Broadcast highlights

Our pick of the week's music programmes for 21-27 September


Radio highlights



  The Mario Lanza Story

  Monday 5 October, 11:30pm

50 years ago this month, in October 1959, the well-loved singer and Hollywood star Mario Lanza died in an Italian clinic at the tender age of 38. In this two part series, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa presents a revealing portrait of an extraordinary singing talent who influenced a whole generation of tenors, including Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. The Mario Lanza Story features brand new interviews with, among others, Lanza’s daughter Ellisa, his best friend Terry Robinson, renowned tenor José Carreras and actor Terence Stamp. Part one of two.

   Jazz On 3 – Marshall Allen

  Monday 28 September, 11:15pm

From the intimacy of diminutive East London venue Café Oto, Jez Nelson presents a performance by avant-garde saxophonist Marshall Allen. A key member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra for more than 40 years, Allen’s deeply spiritual approach to music is attractively conspicuous. Here he’s in the company of the Arkestra’s twentysomething pianist Farid Barron and an all-British rhythm section of drummer Paul Hession and bassist John Edwards.

Oreste (Acts I & II)

Thursday 1 October, 2.00pm

Radio 3’s complete cycle of Handel operas continues with Oreste – a ‘pasticcio’, compiled by the composer from his own glittering catalogue of previous works. Mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nesi takes the lead role, while presenter John Shea is joined by Annette Landgraf, author of The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia.

   Soul Music – Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs

  Tuesday 29 September, 1.30pm

In the last episode of the current Soul Music series analysing the emotional impact of famous pieces of music, the focus switches to

Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Written a year before he died in 1949, the songs, while dealing with the nature of death, are noted for their sense of calm acceptance. Interviewees tell of the solace these songs have brought them.


Thursday 1 October, 11:30am

Singer Guy Garvey explores the development of the musical encore, from the spontaneous demand for a repeat performance to the predictable delivery of a closing party piece. Speaking to fellow performers and hearing from historians, he discovers how the encore has progressed over time.

TV highlights


  The Choir – Boys Don’t Sing, Revisited

  Tuesday 29 September, 9.00pm

When choirmaster Gareth Malone took a role at the country’s largest all-boys comprehensive, he set himself a mighty challenge – to encourage the school’s reluctant, dismissive students to take up singing. After successfully building up a 100-strong choir who went on to sing at the Royal Albert Hall, Malone now returns to the school a year after he left to see if his work left a lasting impact.


  Leeds International Piano Competition

  Friday 2 October, 7:30pm


Every three years since 1963, Leeds plays host to the cream of young international concert pianists who travel there to take part in the city’s International Piano Competition. Past winners have included musical greats like Rada Lupu and Murray Perahia. Huw Edwards is joined by concert pianists Cristina Ortiz and Lucy Parham to review the third finalist in this year’s contest. David Kadouch from France is the second of the competitors to play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. Away from the concert hall, Clemency Burton-Hill looks at the mystique of the piano.