Winamp Logo
The Radio 3 Documentary Podcast Cover
The Radio 3 Documentary Podcast Profile

The Radio 3 Documentary Podcast

English, Documentary, 1 season, 229 episodes, 6 days, 18 hours, 16 minutes
Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
Episode Artwork

Time Canvasses - Morton Feldman and Abstract Expressionism

In a remarkable moment after WWII New York became the centre of the art world, simultaneously seeing the development of new ways of hearing music, and new ways of seeing art. It was here that the American experimental composer Morton Feldman said, “What was great about the fifties is that for one brief moment - maybe, say, six weeks - nobody understood art. That’s why it all happened”. The composer Samuel Andreyev shows how composers and artists in New York in this period went about the difficult business of wrestling with a new abstract language, often at great cost to themselves, to produce some of the masterpieces of post war American art. Samuel focuses on the powerfully productive relationships that Feldman had with the abstract expressionists, Philip Guston, and Mark Rothko, who showed him by example how to set his sounds free, in the same way their paintings set colours free. Feldman even called his own compositions, ‘Time Canvasses’, where he said, he more or less primed the canvas with an overall hue of music. This is a clue to the unorthodox way Feldman’s music - which can be both very long, and almost always very quiet - remarkably blurs what we imagine to be the boundary between music and painting. A Soundscape Production, produced by Andrew Carter.
2/7/202443 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tuner of the World

"For the next hour, I need your ears". It's 1974 and someone is trying to recruit you for a listening experiment on public radio in Canada. Pioneering Canadian composer and soundscape maestro, R Murray Schafer really wants you to commit: "if you're just listening to this programme casually, you'd better turn it off right now". This audio experiment was part of a series on the CBC - the Canadian Broadcasting Company, called Soundscapes of Canada, consisting of ten hours of soundscape montage, field recordings and lessons in listening. From Church bells, to birdsong, to car horns and an entire episode made up of people across Canada giving the sound recordist directions: this was 'slow radio' years ahead of its time. The series was recorded and produced by The World Soundscape Project, a group Schafer set up to raise the importance of the soundscape in what he saw as a world of increasing noise, which had reached "an apex of vulgarity". The group went on to publish Soundscape: The Tuning of the World - a vast anthology documenting just about every kind of sound you could imagine - natural, human-made and technological. R Murray Schafer was many things – Canada’s preeminent experimental composer of the 20th Century, an artist, novelist, educator, musicologist, historian, and environmental activist. Schafer was also a romantic, with a strong sense of Canadian identity, who preferred rural life with an uncluttered sense of place. Critics, and he had many, accused him of being abrasive, a luddite, and prone to cultural appropriation. Above all though, Murray was a passionate listener, constantly pushing his message of an "ecologically balanced soundscape" by asking "which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?" In this sound-rich documentary (best enjoyed with headphones) John Drever, Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London explores Schafer’s life and legacy, as the soundscape now has an ISO framework for consideration in urban design and planning in the UK and beyond. Contributors: Hildegard Westerkamp, Barry Truax, Ellen Waterman, Claude Schryer, Lisa Lavia, Tin Oberman, Andrew Mitchell and Francesco Aletta. Soundscapes of Canada and Vancouver Soundscape material used with kind permission of the World Soundscape Project, Sonic Research Lab, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Canada. Use of 'Crescendo' courtesy of Martyn Ware Presented by John Drever Produced by Rami Tzabar A TellTale Industries production for BBC Radio 3
6/12/202343 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Supply Lines

Via ports and truck-stops, fulfilment centres and ring roads, Aidan Tulloch follows the supply chain and reimagines the journey an item goes on in the age of 24/7 delivery.
6/4/202328 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinkers: The Perfect Balance

Dr Anindya Raychaudhuri searches for different perspectives on the idea of balance.
5/15/202313 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Pleasures and Pains of Denton Welch

Denton Welch lived the last years of his short life in Kent during the Second World War. His writing career took off in 1943 and in the same year he met his companion, Eric Oliver. His writing is mostly autobiographical and carries his readers from a childhood in Shanghai, boarding school in 1930s England, a near-fatal bicycle accident while he was in art college, a slow convalescence and, finally, to his years travelling about the Kent countryside, picnicking, exploring churches and observing rural life with an artist's eye. And a queer eye. His subtle and gently subversive descriptions of same-sex desire and sexual identity has thrilled and challenged his readers for eighty years. His preoccupations include art and beauty as well as pain and death. His great ability as a writer is to draw characters - often based entirely on himself and those closest to him - with tiny details which spring to life on the page. These can be very funny, cruel, poignant or erotic. He wrote novels, stories and journals as well as working with art and poetry. Regan Hutchins has always been a fan of Denton's writing and he travels to the village of Hadlow in Kent, where Denton lived during the Second World War. There he meets Denton's would-be neighbours who show him the landscape that inspired the writer. Biographers, academics, film-makers and writers help to build a picture of a writer who has, for too long, been out of sight. Producer Regan Hutchins Reader Rob Vesty With thanks to the Hadlow Historical Society. Sound supervision by Tinpot Productions. A New Normal Culture production for BBC Radio 3
5/7/202344 minutes
Episode Artwork

The Black Cantor

Known in Yiddish as Der Schvartze Khazn--the Black Cantor--Thomas LaRue Jones was an African American tenor who sang Jewish music in the early decades of the twentieth century. Famed for his soulful voice and perfect Yiddish pronunciation, he performed in synagogues and theatres across the Eastern United States and toured Germany, Poland and Palestine. But after his death in 1954, LaRue Jones disappeared from memory, leaving behind only one recording, made in 1923. Drawing on research by the veteran musician and producer Henry Sapoznik, Maria Margaronis unpacks the mystery of LaRue Jones' career. What drew him to this music? What does his life tell us about race, faith and identity in America a hundred years ago? And why was he so quickly and utterly forgotten? LaRue Jones' story is entwined with the history of Newark, New Jersey, where he spent most of his life. Once known as the City of Opportunity, old Newark drew migrants from Europe and the American South in flight from persecution and searching for a new life. Blacks and Jews lived side by side in the city's poorer districts, absorbing each other's culture and musical traditions. But by mid-century, Newark's Jews were moving out in search of the suburban dream. Black people, hemmed in by racism and housing segregation, were left behind in an increasingly impoverished city. Thirteen years after LaRue Jones' death, the Newark riots, or rebellion, sealed the division of the two communities. LaRue Jones, like the world that made him, was consigned to oblivion--until zealous research by Henry Sapoznik tracked down that one recording and LaRue Jones' unmarked grave, and raised the curtain on the Black Cantor once more. Presenter: Maria Margaronis Producer: David Goren
4/23/202343 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Charlestonian Rhapsody: The Story of Edmund T Jenkins

Allyson Devenish uncovers the remarkable story of an African American composer and musician who made his life in London and Paris in the early twentieth century. Edmund Thornton Jenkins was a composer, musician and band leader from Charleston in South Carolina who travelled to London in 1914. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music for seven years and became a sub-professor. In 1919, at Wigmore Hall, he conducted his own work, A Folk Rhapsody, which incorporated themes from spirituals and songs of the Gullah fisherman of his native Charleston. As well as composing some of the earliest music in the European concert tradition to incorporate jazz rhythms and the folk melodies and spirituals of his home town, Edmund was also wildly successful as a dance band leader and recorded some of the earliest British jazz records in 1921 playing clarinet and saxophone. His early death, in 1926, far from home, meant his story almost faded away. His music, shipped back to the US after his death in 1926, remained almost entirely unperformed. Only one piece of Edmund's work has been commercially recorded: Charlestonia which was premiered in 1925 and reconstructed in the 1980's, by the composer Vincent Plush from manuscripts held at the Centre for Black Music Research at Columbia College in Chicago. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the pianist Allyson Devenish travels to Charleston to hear about Edmund's roots and to meet some of the people trying to bring his music the recognition it deserves. She traces his musical life in London and Paris and returns some of Edmund's music to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied for seven years and performs it with some students and alumni, including the violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason. Edmund Thornton Jenkins' story is told in a biography by Jeffrey Green and we are grateful for his invaluable help in researching this programme. Contributors include: Kellen Gray Assistant Conductor of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra who conducted the premiere of Edmund T Jenkins' piece Rhapsodic Overture, (reconstructed by Tuffus Zimbabwe) for the Spoleto Festival in 2022. John Kennedy, Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activity at the Spoleto Festival. Wojciech Milewski, Music Director of the Charleston Opera Theatre and the Summerville Orchestra who has made the parts and score for Charlestonia publically available. Dr Bernard Powers, historian and Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston. Victoria Smalls, Director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Braimah Kanneh-Mason, violinist and Royal Academy of Music alumnus who performs Edmund T Jenkins' Reverie Fantasie with Allyson Devenish. Tamara Tare, a student at the Royal Academy of Music who sings Edmund T Jenkins' That Place Called Italy, accompanied by Allyson Devenish. Jeremy Ng, a student at the Royal Academy of Music who performs Edmund T Jenkins' Prelude Religieux. Emily Woolf, the archivist at Wigmore Hall. Adam Taylor, the librarian at the Royal Academy of Music. Dr Stephanie Doktor, Assistant Professor, Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Professor Catherine Tackley, Head of the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool. Presenter: Allyson Devenish Producer: Natalie Steed A Rhubarb Rhubarb Production for BBC Radio 3
4/16/202343 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Shakespeare's Brum Ting

Over a century ago, in 1881, the city of Birmingham purchased a copy of Shakespeare's first folio. It was to be the crown jewel of their new Shakespeare library, the brainchild of the first librarian George Dawson. From the outset it was to be the People's Folio, the property of the city's Free library. You can find the evidence stamped in red ink on many of the pages. That might seem like a defacement to some, but to Shakespeare scholar Islam Issa and members of the city's 'Everything to Everybody' project, it shows a profound commitment. In this feature Islam draws together the passion and belief of George Dawson and his fellow city fathers - Birmingham became a city in 1889 - with the voices and opinions of Birmingham today as expressed by people like the internationally acclaimed street artist Mohammed Ali. He's produced two school murals that have the Folio at the heart of the city's sense of itself. In the afterglow of the Commonwealth Games and the realisation that Birmingham's strength lies in its multi-cultural population, Islam points out that rather than some distant evidence of an elite and unfamiliar past, the time has come for the Folio to be celebrated from Sparkbrook to the Bullring and beyond. Producer: Tom Alban
3/26/202313 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

X-Ray Vision: Rudolph Fisher in Harlem

Lindsay Johns makes the case for writer Rudolph Fisher's portraits of Black American life
3/19/202343 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Heinrich Heine: The First Modern European

One day, three decades after the event, the German poet and man of letters, Heinrich Heine, stood on the site of the battle of Marengo, one of Napoleon's earliest and most important victories and had an epiphany - or he invented one for his readers: ""Gradually, day by day, foolish national prejudices are disappearing; all harsh differentiations are lost in the generality of European civilization. There are no more nations in Europe, only parties; and it is marvellous to see how these parties, for all their varying colouration recognize one another and how they understand one another, despite many differences in language." This move past national differences would be a force for unalloyed good because, if Europeans could see themselves as a unified "civilisation" then their example would be a force that "could" lead to the liberation of the world from prejudice. Well, he was a child of the romantic age, you can forgive his enthusiastic language but his vision anticipates the principles that created and still guide the EU. The writer produced astounding amounts of work: poetry, verse dramas, and essays and letters while conducting love affairs and just generally being in the public eye. His poetry became the lyrical basis for lieder by Schubert, Schumann and many others. He had huge appeal in the middle of the 19th century. George Eliot wrote four monographs about him including one on his wit - bitterly ironic ,very Jewish. Today he is remembered in the English speaking world for this quote, "Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too." When the Nazis held their book burnings outside the Berlin Opera House, Heine's were among those immolated. And when the Nazis initiated the war that would burn down a significant portion of the Europe Heine dreamed of, the connection to much of 19th century German culture was cut including the life and work of Heinrich Heine. Michael Goldfarb tells the story of Heine's life and the Europe in which he lived through interviews and using the musical settings of his poetry in lieder, readings from his poetry and plays, and George Eliot's perceptive comments. Heine's was a tremendous life - he endured censorship and was harassed by the police spies of the Federated German speaking nations. He lived as a celebrity - albeit an impecunious one - despite the fact his uncle was one of the German-speaking world's richest men. All the drama created a truly contemporary, 21st century sensibility Producer: Julia Hayball Readers: Jonathan Keeble, Robbie Stevens, Clare Corbett and Pavel Douglas Sound design: Chris Maclean A Certain Height production for BBC Radio 3
3/13/202343 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Government Song Woman

American musician Rhiannon Giddens investigates the fascinating life and recordings of the folk song collector Sidney Robertson Cowell. Travelling thousands of miles all over the US in the depression era, Cowell was willing to track down songs in unlikely places, once writing "I don't scare easily." She spent a night riding in a hearse in Wisconsin just to question the driver and hear his songs, walked up mountains to record lumberjacks and traditional Appalachian singers and poled three miles downriver after dark on a makeshift raft to find a famed fiddler in his goldmine in California. Listening to her recordings is like travelling back in time; they capture the voices of so many different nationalities that emigrated to the US, but she also made recordings on the Aran Islands in Ireland. During her lifetime Cowell was marginalised like so many women collectors of that period, but in this celebration of her recordings and observations, Giddens finally gives her work the attention it deserves. With indebted thanks to the American Folklife Center archive in the Library of Congress who hold the collection of Sidney Robertson Cowell's recordings and to the following contributors who have done so much to bring her work to light: Cathy Hiebert Kerst, folklorist and archivist who catalogued Sidney's recordings of the WPA California Folk Project. Sheryl Kaskowitz, scholar of American music and author of forthcoming book: The Music Unit: FDR's Hidden New Deal Program that Tried to Save America from the Great Depression—One Song at a Time. Jim P Leary, a folklorist and scholar of Scandinavian studies, and a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of Folksongs of Another America. Dr. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile writer, researcher and musician (she plays fiddle with Rhiannon at the end of the programme) who has written about the collecting work of Sidney Robertson Cowell on the Aran Islands in the 1950s. Robert Cochrane, Professor of English and folklore specialist at the University of Arkansas. Peggy Seeger, folksinger. California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell: Producer: Clare Walker
3/5/202343 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tutu - A Portrait of Nigeria

