Broadcast Highlights

The pick of the week's classical music programmes for 7-13 December


Radio highlights


Performance on 3
Tuesday 8 December, 7pm

The Minnesota Orchestra gives the first of two concerts in an exclusive series of performances on Radio 3. To kick things off, Osmo Vänskä conducts the orchestra in a world premiere from fellow Finn, the composer Kalevi Aho, and a Clarinet Concerto by Bernhard Henrik Crusell. Plus the programme includes Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale, a symphonic poem with music from his opera based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, and the suite from Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier.

Music Matters: Ten Years of Music
Saturday 12 December, 12.15pm

As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close, Tom Service and a panel of experts and artists examine – with the help of some archive material – what has happened in the world of music over the last ten years, highlighting the memorable hits and the disappointing misses, as well as analysing how much the musical landscape has changed overall during this quite turbulent time.

Music from beyond the veil
Sunday 13 December, 1.30pm

Could musical mediumship exist? Professor Paul Robertson examines the claims and counter-claims for music coming from the beyond rather than from within ourselves. He tells the story of a Balham housewife who, 40 years ago, created a sensation when she claimed to have received new works from beyond the grave from Liszt, Brahms, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and other great composers. Rosemary Brown’s abilities divided the musical world, with her supporters convinced that the works were genuine while her critics dismissed them as pastiche.

TV highlights

For Art’s Sake: The Story of Ballets Russes
Friday 11 December, 8pm

In this documentary celebrating the achievements of the Ballets Russes, the English National Ballet performs extracts from Les sylphides, danced to orchestrations of Chopin’s piano music, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Shéhérazade, and a new version by David Dawson of the iconic Nijnsky ballet L’après-midi d’un faune. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez discusses the music of the period, joined by English composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall, while Karl Lagerfeld looks at the design legacy of the company.


Stravinsky’s The Firebird
Friday 11 December, 9pm
Dancers Leanne Benjamin and Jonathan Cope star in The Firebird, Stravinsky’s colourful fairytale masterpiece created for the Ballet Russes in 1910. This production comes from the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden.