The week in broadcasts

We round up the best TV and radio classical music broadcasts of the coming week

The week in broadcasts

What: The Glyndebourne Opera Cup
When: Friday 23 March, 9-11pm
Where: Sky Arts

It’s that time of year again – tomorrow is the final of the 2018 Glyndebourne Opera Cup, an international competition for the opera singers of tomorrow. Sky Arts’s documentary tonight is a behind-the-scenes look at the competition.


What: Here and Now – Inspired by Debussy
When: Saturday 24 March, 10pm-12 midnight
Where: BBC Radio 3

Radio 3 is hosting a full day of programming tomorrow to mark Debussy’s centenary, under the title ‘Debussy’s Paris’. In this week’s ‘Here and Now’ Kate Molleson presents a programme of contemporary music inspired by the works of Debussy. She will be talking to Tristan Murail and Linda Catlin Smith, whose works will also be played during the course of the programme.


What: Pelléas et Mélisande
When: Saturday 24 March, 6.30-9.30pm
Where: BBC Radio 3

Debussy’s infamous masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande is gracing our radios this weekend, in a production by the Vienna State Opera, under the baton of Alain Altinoglu.

Pelléas et Mélisande follows the story of Prince Golaud, played here by Simon Keenlyside, who finds a young woman named Mélisande (Olga Bezsmertna) lost in the woods. He marries her and takes her back to his castle. She then becomes downtrodden and finds herself falling in love with Golaud’s brother Pélleas (played by Adrian Eröd). Chaos inevitably ensues.



What: Holy Week around Europe
When: Sunday 25 March, 2-3pm and 4pm-12.30am
Where: BBC Radio 3

Andrew McGregor presents a day of Holy Week music, with live and recorded concerts from across the continent.

The afternoon begins at Prinzregenthentheatre in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Chorus performing works by Scarlatti and Bach among others. At 4pm we then move to Trinity Church in Copenhagen to join Ars Nova, who are performing Richard Davy’s St Matthew Passion. An hour later we visit the Imperial Hall at Prague Castle with Baritone Tomáš Král and Collegium Marianum who have a mixed programme of works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

At 6pm mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and baritone Mariusz Kwiecień are soloists in a performance of Duruflé's Requiem with the Berlin Radio Chorus at the Philharmonie in Berlin, accompanied by the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester. We then go live to Guildford Cathedral, where the BBC Singers perform Stainer’s oratorio The Crucifixion with tenor Peter Auty and bass Jeremy Carpenter.

Later in the evening we are whisked off to Amsterdam to the Concertgebouw, where Tom Koopman is conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with the combined voices of the Netherlands Chamber Chorus, Amsterdam Baroque Chorus and Netherlands National Children’s Choir in Bach’s St Matthew Passion. At midnight, our final stop is the Saint Sofia Church in Sofia, with highlights of a concert featuring Orthodox chants for Palm Sunday and Easter performed by the Sofia Priest Choir conducted by Kirill Popov.



What: Radio 3 in Concert – CBSO perform Debussy, Messiaen and Bach
When: Monday 26 march, 7.30-10pm
Where: BBC Radio 3

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra join forces with organist Julian Wilkins for a concert of works by Debussy, Messiaen and Bach from Symphony Hall, conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. 

Debussy: La cathédrale engloutie
Bach: Organ solo
Messiaen:  O Sacrum Convivium
Messiaen:  Dieu parmi nous
Debussy: Danse sacrée et danse profane
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien



What: Radio 3 in Concert – Ex Cathedra: Music for Holy Week
When: Thursday 29 March, 7.30-10pm
Where: BBC Radio 3

It’s Holy Week, so it’s only right that our attentions are turned to the beautiful music of this musical period. Ex Cathedra present a sequence of Lenten music, all focused around two of the earliest examples of oratorio – Charpentier’s The Denial of St Peter and Carissimi’s Jepthe. Other pieces featured include motets by Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Anerio, Palestrina and Bouzignac. 

Surrounding these miniature dramatic masterpieces are motets from Italian and French Renaissance composers including Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Anerio, Palestrina and Bouzignac.                            

Anerio: ‘Rispondi, Abramo’ from Teatro armonico spirituale di madrigal
Monteverdi/Coppini: O infelix recessus
Monteverdi/Coppini: O Jesu mea vita
Monteverdi/Coppini: Stabat Virgo Maria
Monteverdi/Coppini: Ure me, Domine
Gesualdo: Sparge la morte
Palestrina: Novella aurora
Bouzignac: O Mors, ero mors tua
Charpentier: Le reniement de St Pierre
Anerio: ‘Sedea lasso Gesù’ from Teatro armonico spirituale di madrigal
Monteverdi/Coppini: Maria, quid ploras?
Monteverdi/Coppini: Gloria tua
Monteverdi/Coppini: Plagas tuas
Carissimi: Jepthe

See the March issue of BBC Music Magazine for more extensive listings.

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