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Composer of the Week

BBC

Composer of the Week is one of Radio 3's longest running programmes, now presented by Donald Macleod.

Composer of the Week is one of Radio 3's longest running programmes, now presented by Donald Macleod.
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Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Composer of the Week is one of Radio 3's longest running programmes, now presented by Donald Macleod.

Language:

English


Episodes

François Couperin

11/9/2018
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Donald Macleod marks 350 years since the birth of François Couperin, one of France’s most dazzling musical talents. Donald begins by leading us through a gallery of the musical portraits that Couperin composed – depicting his contemporaries Lully and Corelli, his aristocratic patrons, and well-known mythological figures. Next, he delves into Couperin’s extraordinary musical family tree, boasting a long line of 7 Couperins who served as organist of St Gervais in Paris. Throughout his...

Duration:00:51:03

Anton Bruckner

11/2/2018
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Donald Macleod explores five personality traits of the strange genius Anton Bruckner. Donald starts with Bruckner’s obsessive tendencies – from bar-counting to full-blown ‘numeromania’ which landed him in a sanatorium. We hear about Bruckner’s unshakeable religious belief, his influential divine visions, and his music for the church. Next, his veneration for Wagner - he was transformed by the experience of hearing Tannhaüser, and paid frequent tribute to the man he was wont to call “the...

Duration:01:05:19

Dora Pejačević

10/26/2018
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Donald Macleod introduces a first in Composer of the Week’s seventy-year history, the Croatian Countess Dora Pejačević. Donald is joined by Professor Koraljka Kos and Professor Iskra Iveljic to discuss the known facts about the life and music of this Countess and her family. Although Pejačević was born into one of the most influential aristocratic families in Croatia, she became rather critical of her own class in later life. Through her position she did have the opportunity to study in...

Duration:01:19:51

Hubert Parry

10/12/2018
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Marking the centenary of his death, Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Hubert Parry. Donald begins with the story of Parry's early years, rooted at Highnam Court in Gloucestershire, before looking at the period he was centred around Orme Square in London, the home of his teacher and mentor Edward Dannreuther. We hear about Parry’s connection with the long-running Three Choirs Festival: Parry’s father, Thomas Gambier Parry, was energetic and generous in his efforts to ensure the...

Duration:01:08:11

Thea Musgrave

10/5/2018
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Donald Macleod is in conversation with Thea Musgrave as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Donald and Thea begin by discussing her dream of becoming a composer, and the dreams that have inspired her works. Born in Edinburgh, Thea left her medical degree for music, winning a composition prize which took her to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. A dream about a subversive clarinettist helped formed the idea for her breakthrough commission from the CBSO, the Concerto for Orchestra. They talk...

Duration:01:09:54

Sergei Rachmaninov

9/28/2018
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Donald Macleod explores Sergei Rachmaninov’s years in America. Reluctant even to visit at first, and once there always more than a little homesick, this proudly Russian composer in fact lived in the United States of America for 25 years, from the end of the First World War until his death in 1943. His life there was principally that of a virtuoso performer, not a composer; and Rachmaninov gave recitals for presidents, recorded discs for Thomas Edison, and felt obliged to rattle off his...

Duration:01:05:06

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

9/14/2018
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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...

Duration:00:58:15

Ernest Chausson

9/7/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the friendships, influences and struggles in the life and work of Ernest Chausson. Amédée-Ernest Chausson grew up in Paris during a period of great political, social and economic upheaval in France, from the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War to the advent of the Third Republic. His family, however, was materially little affected, profiting from their involvement in Napoleon’s remodelling of the medieval city into wide open boulevards. Living a bourgeois lifestyle...

Duration:00:59:56

Leonard Bernstein

8/24/2018
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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’....

Duration:01:13:17

Alfred Schnittke

8/3/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the strange, brilliant and occasionally nightmarish world of the Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke. The music of Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) is like being lost in a hall of mirrors. Staring back at you is the whole of music history - from Bach to modern pop via tangos, Soviet work songs, Gregorian chant and Viennese waltzes - refracted and distorted, and woven together to create a uniquely personal style. Thrilling, grotesque, occasionally nightmarish - Schnittke...

Duration:01:04:24

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

7/27/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life and work of undisputed master, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Duration:01:02:42

Josquin des Prez

7/20/2018
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Donald Macleod and Jeremy Summerly discuss elusive Renaissance master, Josquin des Prez.

Duration:01:28:27

Ralph Vaughan Williams

7/13/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life and work of British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams

Duration:01:13:15

Luciano Berio

7/6/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Italian experimental composer, Luciano Berio

Duration:01:10:14

Carl Maria von Weber

6/22/2018
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Donald Macleod examines the life and work of German composer Carl Maria von Weber

Duration:01:02:39

Charles Gounod

6/15/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life and work of French composer Charles Gounod

Duration:01:04:37

Giovanni Gabrieli

6/1/2018
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Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of Giovanni Gabrieli

Duration:01:06:10

Maurice Ravel

5/25/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life and work of French composer Maurice Ravel.

Duration:01:14:28

Johannes Brahms

5/18/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the lifelong friendship between Brahms and the great violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim - and the music of genius that resulted

Duration:00:59:20

Lili Boulanger

5/11/2018
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Donald Macleod explores the life of Lili Boulanger, the first female winner of France's most prestigious composition competition, the Prix de Rome

Duration:01:02:08