This much-loved hymn was first penned as a poem by Christina Rosetti.
Vaughan Williams asked Gustav Holst to put it to music for his English Hymnal published in 1906.
The other popular version was written by organist Harold Darke - then aged 21.
The meaning of his dedication to 'MAC' has only recently come to light.
Peggy Reynolds, Ian Bradley and Raymond Head discuss the history of the carol.
Rev Ian Bradley and Professor Richard Watson tell of the carol's history, Pamela Thomas describes hearing it during an execution in Texas, and Edith Stephens tells how, when growing up in Vienna, her nanny sang `Stille Nacht' with her on Christmas Eve and an angel appeared.
|01||06||Ode To Joy||20001231||20011118|
John Suchet describes the writing and performing of Beethoven's last symphony, choral conductor Simon Halsey talks about the difficulties the piece poses for choirs, and Susan Greenfield describes how it transformed a rainy afternoon the first time she heard it.
|01||08 LAST||You'll Never Walk Alone||20010114||20011202|
Composer Carl Davis explains the power of Rodgers and Hammerstein's showstopper, and Gerry Marsden recalls how his recording turned it into a football anthem.
|02||06 LAST||Amazing Grace||20010918||20011209|
A near-death experience at sea resulted in John Newton's conversion and, some years later, the writing of `Amazing Grace'.
Samuel Barber wrote his Adagio for Strings at the age of 26, little realising that the piece would become America's `national funeral music'.
Leonard Slatkin, Dana Captanino, and James and Sally Sewell describe the effect that this particular piece of music has had on their lives.
Cellists Steven Isserlis and Liam Abramson discuss Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, based on a prayer sung at Yom Kippur.
Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact.
This piece delighted the composer, yet he died nine days after its premiere.
Biographer Anthony Holden reveals the circumstances of his death while conductor Vassily Sinaisky explains the relevance and importance of the piece to the Russian people.
|04||04||Concerto In D Minor||20040720||20050321|
So little is known about the life of J S Bach yet his music opens up a world of imagination.
The Concerto in D minor is often described as being like a conversation between lovers.
David Gregory of the CBSO, rock guitarist Steve Hackett, and Terry Waite CBE are among those moved by the music of the two violins as they imitate, interrupt and overlap each other in one of Bach's most sublime creations.
|04||05 LAST||Like A Rolling Stone||20040727||20050328|
Bob Dylan's signature tune which became the anthem of a generation and scattered all preconceptions of what a pop 45rpm single could achieve.
Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper, Greil Marcus and Paula Radice muse on a song that threw down a challenge and changed lives.
|05||01||Debussy's Clair De Lune||20060228||20060304|
Supposedly inspired by Paul Verlaine's poem of the same name, Clair de Lune, for many people, conjures up the yearning romance of moonlight.
With contributions from comedian Phil Cool; Erica Duggan; harpist Sioned Williams; Debussy expert Richard Langham-Smith; astronomer Heather Couper and composer Elodie Lauten.
|05||03||Old Man River||20060314||20060318|
flowed out of the 1927 musical Show Boat, and remains with us as both a political anthem of oppressed people and a song of deep comfort.
Sung by a hospital porter, it was the last song that market trader Dave Everett heard before he went into surgery and it calmed his fears.
Tony Benn recalls hearing the great Paul Robeson singing it at the House of Lords Tea Room.
The programme includes interviews with Tony Benn, Paul Robeson Jr and Cleo Laine
Tony Benn, Cleo Laine and Paul Robeson Jr reflect on the emotional power of Ol' Man River.
Tony Benn, Cleo Laine and Paul Robeson Jr reflect on the emotional power of the song from the musical 'Showboat'. From March 2006.
|05||04 LAST||Widor's Toccata||20060321||20060325|
Organist Thomas Trotter dissects the popular piece of wedding music.
Widor's Toccata: Organist Thomas Trotter dissects the popular piece of wedding music.
Ever since Widor's Toccata was included in the marriage service of Princess Margaret in 1960, this display of fireworks at the organ has become a firm favourite for married couples to exit the church by at the end of their wedding ceremonies.
Famous organist Thomas Trotter dissects the intricacies and dispels the myths about playing Widor's Toccata, and organist Daniel Roth explains what it's like to be Widor's direct successor as the present day organist at the St Sulpice in Paris.
|06||04 LAST||Spem In Alium||20080129||20080202|
Thomas Tallis's work is one of the most elaborate and spectacular pieces of choral music ever written.
