Cover image of Composer of the Week
(159)
Music

Composer of the Week

Updated about 1 month ago

Music
Read more

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Read more

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

iTunes Ratings

159 Ratings
Average Ratings
29
9
6
3
112

Music balanced interest

By Jankers too - May 23 2020
Read more
Quality BBC USA resident using subscribed VPN from UK works all the time

Please make it available in the US!

By Anna88 S. - Jan 06 2020
Read more
Please make it available in the US!

iTunes Ratings

159 Ratings
Average Ratings
29
9
6
3
112

Music balanced interest

By Jankers too - May 23 2020
Read more
Quality BBC USA resident using subscribed VPN from UK works all the time

Please make it available in the US!

By Anna88 S. - Jan 06 2020
Read more
Please make it available in the US!
Cover image of Composer of the Week

Composer of the Week

Latest release on Jul 10, 2020

Read more

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Rank #1: Tchaikovsky

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and works of Russia's most popular Romatic composer.

Jul 26 2013

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #2: Cole Porter

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Cole Porter, one of the most famous Broadway composers of his time. His achievements include a catalogue of witty, sophisticated and sometimes risque songs

Aug 01 2014

1hr 17mins

Play

Rank #3: Hoagy Carmichael

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Hoagy Carmichael.

Nov 20 2015

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #4: Chopin

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin

Jun 09 2017

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #5: Vivaldi

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Antonio Vivaldi, a Venetian priest, feted in his lifetime as both composer and violinist, yet destined to die in obscurity in faraway Vienna

Dec 26 2014

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #6: George Gershwin

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of George Gershwin.

When a second-hand piano was hoisted through the window of the Gershwin family’s Lower East Side apartment, a window was quite literally opened onto a new world. Donald begins by looking at Gershwin’s early and lifelong love of the instrument. For many, he was the foremost composer of the "jazz age" and it's through jazz-inflected interpretations that his music has reached its widest audience. Next, Donald tells the story of Gershwin's excursions in the concert hall. He may have been the toast of Broadway, but his attempts to move musically out of the theatre district and into the hallowed portals of the city’s concert halls were, despite some successes, constantly frustrated and a source of disappointment to him. To end, Donald charts George Gershwin's final years, partly spent in a ramshackle beach cottage on Folly Island in South Carolina. His memorable musical experiences with the local Gullah people eventually inspired his magnum opus, the opera Porgy and Bess.
Music featured:
Summertime
That Certain Feeling
Three Preludes
Piano Concerto in F
Has Anyone Seen Joe
The Real American Folk Song
Fascinating Rhythm
Embraceable You
I Got Rhythm
I Got Rhythm Variations
Someone to Watch Over Me
Rhapsody in Blue
Second Rhapsody
American in Paris
Strike Up the Band Overture
Cuban Overture
My Man's Gone Now
I Got Plenty of Nothin'
Bess, You Is My Woman Now
It Ain’t Necessarily So
I Loves You Porgy
Catfish Row Suite
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Martin Williams

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for George Gershwin: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001tjn

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jan 04 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #7: Bach

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores Bach's vocal music.

Jun 19 2015

1hr

Play

Rank #8: Bill Evans

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Bill Evans, the 'poet of the piano' and the 'Chopin of jazz'. He came to prominence working with Miles Davis and played with Tony Bennett and Stan Getz

Nov 15 2013

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #9: Debussy

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores a less celebrated, but important, area of Debussy's output - his chamber works

Oct 17 2014

55mins

Play

Rank #10: Mozart

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores five key years of Mozart's life and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings

Nov 14 2014

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #11: Haydn

Podcast cover
Read more
Exploring Haydn's time at the Hungarian palace of Eszterhaza, the composer's primary base of operations for nearly a quarter of a century and where, he said, he 'was forced to become original'

Jan 23 2015

1hr 9mins

Play

Rank #12: Prokofiev

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores Prokofiev's triumphant and ultimately tragic return to the USSR.

Dec 23 2016

1hr 12mins

Play

Rank #13: Mahler

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Gustav and Alma Mahler

Jun 30 2017

57mins

Play

Rank #14: Vivaldi's operas

Podcast cover
Read more
A look behind the curtain and onto the stage to explore the world of Vivaldi's operas

Oct 13 2017

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #15: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the conflicted relationships and mysteries in the life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Donald begins this week’s episode by looking at Tchaikovsky’s early years as a civil servant, wrestling with the tension between his desire to compose music and his responsibilities as a bureaucrat in St Petersburg. We hear about some of the composer’s tricky relationships - with the ascendant Nationalist school of Russian composers, and also with money. His need to earn a living and support himself by the music he composed led to an unconventional connection with one wealthy woman in particular. Donald traces Tchaikovsky’s long period of wandering, in which he spent years away from Russia, seemingly compelled by a disordered, un-reconciled personal life. Tchaikovsky was a mystery to the end, and there are many questions surrounding the puzzle of his death, which happened just days after the premiere of his sixth symphony, considered by many to be his finest work.
Music featured:
Swan Lake (Act 2)

Eugene Onegin (Act 3, Scene 1)

Song for the Golden Jubilee of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence

Piano Concerto No. 1 (1st movement)

Romeo and Juliet

Chant sans paroles (Souvenir de Hapsal)

None but the Lonely Heart

String Quartet no.1

The Snow Maiden, First Song of Lel

Finale: Moderato assai - allegro vivo – presto (Symphony No. 2)

1812 Overture

March: The Song of the Lark (The Seasons)

The Tempest

Piano Trio, 1st movement

Finale (Symphony No 4)

Pimpinella (Romances, Op 38, No 6)

Valse Sentimentale

Violin Concerto

Danse des polichinelles et des histrions (Maid of Orleans)

Souvenir de Florence (1st and 2nd movements)

We Sat Together

Act 1, March (The Nutcracker)

Piano Concerto No 3

Adagio & Waltz (The Sleeping Beauty - Suite)

Symphony No 6
Presenter: Donald Macleod

Producer: Martin Williams for BBC Wales
For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Tchaikovsky: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000bbv
And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Sep 14 2018

58mins

Play

Rank #16: Johann Sebastian Bach

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod travels alongside J S Bach as he moves from place to place throughout his life.

Donald begins with Bach’s early years in the towns of Eisenach and Ohrdruf, where his excellence as a singer and organist was first recognised. He first moved to Weimar at the age of 18, to work as a court musician, and later as an organist and concertmaster – it was here that he would write most of his organ repertoire, but also spent his time trying to please two antagonistic Dukes. Then we move to the city of Köthen, where Bach was employed at the court of Prince Leopold. The royal court offered Bach exactly what he had been denied in Weimar – the chance to build a really exceptional instrument ensemble. We arrive in Leipzig, where Bach was a public servant again, having to satisfy a plethora of different bodies and individuals. Although his time there was peppered with disputes and discontent, it was his home for 27 years and it is where he composed the bulk of the work that lives on. Finally, Donald explores the afterlife of Bach’s music, including his propulsion into outer space aboard the Voyager spacecraft’s Golden Record.
Music featured:
Magnificat
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major
Concerto in C major for organ
Partita No 1 for violin
Widerstehe doch der Sunde
Capriccio on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother
Komm, Jesu, Komm
Toccata and Fugue in D minor for organ
Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor
Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn
The Art of Fugue
Cello Suite No 1 in G Major
Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3
Concerto No 2 in F major
Well-Tempered Clavier, No 1 in C major
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Violin Sonata No 1 in G minor
Orchestral Suite No 4 in D major
Musical Offering
Mass in B minor
Partita for Violin No 3 in E major
Capriccio in E major
St Matthew Passion
Goldberg Variations

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Johann Sebastian Bach
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002l9v

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Feb 22 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #17: Arcangelo Corelli

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod delves into the international successes of Arcangelo Corelli.

Arcangelo Corelli was something of a European phenomenon not only during his lifetime, but also after his death. His compositional output was not large, but the development of the printing press enabled his music to be widely circulated. Musically, he bridged the gap between the Baroque and the Classical periods, and is seen as pivotal in the development of the sonata and the concerto. Even today, Corelli’s music is held in high esteem, with composers still inspired by his music. As a violinist he was also legendary, and people flocked from all over Europe to not only hear him play, but to also be taught by him. Corelli spent most of his career in Rome, maintained in some luxury by royalty, nobility and the Church. During his career he collaborated with many other composers including Alessandro Scarlatti and Handel. Despite his fame and continued popularity, we still know relatively little about Corelli, and this Composer of the Week series seeks to explore the man and his music through his personal and professional relationships.

Music featured:
Sonata in G minor, Op 4 No 2 (Corrente)
Concerto Grossi, Op 6 No 3
Sonata in G, Op 1 No 9
Handel: La Resurrezione (Ho un non so che nel cor)
Sonata in F major, Op 5 No 10
Concerto Grosso in D, Op 6 No 1
Fuga con un soggetto solo
Sonata in G minor, Op 5 No 5
Sonata in F, Op 1 No 1
Sonata in A minor, Op 1 No 4
Sonata in B minor, Op 3 No 4
Sonata in F minor, Op 3 No 9
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 12
Sonata in D
Sonata in B major, Op 2 No 5
Sonata in E flat major, Op 2 No 11
Sinfonia to Santa Beatrice d’Este in D minor, WoO1
Concerto in G minor, Op 6 No 8 (Christmas Concerto)
Sonata in C, Op 5 No 9
Sonata in A minor, op 4 No 5
Sonata in B minor, op 4 No 12
Sonata in C, Op 2 No 3
Sonata in F major, Op 2 No 7
Handel: Sonata a 5, HWV288 (Violin Concerto in B flat)
Sonata in G minor WoO2
Corelli Arr. J. C. Schickhardt: Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 3
Sonata No 2 in D minor, Op 2 No 2
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 2
Corelli Arr. Geminiani: Concerto Grosso VII in D minor
Sonata in D minor, Op 5 No 12 (Follia)
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 9

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Arcangelo Corelli. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d6y6

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Dec 27 2019

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #18: Tchaikovsky

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy in Tchaikovsky's music

Dec 15 2017

39mins

Play

Rank #19: J S Bach

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod traces J S Bach's early life from Eisenach through to his first marriage.

Dec 22 2017

59mins

Play

Rank #20: Leonard Bernstein

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod is joined by Bernstein protegée, conductor Marin Alsop, to look back at Bernstein’s hectic life as composer, pianist, thinker and entertainer.
There are no neutrals when it comes to Leonard Bernstein: exhibitionist, a playboy touring Italy in a Maserati, an exhilarating conductor, provocative thinker, ‘one of the most electrifying personalities of our time’. 2018 marks the centenary of this life-affirming composer who always preferred to call himself, simply, ‘musician’.
Donald and Marin begin in the world of jazz which inspired much of Bernstein’s finest work, then look at the composer’s gift for reaching new audiences through the theatre. They discuss Bernstein’s reputation as a musical thinker– treading a delicate line between the innovative and the kitsch, and trace his journey from upstart son of a Jewish immigrant to superstar ambassador for American music.

Thanks to the BBC radio and TV archives, we hear from Bernstein himself in interviews he gave through the course of his prolific career. We discover a man who was forceful in his views, passionate to the extreme, charismatic on the stage, but also latterly tormented by regrets and a feeling that he had never quite achieved the magnum opus inside him.

Music featured:

Enter Three Sailors (Fancy Free)

Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

The Lark (Latin Choruses)

The Age of Anxiety (part 2)

arr. Buddy Rich: West Side Story

The Children Fly (Peter Pan)

Wonderful Town (Overture)

A Quiet Place (Act 1 finale)

West Side Story (excerpts)

Slava! A Political Overture

Mass (excerpts)

I Hate Music!

Kaddish (1st mvt)

Samba (Divertimento)

Mr and Mrs Webb Say Goodnight (Arias and Barcarolles)

On the Waterfront (Suite)

Songfest (excerpts)

Lucky to be Me (On the Town)
For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Bernstein: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00007gc

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Presenter: Donald Macleod

Producer: Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Aug 24 2018

1hr 13mins

Play

Holmes and Duparc

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina explore the lives and music of Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he’s regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it’s still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc’s case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès’ l’Ode Triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France’s 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large scale orchestral works, to which you can also add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès' music, several of her works have been recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, which was developed by the BBC in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a music historian with a particular interest in nineteenth century music and women composers.

Music Featured:
Duparc: Chansons triste
Duparc: Aux étoiles
Holmès: Trois petites pièces for flute and piano
Holmès: Rolando Furieux
Duparc: L’invitation au voyage
Holmès: Molto lento
Duparc: Sérénade, Le manoir de Rosemonde,Soupir
Holmès: À Trianon
Duparc: Sonata in A minor for cello and piano
Holmès: Ouverture pour une comèdie
Holmès: La Haine (excerpt)
Duparc: La Vague et la cloche
Holmès: Memento mei deus
Duparc: Lénore, symphonic poem
Duparc: Au pays où se fait la guerre
Holmès: Irlande
Duparc: Sérénade Florentine
Duparc: Extase
Holmès: Pologne
Duparc: Le Galop, Romance de Mignon
Holmès: La vision de la Reine
Duparc: Phidylé
Holmès: La Nuit et l’Amour (from Ludus pro Patria)
Duparc: Élégie
Holmès: Le château du rêve
Duparc: Danse lente
Holmès: Andromède
Duparc: La via antérieure

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Holmes & Duparc, where you can also find links to the documents mentioned https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kn8f

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jul 10 2020

1hr 20mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: Private Papers

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores Beethoven’s sketches and letters to see what they reveal about his life and music.

This week Donald Macleod is joined by Beethoven scholar, Erica Buurman and biographer, Jan Swafford to investigate some the many documents and papers that Beethoven left behind after his death, which are now scattered in archives and collections across the world. Donald and his guests explore high-quality, digital facsimiles of Beethoven’s most personal records including his letters, notebooks and journals; scouring them for clues to his relationships, his work and his everyday life.

Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:
String Quartet Op.18 No 2 (4th movement)
Piano Sonata No 8, Op 13 ‘Pathétique’
Violin Sonata Op 30 No 2 (4th movement)
Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’(4th movement)
Violin Sonata No 5, Op 24 (2nd movement)
Piano Sonata No 24, Op 78 (2nd movement)
Andante Favori, WoO 57
Diabelli Variations, Op 120 (Vars. 18-24)
Missa Solemnis: Credo
Piano Sonata No 16, Op 31 No 1 (1st movement)
Violin Sonata No 8, Op 30 No 3 III (3rd movement)
Symphony No 2 (2nd movement)
Variations for Piano, ‘Eroica’, Op 35
Sonata for Cello and Piano Op 69 (2nd movement)
Fidelio: Act I No 1‘Jetzt, Schätzchen, jetzt sind wir allein‘
Piano Trio, Op 97 ‘Archduke’ (3rd movement)
Triple Concerto, Op 56 (1st movement)
String Quintet Op 29 (3rd movement)
Trio in Bb, WoO 39
Symphony No 7 (4th movement)
Piano Sonata No 16, Op 31 No 1 (2nd movement)
String Quartet, Op 59 No 3 (1st movement)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Private Papers, where you can also find links to the documents mentioned https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kfjc

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jul 03 2020

1hr 31mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: Hero

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the triumphs, friends and foes of Beethoven’s ‘heroic’ phase.

This week, Donald Macleod follows Ludwig van Beethoven through the years of 1804-1806; the beginning of what many commentators have called his ‘heroic’ phase. Having weathered a profound psychological crisis, triggered by his failing hearing, Beethoven now throws himself into his composing with renewed energy and strength of spirit. However, that same passionate nature also leads to frequent conflicts.
Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:
Variations on an original theme, Op 35 ‘Eroica Variations’
Symphony No 3 'Eroica'
String Quartet, Op 59 No 1, 'Rasumovsky',
Violin Sonata in A major, Op 47 ‘Kreutzer’
Romance in F, Op 50
Piano Sonata No 13, Op 27 No 1
An die Hoffnung, Op 32
Piano Sonata No 15, Op 28 ‘Pastorale’
Piano Concerto No 4
Leonore (1806 version) Act 1, “O wär ich schon mit dir vereint”
Piano Sonata No 22 in F, Op 54
Leonore (1806 version) Act II, Quartet “Er sterbe!”
Violin Sonata Op 12 No 1, II. Tema con variazioni: Andante con moto
Leonore (1806 version) Act II, Duet “O namenlose Freude!”
Leonore Overture No 3, Op 72b
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op 102 No 1
Bagatelle in B minor, Op 126 No 4
String Quartet in F, Op 59 No 1
Piano Sonata No 23, Op 57 ‘Appassionata’
Violin Concerto, Op 61
6 Ecossaises, WoO 83
Piano Concerto No 3,
String Quartet Op 59 No 3

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Hero https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k28m

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jun 19 2020

1hr 22mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: Return to Form

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the enduring power, pathos and innovation of Beethoven’s late string quartets with guests Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet, to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:
String Quartet No 12 in E flat, Op 127
Symphony No 9 (Finale, part 1)
Bagatelle in E flat, Op 126 No 3
String Quartet in A minor, Op 132
Fidelio, Act I: ‘Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin?‘
String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130
Piano Sonata in G major, Op 79
Grosse Fuge, Op 133
Piano Sonata No 30, Op 109 (1st movement)
String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131
Lob auf der Dicken, WoO 100
Falstafferel, WoO 184
String Quartet in F major, Op 135
Coriolan Overture, Op 62

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Amelia Parker for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Return to Form https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jnlz

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jun 05 2020

1hr 34mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: New Pathways

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod continues his journey through the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

In this week’s episode, Donald Macleod traces Beethoven’s story through the momentous years of 1802 and 1803. It was a time that saw remarkable developments in Beethoven’s creativity as he pursued a self-declared ‘new path’ for his music. He undertook his most ambitious works yet, pouring his whole self into his art. At the same time his personal life was reaching a crisis point that would plunge him to the darkest depths of despair and threaten to ruin all his carefully laid plans for the future.

Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:
Symphony No.4, IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Sonata No 21 in C major, Op 53 ‘Waldstein’, II & III
Septet Op. 20, III. Tempo di Menuetto
Sonata in G major for violin and piano, Op 30 No 3, II. Tempo di minuetto
6 Variations on an original theme in F major, Op 34
Piano Sonata No 17, Op.31 No.2 ‘The Tempest’, III. Allegretto
Missa Solemnis: Kyrie
Symphony No.2, Movts. III & IV
Violin Sonata in A major Op.47 ‘Kreutzer’, II. Larghetto.
Variations in Eb Op.35 ‘Eroica’, final movt.
March (Fidelio, Act 1)
Romance for violin and orchestra No 1, Op 40
5 Variations on “Rule Britannia” WoO 79
Christ on the Mount of Olives (extract)
Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, IV.Finale
String Quartet No 1 in F Op 18 No 1, III. Scherzo
Violin Sonata in G major Op 30 No 3, I. Allegro assai
Piano Sonata No 18 in E flat major, Op 31 No 3
String Quintet in C, Op 29, I.Allegro moderato
Gellert Lieder, VI. Busslied
Piano Sonata No 17, Op.31 No.2 ‘The Tempest’, II. Adagio
Quintet for piano and winds Op 16. III. Rondo
Andante Favori WoO 57
Violin Sonata in A major Op 47 ‘Kreutzer’ I. Adagio sostenuto - Presto
Piano Sonata No 21 in C major Op 53 ‘Waldstein’, I. Allegro con brio

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: New Pathways https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000j8k8

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

May 22 2020

1hr 17mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: Beethoven and the Voice

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores Beethoven’s vocal music with Iain Burnside and Simone Young.

In this week’s episode, Donald Macleod and his guests discuss some personal favourites from Beethoven's vocal music, taking in the giants of choral repertory like the Missa Solemnis and the ninth symphony, his opera Fidelio and orchestral vocal music, as well as relishing the astonishing variety of his song-writing, from the song cycle An die Ferne Geliebte and the most profoundly moving vocal masterpieces, to a comic song most likely dashed off to amuse friends in a bar.

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:
Christus am Ölberge, Op 85
Ein Selbstgespräch, WoO 144
Adelaide, Op 46
Funeral Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II
Christus am Olberge, Op 85
Aus Goethes Faust, Op 75, No 3
Der Wachtelschlag, WoO 129
L'amante impaziente, Op 82 (a pair of settings)
Ah Perfido!, Op 65
Mass in C, Op 86 (Gloria, Sanctus & Benedictus)
Klage, WoO 112
Neue Liebe, neues Leben, WoO 127
Fantasia for Piano, Choir and Orchestra in C minor op 80
Music, Love and Wine, Op 108, No 1
La Tiranna, WoO 125
Fidelio (Act 1), O welche Lust, in freier Luft (Prisoner’s Chorus)
Fidelio (Act 1, Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?
Fidelio (Act 2), Introduction and Aria Gott! Welch’ Dunkel hier! In des Lebens Frühlingstagen
An die Hoffnung, Op 94
Maigesang (Mailied), Op 52, No 4
Three Lieder to poems by Goethe, Op 83
Der glorreiche Augenblick, Op 136 (Final chorus: Es treten hervor die Scharen der Frauen)
Cantata on the Accession of Leopold II, WoO 88, Fliesse, Wonnezähre, fliesse!
An die ferne geliebte, Op 98
Meerestille und glückliche Fahrt, Op 112
Der Kuss, Op 128
Abendlied unter dem gestirnten Himmel, WoO 150
Missa Solemnis in D major, Op 123, Credo
Symphony No 9 (4th movement)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Beethoven and the Voice https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hv23

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

May 08 2020

1hr 21mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: Fate

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod continues his journey through the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

In this week’s episode, Donald Macleod traces Beethoven’s story through the years 1799-1801. As he reaches his thirtieth birthday, we see Beethoven finally emerging as a mature composer and beginning to produce the enduring works that will mark him out as one of the great artists of his age. But there are clouds on the horizon too, and we see the first intimations of a serious problem with his hearing.

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music featured:
Piano Concerto No 3, III. Rondo
Piano Sonata No 10 in G major, Op 14, No 2
Music: Symphony No 1, IV. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace
Septet Op. 20 (movts 4-6)
Piano Sonata No 13 in Eb major, op 27 No 1, I. Andante
String Quartet Op 18, No 3, I. Allegro, II. Andante con moto)
Piano Sonata No 11 in Bb, Op 22 III. Minuetto & IV. Rondo
Violin Sonata Op 23
Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor Op. 13 ‘Pathetique’
String Quintet in C, Op 29, II Adagio molto espressivo & IV. Presto
Symphony No.5, IV. Allegro
Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’, III. Scherzo
Horn Sonata Op 17
Cello Sonata Op 5 No 2, I. Adagio sostenuto e espressivo & II. Allegro molto più tosto presto
Piano Sonata No 15 in D, Op 28 ‘Pastoral’, I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No 14 in C# minor, Op 27 No 2 ‘Moonlight’
String Quartet Op 18 No 1, II. Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato
Prometheus (extracts from the complete Ballet Music)
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Fate https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hflg

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Apr 24 2020

1hr 7mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: At the Keyboard

Podcast cover
Read more
Pianist Jonathan Biss shares the wonder of Beethoven's piano sonatas with Donald Macleod.

Recorded at the piano, in the Angela Burgess Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Jonathan shares his life-long passion for Beethoven with Donald. As they talk, he demonstrates how and why Beethoven's piano sonatas advanced the genre far beyond anything that anyone had ever achieved previously. As they talk we will gain a performer's perspective of Beethoven's developmental trajectory.

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music featured:

Piano Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 2 No 2
Sonata No 4 in E flat major, Op 7 (Grande sonate)
Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat major
Piano sonata No 15 in D, Op 28 (Pastorale)
Piano Sonata No 17 in D minor, Op 31 No 2 (The Tempest)
Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor, Op 57 (Appassionata)
Piano Sonata No 21 in C major, Op 53 (Waldstein)
Piano Sonata No 30 in E major, Op 109 (excerpt)
Piano Sonata No 31 in A flat major, Op 110
Piano Sonata No 5 in C minor, Op 10 no 1
Piano Sonata No 12 in A flat major, Op 26
Piano Sonata No 17 in D minor, Op 31 No 2 (The Tempest)
Piano Sonata “quasi una fantasia”, Op 27 (Moonlight)
Piano Sonata No 20 in G major, Op 49 No 2
Piano Sonata No 3 in C major, Op 2
Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor, Op 90
Piano Sonata No 32 in C minor, Op 111

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: At the Keyboard
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000h02g

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Apr 10 2020

1hr 52mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: The Drawing Room Demon

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod follows Beethoven’s progress as he seeks out wealthy Viennese patrons for his music.

This week, Donald Macleod follows Beethoven through the years 1796-99, as the young composer learns to negotiate the privileged and moneyed circles of Vienna’s culture-loving aristocracy. Few can resist his extraordinary charisma as a virtuoso pianist but will he also be able to persuade them of his talents as a composer? In this episode, Beethoven undertakes his first international tour, reluctantly accepts piano students, puts his music before a wider public and starts work on his ambitious first symphony.