Chibundu Onuzo tells the fascinating story of ‘Africa’s Mona Lisa’ and artist Ben Enwonwu
2/12/202343 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

O Sole Mio

“All Neapolitans were born to be musicians, to be singers,” says musicologist Dr Dinko Fabris, referring to the foundation myth of Naples, according to which the city was created by the siren Partenope. Song has been woven into Neapolitan life ever since, giving the city an extraordinary musical culture and heritage. Joanna Robertson travels to Naples to find out what makes this city so full of song. Walking around Naples, she hears singing in the least expected places: in the street, on the seafront, protesters at a demonstration singing rather than shouting their slogans. Song has permeated the culture of Naples for centuries. In the sixteenth century, when Neapolitans felt oppressed by their Spanish king, they created the villanella style of song as a form of protest. Its San Carlo opera theatre is the oldest in the world that's still in operation. Its brilliant nineteenth century impresario Domenico Barbaja attracted the likes of composers Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini to Naples. Poets – from the amateur to the famous – wrote poems that composers set to music, creating much-loved songs like O Sole Mio. Some were advertising jingles, like Funiculi Funicula which was written to promote the new funicular railway that ran up the slope of Vesuvius. Local-born baritone Ernesto Petti, a rising international opera star, says that “Neapolitan songs should be sung with complete abandonment. You put your whole heart in it." That's what the audience end up doing at a "Napulitanata" performance, taking over the singing of “O Sole Mio” from the artists. They know it all by heart. Presenter: Joanna Robertson Producer: Arlene Gregorius Sound engineer: James Beard Production coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Penny Murphy Recording of 'Santa Lucia Luntana' performed by Teresa Iervolino courtesy of Fondazione Pieta dei Turchini in Naples
2/9/202343 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Metal City

Metalworking has been central to the rise and success of Birmingham over hundreds of years. But how has this industry affected the culture of the city? Did the experience of working with metal and hearing the continuous clang of metal-on-metal seep into the personality and creativity of Birmingham’s inhabitants? Gregory Leadbetter’s poem traces this story from the discovery of ore in the Staffordshire hills, through the Staffordshire Hoard, the Birmingham Pieces from the Knights Templar, the establishment and development of Birmingham as a great metalworking centre becoming the Toyshop of the World, the development of steam power by Matthew Boulton, being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the City of a Thousand Trades, all the way to the birth of Heavy Metal Music. Metal City is a co-commission between BBC Radio 3 and The Space with funding from Arts Council England. It’s a collaboration with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. And special thanks to Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery for metal facilities. Producer Melvin Rickarby, grandson of a metal worker and whose dad moved from the metal factory to the steel strings of the bass guitar. Producer Rosie Boulton, great great granddaughter of a brass maker. A Must Try Softer Production
2/5/202343 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rebel Sounds: Musical Resistance in Barbados

From 1627-1807, nearly 400,000 human beings were kidnapped, sold and shipped in horrific conditions across the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to the tiny island of Barbados. There, they were enslaved by British landowners and forced to work the sugar plantations that covered the island. Uprooted from their homelands, separated from their families and denied their humanity, they nevertheless managed to hold on to aspects of the culture that formed them - and to pass them on through generations of their enslaved descendants. Opera singer Peter Brathwaite is fascinated with his Barbadian heritage and ancestry. It's a complicated story; he's descended from both black enslaved people and their enslaving white plantation owners. In this programme Peter travels to Barbados to discover the music made by enslaved people - the cultural glue that bound them to Africa - and the attempts made by the British enslavers to deny, deride or override this music. From plantation dances to Christian hymns and the discovery of some remarkable pro-enslavement propaganda songs, Peter talks to Barbadian historians and musicians to build up a picture of what the enslaved people's musical lives might have been. Visiting significant sites on the island, catching up with relatives, and drawing on his own significant research, Peter also uncovers the story of his great, great, great, great grandparents Addo and Margaret, both of whom began their lives in Barbados enslaved but who were eventually freed by the white Brathwaites who 'owned' them. Their lives offer a window into the layered social hierarchies that developed on the island in the early years of the 19th Century, as the rising abolitionist movement in Britain gave birth to a new chapter in Barbados's complicated history. Recorded on location on the beautiful island of Barbados, this programme examines the cultural and social legacy of enslavement, which continues to shape the nation of Barbados, and the identity of its people, today.
1/29/202344 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Yiddish Glory

During World War II, approximately 1.6 million Soviet, Polish and Romanian Jews survived the Holocaust by escaping to Soviet Central Asia and Siberia, avoiding imminent death in ghettos, firing squads and killing centres. Many of them wrote music about these horrors as the Holocaust was unfolding before their eyes. A miraculous discovery in the Vernadsky National Library in Kyiv revealed a collection of Yiddish music created during the 1940s that documented their numerous traumas: dangerous train journeys, often in cattle cars; prison sentences, disease, and deep anxieties about family members left behind in Europe. During World War II, these songs were collected by amateur and professional poets, and then organised by the Ukrainian folklorist Moisei Beregovsky. However, the archive was confiscated by the KGB soon after the end of the war. The songs were never performed since, in public or in private. Singer Alice Zawadzki, whose own family found themselves on a similar journey to Central Asia, and historian Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto), who led the project to bring these songs back to life, travel to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to retrace the journeys of those Jewish refugees who became music composers. From Tashkent and Samarkand to Bukhara and Almaty, they found abandoned factories where refugees worked, saw huts where they slept, met with the descendants of families who welcomed them and children of those survivors themselves who stayed in Central Asia. For the first time in 80 years, the songs created by Jewish refugees during the war were performed in these lands, by local musicians and composers, by children of refugees themselves, and by Alice Zawadzki. Producer: Michael Rossi.
1/27/202344 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Scott Ross - Harpsichord Rebel

In 1984, an American harpsichord player called Scott Ross quit a teaching job in Canada and returned to France, the country that since he was a teenager had been his adopted home. It was the year that Frankie Goes to Hollywood had a Europe-wide hit with Two Tribes and Steve Jobs launched the Macintosh personal computer. But Ross had an idea with more of a baroque feel. In Paris, he met a producer at Radio France, Nicolas Bomsel, and suggested a project that most musicians would consider absurd: recording all 555 keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. By 1989, Ross was dead, aged just 38. Did he know he was ill when he pitched the project? Was it a test of human endurance against the odds? Did he succeed? And who was Scott Ross, a man who has been called ‘early music’s bad boy’ and ‘the John McEnroe of the harpsichord’? Also, how is it that a musician who’s widely considered to be the best harpsichord player of his generation remains little known in the UK? These are questions posed by music journalist Phil Hebblethwaite in this Sunday Feature. To find answers, Hebblethwaite travels to France (Montpellier, Assas and Paris), speaking to those who knew and loved Ross, and tracks down two former students of Ross’s from his decade in Canada. A portrait of a complex, contradictory musician emerges – a man with a tragic early life who, Hebblethwaite finds, seems to slip further away the better he gets to know him. With contributions from Nicolas Bomsel, Michel Proulx, Marie-Claire Demangel, Henri Prunières, Jocelyne Chaptal, Catherine Perrin, Mario Raskin, and Didier Lestrade. Written and presented by Phil Hebblethwaite Produced by Tom Woolfenden A Loftus Media production
1/15/202343 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Unlocking Anne

Anne Lock, a woman living in 16th-century England, wrote the first ever sonnet sequence in the English language? Impossible, thought Clare Pollard. As a celebrated playwright and poet, with much of her work focused on giving a voice to forgotten women, how could she not have known about Anne Lock? In this Sunday Feature, Pollard takes listeners into Anne's world and time, as she pieces together the fascinating life and work of a forgotten female sonneteer.
1/1/202343 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Walls Hold

London. Tavistock House. 1851. It shaped Charles Dickens’ life and career. Home to The Smallest Theatre in the World, Mrs Weldon’s Orphanage and an alluring French lodger called Charles Gounod, Tavistock House is reputable for having been the home of three eccentric creatives - the Mancunian painter Frank Stone, the world’s most famous writer and actor Charles Dickens, and Victorian England’s notorious amateur soprano and litigant, Georgina Weldon. Within its walls lies a story of personal passion and chaos colliding with extraordinary creativity. Until it was destroyed in 1901. With the staircase creaking after dark and smog pouring in through every chink and keyhole, Ben Gernon guides us through this remarkable house, revealing what the walls hold and uncovering its unusual tenants. Alex Jennings leads a cast in this docudrama as we join the Dickens theatre company at rehearsals for their festive production of Wilkie Collins’ The Frozen Deep. We eavesdrop on Mr and Mrs Weldon’s crumbling marriage; witness Charles Gounod furiously composing in the upstairs bedroom with welcome interruptions from Georgina Weldon; and Catherine Dickens shares her story from the other side of that wall. From extra-marital affairs, screaming street children, kidnap attempts and madness to amateur dramatics and shattered dreams, this is the story of one of Victorian England’s most famous houses. Joining Ben around the house are Lucinda Hawksley, Professor Joanne Begiato and conductor Charles Peebles. Cast Alex Jennings as Charles Dickens Katherine Kingsley as Georgina Weldon Ben Onwukwe as Frank Stone and Charles Gounod Ben Crowe as Wilkie Collins and William ‘Harry’ Weldon Jane Whittenshaw as Mary and Catherine Dickens With thanks to Year 6 students at St Peter's Church of England (Aided) Primary School, Henfield, and Year 1 students at Underwood Church of England Primary School, Nottinghamshire, for ensemble roles. Presented by Ben Gernon Produced by Alexandra Quinn Sound Design by Jon Calver Drama scenes written by Rob Valentine Drama scenes directed by Cherry Cookson A Loftus Media and Wireless Theatre Production for BBC Radio 3
12/25/202243 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Shostakovich and the Battle for Babi Yar

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony was inspired by an unflinching poem about the ‘Holocaust of Bullets’ at Babi Yar in Ukraine, one of the biggest massacres of World War Two. Lucy Ash pieces together the events leading up to the controversial first performance by speaking to people who witnessed it in a Moscow concert hall 60 years ago: the composer’s son Maxim Shostakovich, the poet’s sister, Elena Yevtushenko and the music critic Iosif Raiskin. One March day in 1962, the young Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko got an unexpected phone call. Dmitri Shostakovich was on the line asking if he had permission to set one of his verses to music. The poem, Babi Yar, denounces the massacre of 34,000 Jews in a ravine near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. It condemned not only Nazi atrocities, but also the Soviet Union’s state-sanctioned anti-Semitism. Officials responded by launching a vicious campaign against the poet and banning readings or new publications of his work. So, Yevtushenko was delighted by the famous composer’s moral and artistic support. According to his sister Elena, he felt the music had “made the poem ten times stronger”. But, as Maxim Shostakovich explains, the Soviet authorities tried to prevent the symphony from ever reaching an audience. The composer’s son recalls how his father was consumed with anxiety ahead of the premiere, still haunted by his narrow escape, decades earlier, from Stalin’s secret police. Pauline Fairclough, author of a recent Shostakovich biography, says that, despite all the pressures, the composer never stopped experimenting with musical forms. Concert pianist Benjamin Goodman describes Shostakovich’s ‘word painting’ technique and the ways in which he conveys Yevtushenko’s verse in music to create a sombre, chilling, but ultimately consoling choral symphony. At the Babyn Yar Memorial site in Kyiv, Lucy is shown fragments of a Russian rocket which hit a nearby apartment building last spring. In the midst of a new, 21st-century war, she reflects on the nature of artistic and political courage and parallels between the Khrushchev era and Russia under Putin today. Producer Tatyana Movshevich
12/13/202244 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Briggflatts - A Northern Poetic Odyssey

Rory Stewart travels across Cumbria and Northumbria from an ancient Quaker meeting house in Brigflatts, to a medieval tower on Newcastle city walls, in search of clues in Basil Bunting's life and work to help understand this neglected masterpiece of twentieth century modernist poetry . It's a landscape that the former MP for Penrith and the Borders knows like the back of his hand, and it's where Bunting's poetic masterpiece is largely set. Bunting called it his ‘acknowledged land’, an area stretching from Scotland to the Humber, which was once the ancient kingdom of Northumbria. A moment in time during the Dark Ages which saw a flourishing of Northumbrian art and culture, which produced the Lindisfarne Gospels, and was populated by larger than life historical figures like Eric Bloodaxe and St Cuthbert. It’s a complex poem, which is not in the least parochial, taking in the poets travels around the world and his wide learning, and it has much in common with the modernist poetry of Eliot's Waste Land and Pounds Cantos. Rory examines the many contradictions in Bunting's life, the conscientious objector who later served in the RAF, the socialist who had fascist friends, and the principled public man who led an unexamined private life. But Rory leaves his journey with an acknowledgement of Bunting's exceptional poetic skill and the way in which his life weaves into the life of northern England with all its complexity and fierce rooted national pride. Produced by Andrew Carter at BBC Radio Cumbria
11/28/202243 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Florence Price’s Chicago and the Black Female Fellowship

The remarkable female musicians and activists who helped Florence Price's music to thrive
8/5/202243 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tchaikovsky's Island of Inspiration

