen
BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland logo
58 minutes Available for 22 days First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Jamie MacDougall presents an hour of wonderful music recorded at the City Halls, Glasgow.

Jamie MacDougall presents an hour of wonderful music recorded live at the City Halls in Glasgow, featuring the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell.

Jamie MacDougall presents an hour of wonderful music recorded live at the City Halls in Glasgow, featuring the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell. The evening features invited guest performers and a range of musical styles including traditional Scottish tunes, music of the movies and classical favourites.

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore Beethoven's colossal symphonic legacy.

Comedienne Sue Perkins joins Tom Service to unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the most famous form in classical music and examine the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Comedienne Sue Perkins joins Tom Service to unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the most famous form in classical music.

Today, the pair explore your questions, ideas and observation about Ludwig van Beethoven: a composer who transformed and revolutionised the very idea of what a symphony should be...and who left a fearsome legacy for his contemporaries to try and match...

You can join the online conversation via Twitter - tweet with the hashtag #r3symphonyqt, or visit the Radio 3 Facebook page - www.facebook.com/bbcradio3

And remember, you can download the entire series as a podcast - visit www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/symphony.

Being Beethoven

Series 1 Episode 3

Audio Described
Signed
BBC Four
BBC Four logo
59 minutes Available for 10 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

As Beethoven begins his late masterpieces, his desire for a family becomes an obsession.

As Beethoven embarks on the extraordinary flowering of his late music, his health deteriorates and his desire for love and family tips over into obsession.

'We are not in a good state…'

Unfolding chronologically, Being Beethoven grapples with the living, breathing human being often lost behind the myth of the Romantic genius. Beethoven emerges as a man of contrasts and extremes - driven by love, anguish, fury and joy - qualities woven through both his life and his music.

By returning the composer to the context of his own time and place, telling his life story in the present tense, Being Beethoven reveals how the composer’s life frequently appears to follow an entirely different trajectory to his art. What emerges is a complex and often contradictory individual living a life marked by isolation, ill-health and deafness. A man who, despite the frequent wretchedness of his personal circumstances, manages to create musical masterpieces that have enthralled and uplifted the world for 250 years.

Episode 3 finds the composer unmoored and - personally and creatively - desperate to regain control in his every aspect of his life. In 1815, the death of his brother is the catalyst for a long and bitter legal battle for custody of Beethoven's nephew, Karl. What follows is a protracted period during which the composer’s desire for love and family tip over into obsession. Beethoven will, of course, embark on the extraordinary flowering of the late music - the Missa solemnis, the late quartets and the Ninth 'Choral' Symphony - but he doesn’t know that yet.

Musical highlights include Paul Lewis exploring the beauty and brutality of one of the greatest works of the piano repertoire, the Diabelli Variations, and the Takács Quartet playing the sublime Hymn of Thanksgiving.

As well as interviews with Beethoven biographers and scholars such as Jan Swafford and Barry Cooper, the series features contributions and performances from musicians including Iván Fischer, Marin Alsop, the Takács Quartet, Evelyn Glennie, Paul Lewis, Mark Padmore and Chi-chi Nwanoku.

Credits

Executive Producer
Ross Wilson
Producer
Flora Stewart
Producer
Phil Cairney
Director
Phil Cairney
Production Company
Matchlight

BBC Proms

Late Escapes Celebrate the jazz music of singer, songwriter, arranger and political activist, Nina Simone

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
2 hours, 20 minutes Available for 22 days First broadcast:

The jazz giant is celebrated in all her guises in a 2019 Prom led by Jules Buckley

Nina Simone is a giant of jazz history. She’s celebrated here in a concert led by Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest with singers Ledisi and Lisa Fischer.

Live at BBC Proms: Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley, with singers Ledisi and Lisa Fischer in a celebration of Nina Simone.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London

Presented by Andrew McGregor

Nina Simone/Trad. arr. Jochen Neuffer: African Mailman/Sinnerman

Jack Hammer arr. Rob Taggart: Plain Gold Ring

Richard Rodgers arr. Evan Jolly: Little Girl Blue

Walter Donaldson arr. Jochen Neuffer: My Baby Just Cares

Jalacy Hawkins arr. Jeremy Levy: I Put A Spell On You

Bennie Benjamin/Horace Ott/Sol Marcus arr. Jeremy Levy: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Jacques Brel arr. Sebastian Koolhoven: Ne Me Quitte Pas

