Charles Hazlewood Discovering Music



The Firebird

In this audience workshop, recorded last year in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, Charles and the Ulster Orchestra explore the element of story telling which lies behind the colourful score which Stravinsky composed in 1910. The programme includes a performance of the complete suite which the composer assembled in 1945.


The Concerto Grosso and Beyond

In today's audience workshop, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore some of the ways in which composers have combined groups of soloists with the full orchestra.

Charles begins with the baroque master Archangelo Corelli and his Concerto Grosso in F major, Op 6 No 2, continues with the first movement of Mozart's effervescent Sinfonia Concertante for wind soloists and orchestra, K297b, and ends with the witty second movement from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.


Bartok's Dance Suite

In this audience workshop from Glasgow, Charles Hazlewood reveals how Bartok drew on folk traditions ranging from his native Hungary to Romania and North Africa in shaping the musical material of this colourful orchestral masterpiece. The extracts and a complete performance of the Dance Suite are performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.


Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet

In his famous ballet music, Prokofiev provides the tragic young lovers with some of his most lyrical and colourful music. In this studio edition, Charles Hazlewood charts the doom laden love of Romeo and Juliet as it is revealed in the evolution of the musical material assembled by Prokofiev in five movements from the second of the three orchestral suites. The performance is given by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Jason Lai.


Charles Hazlewood focuses on one the great British works for string orchestra of the last century, Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli.

Composed in 1953 to celebrate the tercentenary of Corelli's birth, this richly textured work explores, in Corelli's words, "the brilliance of the violin".

Tippett himself described Corelli's adagio as "dark and passionate". In this workshop session, we hear this journey from "the dark to the light", as Charles and his own orchestra, Excellent Device, reveal the extent to which Tippett views the string music of the baroque through distinctly twentieth century eyes.


Charles joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for a workshop on Estonian composer Arvo Part, whose work has a profoundly spiritual quality.


Figures in the Garden

Charles Hazlewood joins wind players from the National Orchestra of Wales to explore Jonathan Dove's Figures in the Garden, a serenade for Wind Octet inspired by Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.


Schubert's Symphony No 5

In this workshop session, recorded in Cardiff, Charles Hazlewood and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales explore the ways in which the 19 year old Schubert learned examples from the recent past, especially Mozart's Symphony No 40, to help him fashion this, his most engaging early symphony.


Words and Music

Charles Hazlewood is joined by mezzo soprano Pamela Helen Stephen, tenor James Gilchrist, and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a workshop session exploring the many different ways composers over the past 300 years have approached the setting of words in opera arias and in song.

Purcell: See, See the Many Coloured Fields, The Fairy Queen

Handel: Svegliatevi ne core, Julius Caesar

Mozart: Dies Bildnis, The Magic Flute

Berlioz: Spectre de la rose, Nuits d'été

Britten: Midnight's Bell, Nocturne

Finzi: It Was a Lover and His Lass


Schumann Symphony in Dm (1841)

Charles Hazlewood sheds new light on Robert Schumann's Symphony No 4 by exploring the original version of the work, composed in 1841.

In the process, Charles questions the often quoted statement that Schumann could not orchestrate and explores the innovative way in which the composer shaped the work into a single span of invention. The performances are provided by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Boyd.


Charles Hazlewood and his ensemble Excellent Device explore the musical detail behind Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen, a very personal work for 23 solo strings.



Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony

Charles Hazlewood delves into the detail of one of the landmarks of European music in the early years of the 20th Century, when Schoenberg was striving to break free from the conventions of traditional tonality. Written for 15 solo instruments the symphony is rich in thematic detail, which took the composer much time and effort to get right. Charles Hazlewood explores Schoenberg's creative journey in a workshop session with his own chamber orchestra Excellent Device.


Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

As a prelude to The Beethoven Experience, Charles Hazlewood presents a workshop on the three movements of Beethoven's great choral work, which he grouped together for a concert performance on 1824 - Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei.

Beethoven considered the Missa Solemnis to be his greatest work. A complete performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein can be heard in Performance on 3 next Wednesday, 8th June.

Beethoven: Kyrie; Gloria; Agnus Dei, from Missa Solemnis in D, Op 123

Sarah Fox (soprano)

Sara Fulgoni (mezzo soprano)

Mark Wilde (tenor)

Matthew Hargreaves (baritone)

Tallis Chamber Choir


Charles Hazlewood (conductor)


Symphony No 2 in D

In today's workshop session, Charles Hazlewood focuses on perhaps the least heralded of the nine Beethoven symphonies, delving into the detail of this essentially classical work, to reveal its unpredictability, its quixotic character, its serious moments and its many playful passages of humour. Charles is joined by his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband.



Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 4 in G

In the last of three Beethoven workshops, Charles Hazlewood and his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband are joined by the Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam to explore the character of this great piano concerto, revealing the extent to which Beethoven was extending the boundaries of the classical concerto form into new and unexpected directions.


Aldeburgh Festival

Britten's Nocturne

This exploration of the music and imagery of Benjamin Britten's evocative cycle of night poems for tenor, seven solo instruments and strings was recorded earlier this month in Orford Parish Church. Premiered at the Leeds Festival in 1958, the work was first heard in Orford during the 1959 Festival. During the workshop Charles Hazlewood, his chamber orchestra and tenor Mark Tucker tease out the detail of the work and also give a complete performance.

Mark Tucker (tenor)

Excellent Device

Charles Hazlewood (conductor)


Charles Hazlewood is joined by mezzo-soprano Jane Irwin and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a workshop session and performance on the five songs that Wagner composed to poems by Mathilde Wesendonck.

Mathilde was Wagner's muse; Wagner was her creative mentor. The intensity of their collaboration is enshrined in these five love songs.


Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in an exploration of Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet.