Sean Rafferty At Home

Episodes

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At the piano with Lang Lang20191225

Sean Rafferty travels to Holland to meet the international pianist Lang Lang and finds him very much at home seated, of course, by the piano; this time at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Lang Lang takes a break from his busy tour schedule to give Sean a mini-masterclass on Beethoven’s Für Elise. They talk about Lang Lang’s passions and how his excitement for Tom and Jerry cartoons and Franz Liszt provided the catalyst for a young and determined pianist growing up in China.

Lang Lang began playing the piano at the age of three. He won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital at five, before entering Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine. Lang Lang talks about difficult childhood times, practising for endless hours each day and night and about how he became an overnight sensation at seventeen when he stood in at short notice to play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Today Lang Lang is spending a lot of his time immersing himself in the music of Beethoven, he demonstrates to Sean how he is exploring his technique as he prepares to play the concertos and record the piano sonatas. When on tour Lang Lang always visits the city’s museums and galleries. He is inspired by colour and today Sean and Lang Lang take time to stand in front of ‘Sunflowers’ at the Museum Van Gogh - Lang Lang is transported and immediately his mind turns to music and Schumann ...

Sean visits Lang Lang in Amsterdam to discover his life on the road.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

At the piano with Lang Lang20191225Sean Rafferty travels to Holland to meet the international pianist Lang Lang and finds him very much at home seated, of course, by the piano; this time at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Lang Lang takes a break from his busy tour schedule to give Sean a mini-masterclass on Beethoven’s Für Elise. They talk about Lang Lang’s passions and how his excitement for Tom and Jerry cartoons and Franz Liszt provided the catalyst for a young and determined pianist growing up in China.

Lang Lang began playing the piano at the age of three. He won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital at five, before entering Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine. Lang Lang talks about difficult childhood times, practising for endless hours each day and night and about how he became an overnight sensation at seventeen when he stood in at short notice to play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Today Lang Lang is spending a lot of his time immersing himself in the music of Beethoven, he demonstrates to Sean how he is exploring his technique as he prepares to play the concertos and record the piano sonatas. When on tour Lang Lang always visits the city’s museums and galleries. He is inspired by colour and today Sean and Lang Lang take time to stand in front of ‘Sunflowers’ at the Museum Van Gogh - Lang Lang is transported and immediately his mind turns to music and Schumann ...

Sean visits Lang Lang in Amsterdam to discover his life on the road.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Dame Janet Baker20171225Sean Rafferty meets Dame Janet Baker to talk about her life and career.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Julian Bream2014092920200829 (R3)

Sean Rafferty visits guitarist Julian Bream at home in Wiltshire to discuss a lifetime of music making.

At 80 years old, Julian Bream CBE has left a lasting legacy on the world of classical music, he popularised the lute and Elizabethan music and worked closely with composers such as Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett and Malcolm Arnold to increase the guitar's repertoire.

Julian talks candidly to Sean about his experiences as a child prodigy, forced to play the piano and cello because the guitar wasn't considered a "serious" classical instrument and recounts his first experience, as a teenager, sitting in the Wigmore Hall with a pair of binoculars watching the hands of his hero Andres Segovia. Bream describes the anguish he felt while he locked himself in a shepherd's hut in Majorca for ten days, forcing himself to master Britten's fiendishly difficult Nocturnal, and how he offered Malcolm Arnold £30 to write him a concerto - a commission which was fulfilled in a matter of days.

Now at the end of his career and playing no more than a few notes on his guitar, this extended interview is a unique insight into one of Britain's most important musical figures of the 20th Century.

