Every weeknight from 8pm to 10pm, John Suchet presents ‘The Classic FM Concert’, a two-hour long programme featuring the finest recordings of the music you love, performed by orchestras, choirs and soloists from across the globe.
The exciting new evening show offers a mix of the very best classical music from Monday to Friday, and will play some of the featured symphonies and concertos in their entirety.
John celebrates an often overlooked section of the orchestra this evening, with a programme of music that uses percussion to spectacular effect.
The xylophone imitates rattling bones in Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre, there’s revolutionary use of cannon as percussion in a Tchaikovsky showpiece, and the snare drum is hit an impressive 4050 times in Ravel’s Bolero. Elsewhere, drums keep time in Haydn’s ‘Military’ symphony, a blacksmith’s anvil doubles as an instrument, and Marquez showcases Latin percussion in his Danzon No.2.
There’s cause for a double celebration this evening, as John marks the shared birthday of two of his favourite composers: Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Born just seven years apart, one the son of a Lutheran musician in Hamburg, the other in a small Russian town to a family with a renowned military history, they both grew to write some of the best loved music of the 19th century.
John singles out the lesser known of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concertos, played by one of the UK’s great pianists, Stephen Hough, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra plays Brahms’ much travailed over Symphony No.1, which he took 21 years to complete. Elsewhere, there’s a jubilant overture full of ribaldry by Brahms, and Mischa Maisky plays a peaceful Tchaikovsky nocturne.
Academic Festival Overture Op. 80
Thomas Dausgaard conducts the Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Peter IIich Tchaikovsky
Piano Concerto No.2 in G major Op. 44
Piano: Stephen Hough
Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra
Symphony No.1 in C minor Op. 68
Riccardo Chailly conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
Nocturne Op. 19 No.4
Cello: Mischa Maisky
Semyon Bychkov conducts the Orchestre du Paris
Variations on a Hungarian Melody Op. 21 No.2
Piano: Jonathan Plowright