George Gershwin arr. Chris Walden: I Loves You Porgy

Henry Purcell arr. Chris Walden: Dido’s Lament

Rudy Stevenson arr. Tim Davies: I’m Going Back Home

c. 20:20 Interval Proms Plus

The life, work and legacy of great African-American singer-songwriter Nina Simone discussed by poet Zena Edwards and singer-musician Ayanna Witter-Johnson. Hosted by Kevin LeGendre. Produced by Zahid Warley

c. 20:40

Nat Adderly arr. Willem Friede: Work Song

Trad. arr. Damiano Pascarelli: See-Line Woman

Andy Stroud arr. Jules Buckley: Be my Husband

Randy Newman arr. Vladimir Nikolov: Baltimore

Exuma arr. Jules Buckley: Dambala

Nina Simone arr. Vladimir Nikolov: Mississippi Goddam

Nina Simone, arr. Tim Davies: Four Women

Trad./Billy Taylor/Dick Dallas. arr. Ilja Reijngoud: Take My Hand, Precious Lord / I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

Ledisi (singer)

Lisa Fischer (singer)

Metropole Orkest

Jules Buckley (conductor)

Singer, songwriter, arranger and political activist – Nina Simone is a giant of jazz history. She’s celebrated here in all her guises in a concert led by Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest, featuring titles including ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘I Put a Spell on You’.

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Sue Perkins and Tom Service on the relevance of the symphony in the 21st century.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore your questions about who's still writing symphonies now - and if you can be considered a great composer if you have not written one.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony, but were too afraid to ask...

What relevance do symphonies have today? In Episode 5 of the series, the pair ask if the social and cultural ideas that gave birth to the symphony are still relevant today - and who's still composing symphonies at the dawn of the 21st century. Can you be considered a truly great composer if - like Chopin, Verdi and Delius - you haven't written one?

Don't forget, you can join in the conversation on Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #r3symphonyqt, or visit the Radio 3 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bbcradio3

You can also download the whole series as podcasts - visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/symphony.

Twenty Minutes

Bittersweet Symphony

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Louise Fryer investigates the inspiration behind Walton's powerful First Symphony.

Louise Fryer investigates the inspiration behind Walton's powerful First Symphony, and discovers a story of love, heartache, struggle and triumph.

'Symphonies are a lot of work to write. Too much. One has to have something really appalling happen to one, that lets loose the fount of inspiration.' (William Walton)

Walton can be a composer who divides opinion but his First Symphony is generally acknowledged as a masterpiece. But what was his "appalling" inspiration for this turbulent and deeply felt work?

Louise Fryer visits some landmarks of Walton's 1930s London and talks to Walton expert Stephen Johnson and conductor Andrew Litton to tell a story of love, heartache, struggle and triumph.

Credits

Composer
William Walton
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Sue Perkins and Tom Service try to discover the roots of the symphony.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore the roots of the symphony, discovering who wrote the first, as well as discussing the so-called 'father' of the form, Joseph Haydn.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony...but were too afraid to ask...

Why are symphonies considered the pinnacle of classical music? Who wrote the first one? Is there really a "Curse Of The Ninth"? And can you be a truly great composer without writing a symphony?

Comedienne Sue Perkins joins Tom Service for the first in a six-part celebration of the most famous - and perhaps scariest - form in classical music.

They're here to blow away the myths and unpick the mysteries surrounding this most venerable form - with a host of musical excerpts from Haydn to Hovhaness, Mozart to Mahler, Beethoven to Berio.

Over the six episodes they'll be looking at questions like how the symphony first originated; whether a symphony should be about logic and form, or be a encapsulation of the whole world; and why people get so darn annoyed when you clap between the movements...

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony...but were too afraid to ask...

In today's episode, Sue and Tom examine the thorny issue of to clap or not to clap before a symphony's finished; explore at the roots of the symphony - the idea of a 'sounding together'; and get to grips with the titans of the classical symphonic tradition, Haydn and Mozart .

They'll also be asking you to send in your own questions for their perusal later in the series. You can submit your queries about anything symphonic by email to r3symphonyqt@bbc.co.uk; alternatively, you can pose your questions on the BBC Radio 3's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bbcradio3), or via Twitter at @BBCRadio3 (hashtag #R3SymphonyQT).

Being Beethoven

Series 1 Episode 2

Audio Described
Signed
BBC Four
BBC Four logo
59 minutes Available for 10 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

As Beethoven writes some of his finest works, his attempts to find love prove elusive.

Beethoven embarks on a new creative path and attempts to find love. But, as is often the case, the composer's life appears to be following a very different trajectory to his art.

Unfolding chronologically, Being Beethoven grapples with the living, breathing, human being often lost behind the myth of the romantic genius. Beethoven emerges as a man of contrasts and extremes - driven by love, anguish, fury and joy - qualities woven through both his life and his music.

By returning the composer to the context of his own time and place, the man who emerges is a complex and often contradictory individual - living a life marked by isolation, ill health and deafness. One who, despite the frequent wretchedness of his personal circumstances, manages to create musical masterpieces that have enthralled and uplifted the world for 250 years.

This episode sees Beethoven return to the town of Heiligenstadt, where the year before, devastated by the loss of his hearing, he had written the Heiligenstadt Testament; a document in which he contemplates suicide before finally resolving to embark on a new creative path. The works that he produces during this period — from the earth-shattering Eroica through to his Seventh Symphony — amount to one of the most extraordinary outpourings of creativity in the history of music.

However, as is so often the case, Beethoven’s life follows a very different trajectory to his art. The composer’s repeated attempts to find love with the same type of woman - young, beautiful and aristocratic - will result in his letter to the ‘Immortal Beloved’, a woman whose identity remains mysterious to this day.

Highlights include Martin Haselböck conducting a period performance of the Third Symphony in the hall in which it was premiered, and the Takács Quartet performing the electrifying finale to the Third Rasumovsky Quartet. As well as interviews with Beethoven biographers and scholars such as Jan Swafford and Barry Cooper, the series features contributions and performances from musicians including Iván Fischer, Marin Alsop, the Takács Quartet, Evelyn Glennie, Paul Lewis, Mark Padmore, and Chi-chi Nwanoku.

Credits

Editor
Chris Buckland
Executive Producer
Ross Wilson
Producer
Flora Stewart
Producer
Phil Cairney
Director
Phil Cairney
Production Company
Matchlight
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore symphonic nationalism and famous symphonic beginnings.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service explore how the symphony articulated a dream of nationhood in the 19th century, Sibelius's changing reputation, and famous beginnings and endings.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony, but were too afraid to ask...

Today, the pair explore your questions about symphonic nationalism - looking at how the symphony grew to articulate a dream of nationhood across Europe (and America) in the 19th century. They also examine the changing reputation of the great Finnish symphonist, Jean Sibelius, and present some of their favourite symphonic beginnings and endings...

Don't forget, you can join in the conversation on Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #r3symphonyqt, or visit the Radio 3 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bbcradio3

You can also download the whole series as podcasts - visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/symphony.

Music Feature

Wandering Minstrels

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
45 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

The story of the orchestra who gave the first ever concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Sarah Walker uncovers the forgotten story of the Wandering Minstrels, an orchestra of aristocrats who gave the first ever concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1871.

Sarah Walker uncovers the forgotten story of one of the best known orchestras in Britain in the late 1800s: The Wandering Minstrels - a bunch of aristocrats and middle-class dilettantes who claimed to be the only purely amateur orchestra in Europe. They gave the first ever concert in the Royal Albert Hall, they raised the equivalent of millions of pounds for charity through their performances - and they really put the professionals' backs up.

And if their name seems familiar, you're probably thinking of the Gilbert & Sullivan song 'A wandering minstrel I' from The Mikado. No, the orchestra didn't name themselves after the song: the song was a tongue-in-cheek homage to the then-famous orchestra. Sullivan was good mates with the orchestra's founder, Seymour Egerton (later the Fourth Earl of Wilton), and Nanki-Poo, who sings the song, is - like the orchestra's players - a member of the nobility roughing it as an itinerant musician.

First broadcast in August 2012.

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
20 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Long-lost fragments of Sibelius's Eighth, and feedback about the question of applause.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service with the conclusion of a series about everything to do with the most famous form in classical music. Including Sibelius's 8th, and feedback on applause.

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony, but were too afraid to ask.To end the series, the pair discuss and play extraordinary long-lost extracts of Sibelius's Eighth Symphony, and present your feedback on the thorny question of applause between movements...as well as answering a mixed bag of questions sent in over the course of the series.

Remember you can send in your feedback about anything covered in the series by email to r3symphonyqt@bbc.co.uk; alternatively, you can post your thoughts on the BBC Radio 3's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bbcradio3), or via Twitter at @BBCRadio3 (hashtag #R3SymphonyQT).

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