First broadcast in December 2013 (revised repeat)

Sean Rafferty travels to Wiltshire to discuss a life in music with guitarist Julian Bream

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Lesley Garrett20161224Sean Rafferty visits Lesley Garrett at her home to learn about her career and passions.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sean At Home With Renee Fleming20190101She has sung for the Queen, at President Obama's inauguration, to the vast crowds at the super bowl and for ecstatic audiences in the world's finest opera houses and concert halls. Sean Rafferty finds Renée Fleming at home in her New York apartment where they talk about her musical tastes which range from opera to jazz, from lieder to musical. Renée has been dressed by the top names in haute couture - we even get a peek at her extraordinary collection. Her advocacy embraces the importance of music in the mind as well as advisory positions on some to the most important institutions in the USA. Join us for New Year's in New York.

Sean Rafferty visits legendary soprano Ren\u00e9e Fleming

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

She has sung for the Queen, at President Obama's inauguration, to the vast crowds at the super bowl and for ecstatic audiences in the world's finest opera houses and concert halls. Sean Rafferty finds Renée Fleming at home in her New York apartment where they talk about her musical tastes which range from opera to jazz, from lieder to musical. Renée has been dressed by the top names in haute couture - we even get a peek at her extraordinary collection. Her advocacy embraces the importance of music in the mind as well as advisory positions on some to the most important institutions in the USA. Join us for New Year's in New York.

Sean Rafferty visits legendary soprano Ren\u00e9e Fleming

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir Bryn Terfel20181225Sir Bryn Terfel welcomes Sean Rafferty into his home in south Wales where he meets some of Bryn's family, including his lively toddler who, Bryn points out, has inherited his lungs. Bryn reflects on his upbringing in Wales, singing in his local church, to the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1989 and the battle of the baritones between him and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Bryn shows Sean around his home, and they mull over Bryn's hectic international career in the major opera houses, in roles ranging from Mozart to Wagner's Flying Dutchman and Wotan. Sean casts an envious eye around his wine cellar and music room, and their chat throws up insights into the life and work of one of the country's greatest and much-loved singers.

Sean Rafferty visits the home of Sir Bryn Terfel.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir John Eliot Gardiner2013122520180715 (R3)

For a Christmas Day edition of this series, Sean Rafferty travels to Dorset to visit the conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner at his organic farm.

John Eliot Gardiner is not only one of today's pre-eminent and most sought-after interpreters of Bach's music, but he also works a sizeable organic farm in Dorset, which includes rare Aubrac cattle. His family are rooted in this corner of Dorset and his father was one of the first truly organic farmers, and a founder member of the Soil Association.

Sean Rafferty visits the organic farm that John Eliot Gardiner calls home. This is an extended interview in which Sean talks to John Eliot Gardiner about his career at the top of the international Early Music scene, his life-long passion for Bach, travelling the globe to make music with some of the world's finest orchestras and opera companies, and the music and poetry that influenced him as a child growing up in Dorset. He also talks about the challenges of combining his life in music and farming.

Sean Rafferty travels to Dorset to visit conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir John Tomlinson20180101From the moment Sir John Tomlinson collects Sean from Lewes station in his 1984 Mercedes (the same one he used to drive to Bayreuth every summer), it's clear that this great bass is as warm and welcoming as his voice suggests. He reflects on his upbringing in Oswaldtwistle where Handel and Gilbert and Sullivan were formative musical influences; and on how he's found relaxation during a hectic international career which has taken him from Mozart's operas to playing Wager's Wotan and pioneering roles for Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Thomas Adès in more recent times. Sir John's art collection and regency home, which has been kept almost in its original state from flooring to kitchen sink, offer fascinating insights into the life and work of one of this country's greatest singers.

Sean gets an insight into the life and work of this great bass.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir John Tomlinson20180101Sean gets an insight into the life and work of this great bass.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir Neville Marriner2014010320161016 (R3)In a programme made before his death, Neville Marriner invites Sean Rafferty to his home.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Sir Roger Norrington20160101Sean Rafferty visits conductor Sir Roger Norrington at his home in Devon.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music

Stephen Hough20161231Sean visits pianist Stephen Hough at his home to hear about his passions.

Sean Rafferty visits musicians at home and at work to learn about their lives and music