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Full Radio 3 listings plus TV highlights
CONTROLLER’S CHOICE BREAKING FREE
Following January’s exploration of the Second Viennese School, BBC Radio 3 embarks on the second part of its ‘Breaking Free’ series which looks at the musical impact of times of social, religious and political unrest. Turning its attention to the Protestant Reformation, the station explores the musical landscape when northern Europe split from the Catholic church in the 16th century. Three In Concerts at London venues survey the era’s music, beginning on 1 May at St John’s Smith Square with works by Martin Luther – the monk who is credited with initiating the schism – performed alongside Bach’s Reformation
Cantatas. Graham Ross conducts the Choir of Clare College and is joined by soloists including soprano Mary Bevan (above). This is followed by organist Roger Sayer at Temple Church (11 May) and the BBC Singers at St Giles’ Cripplegate (18 May).
Breaking Free: Reformation 500; from 30 April
MONTEVERDI AT 450
Radio 3 is also marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of Italian composer Monteverdi (1567-1643). This musical innovator of the Renaissance who paved the way for the Baroque era features as a Composer of the Week and three of his operas are also being broadcast. Afternoon on 3 features two archive recordings, beginning with the composer’s groundbreaking first opera L’orfeo (11 May), followed by Il ritorno d’ulisse in patria (18 May). Meanwhile, Opera on 3 features his late operatic masterpiece L’incoronazione di Poppea (13 May) and The Early Music Show takes a peek at his late sacred works (14 May).
Monteverdi 450th Anniversary; 11-19 May
Making its annual pilgrimage to the Black Mountains, Radio 3 visits a festival that brings together great writers, thinkers and musical performers. A highlight will be when Afternoon on 3 explores the sounds and musical thoughts that are inspired by a walk between Offa’s Dyke and Hay-on-wye. The station’s Lunchtime Concerts will be broadcast from the historic St Mary’s Church.
Hay Festival; 25 May – 4 June
Alan Davey, the controller of Radio 3, picks out three great moments to tune into in May
making a break: soprano Mary Bevan celebrates the musical legacy of Martin Luther