Scored for 40 voices, the piece is best sung and heard in the round in order to appreciate an extraordinary sonic experience.
Choral conductor Simon Halsey, Michael Morpurgo and others discuss the music's spine-tingling effect on both performers and listeners.
|07||04 LAST||What A Wonderful World||20081014||20081018|
Louis Armstrong recorded this classic, written especially for him, in 1967, amidst civil rights demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War.
Was it naive or a powerful anthem for peace?
|08||03||Vaughan Williams' Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis||20090915||20090919|
When Vaughan Williams wrote his Tallis Fantasia in 1910, he changed the course of British music.
Here at last was a piece of music which was no longer under the Teutonic influence, but which drew on old English hymn tunes and folk idioms for its themes.
As the string music builds to a climax, interviewees tell how this music has brought solace and hope in times of tragedy and changed the course of their lives.
|08||05 LAST||Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs||20090929||20091003|
Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal.
Richard Strauss was 84 when he completed his last work.
It was the Four Last Songs, which, although about death, convey a sense of calm acceptance.
It was written of its time in 1948, but it still touches the hearts of many listeners today.
As the soprano voice delves ever deeper into the richness of the music, interviewees tell how the Four Last Songs have brought calm and beauty at key moments in their lives.
People describe how Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs have brought solace at key moments.
|09||02||Mendelssohn Violin Concerto *||20100302||20100306|
Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal.
When Mendelssohn wrote his Violin Concerto in 1844 he could hardly have imagined how famous and well loved it would become.
In this programme, people tell how it has played an important part in their lives.
Violinist Daniel Hope tells how he got caught practising this concerto secretly locked in the bathroom at school.
Harry Atterbury remembers hearing the Mendelssohn for the first time on the night before a Second world War air raid which turned his life upside down.
Composer Stephen Pratt describes discovering that his father had played this concerto to cheer fellow soldiers in the jungle in Burma, and explains how this inspired him to write his own violin concerto.
People tell how Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto has played an important part in their lives.
|09||04||He's Got The Whole World In His Hands||20100316||20100320|
Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal.
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands is a spiritual song originating in the United States, but it first caught the public's attention when Laurie London took it to the top of the charts in 1958.
In this programme, people describe the place that the song has in their lives.
Including the conductor of a choir for refugees and asylum seekers and the minister who led prayers on President Obama's first day in office.
The programme also includes a performance from Washington Performing Arts Society's Children of the Gospel Choir.
They sang an arrangement of He's Got the Whole World in His Hands made by their conductor and Artistic Director Stanley J Thurston at the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on January 21, 2009.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and their families attended this service and the sermon was given by the Reverend Sharon E Watkins.
People describe the place that He's Got the Whole World in His Hands has in their lives.
|09||05 LAST||Bach's Goldberg Variations||20100323||20100327|
Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal.
Bach wrote his Goldberg Variations for harpsichord in the 1740s, but today it's performed by pianists all over the world.
People describe the place these pieces have in their lives, including a neuroscientist from New York, painist Angela Hewitt, a father driving his family through the night in the Australian Outback, and a woman from Oregon whose life was transformed, perhaps even saved, by this music.
People describe the place that Bach's Goldberg Variations have in their lives.
|10||05 LAST||The Emperor||20101005||20101009|
Majestic and moving in equal measure, Beethoven's fifth and final piano concerto, The Emperor, is this week's Soul Music.
Richard McMahon (concert pianist, and teacher at the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama) plays extracts and discusses the virtuosic demands posed by The Emperor.
Australian film producer, Hal McElroy, talks about using the Adagio (the second movement) to illustrate the classic 1970s film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
That was where Andrew Law - now Chaplain at Malvern College - first heard the piece.
He describes the Adagio as being 'one of those pieces of art which it is worth being alive to have heard'.
Concert pianist, James Rhodes, describes how The Emperor was central to his childhood and his developing love of Beethoven's piano music.
Music teacher and singer, Prue Hawthorne, recalls how her father (an amateur clarinetist) labouriously transcribed by hand the horn and clarinet sections of the first movement so they could play along with the record in their living room.
Also contributing is the renowned Beethoven biographer, John Suchet.
Producer: Karen Gregor.
Examining the power of Beethoven's fifth piano concerto, The Emperor.
Simple Gifts started life as a Shaker Hymn and became incorporated into the hymn Lord of the Dance and Aaron Copland's ballet suite Appalachian Spring.