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music featured:
Piano Sonata No 5 in C minor, Op 10 No 1
Piano Trio Op 1 No 1
March for four hands, Op 45 No 2
12 Variations on a Russian dance by Wranitzky, WoO 71
String Quartet op 18 no 6, mvts. III & IV
Piano Sonata No 5 in C minor, Op 10 No 1
Sextet Op 71
Ah! Perfido
Cello Sonata Op 5 No 1
Quintet for piano and winds, Op 16
Piano Sonata No 4, Op 7
Violin Sonata, Op 12 No 2
String Quartet, Op 18 No 4
Piano Trio Op 1 No 1
Piano Sonata No 7, Op 10 No 3
Romance in F, Op 50
Duet for two obbligato eye-glasses, Woo 32
String Quartet Op 18 No 1
Violin Sonata, Op 12 No 3
Piano Sonata No 6 in F, Op 10
Zärtliche Liebe, WoO 123
Trio in B flat major, Op 11
Symphony No 1 in C
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: The Drawing Room Demon
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gkqk

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Mar 27 2020

1hr 18mins

Play

Beethoven Unleashed: At Home

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod and Erica Buurman examine some of Beethoven’s personal possessions at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn.

This week, Donald Macleod takes us to Beethoven’s home town of Bonn and the Beethoven-Haus museum which now occupies the building where he was born. Donald is joined by Erica Buurman, director of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, and together they explore some of the everyday objects and household artefacts owned by the composer to see what they can tell us about how he lived. We’ll hear about Beethoven’s hearing aids and the onset of his hearing loss. Next, with his personal cashbox, they talk about his relationship with money and the world of business. We’ll discover Beethoven’s domestic circumstances by inspecting his cut-throat razor, and his walking stick and writing desk shine a light on his everyday processes. Finally, Donald and Erica compare various samples of the composer’s hair.

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music featured:
Bagatelles Op 126, Nos 1 & 6
Trio for Clarinet, Cello & Piano Op 38
Overture, The Consecration of the House Op 124
Wellington’s Victory (Part II)
Piano Sonata No 9 in E, Op 14 No.1
Triple Concerto
Cello Sonata in A, Op 69
Missa Solemnis (Agnus Dei)
Sonata No 29 in Bb, Op 106 ‘Hammerklavier’
Aus Goethes Faust, Op 75, No 3
Symphony No 6
String Quintet in Eb Op 4
Mailied, Op 52 No 4
String Quartet Op 59 No 2
Trauerkantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II, No 3 Aria, “Da stiegen die Menschen an’s Licht”
Grosse Fugue (arr. Piano, 4 hands) Op 134
Piano Trio Op 1 No 3
Symphony No 1
Mass in C (Kyrie)
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: At Home
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000g3l7

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Mar 13 2020

1hr 41mins

Play

Florence Price

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod uncovers the story and prolific output of American composer Florence Price.

Florence Price became a highly successful classical composer, organist, pianist and teacher of music during the twentieth century in America. She was the first African-American woman to be recognised as a composer of symphonic music, and also the first African-American woman to have her works performed by one of the world’s leading orchestras. In collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, BBC Radio 3 launched the Forgotten Women Composers Project. Championed by the composer and educator Shirley Thompson, Florence Price became a particular focus for the project. Scores by Florence Price were located and recorded by BBC Orchestras and Choirs. It will be the first time Florence Price has been featured on Composer of the Week, and the series is supplemented by many specially recorded works. Over the course of the episode, we’ll hear about the impact racial prejudice and marriage had on her life and career, her battles for recognition, ultimate fame, and her prolific output, despite health issues late in life.

Music featured:
The Deserted Garden
Sonata in E minor (Andante – Allegro)
Suite for Organ No 1 (Fughetta and Air)
The Oak
Violin Concerto No 2
My Dream
Cotton Dance
The Old Boatman
The Moon Bridge
My Soul’s been anchored in the Lord
Symphony No 1 in E minor
Song for Snow
Sinner Don’t Let This Harvest Pass
Poem of Praise
Piano Concerto in D minor
Dances in the Canebrakes
Suite for Organ No 1 (Toccata)
Sonata in E minor (Andante)
Sympathy
The Glory of the day was in her face
Resignation
Symphony No 3
The Goblin and the Mosquito
Concert Overture No 2
Five Folksongs in Counterpoint (Drink to me only with thine eyes)
Night
My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord
Violin Concerto No 1 in D major
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Florence Price
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fwf0

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Mar 06 2020

1hr 6mins

Play

Ludwig van Beethoven: Making His Way

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod follows Beethoven as he sets himself up in his new home of Vienna.

All through 2020, Donald Macleod takes an unprecedented deep dive into the compelling story and extraordinary music of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this uniquely ambitious series, told across 125 episodes of Composer of the Week, Donald puts us inside Beethoven’s world and explores his hopes, struggles and perseverance in all the colourful detail this amazing narrative deserves. Alongside this in-depth biography, Donald will also be meeting and talking to Beethoven enthusiasts and experts from across the world to discover how his music continues to speak to us in the 21st century. Through story and sound, the series builds into a vivid new portrait of this composer, born 250 years ago this year, who made art that changed how people saw themselves and understood the world.

This week, Donald Macleod’s focus is on Beethoven’s first months and years in Vienna, following his move there from his home town of Bonn. The young composer was still in his early twenties, low on cash, and had only a handful of works to his name. He was going to have to work hard to find success in the imperial capital, where audiences had grown up on the music of Mozart and Haydn.

Music featured:
La Partenza, WoO 124
String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (II. Allegro ma non tanto)
Piano Concerto No 2 (III. Rondo)
Trio in G major, Op 1 No 2
Bagatelle, Op 33 No 7 (Presto)
String Trio, Op 3 in E flat major ( I. Allegro con brio)
Piano Sonata No 2, Op 2 No 2 (3rd and 4th movements)
Symphony No 8, (2nd and 3rd movements)
String Quartet No 16 in F, Op 135 (3rd and 4th movements)
Sextet for horns and string quartet, Op 81b
Symphony No 2 (1st movement)
Quartet in E flat major, Op 127 (3rd and 4th movements)
Piano Sonata No 12 in A flat, Op 26
Piano Sonata No 3 in C, Op 2 No 3 (3rd movement)
Piano Sonata No 1, Op 2 No 1 (final movement)
Violin Sonata, Op 30 No 2 (3rd movement)
‘Adelaide’, Op 46
String Trio Op 3 in E flat major (4th, 5th and 6th movements)
12 Minuets, WoO 7, No 1
Piano Concerto No 1 in C major, Op 15 (1st movement)
Piano Trio Op 1 No 3 (1st and 2nd movements)
12 Minuets WoO 7, Nos. 7 & 11
Piano Concerto No 1 in C major, Op 15 (3rd movement)
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Making His Way
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fmt0

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Feb 28 2020

1hr 13mins

Play

Claudio Monteverdi

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod looks at five themes in Claudio Monteverdi's life through the letters he wrote.

Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions range from the secular to the sacred. He is a composer whose work spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods of musical history, and is known as a pioneer of the development of opera in Italy throughout the early 17th century. Throughout the week, Donald looks at five themes in Monteverdi’s life through the letters he wrote. Using Denis Stevens’ translations from the 1970s, we look at the excuses given by Monteverdi – a perpetually busy man – for not finishing compositions on time, the politics and hierarchy of life in the Italian Courts and Church, the financial struggles faced by Monteverdi, the illnesses that plagued his life and the lives of his close family and the importance of his family throughout his life.

Across the episode, we’ll hear stories of Monteverdi’s penchant for procrastination, his revered opinions of singers, many financial struggles, tempestuous heath and the lengths he went to in order to support his family.

Music featured:
Chiome d’oro
Cantai un tempo, & se fu dolc’il canto
L’Orfeo: Prologue and Act I
Dixit Dominus
Lamento d’Arianna a voce sola
Cantate Domino
Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo
Con che soavità
L’Incoronazione di Poppea: Act II: Amici, è giunta l’hora
Ballo delle ingrate
‘Batto’, qui pianse Ergasto
L’incoronazione di Poppea: Prologue and Act I:
Lamento d’Arianna a 5
Adoramus te
Zefiro torna
Quel sguardo sdegnosetto
L’Orfeo: Toccata
Lamento della Ninfa
Missa In illo tempore
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act V: O dolor, o martir
L’incoronazione di Poppea: Act III: Pur ti miro
Damigella tutta bella
L’Orfeo: Act V: Extracts
Tirsi e Clori
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria: Act I
Magnificat a 7
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Eleri Llian Rees for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Claudio Monteverdi
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ffwm

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Feb 21 2020

1hr 9mins

Play

Ludwig van Beethoven: Conversations with Friends

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod is joined by Raphael Wallfisch and Sara Bitlloch to discuss Beethoven’s early chamber music.

All through 2020, Donald Macleod takes an unprecedented deep dive into the compelling story and extraordinary music of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this uniquely ambitious series, told across 125 episodes of Composer of the Week, Donald puts us inside Beethoven’s world and explores his hopes, struggles and perseverance in all the colourful detail this amazing narrative deserves. Alongside this in-depth biography, Donald will also be meeting and talking to Beethoven enthusiasts and experts from across the world to discover how his music continues to speak to us in the 21st century. Through story and sound, the series builds into a vivid new portrait of this composer, born 250 years ago this year, who made art that changed how people saw themselves and understood the world.

This week, cellist Raphael Wallfisch and violinist Sara Bitlloch join Donald Macleod to talk about Beethoven’s early chamber music from 1795 to 1811, including beloved works such as the ‘Razumovsky’ quartets, the ‘Kreutzer’ violin sonata, and the ‘Ghost’ and ‘Archduke’ piano trios.

Music featured:
String Trio No 3 in G major: Op 9, No 1 (3rd movement - excerpt; 4th movement)
Cello Sonata in F major Op 5 No 1 (Allegro)
Piano Trio in C minor Op 1 No 3 (4th movement)
String quartet in F major Op 18 No 1 (2nd movement)
Violin Sonata in D major Op 12 No 1 (1st movement)
Sonatina in C major for mandolin and piano WoO44 No 1
String Quartet in C minor Op 18 No 4 (3rd movement)
Violin Sonata in A major Op 30 No 1 (3rd movement)
Serenade in D major Op 8 (1st and 2nd movements)
Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor Op 5 (1st movement)
String Quintet in C major Op 29 (4th movement)
Piano Trio Op 121a, “Kakadu Variations”
String Quartet in F major No 7, Op 59 (“Razumovsky”) (4th movement)
Violin Sonata in A major No. 9 Op 47 ("Kreutzer") (1st movement)
Septet in E flat major for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass Op 20 (2nd movement)
String Quartet in C major Op 59 No 3 (“Razumovsky”) (1st movement)
Piano Trio No 5 in D major Op 70 No 1 ("Ghost") (2nd movement)
Violin Sonata No 5 in F major Op 24 ("Spring") (1st and 4th movements)
String Quartet in E flat Op 74 (“Harp”) (1st movement)
String Trio in C minor Op 9 No 3 (1st mvt)
String Quartet in F minor (“Serioso”) Op 95 (1st and 4th mvts)
Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major Op 69 (1st mvt)
Piano Trio in B flat ("Archduke") Op 97 (1st mvt)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Conversations with Friends
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000f5mp

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Feb 14 2020

1hr 10mins

Play

Samuel Wesley

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of Samuel Wesley.

Samuel Wesley was a child prodigy, and it was the older composer William Boyce who said of the boy that he was the English Mozart, and that he had dropped down from heaven. Wesley’s star speedily ascended to the heights from an early age as both performer and composer, but with issues surrounding his often extreme character, and also his health and morals, this ascendency was not to last. His popularity went in and out of fashion during his lifetime, and trying to secure a permanent position as an organist was something which eluded him for a long time. However, he was one of Britain’s leading musicians, mixed in the highest circles, and was responsible for promoting the largely unknown J. S. Bach to these shores. Towards the end of his life, famous musicians and composers sought Wesley out and even Mendelssohn asked the famed organist Samuel Wesley to play for him. We’re only just beginning to understand Wesley’s importance to the development of British classical music, and many of his substantial works, including numerous concertos for piano, organ, and violin, and large scale works for choir and orchestra, all still remain to be recorded.

In this week’s episode, we’ll hear about Wesley’s religious background and fluctuating views, his circle of friends, his virtuosic performance career, his passion for JS Bach, and the mystery surrounding his health.