If it hadn’t been for Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s love of jam, he may never have completed his first large-scale work. After graduating from the Conservatory of St Petersburg, the 26-year-old started composing his first symphony, ‘Winter Daydreams’, but quickly ran out of steam. “No other work cost him such effort and suffering… its composition was fraught with difficulty,” recalled his younger brother Modest. A school friend came to the rescue. The poet, Aleksey Apukhtin, suggested a visit to the monastery island of Valaam in Lake Ladoga near St Petersburg for some fresh ideas. Tchaikovsky refused but was lured on board a ship by the promise of delicious jam from the buffet. The trip inspired the symphony’s second movement ‘Gloomy Land, Misty Land’ with its haunting oboe that seems to echo over the Ladoga waters like a hymn. Founded in the 14th century, Valaam was a northern outpost of the Eastern Orthodox Church against pagans. Tchaikovsky was deeply entranced by its ancient monastery’s unique a cappella style of singing called Znamenny Chant. Throughout his life he was at once immensely drawn to church services and at the same time tormented by contradictions in his faith. His search for inner peace is reflected in his Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and the All-Night Vigil. This Sunday Feature interweaves Tchaikovsky’s music with Apukhtin’s poem, A Year in a Monastery as well as the composer's letters. Just like Tchaikovsky, Lucy Ash ends up staying on Valaam for longer than expected due to a ferocious autumn storm on Europe’s biggest lake. There she meets Brother Maxim, a young monk and a former import trader, and Father David, the head of a remote skete, or settlement of Orthodox monks, who happens to be a professionally trained jazz musician. Producer Tatyana Movshevich
1/2/202246 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Then there was Light - Stockhausen and LICHT, his opera cycle based on the seven days of the week

LICHT, the vast opera cycle composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen between 1977 and 2004 is an enigma, and composer and broadcaster Robert Worby goes on a personal journey to find out why it divides critics and audiences. Stockhausen was the most gifted composer of the post-war European avant-garde. In the 1950s, his early works - including some of the first electronic music created - confirmed his genius. But LICHT wasn't so warmly received. In LICHT Stockhausen wrote an opera cycle for the new millennium, bewildering in scale, and frequently baffling for audiences, but containing music as challenging as anything that he'd written. The seven operas, each named after a day of the week, total more than 28 hours. It took Stockhausen 26 years to compose them, and amazingly its musical architecture derives from a three minute 'Super-formula' inspired on a trip to Japan. Robert Worby speaks with Stockhausen’s family, life partners, critics, scholars and interpreters, who candidly put this extraordinary achievement in the context of his life and work. Producer Andrew Carter - A Radio Cumbria Production for BBC Radio 3 Photo - Rolando Paolo Guerzoni - Stockhausen May 2003 Teatro Comunale di Modena.
7/12/202143 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Even more Kershaw Tapes

During the 1980s and 1990s, DJ Andy Kershaw travelled around Africa and the Americas searching out great music and taping it on his Walkman Pro, a new broadcast-quality cassette recorder that was bringing about a revolution in mobile recording. He also used it to capture his celebrated Kitchen Sessions, held in his small flat in Crouch End. In this episode, Andy meets Malian blues man Ali Farka Touré on a boat on the Niger and wins a bottle of BBQ sauce at Fred’s Lounge in Louisiana whilst enjoying some live cajun music from the Mamou Cajun Band. We witness the breakneck speed of Scottish accordionist Phil Cunningham and banjo player Gary Petersen in an impromptu session in a pub in Shetland and we take a look at the iconic Cuban song Guantanamera, with versions by Cuarteto Iglesias on a roof top in Cuba and Celina Gonzales in Andy’s Crouch End kitchen. Also from the kitchen we have vintage sessions from Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and English psychedelicists, Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians. Plus Andy dusts off the Walkman Pro to records a brand new session with folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Tilston. Producer: Martin Webb
5/9/202143 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

More Kershaw Tapes

In this episode, Andy meets Kenyan harpist Ayub Ogada on a beach in Cornwall, the Antioch Gospel group in a car park in New Orleans, Cuarteto Iglesias on a roof top in Cuba and a young Ballake Sissoko next to the railway tracks in Bamako, Mali. On his very first day recording with his Walkman Pro, Andy visits the Edale Bluegrass Festival then travels to Leeds to record a rare performance from guitarist Mark Knopfler in a pub with his early group The Duolian String Pickers. Back in Andy’s kitchen Louisiana comes to Crouch End with sessions from blues man Lazy Lester and Cajun stars DL Menard, Eddie LeJeune and Ken Smith. Plus we pay another visit to Wilkinson's HiFi in Nelson to find out just why the compact cassette format is so enduring and well loved.
5/4/202143 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinker short feature: Hilltop Histories

Seren Griffiths uses a walk along a sandstone ridge in Northern Cheshire to explore the way a landscape can hold multiple histories, and in doing so make it easier for us to contemplate distant futures. The landscape in question is bordered on the north by the M56 motorway. Commuters making their way into Manchester see it to their right for all of about a minute. But up on the ridge you can see that it stretches South towards Whitchurch in Shropshire. Seren starts her journey in a quarry used variously by the Romans, Iron Age settlers and latterly the victorians. She makes her way up to one of the string of Hill top forts that can be found along the sandstone escarpment, and then moves along to an old Cold War listening station, and not far away, the Frodsham Anti Aircraft Operations Room. And all the while the vista shows the canal work of the industrial revolution, the chemical plants of the 20th century and the wind turbines of the last decade. The ancient landscape hums with history and archaeology brings them into focus in the present. For Seren, and many before her, this is a magical, mysterious place which draws out timelines like a strand, with artefacts from the past projecting forwards, enduring into the present. Producer: Tom Alban
3/14/202113 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

NGT The Balcony

New Generation Thinker Dr Islam Issa has a strong cultural attachment to the Balcony. In his native Egypt, the place where architectural historians believe the balcony was first developed, the balcony is a pivotal part of family homes, a place that blurs the line between private and public living. He recalls it being a place that linked communities and allowed an external life without the risks of life in the open streets. When he saw Italians singing from their balconies during the early weeks of the COVID pandemic he was reminded that they have many other roles in political, cultural and literary settings. With the help of Egyptian film maker and photographer Alia Aidel and Shakespeare scholar Reverend Paul Edmondson, Islam explores the use of Balconies from Romeo and Juliet to Buckingham Palace and reflects on his own upbringing in which he learned to look up and in to the family balcony and yet as he matured, realised he thought of it principally as a place to look out and down. Producer: Tom Alban
2/28/202113 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Apple and the Tree

When he was a boy and returned to the family home from primary school in the afternoon, Carlo Gébler would often hear the sound of typing coming from the shed at the foot of the garden. This was where his mother, the writer Edna O’Brien, sometimes went to write her novels. Later, when he lay in bed at night, Carlo would again hear the sound of typing. This time it would be coming from the downstairs front room where his father, Ernest Gébler, wrote plays for television. Now 66 and an acclaimed author himself, Carlo wants to know why the children of writers often follow their parent’s footsteps into literature. Exploring the dynamics of literary lineage and his own journey into writing, Carlo asks if it is simply an iron law that the apple rarely falls far from the tree - or if the truth is something far more complex. Producer: Conor Garrett
1/17/202143 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Dissecting Beethoven

An exploration of Beethoven’s music through the body that gave him so much trouble.
12/15/202043 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: The Fake Poet

Why does the image of the forlorn and abandoned poet Thomas Chatterton haunt us today?
11/29/202043 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Silence of My Pain

Hannah French explores a hidden disability for many musicians: pain.
11/8/202044 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinker short Feature: COVID and The Black Death, an imperfect fit.

It's understandable that, with the onset of a global pandemic, commentators have looked to the past for comparisons. But Dr Seb Falk is concerned that with the easy headlines about the mortality rate or the economic damage, or even the positive transformations inspired by plagues of the past and particularly in his field, the Black Death of the medieval period, more subtle comparisons emerging from exciting new Plague research are being overlooked. He hears from Dr Monica Green, a leading authority on the true origins and journey of the Black Death and finds, in her use of palaeogenetic research, refinements about the plague and its impact on those who lived with it. And he talks to Dr Zoë Fritz, consultant physician and Wellcome Fellow in Society and Ethics at the University of Cambridge, about the human responses beyond the science today that echo the experiences of our ancestors centuries ago. Rather than mortality rates and economic trauma, the more profound links might be the twin challenges of uncertainty and impotence and the human desire to overcome or deny both. Producer: Tom Alban
10/18/202013 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Silent Witness: John Cage, Zen and Japan

John Cage is arguably the most important composer of the 20th century, even though he's perhaps famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, for writing a piece of music that is 4'33" of silence. Famous because it made his reputation - after all composers write music not silence – and infamous because not unsurprisingly, it's outraged, perplexed and fascinated audiences since its premiere in 1952. Cage though was deadly serious about his silent piece, and Robert Worby goes on an odyssey to find out what Cage thought silence was, and why silence was central to his life and work. Robert goes to the quietest place in the UK - so quiet you can't hear a pin drop - to experience what John Cage did, when he entered an anechoic chamber in the 50s in search of silence. But it's not as straightforward as you might think, as Robert discovers Cage didn't find the silence he was seeking, and instead found something even more surprising. The key to understanding 4’33”, and Cage’s fascination with silence, is his interest in the discipline of Zen Buddhism, which unlocked a whole new world of hearing sound that he charted through chance operations. It led to a meeting of like minds when Cage met Yoko Ono in New York who instantly saw the Zen influence on his work. In 1962 Ono and her husband, Toshi Ichiyanagi, invited Cage to visit Japan - his Zen spiritual homeland - a trip that later became known as the ‘Cage Shock’. It was a turning point in his career whose ground breaking performances sealed his reputation as the most controversial and experimental composer in the world. The programme features two UK premieres on Radio 3, an interview Robert recorded with John Cage when he met the composer in NYC in the 80s after finding his number in the phone book, and Cage reading his Lecture on Nothing, his enigmatic musing on silence. Produced by Andrew Carter - A BBC Radio Cumbria Production. Photograph of D.T.Suzuki and John Cage meeting in Japan 1962, courtesy of the John Cage Trust.
7/15/202043 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Crankiness of C.W.Daniel

New Generation Thinker Elsa Richardson on the radical 20th century publisher C.W.Daniel.
4/26/202013 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Queen Of Technicolor

Marie-Louise Muir traces her childhood idol Maureen O’Hara’s journey from Dublin's suburbs to star of the Golden Age.
3/13/202043 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

The East Speaks Back

We are used to getting a worldview from the west, but what did the east make of us? Jerry Brotton heads to Istanbul on the trail of one the world's great travellers, Evliya Celebi
3/12/202043 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ken Campbell as Never Heard Before

David Bramwell with actors whose lives were transformed by director Ken Campbell.
1/19/202043 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Glitter and Villainy

Daisy Black, Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, investigates the camp villain in history.
12/29/201913 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rewiring Raymond Scott

At the height of his fame as a jazz composer and band leader in the late 1930s, Raymond Scott was billed as ‘America’s Foremost Composer of Modern Music’. Jazz legend Art Blakey confessed that his music ‘scared the hell out of me’. Electrical engineer, inventor, composer and musician Raymond Scott became adept at creating music that demonstrated a unique commercial appeal. He wrote for Broadway and Hollywood, he appeared weekly on national radio, his ‘novelty jazz’ tunes were licensed to Warner Bros for use in their Looney Tunes cartoons. The financial success this brought enabled Scott in the 1950s to build one of the first commercial electronic music studios in America, stocked with musical devices he himself had invented, designed and built - the Clavivox, the Circle Machine, the highly complex and ambitious Electronium, to name just a few. Scott focused on composing and recording jingles, spots and commercials for radio and TV, grabbing Americans “by the ears”, as he described it. His soundtracks for the likes of IBM provided the wider listening public with some of their first encounters with electronic music, conjuring up visions of a future that chimed with the times. General Motors commissioned him to provide the soundtrack to their ‘Futura’ pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair; and the founder of Tamla Motown Records, Berry Gordy, later brought Scott out to California to help create the label's pop hits of the future. Scott was forever experimenting, intent on pushing his instruments and the studio he had built as far as they would go. But too exacting to produce anything quickly, too secretive to share his inventions with others, Scott was eventually overtaken by the designers of keyboard-based synthesizers and mass-produced electric instruments who quickly exploited the territory he had so creatively mapped out for himself. In 'Rewiring Raymond Scott' the writer Ken Hollings offers a personal reassessment of Scott's career and legacy. Ken talks to family members, archivists, music historians and producers, telling the story of how this brilliant eccentric, all but forgotten at the time of his death in 1994, changed the sonic landscape of the twentieth century. With thanks to the Marr Sound Archives, UMKC. Presented by Ken Hollings Produced by Dan Shepherd A Far Shoreline Production for BBC Radio 3
12/22/201943 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Poles Apart

The unknown tale of cold war communist Poland’s unlikely love affair with electronic music. Robert Worby finds out Warsaw was a beacon of musical freedom behind the iron curtain. It was here that the remarkable Polish Radio Experimental Studio was established in 1957, and this was the first electronic music studio in the Eastern Bloc and the fourth in Europe. This futuristic facility was at the cutting edge of modern music, and was a serious rival for existing studios in Paris, Milan, and Cologne in the West. But at a time when contemporary music was viewed with deep suspicion in the satellite states of the Soviet Union, and Warsaw itself had been destroyed during WWII, a shiny new electronic music studio hardly looked like a priority. But when Stalin’s murderous legacy was condemned by the new Soviet leadership in 1956, a loosening of the Eastern European communist stranglehold began. Uniquely in Poland the church and intellectuals struck an unparalleled bargain with the Polish authorities, allowing each to rub along with the other, as long as they agreed to keep their nose out of one another’s business. This suited the Communist People’s Polish Republic who were keen to distance themselves from Moscow, and supporting the Polish Radio Experimental Studio helped promote a positive image of what appeared to be a progressive society, not only to itself, but to the world. Now a new generation of Poles have re-discovered the rich musical archive of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, that created the sounds of the future, not in spite of, but because of the complex postwar history of the People’s Polish Republic. A BBC Radio Cumbria Production for BBC Radio 3. Presented by Robert Worby and produced by Andrew Carter. Photo of Eugeniusz Rudnik ©Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw 15 Corners of the World
11/15/201943 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Hidden Reservoir