In this programme, Nora Guthrie describes the central place this tune has played throughout her life.
Pete Lashley tells how he heard it unexpectedly whilst touring in New Zealand.
Michael Carter explains why his father chose this tune for his famous hymn "Lord of the Dance" and Scott Malchus describes running a marathon whilst listening to this music.
Producer, Rosie Boulton.
Music lovers describe the important place the tune Simple Gifts has had in their lives.
|11||03||The Impossible Dream||20110315||20110319|
In this series that explores those pieces of music that never fail to move us, this week we feature, 'The Impossible Dream', a song that talks of the resilience of the human spirit.
It tells the story of a quest and it's had a surprising journey of it's own.
It was originally composed for the 1965 musical The Man of La Mancha which was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes story of Don Quixote.
The music was written by Mitch Leigh and the lyrics by Joe Darion.
Now in his 80's Leigh explains how his first writing partner was W H Auden and talks about why this particular piece struck a chord with African American friends at that time.
Generations on, international Soprano Lesley Garrett recalls how this song inspired her childhood dreams in Doncaster, Yachtsman of the Year Geoff Holt talks about how this song carried him across the Atlantic on one of the most important voyages of his life and former advertising executive Rob Chew explains how this piece is helping him face lifes biggest challenge.
Producer Nicola Humphries.
Lesley Garrett and yachtsman Geoff Holt on the inspiring song, The Impossible Dream.
Written the year before Schubert's death aged just 31, these 24 songs based on poems by Wilhelm Muller describe a journey that takes us ever deeper into the frozen landscape of the soul.
Singers Thomas Hampson, Mark Padmore, Alice Coote and David Pisaro describe the experience of immersing themselves in this music.
And Bernard Keefe tells of the time he sang these songs in Hiroshima to survivors of the bomb.
Producer: Rosie Boulton.
Music lovers describe the part that Schubert's Winterreise has played in their lives.
|11||05 LAST||Mahler's Adagietto||20110329||20110402|
Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony
Mahler wrote his 5th Symphony during the summers of 1901 and 1902.
The Adagietto is the 4th movement which is thought to have been inspired by falling in love with Alma who he married around this time.
This single movement is Mahler's most well known piece of music.
It was famously used in the 1971 Luchino Visconti film Death in Venice And it was also conducted by Leonard Bernstein at the mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, New York on the day of the burial of Robert Kennedy.
In this programme, composer David Matthews explains the significance of this piece in Mahler's output.
Psychoanalyst Anthony Cantle describes listening to it with his mother during her last days of dementia.
Malcolm Reid tells how this piece signified a change in himself as a young man in the British police force with narrow, racist views, to hearing it in Australia and shifting his to becoming a liberal.
And Helen Epstein explains why it was played at her mother's funeral.
Producer, Rosie Boulton.
Music lovers describe the part that Mahler's Adagietto has played in their lives.
This exploration of the impact that Mendelssohn's Octet has had on different people's lives, demonstrates the healing power of music in a variety of situations around the world.
Mendelssohn wrote his Octet for double string quartet in 1825 when he was only 16 years old.
Despite his youth, this is a mature and brilliant piece of music described in this programme by the interviewees as "carnivalesque", "a romp", "a party".
Choreographer Bill T Jones describes the way in which the Octet showed his company how to keep living during the onslaught of AIDS in the 80's.
Cellist Raphael and violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch talk about falling in love whilst learning this music in the 70's.
South Korean Lisa Kim tells a story about going on tour with the New York Philharmonic to North Korea and her intense fear and mistrust being replaced by wonder when they played the Octet with a North Korean Quartet.
And Matthew Trusler describes the importance of playing this work after the death of his son.
The recording of the Mendelssohn Octet featured in the programme is by the Emerson String Quartet on Deutsche Gramophon.
Exploring the impact that Mendelssohn's Octet has had on different people's lives.
, the ultimate country/pop crossover track, is the subject of this week's Soul Music.
David Crary is a lineman from Oklahoma.
He describes his job - storm-chasing to mend fallen power-lines; travelling on 'dirt roads, gravel roads, paved roads...
up in the farmlands of Illinois and Missouri...
down south in the Swamplands...
it ain't nothing to swerve in the middle of the road in your bucket-truck to miss an alligator '.
He recalls the first time he heard Wichita Lineman, travelling in the back of his family's Station Wagon, listening to the radio...
thinking that being a lineman 'must be a cool job' if someone's written a song about it.
