We played actor Stephen Mangan clips from great classical works, and filmed his reactions

Stephen Mangan, who stars in 'Birthday' on Sky Arts (which is now available on demand), popped in to Classic FM, so we played him clips from some of the greatest music ever written, and asked him to talk us through his reactions. We didn’t ask him to show us his feelings through facial expressions, he just did that as an extra…

Stephen Mangan

First up: Monteverdi's Orfeo

We played Stephen Mangan the opening of Monteverdi's Orfeo from 1607, a work which is often called the world's first opera. And he liked it so much there was even a spot of head-bobbing:


Stephen Mangan listens to Monteverdi's Orfeo



Then we gave him a bit of Stravinsky's RITE OF SPRING (in capitals for added epicness)

This piece, first performed in 1913, caused a riot at its premiere.

Stephen's view: "This would get me out of bed in the morning".


Stephen Mangan talks about the Rite



Next, we changed the mood with some Arvo Pärt

The next track we played Stephen was by Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Pärt – his 1977 concerto for two violins, Tabula Rasa. Think it's fair to say he wasn't such a fan of this…


Stephen Mangan listens to Arvo Pärt



Finally… Sibelius

We played Stephen the gorgeous final movement from Sibelius's Symphony No. 5, the main theme of which was inspired by the sound of swans flying over the composer's home. And what did he think?


Stephen Mangan listens to Sibelius



Stephen Mangan stars in 'Birthday', a new Sky Arts drama, which is now available on demand.

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