Carlo Gebler on the role of art in remembrance and reconciliation in Northern Ireland
11/15/201943 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power Plays

As East Germany crumbled in 1989, actors were centre stage. Andrew Dickson discovers how had theatre had survived under communist rule, with its censors and secret police spies. Focusing in particular on the playwright Heiner Mueller he explores the brilliant creativity and unique relationship with audiences that made theatre so important. But there were compromises and setbacks too. And after the end of communism actors and writers struggled for relevance - though Mueller's work on global themes is enjoying a revival today. Presenter: Andrew Dickson Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Penny Murphy
11/3/201943 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Al Andalus - The Legacy

Andrew Hussey journeys through Andalusia searching for the legacy of Muslim Spain
10/24/201943 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Plot 5779: Unearthing Elizabeth Siddall

Actor Lily Cole plays Elizabeth Siddall who climbs out of her grave to tell her story.
10/16/201946 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits: Lord of the Flies

Golding's classic novel was saved from being rejected by Faber by the luckiest chance.
9/23/201943 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cold War in Full Swing - Louis Armstrong in the GDR

Jazz and communist East Germany seem unlikely bedfellows. Yet in 1965 Louis Armstrong became the first American entertainer to play jazz there at the height of the Cold War. East Germans celebrated Armstrong, and his visit became a propaganda victory for East Germany, helping it to boost its reputation in the wake of its oppressive government building the Berlin Wall in 1961. On his brief and only tour through East Germany Armstrong played to packed houses. His popularity surprised the authorities very much considering not one record of him was available before 1965 and your passion for the music could land you in prison. Kevin Le Gendre peeks through the former Iron Curtain to discover the dangers jazz lovers faced to pave the way for these legendary concerts to happen while tracing the tour. He speaks to jazz journalist Karlheinz Drechsel who first risked his career for jazz but then, amazingly, had the privilege to accompany Louis Armstrong on the tour and announce his concerts. He tells Kevin what it was like meeting Louis Armstrong and seeing beyond the smile and laughter that Louis Armstrong was famous for. Armstrong not only had to navigate political sensitivities on the Cold War front between East and West, but also on the home front in the US, when questioned about the Civil Rights Movement, which was at its peak. The tour left a big impression on both sides. Armstrong was very taken by the enthusiastic welcome he received and East Germany, far from the authorities’ intentions, developed a Free Jazz scene that became an unexpected export hit. Speakers include the journalists Karlheinz Drechsel, Siegfried Schmidt-Joos and Leslie Collitt; the jazz fan Volker Stiehler; the authors Ricky Riccardi and Stephan Schulz; pianist Ulrich Gumpert; and Roland Trisch, who worked at East Germany’s Artists Agency, which enabled Louis Armstrong’s tour. Archive material of the Selma to Montgomery march in Alabama on 7 March 1965 is courtesy of the Robert H Jackson Center. Producer: Sabine Schereck
7/14/201944 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sir Isaac Newton and the Philosopher's Stone

Dafydd Mills Daniel investigates Isaac Newton's more obscure studies in Alchemy.
6/30/201913 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Unicorn Quest

Hetta Howes sets off to find the unicorn of myth in 21st century Britain.
6/27/201914 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Robinson Crusoe Road-Trip

300 years since Robinson Crusoe was published, Emma Smith traces it across the centuries
5/26/201943 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Alexander Korda: Producer, Director, Exile, Spy

Matthew Sweet unearths the film-maker Alexander Korda's wartime role as a British agent.
5/19/201943 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork


Wild swimming enthusiast Alice Roberts examines the legacy of Waterlog by Roger Deakin.
5/12/201943 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

John Ashbery - Portrait in a Convex Mirror

Drawing on the testimony of many who knew him, Colm Toibin presents an intimate portrait of the brilliant, playful, Pulitzer-winning American poet John Ashbery, who died in 2017. Produced in Cardiff by Steven Rajam and Lyndon Jones
5/5/201944 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hotel Genius

It’s been described as one of the most remarkable collections of minds on the planet. It has a brilliant international faculty, but no students. Its researchers have made some of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century, but it has never had a laboratory. Sally Marlow joins scholars for the start of a new term at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton New Jersey, conceived as a paradise for curiosity-driven research in mathematics, natural sciences, social science and history. The Institute has more than once been called an Intellectual Hotel, and that certainly captures its leisurely pace, but appearances can be deceptive. Scholars here have an extraordinary ability to work on what everyone else is looking at, but to see something differently. Since its founding in 1930, it’s been home to a remarkable number of world-class thinkers, the most famous of whom was Albert Einstein who exerted a gravitational pull on attracting many scientists of promise to the Institute. From John von Neumann, widely credited with inventing the programmable computer, to J. Robert Oppenheimer, lead architect of the atomic bomb, to the surprise arrival of poet and playwright T.S. Eliot - the Institute’s first Artist in Residence, Sally Marlow gets beneath the skin of some of its rich history and its extraordinary ethos, wondering how the weight of the past plays out on those bright minds there today. As a scholar herself at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, Sally knows that space and time to think is becoming increasingly challenged, So what happens when you turn thinkers loose from the constraints of a traditional academic institution? And amidst the Institute’s hotbed of string theorists, she seeks answers to Einstein’s biggest, most tantalising question of all - whether there's a grand, all-embracing theory, a unified theory of everything, that will complete our understanding of the laws of the universe. Featuring interviews with Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the IAS, Myles Jackson, Professor of History of Science, Joan Scott Professor Emerita in the School of Social Science, particle physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed, Freeman Dyson, retired theoretical physicist , historian George Dyson , Christina Sormani, Professor of Maths at City University New York, archivist Casey Westerman and composer and former artist in residence Derek Bermel. Image courtesy of Dan King, Institute for Advanced Study
4/26/201943 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Deluxe Edition

Dr Seán Williams takes a first class trip through the enduring contradictions of luxury.
3/24/201943 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jazz Japan

Musician and journalist Katherine Whatley explores the rich and surprising history of jazz in Japan. Surprising because the chaotic individualism of this American art form appears at first to go against the very grain of Japan’s communitarian sprit. More surprising still that, having been banned as ‘enemy music’ during the second world war, jazz music was wholeheartedly embraced in Japan during the immediate post war period and the US-led allied occupation. In fact the market for jazz within Japan was once so great that the country has variously been credited with having the highest proportion of jazz fans in the world, and with almost single handedly propping up the jazz record industry. But the story of jazz in Japan goes deeper than the enthusiastic collecting (and extensive reissuing) of American jazz records. As an American growing up in Tokyo, a student of traditional Japanese music, and a huge jazz fan herself, it’s a subject that’s close to presenter Katherine Whatley’s heart. She looks at the unique contribution that Japanese musicians have made to the jazz scene, and finds that jazz has become an inextricable part of Japanese culture. Produced by Laura Yogasundram.
3/11/201942 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

A History of the Tongue

A succulent & mouth watering portrait of one of the least talked about organs of the body.
2/11/201943 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits: Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

Sarah Dillon explores the stories behind how great works of literature were written.
12/30/201843 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Into the Forest - The Pine Tree

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough tells the magical story of the tree that sits at the heart of Christmas day - the pine tree. A tale of power, biological wonder and baubles.
12/23/201843 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Harlem on Fire

'Fire!!' was a short-lived literary magazine from the Harlem Renaissance published in 1926, created by and for the young black artists of the movement. Featuring poetry, prose, drama and artwork from some of the biggest names of the Harlem Renaissance including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Bruce Nugent, Wallace Thurman and Aaron Douglas, the magazine was an explosive attempt to burn down the traditional western canon and replace it with a series of brutally honest and controversial depictions of African American life. Fire!! lasted for just one issue, yet despite its very brief existence, the magazine is now considered to be an incredibly important document of the Harlem Renaissance, and an early example of an artistic youth rebellion in the African American printed press. In this Sunday Feature, Writer, journalist and broadcaster Afua Hirsch travels to Harlem to find out all about this long-lost piece of African American history. Setting up in a house previously occupied by celebrated Harlem poet and novelist Langston Hughes, Afua discusses the history and legacy of Fire!! magazine with writer and professor Martha Nadell, and Professor Karla Holloway, whose forthcoming book 'A Death in Harlem' is set during the Renaissance. Along the way we learn about the magazine's rapid rise and fall, and hear how the reactions to it in 1926 sum up the fascinating artistic conflicts at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance - conflicts that are still extremely relevant today - while young Harlem writers, artists and actors read extracts from Fire!! on the streets of Harlem where the magazine was born. Producer: Nick Taylor. Extracts from Fire!! read by: Kelechi Ezie Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks Elan Cadiz Brian Francis
11/25/201843 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Kristapurana

Amazing travels of the first Englishman in India & a hunt for a lost poetic masterpiece.
11/18/201843 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: New Generation Thinkers

Two features by R3 New Generation Thinkers. Dr Simon Beard and Dr Islam Issa
11/4/201843 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: New Generation Thinkers Hetta Howes and Eleanor Lybeck

Two Features by R3 New Generation Thinkers Hetta Howes and Eleanor Lybeck.
10/28/201843 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Inside Stories

Author Carlo Gebler has spent nearly three decades working in the Northern Ireland prison system as a teacher of creative writing. He's been in all the prisons there - including the notorious Maze/Long Kesh H-Blocks - and has done everything from basic literacy to high end literature; letters to victims to Open University essays. As many of the prisoners Carlo has worked with in their cells would testify, he's spent a long time inside. Now Carlo wants to know if prison arts and education made any difference to the lives of those he taught. He meets the inmates attending classes in the education and skills section of HMP Magilligan on Northern Ireland's north coast. He visits his former boss who each day would tell him his job was not to teach, but to be a human being. He catches up with some of the former prisoners he worked with over many years and finds out what they're doing now. Looking back at the protocols and practices which characterised his prison work, Carlo asks about the true potential of arts and education when it comes to punishment and rehabilitation. Producer: Conor Garrett for BBC Northern Ireland
10/22/201843 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Forests of The Imagination

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough enters the forests of our imagination, looking for stories. Alternative realities, holy quests and fairytales hidden among the glories of the Autumn forest. Despite our evolution in the African rainforests, Eleanor wonders whether it is tales from the frozen North that have given us the most potent forests of the imagination, invading our psyche, inhabiting our stories, inspiring our architecture, Legendary fairytale guru Jack Zipes introduces us to the darker side of the Black Forest, the central point of European folklore. Eleanor travels to Shakespeare's Forest of Arden, part real, part imagined - a forest full of magic and mystery, where we can become better versions of ourselves. We hear tales from the vast frozen Taiga forest, encircling the world in the North. And in the African rainforest we meet early hominids as they flit in and out of the trees, watching the forest biology shaping what we are and the stories we tell. On the way we see the strange reality of the forest itself communicating. And as darkness falls, our imagination takes over as we spend a moonlit night in the New Forest, high in an oak tree, in the company of ravens, owls and deer. Producer: Melvin Rickarby
10/15/201843 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Portrait of Parry

Sir Hubert Parry is largely remembered today for a handful of iconic works including Jerusalem, I was Glad, Blest Pair of Sirens, and for writing the hymn tune to Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. But Parry was far more significant than these few works which have remained in the public consciousness. In this centenary year since the composer’s death, Simon Heffer argues for a reevaluation of Parry not only as a composer, but as a writer and educationalist. In interview with biographer Jeremy Dibble, he puts Parry back on the map and explores the composer’s influence over younger generations of musicians including Vaughan Williams, Gurney and Howells. Parry promoted as both a writer, and a teacher at the Royal College of Music, that music should have a moral and social purpose, and that musicians should have the widest education and training. Simon Heffer visits the Royal College of Music to discuss these points with its Director, Professor Colin Lawson, and also to look at the handwritten score of a work that has been hailed as the beginning of a musical renaissance in England, Parry’s Scenes from Prometheus Unbound. Parry’s own interests originally lay in the music of Brahms and Wagner, and it is through the fusion of these two Germanic schools within his own music that a musical renaissance is seen to have begun, especially in British symphonic music. Dr Wiebke Thormahlen and Dr Kate Kennedy discuss Parry’s influence upon younger generations of composers through not only his music, but also his teaching, where he’d often make arrangements of music by the likes of Palestrina and Lully, so that his students could perform this music during his illustrated lectures. Simon Heffer also takes a trip to Shulbrede Priory where many letters, diaries and photos associated with Parry are held, to get a better understanding of Parry the man including his relationship with his wife, his interest in the women’s suffrage movement, and also his interest in driving cars very fast, or deliberately sailing in stormy waters. Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales
10/8/201843 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: A Life in Study: Robert Lowell

Author Colm Toibin profiles the turbulent and brilliant life of American poet Robert Lowell, once considered the greatest living poet in English. Four decades ago, the American poet Robert Lowell (1917-1977) died quietly in the back of a New York taxi. In his arms, he clutched a priceless portrait of his third wife, the Guinness heiress Lady Caroline Blackwood. Yet Lowell was on his way to see - and hopefully reconcile with - another woman: his beloved second wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. At the time of his passing, he had - almost unwittingly - embroiled both former wives in a scandal that had polarised the American literary community. It was a strange, tragic end to what was one of the most brilliant careers in the history of 20th century letters. In his lifetime, Robert Lowell was arguably the most celebrated poet in America - not just a writer, but a major public figure: a "Boston Brahmin" whose ancestors had arrived on the Mayflower and helped found the American nation. Lowell's groundbreaking 1959 volume "Life Studies" had introduced a generation of readers to the idea of "confessional" poetry - stanzas that drew candidly from the poet's experience - and he was a teacher to Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and several other poetic giants. Erudite, charming and hugely personable, Lowell not only attracted a large and loyal circle of friends, but poured his vast intellectual powers into verses that were dense with historical allusion, dazzling linguistic turns and deep emotional insight. Everything - all of history, all of humanity - seems at Lowell's fingertips, and in his finest poems - among them "For The Union Dead", "Skunk Hour", "The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket" and "Man and Wife" - he seems uniquely to be placing his own experience and history on a vast, almost unimaginable canvas of human history. In his pomp, his poems seemed to carry on the great, sweeping modernist tradition of TS Eliot, WH Auden and Ezra Pound. Yet Lowell's vast literary and intellectual imagination carried with it deep personal cost. Lowell suffered for most of his life with what would now be thought of as bipolar disorder. Not only did his "manias" cause him to be repeatedly institutionalised, they irreparably fractured many of his relationships, hurt those closest to him, and scarred his ability to create. Only in recent times can we understand his behaviour as a hereditary mental illness - as part of the same great, difficult inheritance that brought him wealth, fame and privilege as a member of the American aristocracy. Forty years on, Lowell's star has waned. His reputation seems no longer to be in the highest reaches of the poetic firmament: he's a writer who is more read-about than actually read. In 2017, is his poetry simply too difficult, too wilfully intellectual, too privileged, too white and male? Or does the secret of his decline lie in that murky scandal - a still-raw controversy about the limits of a poet's private and public worlds - one that still inflames passions today? Written and presented by the writer Colm Toibin, in this documentary Robert Lowell's remarkable life and career is remembered and appraised by those closest to him, shedding new light on one of the giants of 20th century poetry. Producer: Steven Rajam for BBC Wales
9/24/201843 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ken Campbell As Never Heard Before

Actors Jim Broadbent, Toby Jones and Sylvester McCoy join David Bramwell to celebrate Ken
9/9/201843 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

From the Ashes

Allan Little looks at arts festivals started in the aftermath of World War Two
8/14/201843 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Monteverdi's Women

Catherine Fletcher explores Monterverdi's pioneering use of female roles and performers
8/13/201843 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Killers

Adam Smith traces the birth and afterlife of Hemingway's explosive short story.
8/9/201843 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

v. is for Tony

To mark Tony Harrison's 80th birthday, Paul Farley profiles the unique poet. (R)
8/7/201843 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

I Know an Island - RM Lockley

Jon Gower uncovers the work of the pioneering naturalist RM Lockley, whose work inspired Watership Down, paying tribute to the stunning coastline and island where Lockley worked.
8/6/201843 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

In Search of Yves Klein

Liliane Lijn explores the work of postwar French artist Yves Klein, famous for patenting ultramarine blue and jumping from a window in the suburbs of Paris. Leap into the Void!
7/16/201843 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tony Harrison's Prague Spring

Chris Bowlby travels with Tony Harrison to Prague, to discover how one of Britain's best known poets was shaped by the cultural energy and tragedy of 1960s Czechoslovakia. Harrison reads from his Prague poems in the locations where they were written. And he relives with Czech friends stories of cafes and cartoons, sex and surveillance and the hope and despair of a people fighting Soviet tanks and secret police with words, plays and tragic self-sacrifice. Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Penny Murphy
7/8/201843 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Binary and Beyond: part two

Emma Smith on how coverage of gender in the arts might help us understand today's debate
7/1/201843 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Binary and Beyond Part 1

Might explorations of gender in great art of the past help illuminate today's issues?
6/24/201843 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Summer Forest

Once upon a time, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough woke up in the summer forest.
6/15/201844 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Attenborough - World Music Collector

David Attenborough reveals a side of himself that nobody knows, as a collector of music from all over the world. We hear the stories that surround it, and the music itself. One of David Attenborough's first projects was 'Alan Lomax - Song Hunter', a television series he produced in 1953-4. The famous collector of the blues and folk music of America gathered traditional musicians from all over Britain and Ireland and, for the first time, they appeared on television. David loved the music, the people and, inspired by Lomax, he became music collector himself. From the start there was a connection between wildlife and folk culture broadcasting: BBC natural history staff shared an office, and equipment, with colleagues busy recording traditional songs, tunes and stories. Soon after 'Song Hunter' Attenborough began travelling the world for the series 'Zoo Quest'. This time the hunt was for animals, captured live for London Zoo. The series also looked at the culture of local people and if he came across music Attenborough recorded it. In Paraguay he met some amazing harp players and recorded what became the series' signature tune. This started a craze. Remember Los Trios Paraguayos? Wherever he went to make programmes David Attenborough recorded musicians. When the lads carrying the crew's baggage in New Guinea started singing, he taped them. He recorded songs in Borneo longhouses, drumming in Sierra Leone, gamelan music in Java, Aboriginal didgeridoo players and palace music in Tonga. Attenborough gave the music to the BBC and it has sat, unheard, in the Sound Library ever since. Now he listens again to recordings he made half a century ago. He reveals the memories and stories they evoke, and his delight in the music. Producer: Julian May
5/21/201843 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Japan's Never Ending War

Rana Mitter visits Tokyo to explore how Japan remembers World War Two today through film.
5/11/201843 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Oh Dr Kinsey Look What You've Done to Me

Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
5/6/201843 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Japan's Never-Ending War

Rana Mitter visits Tokyo to explore how Japan remembers World War Two through movies.
5/3/201843 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Japan's Never-Ending War

Rana Mitter visits Tokyo to explore how Japan remembers World War Two today through film.
4/29/201843 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Supernatural Japan

In this Sunday Feature, historian Chris Harding travels from Tokyo to the deep countryside of Japan's north east to tell the alternative story of the country, looking at how, throughout their history, Japanese people have used ghosts and ghost stories to make sense of themselves and their place in the world. In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, taxi drivers in the area reported 'ghost riders' in their vehicles. The local fire services were called out regularly to locations that turned out to be deserted - but when they started praying for the souls of the dead before returning to base, they were never called back again to the same site... For most of us Japan is the ultimate secular, modern, and future-looking society. But what we encounter in breakthrough films like Ring is a small hint at a vast cultural landscape almost entirely unknown to us: ghosts and the ghostly, never far from the surface in popular consciousness in Japan and breaking through at times of transition or crisis. Producer: Luke Mulhall
4/22/201843 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Exit Burbage - The Man Who Created Hamlet

Imagine where we’d be without Shakespeare’s plays. It’s difficult to contemplate now. But it was thanks to another man that many of them were brought to life. Today, Richard Burbage is a not a household name. But he should be. He’s the man for whom many of the great Shakespearean roles were created. One of the founding members of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, playing at the newly built Globe in 1599, he’s one of the foundations upon which British theatre was built. Andrew Dickson talks to leading actors, rummages among the archives and dissects some of the greatest parts in acting to discover Burbage’s crucial role – and realises that without Richard Burbage, there could be no Shakespeare. Producer: Penny Murphy
4/16/201843 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Too Many Artists

Paul Morley asks "Can there be too many artists in the world?"
4/8/201843 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Blind, Black and Blue

There were many real blind, black bluesman, scraping a living in the Deep South a hundred years ago. From Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson on opposite street corners in Dallas to Blind Blake and Blind Boy Fuller in Georgia and the Carolinas, the early 20th century saw blind bluesmen playing everything from the lewd, raw blues of the juke joint to the God-fearing spirituals beloved of the new wave of Southern churches and with a musical legacy that's lasted through the decades. How did this group of blind musicians, faced with all the disadvantages of race, segregation, disability and poverty, manage to achieve celebrity in their own day and leave such a lasting mark on the history of American music? Gary O'Donoghue, who is blind himself, explores the elements of race and culture that made this phenomenon possible. Presenter, Gary O'Donoghue Producer, Lee Kumutat Sound Engineer, Peter Bosher Every member of the production team who made this programme is blind. Editor, Andrew Smith
3/19/201843 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Concerto: The One and the Many

Acclaimed actor Simon Russell Beale is fascinated by the concerto and how the role of the soloist has evolved from baroque times to now. In this Sunday Feature (exploring the theme of this year's Free Thinking Festival - The One and the Many), Simon explores the complex dynamics between the soloist and orchestra, drawing parallels between the world of the concerto and that of the stage. He asks whether the concerto really is a competition between the soloist and the orchestra or a deeper musical communion. He also asks why the concerto has endured beyond the symphony and ponders whether the spectacle of the virtuosic solo voice pitted against the many is the secret success behind the concerto. Simon Russell Beale talks to violinists and period-performance experts Margaret Faultless and Simon McVeigh about the emergence of the baroque concerto, to the violinist Nicola Benedetti about what it is like to be a soloist in a highly virtuosic work like the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and to the conductor Marin Alsop about her role in a concerto performance. He also talks to Cliff Eisen about how the rise of the virtuoso led to more heroic concerto writing in Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt, and to composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson about what the concerto means today. Plus musicians from the Philharmonia as they prepare to perform Bartok's democractic masterpiece, the Concerto for Orchestra, and pianist Lucy Parham with whom he studies the piano and has collaborated in concerts of words and music. Simon Russell Beale is one of the most respected actors in the UK, playing great Shakespearean roles from Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing to Richard III and King Lear. More recently, he has won Best Supporting Actor at the Evening Standard Film Awards for his role as the malevolent Lavrentiy Beria in Armando Iannucci's satirical film, The Death of Stalin. Simon Russell Beale is also a keen musician who was educated as a chorister and still plays the piano. He has also made TV programmes on choral music and the symphony.
3/15/201843 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits - Jekyll and Hyde

Sarah Dillon discovers the story behind the writing of R.L. Stevenson's horror classic
2/26/201843 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Radio 3 Documentary: Radio Controlled

Robert Worby on how post-war German radio and new music were conscripted to fight the cultural cold war, juggling political, economic and cultural forces outside of their control.
2/12/201843 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork


In 1933 Franz Werfel's epic novel "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" was published to huge acclaim. Werfel was then at the height of his powers, an internationally known author. He told the story of Armenian villagers who, in 1915, resist deportation & annihilation by Turkish forces on the holy mountain of Musa Dagh led by an Armenian émigré who has returned to his ancestral home at this most fateful time. Set against the Ottoman Empire's attempts to deport or destroy its Armenian populations, in the middle of a terrible war, which resulted in the murder of somewhere between 800,000- 1.2. million Armenians. These acts of mass murder led to an international outcry during WW1 and a campaign of denial both by the Ottoman empire and the successor Turkish government after 1923. Germany, former ally of the Ottoman empire, also rejected any guilt by association but the assassination of Talaat Bey, former Ottoman Minister of the Interior and key architect of the Armenian extermination, gunned down in Berlin in 1921 by an Armenian, caused a furore. The subsequent trial became a major media event and exposed the knowledge of the German government about the massacres. The fate of the Armenians was widely discussed and many on the right explicitly linked them with the 'Jewish question' as Hitler rose to power. Franz Werfel, already a famous poet and well-known author, touring the Middle East in 1929 with his new wife, Alma Mahler, encountered pathetic Armenian refugee children. Their plight was the spark for his vast work. For both Werfel and its many readers "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" was not just an epic tribute to Armenian resistance and survival but a warning to the Jews of Germany & Austria. Werfel's works were burned and banned in Germany soon after the Nazi's took power. A Turkish government request to have Musa Dagh removed from German bookshelves was eagerly embraced by Joseph Goebbels. Werfel & Alma Mahler fled Germany first to France & then to America. As early as 1933 Hollywood attempted to film Musa Dagh, a hit in the States, precipitating close to a 50 year campaign by Turkey's ambassadors to make sure no film would ever be made by Hollywood. Maria Margaronis tells the extraordinary story of an extraordinary book with biographer Peter Stephan Jungk in Vienna, members of the Armenian Musa Dagh diaspora & Alma Mahler's grand daughter Marina. With Anton Lesser as the voice of the book. Producer: Mark Burman
1/29/201843 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinkers: Edmund Richardson and Sarah Jackson

Alexander the Great's Tomb was famous and then it disappeared. Classical historian Edmund Richardson has spent the last few years following in the Macedonian's wake and admits to a growing obsession with the mystery of the missing corpse and its final resting place. Join him as he goes in search of those who claim to have found the conqueror's last remains, peers into a legend-filled sarcophagus standing shyly by the Rosetta stone in the British Museum and follows an imaginatively talented English gentleman to Alexandria during the Napoleonic Wars where rumours abound that the French have uncovered a great secret. The quest, not the bones, that's the thing. Contributers: Professor Paul Cartledge; Dr Nora Goldschmidt; Dr Neal Spencer Readers: Sudha Bhuchar; Rupert Holliday Evans In the second half, Sarah Jackson, from Nottingham Trent University, investigates the human voice, its mechanical counterparts and the way the remote voice has affected the way we express ourselves. Framed by a 1960s GPO information film about the newly automated exchange featuring 'Mr Phone' and his friends, this documentary explores the relationship between the voice and the machine.
12/3/201743 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Resurrecting Mayakovsky

Ian Sansom attempts to resurrect the spirit of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky
11/19/201744 minutes
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Emigranti - 1917 Revisited

How do Russia's latest cultural émigrés feel about leaving their homeland? In Russia, culture is increasingly on the front line - many writers, theatre directors and academics feel stifled or under attack. Lucy Ash hears from those who have wrestled with the dilemma of whether to leave. For some, working abroad opens up space to think, while for others, the grief of obscurity can be all-encompassing. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, President Putin's most famous opponent, avoids speaking English and spends his days in cyberspace. He is among a long line of opposition figures trying to imagine a different Russia from beyond its borders. We drop anchor in Berlin, described by one poet as the 'stepmother of Russian cities', which, like London, is experiencing a surge of Russian cultural energy not seen since the aftermath of the October Revolution. The current exodus has an eerie precursor. During the creation of the Soviet Union, Lenin decided to 'cleanse' the state by shipping out undesirable thinkers. The passengers of the so-called Philosophy Steamer faced a bleak choice, between execution or deportation. Nearly a century on, cheap flights and the internet make many highly educated Russians feel like global citizens - and that, as music producer Philipp Gorbachev says, living in a global culture is 'the only way of existence'. But mixed feelings of rejection at home and homesickness abroad can be a paralysing cocktail. Including contributions from Boris Akunin, best-selling novelist; Alexander Delphinov, poet; Philipp Gorbachev, music producer; Mikhail Kaluzhsky, playwright; Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Open Russia foundation; Sasha Lapina, art student; Aigulle Sembaeva, German-Russian Exchange; and Vadim Zakharov, artist. Producer: Dorothy Feaver.
11/6/201743 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: New Generation Thinkers

Dr Louisa Egbunike, lecturer in English at City University London, is interested in the shifting frame of Afrofuturism. The term was originally coined in 1993 to bracket together work by African-American writers, artists and musicians who were dealing with science-fiction and speculative themes. However it has only recently been suggested that work by creatives living in Africa and those who are part of the more recent African diaspora could also be described as Afrofuturist. Louisa talks to the writer Chikodili Emelumadu and the film makers Nosa Igbinedion and Wanuri Kahiu about whether this is a label that they welcome being applied to their work and the extent to which traditional African mythology was Afrofuturist long before the word was invented. Producer: Torquil MacLeod And in the second half of the programme, Dr Seán Williams of the University of Sheffield argues that the sometimes mundane context and subject matter of German Lieder and literature in the 18th and early 19th centuries have surprising things to tell us about what is ordinarily viewed as the highest of high art. Seán explores economic and social settings in the one hundred years between Bach’s Coffee Cantata and Schubert’s songs, when consumerism was on the rise, and with it the middle classes and lower nobility discovered a love of ... stuff. Songs at the piano, reading novels on the sofa with a bout of indigestion, a poodle at your feet. Such were the bourgeois drawing-rooms in which Romantic yearning for the affirming power of nature and the agony of the human condition took hold of the imagination. Producer: Tom Alban
10/29/201743 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Flapper's Guide to the Opera

Opera Historian Dr Alexandra Wilson dons her cloche hat and steps into the shoes of a flapper for a journey back to 1920s London. Jazz was the new fad imported for America, dance clubs were taking the city by storm and cinemas were popping up on every corner. But what was the place of opera in this new entertainment world? Based on new research, this feature will guide listeners around the heady operatic world of 1920s London to some of the venues where opera was thriving, including music halls, cafes and schools. This was a time when opera was not 'elite', and rich and poor rubbed shoulders at the opera, just as opera itself interacted in fascinating ways with jazz, music hall, and celebrity culture. With contributions from modern-day performers and historians, alongside comments from 1920s' critics, conductors and audience members, Wilson challenges the idea that the interwar period was an operatic wasteland, sandwiched between the Edwardian 'golden age' and the emergence of a subsidised operatic establishment after World War Two. Opera was very much alive in the 1920s, and hugely diverse - a People's opera. Producer - Ellie Mant.
10/22/201743 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: John Tusa's Opera Journey

John Tusa revisits the provincial German towns where as a 19-year-old national serviceman he first discovered opera in 1955 and finds out why, 62 years on, it’s still thriving there. Back then, he was based in the centre of the country, at the garrison in Celle. None of his fellow officers seemed to think it at all unusual when John vanished off from time to time to spend an evening in nearby Hanover glorying, for example, in the Verdian climaxes of what was billed as “Die Macht des Schicksals”. Though only when the orchestra struck up the opening bars of The Force of Destiny overture did John realise what he’d booked seats for! From Hanover, it’s a 300-mile round trip to Essen, in the much-bombed Ruhr valley, but to enjoy the wonders of Mozart’s Idomeneo, or to travel to the far north of the country to have his first ever taste of Wagner, it was worth it… More than 60 years on, original programme pages in hand, John retraces those journeys to find out what makes German opera, outside the great houses of Berlin and Munich, tick. Because tick it certainly does. Along the way, John meets the current “Intendants” (directors) of all three houses, their artistic directors and house singers. Today, still, Germany counts its opera houses in the dozens – as many as 80 or 90 of varying sizes – most with an ultra-loyal public who are happy to pay not-many euros to enjoy often world-class singing and playing. So what’s the trick? And – in the Facebook age – is the audience of young people shrinking? And what are the houses doing to counter that? Oh, yes: and at Hanover, John enjoys the latest Forza del Destino, while in Essen, it’s still Mozart (Clemenza di Tito in 2017), and in Kiel, he catches up with Wagner – The Valkyrie. Producer: Simon Elmes
10/8/201743 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Every County in the State of California

When Dana Gioia was appointed Poet Laureate of California in 2015 he was invited to read in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. But Gioia believes the role is to encourage poetry throughout the state. He has a mission: to visit every county in the state of California. There are 58, stretching from Del Norte 1,000 miles south to Imperial, bordering Mexico; from the Sierra mountains and redwood forests to the desert; densely populated Los Angeles (almost 10 million) to almost empty Modoc (fewer than 10,000); with established communities from Mexico and Europe joined recently by people from the Far East. Everywhere Gioia is joined by other poets and young people participating in Poetry Out Loud. For several years Gioia was Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. One of his initiatives was this nationwide competition for young people to memorise and recite poems. It is astonishingly popular. 40-odd counties in, producer Julian May joins Gioia to create a radio road movie for Radio 3. Gioia reads in a pub yard in Mariposa, a gold-mining town, while humming birds dart and hover. A few days later Gioia hears of a huge wildfire coming within a mile of the wooden town. In a library in Madera, roasting in California's central valley, a woman from Peru recites a love poem in Spanish. In marches a squad of lads - military boots, buzzcuts. They are from the juvenile hall youth correctional facility. Each, says Officer Martinez, can recite a poem by heart. There is an event in Turlock, settled by Assyrians, another in San Diego near Mexico and, in his home county, Sonoma, Gioia appears at poetry event in a vineyard. All this, and more, in 'Every County in the State of California', a radio road movie. Presenter:Dana Gioia Producer: Julian May
10/1/201743 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: The Killers

Adam Smith traces Ernest Hemingway’s brutal, brilliant short story - from its birth in gangster-era Chicago, through its Hollywood afterlife as a noir classic, to its strange status as Ronald Reagan’s last movie. Ernest Hemingway wrote his short story ‘The Killers’ in 1926. Two hitmen enter a small-town lunch-room. They have come to kill an ex-boxer who has double-crossed someone. The boxer is warned, but doesn’t run. Hemingway captures the American man at a moral crossroads. Should he follow the code of the boxing ring, where a man proves himself, and go down fighting? Or should he grab the easy money and throw in his lot with the gangsters? Hollywood loved it - and so Adam traces how a colourful cast of characters turned this short, sharp story into two very different movies. The first, in 1946, is a black-and-white noir classic. It was the brainchild of Mark Hellinger, a producer who was all too friendly with real-life gangsters like Bugsy Siegel. It made the names of its new stars, Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. But its main screenwriter - Hemingway’s friend and fellow boxing fan John Huston - went unsung. The next, in 1964, was much gaudier. At the heart of this version is a truly bizarre scene. Ronald Reagan, his acting career on the slide, reluctantly agreed to play a violent crook who is pretending to be a legitimate businessman. And yet this hinted at the pasts of the producers of this movie. They too had long-time links with the gang world, stretching right back to Al Capone’s Chicago. It was meant for TV but was deemed too violent. Especially as it featured a scene queasily similar to the assassination of President Kennedy, which happened on the second day of shooting. And the sniper? Future President Ronald Reagan. And so finally Adam explores how this failing actor ended up playing a role that catches the delicate moral line between playing by the rules and doing whatever it takes to get rich. Just as he was about to launch his career as a political megastar.
8/13/201743 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Edinburgh 70: Nothing Short of a Miracle

The Edinburgh Festival was founded 70 years ago in the aftermath of World War Two. 1947 was a year of shortages and rationing, and the idea of starting an arts festival in Scotland's capital city must have seemed highly ambitious. Yet with the support of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rudolf Bing, the general manager of Glydenbourne Festival Opera, undertook the challenge. It was to prove an international success that has lasted 70 years. With contributions from those who attended the first festivals in the 1940s and music from early performances, Jim Naughtie reflects on the origins of what has become the world's greatest arts festival. Producer Mark Rickards.
8/7/201726 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits: EM Forster's Maurice

Forster's gay love story was a forbidden book, unpublished until his death.
7/9/201743 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Canada 150: Geeking Glenn Gould

James Rhodes is a massive Glenn Gould Geek: throughout his childhood he listened to Gould's recordings, had posters of him on his bedroom walls, and in the years since, those recordings have helped James through some of his darkest times. Gould is globally famous today not just for his astounding recordings as a pianist but also his many idiosyncrasies - humming throughout his performances, abandoning the concert stage in his early thirties, bundling himself up in winter coats and hats in the middle of summer, and soaking his arms and hands in warm water are just a few. He was an obsessive hypochondriac who monitored his physical health relentlessly and took an alarming amount of prescription medication. In recent years theories have abounded about his mental health, and whether or not he was on the autism spectrum. But beyond all this Gould was at heart a futuristic visionary - as early as the 1950s he saw the potential for technology to both serve and liberate the artist and audience. A prolific writer and broadcaster he expounded on ideas around listeners curating their own audio experience and editing their own versions of performances. He foresaw a time when artistic careers could be pursued entirely through electronic media, which in turn would have significant effects on human psychology and behaviour: so much so that product designers at Apple have recently been exploring Gould's ethos as a source of inspiration for future technology. For BBC Radio 3, James travels to Toronto, the city Gould called home, seeking out the real Glenn, the visionary who left us not just a rich legacy of recordings, but one of colourful ideas too. He tracks down his very closest acquaintances and finds them not just open and honest but fiercely loyal to Glenn and still deeply moved by their memories 35 years after his untimely death. And as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary year, James also meets up with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the country's colonial past, diverse present and promising future: a future which may well produce the next Glenn Gould... Producer, Ruth Thomson With thanks to Denis Blais CANADA 150: a week of programmes from across Canada, marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of the nation and exploring the range and diversity of Canadian music and arts.
6/25/201743 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Monteverdi's Women

Catherine Fletcher explores Monterverdi's pioneering use of female roles and performers
5/14/201743 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Breaking Free - Martin Luther's Revolution. Reformation 500

Germany's celebrating 500 years since the Reformation - but what does it mean today? Chris Bowlby visits Wittenberg - where Martin Luther started it all in 1517. He discovers how the Reformation transformed life in many different ways, and helped make Germany a nation of singers and book-lovers. But amidst all the culture and kitsch Germany's also grappling with a darker legacy - Luther's anti-Semitism and exploitation by dictators and populists. Producer, Chris Bowlby Editor, Penny Murphy Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.
5/8/201743 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Square Dance in Heaven

The Rev Lucy Winkett goes on the trail of Martin Luther's musical reformation.
5/2/201743 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

v. is for Tony

To mark Tony Harrison's 80th birthday, Paul Farley presents a profile.
4/24/201743 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: I Know an Island

Jon Gower visits the island of Skokholm off the coast of south west Wales, and uncovers the work of the pioneering naturalist RM Lockley, whose work inspired 'Watership Down'
4/18/201743 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Radio 3 Documentary: Hitting the High Notes

Why did hundreds of jazz musicians turn to heroin in the post-war period?
3/27/201743 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Opera Across the Waves

How did opera become an art form consumed today by millions of people globally on computer screens, in cinemas and on the radio? And how, in particular, did New York's Metropolitan Opera become one of the most iconic and powerful producers of this Old World export? Flora Willson traces the roots of today's phenomenon of opera in cinemas to the years 1890-1930, when New York emerged as a global operatic centre. The programme shows how the Met took the initiative in those decades, exploiting new developments in transatlantic travel, the recording industry and radio broadcasting. And Flora considers how today opera is bursting out of the plush velvet curtains and tapping into mass audiences everywhere by embracing the potential of new technologies. Today you can have the thrill of this extraordinary and overwhelming experience in the home, on the move and at the local cinema. This is a hefty counterpunch to the clichéd view that opera is a dead art form only consumed by the cultural elite. With contributions from Peter Gelb (General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera), Kasper Holten (outgoing Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House), Mark Schubin (Engineer-in-Charge at the Metropolitan Opera), Barrie Kosky (opera director), Stuart Skelton (tenor), Gundula Kreuzer (musicologist, Yale) and Ben Walton (musicologist, Cambridge).
3/12/201743 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Alice Coltrane: Her Sound and Spirit

Kevin Le Gendre presents a portrait of musician and spiritual leader, Alice Coltrane
3/5/201743 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Boulez and His Rumble in the Jungle

The controversial French composer Boulez made three life-changing trips to South America.
2/6/201743 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Music on the Brink of Destruction

In the Nazi camps and ghettos a vast range of music was created
1/22/201746 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Apocalypse How

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough on how different cultures have viewed the end of the world
1/15/201743 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature:Kandinsky - A Story of Revolution

Christian Weikop, examines Kandinsky's Russian roots.
1/10/201743 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Breaking Free: Freud versus Music

Listen in pop-out player Did Freud really dislike music as much as he professed? Stephen Johnson explores Sigmund Freud's enigmatic relationship with music. He talks to the American cultural analyst Michelle Duncan, pscyho-analysts and writers Darian Leader and Julie Jaffee Nagel, the music critic David Nice, whose first job it was to take tours around the Freud Museum in Hampstead, and the Barcelona-based neurologist Josep Marco Pallares who is studying amusia and music-specific anhedonia, which he proposes might have been the root cause of Freud's problem with music. Plus extracts from Freud's writings read by the actor Nicholas Murchie. Producer, Elizabeth Arno Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.
1/6/201743 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Attenborough - World Music Collector

David Attenborough recalls collecting music from around the world, and listens once again
12/25/201643 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Whatever Happened to the Avant-Garde?