Also a part-time musician, David has recorded his own version of the song which sums up his working life...
on the road, working long hours, away from his wife and six kids.
Wichita Lineman was written by Jimmy Webb for the Country star Glen Campbell.
It tells the story of a lonely lineman in the American midwest, travelling vast distances to mend power and telephone lines.
Released in 1968 it's an enduring classic, crossing the boundary between pop and country.
It's been covered many times, but it's Glen Campbell's version which remains the best loved and most played.
Johnny Cash also recorded an extraordinary and very raw version.
Peter Lewry, a lifelong Cash fan, describes how this recording came about, towards the end of Cash's career.
Meggean Ward's father was a lineman in Rhode Island...
her memories of seeing him in green work trousers, a plaid shirt and black boots, wrapping his cracked hands in bandages every morning before setting off to climb telephone poles are interwoven forever with Wichita Lineman...
as a child she always felt the song was written for her father, who else?
Glen Campbell also gave an interview for this programme.
Shortly after the interview was recorded, Campbell went public about his diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
His contribution to the programme is brief, and includes an acoustic performance of the song.
It was a real privilege to record this, appropriately enough, down the line.
Producer: Karen Gregor.
Wichita Lineman - the ultimate country/pop track, an enduring classic on UK and US radio.
|12||03||Spiegel Im Spiegel||20110830||20110903|
Exploring the impact that Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's piece for piano and violin Spiegel im Spiegel has had on people's lives.
Written in 1978, just prior to his departure from Estonia, Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel is musically minimal, yet produces a serene tranquillity.
It's in F major in 6/4 time, with the piano playing rising crotchet triads and the violin playing slow scales, alternately rising and falling, of increasing length, which all end on the note A.
The score of the piece looks deceptively simple, but as violinist, Tasmin Little explains, it's one of the most difficult pieces to perform because the playing has to simply be perfect, or the mood is lost.
"Spiegel im Spiegel" in German literally can mean both "mirror in the mirror" as well as "mirrors in the mirror", referring to the infinity of images produced by parallel plane mirrors.
The programme contains an interview with visual artist Mary Husted who heard this work and was inspired to produce a set of collages called "Spiegel im Spiegel" which in a round about way, led to her long lost son tracing her for the first time in his life.
Exploring the impact of Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel on listener's lives.
|12||04||Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind||20110906||20110910|
The words of one of our most loved hymns, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, were taken from the last six verses of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, The Brewing of Soma, an attack on ostentatious and overt religious practise.
But it wasn't until over fifty years later, that a school master at Repton in Derbyshire had the inspiration to pair it with a tune by Sir Hubert Parry, thus confirming it as a favourite for school assemblies, funerals and weddings.
The current Director of Music at Repton, John Bowley, explains how this happened, while composer and conductor Bob Chilcott explains why this was a musical marriage made in heaven.
We hear from those for who whom the hymn has special significance, including the MP from Gloucester, Richard Graham; when briefly imprisoned in a Libyan gaol in 1978 he found enormous comfort in the words and tune.
Pipe Major Ross Munro remembers recording the piece in the sweltering heat of Basra with members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and film director Joe Wright recalls how the inclusion of this hymn was central to the power of his famous scene depicting the evacuation of Dunkirk in his film, Atonement.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.
Exploring one of our favourite hymns, appealing to that 'still small voice of calm'.
The current Director of Music at Repton, John Bowley, explains how this happened, while composer and conductor Bob Chilcott explains why this was a musical mariage made in heaven.
We hear from those for who whom the hymn has special significance, including the MP from Gloucester, Richard Graham; when briefly imprisoned in a Libyan goal in 1978 he found enormous comfort in the words and tune.
Pipe Major Ross Munro remembers recording the piece in the swelting heat of Basra with members if the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and film director Joe Wright recalls how the inclusion of this hymn was central to the power of his famous scene depicting the evacuation of Dunkirl in his film Atonement.
|12||05 LAST||Let's Face The Music And Dance||20110913||20110917|
The enduring Irving Berlin classic, Let's Face the Music and Dance is celebrated by those for whom it has a special significance.
Written in 1932 as one of the dance numbers for Follow The Fleet, a movie starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, it's since taken on a life of it's own, being recorded by hundreds of artists from Diane Krall to Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra to Vera Lynn, Ella Fitzgerald to Matt Munroe.
For Sir John Mortimer's widow, Penny, it conjures up the very essence of her husband, who loved life, romance and dancing - even though he was no Fred Astaire , a fact he always deeply regretted.