Music featured:
Symphony in A major (Brillante)
O Lord God most holy
Might I in thy sight appear
Psalm 42 & 43
Dixit Dominus
Preludium, Ariette & Fuga in C minor
Symphony in A major
Fugue in B minor for Dr Mendelssohn
Sinfonia obbligato
O sing unto mie roundelaie
Voluntary in D
Air and Gavotte
Violin Concerto No 2 in D major
Sonatina Op 4 No 1
Sonatina Op 4 No 2
Duet for the organ
Symphony in E flat
Arrangement with Variation of Rule Britannia
Rondo on God rest you merry, Gentlemen
All go unto one place
Duet in B flat major (for Eliza)
Voluntary in D, Op 6 No 8
Handel Arr. Wesley Rejoice the Lord is King
Symphony in D major
String Quartet in E flat major (Allegro spiritoso)
Confitebor tibi, Domine
Voluntary in G minor
Ode to St Cecilia (extract)
Might I in thy sight appear
Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum
Symphony in B flat major
Fidelia omnia mandata ejus
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Samuel Wesley
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dy1k

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Feb 07 2020

59mins

Play

Ludwig van Beethoven: Making a Man

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod looks for clues in Beethoven’s early life that point towards the great man he would become.

All through 2020, Donald Macleod takes an unprecedented deep dive into the compelling story and extraordinary music of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this uniquely ambitious series, told across 125 episodes of Composer of the Week, Donald puts us inside Beethoven’s world and explores his hopes, struggles and perseverance in all the colourful detail this amazing narrative deserves. Alongside this in-depth biography, Donald will also be meeting and talking to Beethoven enthusiasts and experts from across the world to discover how his music continues to speak to us in the 21st century. Through story and sound, the series builds into a vivid new portrait of this composer, born 250 years ago this year, who made art that changed how people saw themselves and understood the world.

This week, Donald looks at Beethoven’s humble beginnings as a child born into a family of court musicians, working for the Archbishop-Elector’s retinue in Bonn, Germany. He showed musical talent early and followed his father and grandfather into the Elector’s employ as soon as he reached his teens. Would he continue to follow the family pattern and retire there too?
Music featured:
Piano Sonata No 24 in F# major, Op 78 (2nd movement)
Fugue in D for organ, WoO 31
Symphony No 6 (movts. IV & V)
Violin Sonata Op 30 No 2 (2nd movement)
String Quartet Op 18 No 4 (1st and 3rd movements)
String Quartet No 13 in Bb, Op 130 (2nd movement)
Piano Sonata No 2, Op 2 No 2 (1st and 2nd movements)
Symphony No 4 (4th movement)
Sonata for cello and piano, Op 102 No 1 (2nd and 3rd movements)
Piano Quartet, WoO 36 No 3
Piano Sonata No 19, Op 49 No 1 (2nd movement)
Piano Trio, WoO 38 (arr. Alec Frank-Gemmill)
Der Mann von Wort, Op 99
24 Variations on "Venni Amore" by Righini, WoO 65
Piano Trio, Op 70 No 2 (3rd and 4th movements)
String Quartet, Op 95 (Serioso) (1st movement)
Fidelio: Act I (finale)
Musik zu einem Ritterballett, Woo 1
12 Variations on 'See the conqu'ring hero comes' by Handel for cello and piano, WoO 45
Rondo a capriccio in G major (Rage over a lost penny) for piano, Op 129
7 Variations on 'Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen', WoO 46
Resignation, WoO 149
String Quartet, Op 59 No 1 (1st movement)
Violin Concerto (2nd and 3rd movements)
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Taylor for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Making a Man
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dpzm

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jan 31 2020

1hr 11mins

Play

Karol Szymanowski

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the myriad influences on the life’s work of Karol Szymanowski.

The reshaping of Europe at the end of the First World War had a defining effect on Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. As Europe was being reapportioned, the comfortable world he’d known up to that point disappeared for good. His family’s comfortable and cultured life disappeared, their assets wiped out by the October Revolution. From that point on, Szymanowski ceased to be a man of some privilege, able to compose in the relative seclusion of his family’s estate in what was then part of Ukraine. He needed to support himself and his mother and sisters but he found himself ill-equipped temperamentally to deal with this dramatic change in his lifestyle. He became increasingly weighed down by illness, quite probably tuberculosis. That, coupled with a chain-smoking habit and struggles with alcoholism, were to take their toll. He died in poverty at the age of just 54 in 1937.

Across the week, Donald Macleod explores five distinct influences on Szymanowski’s music, starting with his formative years growing up in a family with a passion for the arts. As a young student, his studies in Warsaw led him towards the language of Richard Strauss and Max Reger, while his love of travel directed him towards impressionism, the ancient world and the Orient. Meeting Stravinsky in Paris and hearing the Ballets Russe was another turning point, as was in his later years in particular, his commitment to establishing a national musical voice for the newly formed country of Poland.

Music featured:
Study in G flat major, Op 4 No 2
The Swan, Op 7
L’île des sirènes (Métopes, Op 29)
Violin Concerto No 1, Op 35
Songs of a Fairytale Princess, Op 31
Mazurka, Op 50 No 11
Desires; The infatuated east wind; Dance (Love Songs of Hafiz, Op 26)
Concert Overture in E major, Op 12
Piano Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 21 (2nd movement)
Symphony No 2 in B flat, Op 19 (1st movement)
La fontaine d’Aréthuse (Mythes, Op 30)
Sérénade de Don Juan (Masques, Op 34)
Demeter, Op 37b
String Quartet No 1 in C major, Op 37 (3rd movement)
Symphony No 3, Op 27: The Song of the Night
Study in B flat minor, Op 4 No 3
Penthesilea, Op 18
Thème varié 'Caprice No 24' (Three Paganini Caprices, Op 40)
King Roger, Act 1 (excerpt)
King Roger Act 2 (excerpt)
Mazurkas, Op 50 Nos 1, 3, 6
Wanda, Op 46b No 5
Whip on the horse, Op 58 No 4
String Quartet No 2 (2nd movement)
Harnasie, Op 55 (Tableau 1: In the mountain pasture)
Symphony No 4, Op 60, 'Sinfonie concertante' (1st movement)
Stabat Mater (excerpt)
Mazurka, Op 62 No 1
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Karol Szymanowski
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dj02

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jan 24 2020

1hr

Play

Ludwig van Beethoven: Why Beethoven?

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod asks conductor Marin Alsop and historian Simon Schama why Beethoven's life and work still matter today.

All through 2020, as part of Radio 3's Beethoven Unleashed season, Donald Macleod takes an unprecedented deep dive into the compelling story and extraordinary music of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this uniquely ambitious series, told across 125 episodes of Composer of the Week, Donald puts us inside Beethoven’s world and explores his hopes, struggles and perseverance in all the colourful detail this amazing narrative deserves. Alongside this in-depth biography, Donald will also be meeting and talking to Beethoven enthusiasts and experts from across the world to discover how his music continues to speak to us in the twenty-first century. Through story and sound, the series builds into a vivid new portrait of this composer, born 250 years ago this year, who made art that changed how people saw themselves and understood the world.