Is the avant-garde dead? Paul Morley conducts an autopsy, but detects signs of life ...
12/11/201643 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork


Sandeep Parmar retraces the steps of "Paris", a lost Modernist masterpiece by poet Hope Mirlees, and Daniel Lee explores the fate of North Africa's Jewish communities during WW2.
11/17/201643 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinkers

1. Euphemism and Eroticism in Scottish Gaelic Songs. 2.Reappraising Nollekens.
11/13/201643 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

The secrets of the Music Reading Panel

What was the BBC's panel for new scores for broadcast?Charlotte Higgins finds out.
10/9/201643 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Philip French and the Critical Ear

Laurence Scott on the radio producer and esteemed film critic Philip French
10/2/201643 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Envy of the World: Rudely Truncated

Part two of Humphrey Carpenter's history of the Third Programme. First broadcast 1996
9/28/201645 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Envy of the World: No Fixed Points

Humphrey Carpenter's history of the Third Programme. First broadcast in 1996.
9/28/201642 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dawn on the Somme

Kate Kennedy explores the Somme through the lives of musicians who took part
7/7/201643 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sherlock, Sigmund and Signor Morelli

Giovanni Morelli, exposer of fakes and European man of mystery, who may have inspired Conan Doyle's detective, and Freud's theory of the unconscious. Naomi Alderman investigates.
6/26/201643 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

An Explosion of Geraniums - The International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936

Ian McMillan on the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936,that changed everything
6/19/201643 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Antonio Carlos Gomes, the Brazilian who conquered La Scala

Travelling to both Brazil and Milan, Fabio Zanon tells how Carlos Gomes, the Brazilian mixed-race composer, conquered La Scala in the 19th century, becoming a hero at home too.
6/15/201643 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits: Dubliners

Sarah Dillon on James Joyce's epic struggle to publish his first book, Dubliners.
6/5/201643 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Literary Pursuits: Jane Austen's Persuasion

Sarah Dillon discovers how Jane Austen's last completed novel, 'Persuasion' was written. The novel has sometimes been viewed as Austen's valedictory novel - written while she was suffering with her final illness. But Sarah Dillon uncovers a more complex story: dates of revisions on the manuscripts in the British Library confirm her sister's story that Persuasion was completed almost a year before Austen's death, but it was only published posthumously. By talking to Dr Kathryn Sutherland from St Anne's College, Oxford, Paula Byrne, author of 'The Real Jane Austen, A Life In Small Things' and writer Margaret Drabble, we go behind the scant details of Austen's life and uncover reasons for the delay: her last illness; the possibly personal inspirations for the plot of the novel; the state of her finances; her fascinating creative process; and the radical reaches and determination of her literary ambitions.
5/29/201643 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker, who died in April of this year,looking back at his life and career.
5/15/201643 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: First Folio Road Trip

Emma Smith traces how Shakespeare's First Folio helped make our national poet
4/25/201643 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Menuhin at 100

Menuhin at 100 marks the life and career of this prodigy, through the interviews he gave.
4/17/201643 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Brainwash Culture

If brainwashing is a just a Cold War myth, why does it still trouble us? With Daniel Pick
3/13/201643 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Venice Ghetto

Jerry Brotton travels to Venice to tell the story of the first ghetto founded in 1516.
3/6/201643 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Step Inside: A 21st-Century Gallery Guide

Paul Morley on the changing world of the art galleries of Britain.
2/21/201643 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

South Korea: The Silent Cultural Superpower

Rana Mitter finds out how South Korean culture manages to punch far above its weight
2/14/201643 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Folk Connections: Cecil Sharp's Appalachian Trail

Andy Kershaw follows song collector Cecil Sharp's Appalachian trail in the spring of 1916
1/31/201644 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations

Sarah Dillon goes on the hunt for the story behind how Great Expectations was written.
1/10/201643 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Northern Lights: True Norse

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough asks if there is a shared culture in the north of Europe.
12/13/201543 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Above Sixty, Below Zero

Lesley Riddoch examines the changing relationship between man and nature in the North.
12/6/201543 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making an Entrance - Asian Theatre in Britain

Sarfraz Manzoor charts the history of Asian theatre in Britain
11/22/201543 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

New Generation Thinkers: The Science of Baby Laughter & The Life and Life of Richard Baxter

The history of the science of baby laughter. The Life of Richard Baxter
11/15/201543 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hardy and the Animals and Who's Afraid of Anthropomorphism?

Alasdair Cochrane on Thomas Hardy and animals; Will Abberley on evolutionary psychology.
11/8/201544 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

This Story Shall the Good Man Teach His Son - Agincourt, England and France

Adam Thorpe visits Azincourt to find out what really happened at the battle.
10/25/201543 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Celtic are We?

Cultural historian Dai Smith interrogates the Celtic myth.
10/4/201543 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Music?

Philip Ball asks scientists and musicians why music is such a universal human trait.
9/27/201559 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: You're Tearing Me Apart: Rebel without a cause at 60

Drawing on rare archive Alan Dein explores the making & meanings of Rebel Without a Cause
9/20/201543 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: A Most Ingenious Paradox: Loving G&S to Death?

Martin Handley explores contemporary attitudes to the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan.
6/28/201544 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Classical Voice Season: An Anatomy of Singing

Mary King investigates how advances in our anatomy knowledge are changing the way we sing
6/21/201543 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: W B Yeats and the Artifice of Eternity

Theo Dorgan explores the continuing importance of W B Yeats, 150 years after he was born.
6/7/201543 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Left-Handed Liberty

Amidst the 800 year celebrations for Magna Carta, Andrew Dickson hears about one of the more provocative theatrical attempts to commemorate the Charter from fifty years ago.
5/31/201545 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

John Berger - About Song and Laughter

Sukhdev Sandhu introduces a rare radio-minded feature by the celebrated critic, novelist and thinker John Berger. Now in his ninth decade, Berger talks about the songs in his life and about Charlie Chaplin's radical power. Featuring Katya Berger and the music of Woody Guthrie, Cesaria Evora and Yasmin Hamdam among others. Producer: Tim Dee
5/5/201544 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: In Their Own Write: Notes from the Congress of Vienna

Using diaries and memoirs Michael Goldfarb tells the story of the Congress of Vienna and how it still affects us 200 years later: diplomacy, Beethoven and sex... lots of sex.
4/26/201543 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: A Secret Life: Uwe Johnson in Sheerness

The leading German writer Uwe Johnson lived in Sheerness from 1974 until his death in 1984. Patrick Wright tries to find out why he chose what he called this 'much maligned' town.
4/19/201544 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature Doing Goya Justice The Curators Story

Xavier Bray is a curator on a nail-biting journey to put together the greatest exhibition of portraits by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya, which opens at the National Gallery later this year
4/15/201543 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Memoirs of the Spacewomen

Matthew Sweet delves into the science fiction futures of Naomi Mitchison, Rose Macaulay and Margot Bennett. With music specially composed by The Vile Electrodes.
4/5/201543 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: From Convent to Concert Hall

Dr Kate Kennedy appraises four female string players from different eras and locations, who were all pioneering in their own lifetimes. For International Women's Day 2015
3/10/201544 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: The Day of the Locust

Adam Smith unearths the roots of Nathanael West's great 1938 Hollywood novel The Day of the Locust, and tests its prophecy of fascist violence in America against postwar history.
2/22/201543 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Cuba Clasica

Andrew McGregor visits Havana to investigate Cuba's classical music scene today.
2/16/201544 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Eric Ravilious: Chalk & Ice

Eric Ravilious is considered one of the best watercolourists of the twentieth century. Alexandra Harris explores the life of work of this elusive man and his art.
2/9/201543 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Palace of Shame

It's a story of loot, revenge and devastated beauty that looms over British-Chinese relations. Chris Bowlby uncovers the fate of the imperial summer palace in Beijing.
2/1/201543 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Beautiful Death

Stephen Johnson connects Mahler's beliefs about death to Viennese funeral customs, and particularly the idea of 'beautiful death' which was pervasive in Mahler's Vienna.
1/25/201544 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andy Warhol's Factory Friends

Candy Darling and Edie Sedgwick are now the stuff of legend, but many of those with first-hand experience of Warhol's Factory live on. Paul Morley hears tales to amaze and inspire.
1/19/201543 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Thom Gunn - Appropriate Measures

Author Colm Tóibín profiles the Anglo-American poet Thom Gunn, self-professed lover of "loud music, bars and boisterous men", whose tightly-wrought poetry imposed control and order upon his hedonistic lifestyle.
1/4/201543 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Matthew Sweet's Palace of Great War Varieties

Matthew is joined by historians and performers to explore World War 1 popular culture - from music hall to movies, theatre to night clubs and drugs. Recorded before an audience.
12/28/201443 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: The Supernatural North

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough journeys to northern Norway in search of the supernatural icy world that haunts the imagination of writers including Philip Pullman and A.S. Byatt.
12/14/201443 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: The Fundamentalist Queen

Samira Ahmed explores the extraordinary rise and fall of the Lady Protectress Elizabeth, wife of Oliver Cromwell - a commoner who became "queen" in the 1650s.
12/11/201443 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: A Cultural History of the Plague

Laura Ashe tells the story of the Black Death and discovers how plague changed our cultural landscape, and influences our responses to current emergencies such as Ebola.
11/30/201443 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: In the Shadow of the Tower

Andrew Hussey travels across Paris to understand how the Eiffel Tower, and the huge World's Fair that gave birth to it, shaped French culture.
11/23/201443 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: New Generation Thinkers

Christopher Harding explores the influence of Freud in India, China and Japan, and John Gallagher focuses on the history of the foreign language phrase book.
11/16/201443 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: God and the Great War

Frank Cottrell Boyce on the impact of the First World War on religion at home and at the Front.
11/9/201444 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kitty Marion and The Poetry of Science

Gregory Tate explores why many C19th scientists wrote poetry, as do several today. Fern Riddell rediscovers the astonishing life of Kitty Marion: singer, suffragette, firestarter.
11/3/201446 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Enter the Dragon Chinese Theatre in the 21st century

Rana Mitter travels to Beijing to explore the recent flourishing of theatre in China and its re-invention as an art-form of youthful, urban cool.
10/20/201443 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Who Was Richard Strauss?

Richard Strauss's works are staples of both concert hall and opera house, and yet relatively little is known or discussed of the man himself. What we do know about Strauss - that he was incredibly astute financially, that his relationship with the Nazis was "complicated", and that his wife Pauline was as assertive and domineering as his mother was not - is a roughly-drawn portrait of the man which was propagated by almost all his contemporaries, and indeed by Strauss himself. A man who strove to control almost obsessively what was known about him, what cliches there are have largely succeeded in deterring scholars from taking more than a passing interest in this most complex of characters. Drawing extensively on brand new research, Tom Service travels to Switzerland - where Strauss lived from October 1945 for almost four years - in search of the real Richard Strauss, and in the process sheds fascinating new light on some of the composer's later music in particular.
10/12/201444 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music - A New World Symphony

In the final programme in the series Petroc Trelawny measures the impact and effectiveness of education in sustaining and nurturing the massive growth in Western Classical music.
10/5/201443 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music - A New World Symphony

The second programme in Petroc Trelawny’s series looking at the new Global passion for classical music. In programme one his attention was on the dramatic new concert hall’s, opera houses and cultural centres which make such a bold and apparently determined statement of intention about the art form. In this programme the focus switches to a new world of performers.
9/28/201443 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music- A New World Symphony

Petroc Trelawny presents a three part Sunday Feature series looking at the way Western Classical Music is flourishing in often surprising new territories. In the first programme he considers the importance of the buildings that have come to symbolise this new development in Global Classical Music – and that leads inevitably – to China.
9/22/201445 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

I Have Been Here Before

Francis Spufford explores how An Experiment with Time, written by former soldier and aircraft designer J.W. Dunne, had a profound influence on J.B. Priestley and others for decades.
9/15/201443 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Devastation of British Art

Diarmaid MacCulloch tells the story of iconoclasm during the English Reformation.
8/8/201443 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Did Scotland's Artists Turn Nationalist

Scotland goes to the polls on the 18th September to decide its constitutional future. Why do so many of Scotland's writers and artists support the Yes Campaign? Stuart Kelly investigates.
7/13/201442 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

June 22: Bannockburn Begins

Novelist Louise Welsh explores some of the meanings, ancient and modern, of the battle of Bannockburn on its 700th anniversary
6/26/201444 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Dennis Potter

The playwright Dennis Potter died twenty years ago. Matthew Sweet reassesses the legacy of the author of 'The Singing Detective' and 'Pennies from Heaven' and hears from his friends and colleagues, including Michael Grade, Alan Yentob, Melvyn Bragg, Janet Suzman, Kika Markham, Kenith Trodd, Jon Amiel and Tony Garnett.
6/15/201444 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sonic Art Boom

Dan Jones, composer and sound designer, considers why it has taken so long for Sound Art to get a hearing, he goes hunting for sound at CERN with Bill Fontana, Janet Cardiff talks about her 40 part Motet, Barbara London, MOMA curator, tells of the difficulties of displaying sound, Stan Shaff shows us round the first sound theatre, and David Toop and Richard Cork help untangle the history of sound art - plus an unexpected appearance on the streets of London by Joseph Young expounding the Art of Noises Manifesto of the Italian Futurists.
6/8/201444 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Dylan Thomas the Radio Poet

Writer Rachel Trezise - the first winner of the annual Dylan Thomas Prize - tells the story of Dylan Thomas's broadcasting life. Dylan Thomas often remarked that his poetry was written as much for the voice as for the page. So it's perhaps not surprising that the writer and poet became a remarkable broadcaster as well. From the late 1930s until his death in 1953, Dylan Thomas was a regular broadcaster for the BBC - for the Home Service, the Overseas Service and, from 1946, for the newly founded Third Programme, the forerunner of Radio 3.
5/4/201443 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Educating Isaac