Lawrence Bergreen , Berlin's biographer and academic Morris Dickstein explain why this song has such a unique place in popular culture and the cabaret singer and composer, Kit Hesketh Harvey explains why the melody continues to haunt us.
We hear from the bride and groom who decided to dance down the aisle to it after their wedding and the redundant welder for whom the song will be forever associated with the demise of our ship building industry.
While one insurance executive recalls how the the song became central to their advertising campaign, bringing success to the firm and also placing Nat King Cole's version back in the charts nearly sixty years after it was written.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.
An exploration of the enduring Irving Berlin classic.
|13||01||Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street||20120131||20120318|
Gerry Rafferty's glorious and instantly recognisable hit, Baker Street launches the new series of Soul Music.
Rafferty died just over a year ago (on January 4th 2011) at the age of 63, and to mark the anniversary we're celebrating his most popular hit.
His daughter Martha Rafferty recalls hearing her father develop the melody in the attic of their Glasgow home; the sound of him picking-out the tune on his acoustic guitar would drift through the push-up attic-door, filling the rest of the house with what would become his biggest hit. She describes the inspiration for the lyrics: a book called 'The Outsider' by Colin Wilson which Rafferty was reading at the time. It's about the sense of disconnection from the world that artists often feel. Martha regards Baker Street as the lyrical version of that book.
Other contributors include:
Musician and founder member of Stealer's Wheel, Rab Noakes. He describes how the legal wrangling which followed the break-up of Stealer's Wheel inspired the creation of Baker Street. "Winding your way down on Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet, well another crazy day, you'll drink the night away and forget about everything". Although Rafferty was living in Scotland at the time, he had to endure long meetings at his lawyers, and Baker Street was where he'd meet friends and drink, and sing, and talk the night away. The lyrics explore the conflicting thoughts and pressures Rafferty faced: he wanted to continue with his music, but - as Martha says - he had a young family to support and there was pressure to get a 'normal job'.
Singer-songwriter Betsy Cook whose former husband, the late Hugh Murphy, produced Baker Street, plays through the melody on her keyboard and describes what makes the song work musically. She also recalls the emotional impact of hearing it played at Hugh Murphy's funeral.
For poet, Ian McMillan, Baker Street provided the sound track to his student years; and busker Gavin Randle plays it often on Brighton pier with a backdrop of murmurating starlings, a setting sun, and passers-by dancing arm in arm.
Martha Rafferty's interview at the start of the programme is illustrated by an acoustic version of the track played especially for Soul Music by the guitarist Hugh Burns. He played on the original recording, and explains how he achieved the stirring guitar solo at the end of the record.
Also included in the programme is the original demo version of Baker Street, on which Gerry Rafferty plays the famous sax solo on guitar. It was released late last year on a Collector's Edition of the City to City album.
Producer: Karen Gregor (whose first decision when starting work on the programme was not to mention the Bob Holness/saxophone riff urban myth... so there is no word of it anywhere in the programme...!).
A celebration of Gerry Rafferty's popular solo hit, Baker Street.
Gerry Rafferty's glorious and instantly recognisable hit, Baker Street is the subject of this week's Soul Music.
Rafferty died last year (on January 4th 2011) at the age of 63, leaving behind a widely respected musical legacy. The most popular of his tracks is, arguably, Baker Street:
|13||02||The Miners' Hymn||20120207||20120211|
The haunting melancholy of Gresford, the Miners' Hymn, is the music explored in this week's programme.
Written by a former miner, Robert Saint, to commemorate the Gresford pit disaster in 1934 it has been played at mining events ever since; most notably at the famous Durham Miners' Gala.
Contributors to the programme include:
Albert Rowlands, now 91, was working in the lamp-room of Gresford colliery when there was a devastating underground explosion. His father was among the men lost.
Peter Crookston is the author of 'The Pitmen's Requiem' a book which explores the history of the great northern coalfield and the life of Robert Saint.
Robert Saint's grandson, David Saint, is the acting principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire and organist at St. Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham. Playing through Gresford on the cathedral organ, he explains what makes the piece work at an emotional level.
Cecil Peacock is a former miner, musician and music teacher. Illustrated by his own rendition of Gresford, he recalls playing Gresford at the funerals of 83 miners who died following the Easington Colliery disaster in 1951.
Max Roberts is the Director of the hugely successful play, The Pitmen Painters, which tells the story of a group of miners in the 1930s who studied art and whose work became internationally renowned. He talks about why he decided to use the hymn Gresford - sung wonderfully in harmony - at the end of the play.