Music featured:
Bagatelle in A minor (Fur Elise), WoO 59
String Quartet No 10, Op 74 (Harp) (3rd movement)
Symphony No 3 in E flat major (Eroica) (3rd movement)
Grosse Fuge, Op 133
Symphony No 5 in C minor (1st and 2nd movements)
Symphony No 8 in F major, Op 93 (2nd movement)
Sonata in A major, Op 30 No 1 for violin and piano
Leonore Overture No 3
Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor, Op 90 (2nd movement)
Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58 (2nd movement)
Piano Sonata No 13 in E flat major, Op 27 No 1 (2nd movement)
Symphony No 3 in E flat major (Eroica), Op 55 (2nd movement)
The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture
Fidelio: Act II finale
Symphony No 4 in B flat major, Op 60 (1st movement)
Piano Sonata No 14 (Moonlight), Op 27 No 2 (1st movement)
String Quartet in F minor, Op 95 (1st movement)
Egmont Overture, Op 84
Symphony No 9 in D major (Choral), Op 125
String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (5th movement)
String Quartet in E flat major, Op 127 (1st movement)
Bagatelle in E flat major, Op 126 No 6
Mass in D major (Missa Solemnis), Op 123 (Kyrie)
Coriolan Overture, Op 62
String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130 (5th movement)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven: Why Beethoven?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d7zg

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jan 17 2020

1hr 23mins

Play

George Walker

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of George Walker, in conversation with his son Gregory.

When Rosa King Walker announced to her five-year-old son George that, like it or not, he was going to have piano lessons, she can scarcely have been aware that she was dispatching him on a lifelong journey in music. He made his concerto début at the age of 23 playing Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the great Eugene Ormandy. A stellar career on the concert platform surely beckoned, but in the event, things were not so straightforward. We’ll hear how Walker began to turn his back on the idea of a solo career, gravitating instead towards a life in teaching – and, increasingly, composition. Donald and Gregory discuss Walker’s studies with the formidable Nadia Boulanger, the relief when his commissions started rolling in, and the far reaches of his stylistic ambition. Walker won the epic Pulitzer Prize for music in 1996 for his piece Lilacs, a career-defining moment, which makes what happened next in Walker’s career all the more surprising. “I got probably more publicity nationwide than perhaps any other Pulitzer Prize-winner,” he recalled in 2015. “But not a single orchestra approached me about doing the piece or any piece. It materialized in nothing.” In this emotional look back at the life and work of his father, Gregory discusses identity, representation and perseverance, ending with the story of his swansong, Visions, inspired by the tragedy of the Charleston church massacre.

Music featured:
Response
String Quartet No 1
Lyric for Strings
Piano Sonata No 1
Cello Sonata
Trombone Concerto
The Bereaved Maid
Sonata No 1 for violin and piano
Spatials
Variations for Orchestra
Five Fancies for clarinet and piano four hands (Theme and 5 variations)
Piano Concerto
Music for Brass (Sacred and Profane)
Cantata
Piano Sonata No 4
Sinfonia No 1
Hey Nonny No (anon)
Poème for violin and orchestra
In Time of Silver Rain
Mother Goose (Circa 2054)
Lilacs
Modus
Icarus in Orbit
Piano Sonata No 5
Da Camera, for piano trio, harp, celesta, string orchestra and percussion
Violin Concerto
Bleu
Sinfonia No 5 (‘Visions’)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for George Walker https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cz2q

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Jan 10 2020

1hr 12mins

Play

Arcangelo Corelli

Podcast cover
Read more
Donald Macleod delves into the international successes of Arcangelo Corelli.

Arcangelo Corelli was something of a European phenomenon not only during his lifetime, but also after his death. His compositional output was not large, but the development of the printing press enabled his music to be widely circulated. Musically, he bridged the gap between the Baroque and the Classical periods, and is seen as pivotal in the development of the sonata and the concerto. Even today, Corelli’s music is held in high esteem, with composers still inspired by his music. As a violinist he was also legendary, and people flocked from all over Europe to not only hear him play, but to also be taught by him. Corelli spent most of his career in Rome, maintained in some luxury by royalty, nobility and the Church. During his career he collaborated with many other composers including Alessandro Scarlatti and Handel. Despite his fame and continued popularity, we still know relatively little about Corelli, and this Composer of the Week series seeks to explore the man and his music through his personal and professional relationships.

Music featured:
Sonata in G minor, Op 4 No 2 (Corrente)
Concerto Grossi, Op 6 No 3
Sonata in G, Op 1 No 9
Handel: La Resurrezione (Ho un non so che nel cor)
Sonata in F major, Op 5 No 10
Concerto Grosso in D, Op 6 No 1
Fuga con un soggetto solo
Sonata in G minor, Op 5 No 5
Sonata in F, Op 1 No 1
Sonata in A minor, Op 1 No 4
Sonata in B minor, Op 3 No 4
Sonata in F minor, Op 3 No 9
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 12
Sonata in D
Sonata in B major, Op 2 No 5
Sonata in E flat major, Op 2 No 11
Sinfonia to Santa Beatrice d’Este in D minor, WoO1
Concerto in G minor, Op 6 No 8 (Christmas Concerto)
Sonata in C, Op 5 No 9
Sonata in A minor, op 4 No 5
Sonata in B minor, op 4 No 12
Sonata in C, Op 2 No 3
Sonata in F major, Op 2 No 7
Handel: Sonata a 5, HWV288 (Violin Concerto in B flat)
Sonata in G minor WoO2
Corelli Arr. J. C. Schickhardt: Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 3
Sonata No 2 in D minor, Op 2 No 2
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 2
Corelli Arr. Geminiani: Concerto Grosso VII in D minor
Sonata in D minor, Op 5 No 12 (Follia)
Concerto Grosso in F, Op 6 No 9

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Arcangelo Corelli. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d6y6

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z

Dec 27 2019

1hr 4mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

159 Ratings
Average Ratings
29
9
6
3
112

Music balanced interest

By Jankers too - May 23 2020
Read more
Quality BBC USA resident using subscribed VPN from UK works all the time

Please make it available in the US!

By Anna88 S. - Jan 06 2020
Read more
Please make it available in the US!