Could your child compose like Mozart? While searching for a creative and fun way to teach his 3-year-old son, Nick Baragwanath discovered a forgotten history of music completely different from the usual dull routine of practice and graded exams. In the 18th century, the conservatoires (orphanages) of Naples developed an education system that enabled destitute children to become professional-level composers and performers by their early teens. Almost every famous musician of the time was trained in this way, in what is an astonishing untold rags-to-riches story. Airbrushed from history by Romantic writers, who valued the idea of spontaneous genius above the reality of craft training, the real story of 'classical' music is finally coming to light. And modern conservatoires, such as the Royal Academy of Music, are taking notice. Could this revival transform the way we teach children music?
4/28/201443 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature:Merchant Ivory

Style, flair, individuality, ideas... and stars. The filmic output of the remarkable three-person association of creative talents that is collectively known as 'Merchant Ivory' has endured since the early 1960s.
4/6/201443 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: Music and the Jews (3/3)

Norman Lebrecht presents the last of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history. Taking as his starting point the moment at which the Jews were finally able to enter the Western classical music tradition in a professional capacity, in today's programme Norman investigates the idea of a "Jewish thumbprint" in the music of Mendelssohn and others. Leading Israeli composer Noam Sheriff and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas talk about why Mahler's Jewishness speaks so strongly to them through his symphonies, and Michael Grade explains how the Jewish art of being one step ahead impacted so strongly on the entertainment industry in the twentieth century.
3/23/201444 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Music and the Jews (2/3)

Norman Lebrecht presents the second of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Women, in the Jewish religion, are not meant to sing, and yet Jewish women have shrugged off that inhibition to become some of the most powerful figures in the popular imagination. We hear from some of the most successful women singing in Israel and indeed on the world stage today, including the eighth-generation Yiddish singer Myriam Fuks and Achinoam Nini, the latest in a long line of iconic Jewish women of Yemenite origin. Michael Grade remembers his grandmother's passion for Sophie Tucker, and the promoter Harvey Goldsmith explains why Jewish women have had such a huge impact on music over the past half century. We also hear from Dr Tova Gamliel about the extraordinarily powerful role of women in the religious practices of Yemen.
3/20/201445 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Music and the Jews (1/3)

Norman Lebrecht presents the first programme in a three-part series examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history. Today, the acclaimed Ladino singer Yasmin Levy explains why music and memory became so intertwined when the Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century, rabbi Shlomo Levin tells the amazing story of how a marching tune sung by Napoleon and his troops in 1812 became an integral part of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, and the musicologist Gila Flam has some surprising revelations about the music sung by the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps.
3/19/201444 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Shanghai World City Redux

Rana Mitter reveals how Shanghai today is forging its identity as an ultramodern city – by rediscovering its glamorous 1920s past, when 'Shanghai' meant movies, neon and jazz.
1/26/201446 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork


Paul Farley journeys down France's sleepiest river whose character belies its violent history, a history intertwined with the English since medieval times.
1/5/201443 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Anything But Banal - the Fascination of the Villain

Paul Allen explores the allure of evil through great villains, from Hollywood baddies to Shakespearean antiheroes and real people, with great British actors, directors and writers.
1/3/201443 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

15th December: Ideas of Germany

Anne McElvoy finds out how those active in Germany's cultural world see the identity of Europe's largest and most powerful nation evolving.
12/15/201343 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Invisible Theatre

Tom Service and others explore the history of the festival theatre in Bayreuth that Wagner built for the staging of his music dramas.
12/8/201346 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: 1 December 2013 - Ken Adam Profile

Matthew Sweet meets Ken Adam, the 92-year-old designer of iconic sets from Dr No and Goldfinger to Doctor Strangelove and the Ipcress File.
12/3/201345 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Albert Camus: Inside the Outsider

Professor Hussey celebrates the life, work and tragic death of literature's enigmatic Outsider Albert Camus, one hundred years on from his birth, and asks if the fatal car crash may have been a KGB inspired execution.
11/3/201344 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Production Line Living

How has the factory production line changed us? AL Kennedy finds out.
10/27/201346 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sound of Cinema: Composing for Hollywood

Once upon a time Hollywood composers were classically schooled European maestros. Today many of the most successful ones are drawn from the world of pop and rock. In this documentary journalist Jonathan Coffey is in Los Angeles to meet some of the biggest names in the industry to assess the business of writing for the movies.
9/23/201343 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Significant Others ep 2

The thousand-year-old story of the Jewish presence in Poland was all but ended by the Nazis. But now a new Poland is experiencing an unexpected return of history and memory. Presented by author Eva Hoffman
7/15/201343 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Significant Others 1

The story of the Jewish presence in Poland
7/9/201343 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Stirring Up A Revolution

Author and journalist Tarek Osman returns to the Middle East to explore how the apparently unassuming establishment of the Café has served as a vibrant hub of change in the political tsunamis that have swept - and are still sweeping - through the region.
6/9/201343 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Wagner: Making a National Hero

As part of Wagner 200, Stephen Johnson explores the worlds of Wagner's heroes, from Norse myths to his own Tannhauser, Siegfried and Parsifal. He charts how Wagner himself became a national hero.
5/19/201345 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jan Morris, Travels Round My House

Writer Anthony Sattin visits Jan Morris's Welsh home on the 60th anniversary of the ascent of Everest to talk about her role in the story and other tales to be gleaned about her life from the objects in her home (including a gravestone and a posthumous book awaiting publication!). Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
5/13/201344 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - Piano's Music Boxes

Renzo Piano is the architect behind the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard at London Bridge. He grew up wanting to be a musician, and Tom Service discovers how he sees the basic elements of music as fundamental to his way of thinking about his buildings. His landmark buildings include cultural centres and concert halls around the world. Tom visits IRCAM in Paris, and the Parco della musica in Rome, meeting Piano's fellow architects, the acousticians, and the musicians who use the buildings to tell a story about the relationship between music and space, sound and architecture.
5/7/201345 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (3 of 3)

The Reverend Richard Coles visits Lincoln Cathedral, the focus of Medieval pilgrimage, to begin the last of his series exploring contemporary and historical ideas about sin. Having looked at the central place Temptation still has for many in both religious and secular societies the attention now swings to methods of redemption, purification and the goodness that is defined only by its counter to the idea of sin.
3/11/201343 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (1 of 3)

In this first of three programmes, Richard explores what exactly is meant by sin, and its origins in man's earliest ethical structures.
3/11/201343 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (2 of 3)

The Reverand Richard Coles explores notions of temptation and its part in contemporary and ancient societies.
3/7/201343 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Margaret are you Grieving? A Cultural History of Weeping

Throughout our cultural history, tears have been intimately connected with the arts, whether as inspiration or response. Thomas Dixon is director of the UK's first Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University London. In this programme he explores the history of weeping as an aesthetic response to works of art: paintings, writing, music, theatre and film. What it is about works of art and religious symbols that induce weeping and why do we shed tears over performances by actors and singers, fictional characters, abstract symbols, poems, music, metaphysical ideas - in other words things that are not real? Margery Kempe, Gluck, Mark Rothko and Sophocles' Electra may provide some of the answers. Thomas Dixon talks to Fiona Shaw, Miri Rubin, Pete de Bolla, Virginia Eatough, Giles Fraser, Ian Bostridge, Matthew Sweet and Simon Goldhill
2/4/201344 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Modernism Redux

Will Self broadcasts an imaginary archive of modernist radio and discusses the influence of modernism today. In a secret laboratory underneath the BBC archive there is a small room containing a special machine. It's a BBC prototype 'RP-1 Ethermatic remitter'. An experimental machine designed to retrieve ('remit') past radio signals back out of the air. Although partially successful during field trials in 1922 it was never made fully operational...until now. Will Self has been given access to the machine to investigate the relationship between early radio technology and modern culture. Taking his cue from the Wasteland and Ulysses - both published as the RP-1 was developed - he will be drawing from the air an assemblage of modernist art and ideas using the very technologies that enabled them. In doing so he hopes to create something that isn't simply about modernism and its after effects but is itself a modernist work.
2/4/201343 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Brief History of Being Cold

Sunday Feature: Alexandra Harris presents a cultural history of the cold. With the help of writers including Simon Armitage, A.S. Byatt, Katherine Swift and Adam Gopnik Alex looks at the way our literature began with work mesmerised by the beauty and horror of cold. In Yorkshire Simon Armitage discusses Sir Gawain and the Green Knight imagining the Pennines crossed by Gawain, hung with icicles on his hunt for the Green Knight. And Katherine Swift takes us on a winter tour of her garden in Shropshire.
1/29/201343 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tolstoy and Napoleon. 1 - On Napoleon

In 1812 Napoleon led his army to Moscow. In War and Peace Tolstoy gave his account of the great invasion, the battle of Borodino, and the subsequent burning of Moscow. Rosamund Bartlett, translator of Russian novels and biographer of Tolstoy investigates the truth and the fiction of one of the most famous novels of all time. Tolstoy believed that Napoleon and the Russian commander Kutuzov were no more significant in deciding the outcome of events than any one of the thousands of ordinary soldiers who slogged their way across Europe to fight or who defended their motherland as best they could. With reports by the Russian novelist Zinovy Zinik from the battlefied at Borodino and at Tolstoy's country estate at Yasnaya Polyana, Rosamund Bartlett tells how Tolstoy took up the story of what became known as the first great patriotic war in Russia and shaped it in his own way - a version of events that nonetheless has endured over time and become in many people's minds the truth of 1812.
12/5/201243 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Essay: Anglo-Saxon Portraits 1: Vortigern

Barry Cunliffe on the king whom history has often held responsible for inviting in the first Anglo-Saxons. First in a series of portraits of thirty ground-breaking Anglo-Saxon men and women.
10/15/201214 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sunday Feature: After the Gold Rush - The Poetry of California

Californian poetry found fame with The Beats in the 1950s. Dana Gioia reveals developments since - Language, ecological, Hispanic poetry - and before, back to the Gold Rush.
10/4/201244 minutes
Episode Artwork

Piano Tales - A Social History of the Piano

Sunday Feature: Michael Goldfarb explores the development and enduring appeal of the piano across social and geographic divides.
9/25/201244 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jacquetta Hawkes and The Personal Past

Sunday Feature: Jacquetta Hawkes and The Personal Past. Christine Finn excavates clues in the personal and public life of once acclaimed archaeologist and writer, Jacquetta Hawkes, to explain why she has faded from public memory.
9/13/201244 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dr Adam Smith on Britain in the American Civil War

The American Civil War: Blockade Runners and Black Minstrels. What did Britain do in the American Civil War? Louise Welsh investigates blockade running, blackface minstrelsy, spy-wars and abolitionists, with the Clyde shipyards as her focus.
7/27/201243 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dr Adam Smith on the dividing lines of the American Civil War

The American Civil War: Dividing Lines. Historian Adam Smith visits contemporary America to trace how the dividing lines of the Civil War are still visible beneath US politics 150 years on.
7/26/201243 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dr Adam Smith on the War of the North in America

The American Civil War: The War of the North. Dr Adam Smith travels from Lincoln's home town to Washington DC and the battlefields of Virginia as he asks why the North fought and what it won.
7/25/201243 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dr Adam Smith on the War of the South in America

The American Civil War: The War of the South. Dr Adam Smith travels to Richmond, the heart of the Southern Confederacy, to uncover the dramatic contradictions at the South's heart and the war it waged.
7/25/201244 minutes
Episode Artwork

Historian Tristram Hunt on anti-imperialism.

Great British Ideas:J.A. Hobson, Lenin and Anti-Imperialism. Historian Tristram Hunt traces how an anti-imperialist book by a liberal English journalist had a surprising impact on Lenin - in exile, and even after he seized power in Moscow.
7/20/201243 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Historian Tristram Hunt on England and Ireland in the 1840’s.

Great British Ideas: Young England and Young Ireland. Tristram Hunt traces the curious influence of the romantic 'Young England' movement, led by Benjamin Disraeli in the 1840s, on 'Young Ireland', which sought Irish freedom.
7/20/201243 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tristram Hunt on economist Robert Malthus

Great British Ideas: Robert Malthus. Historian Tristram Hunt traces how the ideas of the 18th century British economist Robert Malthus wreaked havoc in 19th century India, yet were later adopted by Indians themselves.
7/20/201244 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

George Reynolds - writer and contemporary of Dickens

Sunday Feature: The Other Dickens. Laurence Scott explores the work and the life of Victorian bad boy writer and contemporary of Dickens, George WM Reynolds, whose novels painted Victorian London's seamiest sides
7/1/201243 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Geneticist Steve Jones investigates the science of crowds

Sunday Feature: Crowd Psychology. From the summer riots last year to the Olympics 2012, geneticist Steve Jones investigates crowd behaviour and finds that modern science disputes myths of mad mobs out of control.
6/24/201244 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andrew Graham Yooll examines Argentine identity

Sunday Feature: Malvinas Madness. Andrew Graham Yooll, former editor of the Buenos Aires Herald, examines Argentine identity and dreams bound in their longing for the Malvinas or Falkland Islands.
6/13/201244 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Phoenix Rising - The Story of Coventry Cathedral

Giles Fraser examines the history, ministry and artistic legacy of Coventry Cathedral as it celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
5/28/201244 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Wesker at 80

Sunday Feature: As Arnold Wesker celebrates his 80th birthday Matthew Sweet looks back with the celebrated playwright at his life and career.
5/21/201243 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Europe - the Art of Austerity

Sunday Feature: Michael Goldfarb talks to Anne Enright and Justin Cartwright about writers' responses to economic crisis in the Europe of the 1930s and today.
5/3/201244 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

The Archbishop of Canterbury on poet Vernon Watkins

Sunday Feature: Swansea's Other Poet. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams presents a portrait of Vernon Watkins, one of the twentieth century's most distinctive and brilliant - and neglected poets.
3/16/201244 minutes