Roy Dickinson attended the famous Durham Miners' Gala every year. As a small boy he was overwhelmed when he walked into the vast space of Durham Cathedral... hung with miners' banners proclaiming socialist slogans... with Gresford as the musical backdrop... bringing tears to the most hardened of miners' eyes.
Canon David Griffiths is a former miner, and was once the priest of Gresford Parish Church. He commissioned a painting to commemorate the disaster and the men who lost their lives.
With thanks to Trevor Sutherland and the Llay Welfare band who kindly allowed us to use their version of Gresford to illustrate David Griffiths' interview.
Producer: Karen Gregor
NB: Some sources say that 266 men lost their lives, some say 265. The figure given in the official report of the Public Inquiry by HM Inspector of mines is 265, which is why this number was quoted in the programme.
This quote from Peter Crookston's book 'The Pitmen's Requiem' provides clarity (thanks to Mr Crookston for permission to quote):
Of the 261 men killed by the explosion in the Dennis Section of the mine, at 2 am on Saturday 22 September 1934, only 11 bodies were recovered. All had died from poisoning by carbon monoxide, a gas known to miners as afterdamp, which is formed following an explosion of firedamp. Three members of a rescue brigade died from the same cause later that day as they tried to find survivors.
'Fire followed the explosion,' wrote the Chief Inspector of Mines, 'and more particularly an extensive fire in the main intake airway.which was fought continuously and unavailingly until the evening of the following day, by which time it was certain that all men unaccounted for must be dead and the conditions as regards the presence of inflammable gas had become imminently dangerous.'
Both shafts of the colliery were capped and sealed off. For three days after the explosion other explosions followed as fire raged through the gas-filled section of the mine, one of them killing a surface worker when he was hit by debris blown out through a capping seal. This brought the total number of dead to 265.
A man died months later and the miners' union said he had also been a victim of the disaster, so his name was put on the memorial in Wales, which is where the figure 266 comes from. But for those actually killed by the explosion, its aftermath and the gas, the figure is 265.
Exploration of the haunting melancholy of Gresford, the Miners' Hymn, by Robert Saint.
|13||03||Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto||20120214||20120218|
which was famously featured in David Lean's film "Brief Encounter", is one of the world's most popular pieces of classical. In this programme people describe the way in which Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto has touched and shaped their lives. The programme features a pianist from Taiwan whose memories of a repressive childhood were dispelled by the emotions contained within this music. Plus a story from an acclaimed pianist from Argentina who was told she would never play the piano again after a serious car accident, but who has recently performed this piece in New York. And finally an account of the place that this piece of passionate and heartfelt music played in the life of John Peel and his family, told by his wife Sheila Ravenscroft.
The concerto is also given historical and musical context in the programme by pianists Peter Donohoe and Howard Shelley.
Producer: Rosie Boulton.
An exploration of how Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto touches and changes people's lives.
|13||04||Non, Je Ne Regret Rien||20120221||20120325|
The powerful song, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, made famous by Edith Piaf, is this week's Soul Music.
Written in 1960 by Charles Dumont, in a fit of despair, he gave the music to lyricist Michel Vaucaire, but was surprised by the words he wrote. Dumont thought the song should be about war or revolution. Vaucaire explained he wanted to give the song to Edith Piaf. She was living in Paris at the time, having recently finished her 'suicide tour' during which she had collapsed. At that time, Piaf didn't think much of Charles Dumont and tried to cancel their appointment. But on hearing the song, Piaf told Dumont that with this song, she would sing again.
Charles Dumont who lives in Paris at the same apartment, with the same piano on which he wrote the song in 1960. He plays the song on the very same piano.
Lord Lamont, who became associated with the song when asked by a reporter which he regretted most - talking about the 'green shoots of recovery' or allegedly singing in the bath after the withdrawal of Britain from the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Lamont famously replied 'Je ne regrette rien.'
Christine Bovill, who tours a one-woman show about Piaf's life.
Carolyn Birke, biographer of Piaf.
How the powerful song, Non Je Ne Regrette Rien, revived its singer and became her epitaph.
The powerful song, Non, je ne regret rien, made famous by Edith Piaf, is this week's Soul Music.
Lord Lamont, who became associated with the song when asked by a reporter which he regretted most - talking about the 'green shoots of recovery' or allegedly singing in the bath after the withdrawal of Britain from the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Lamont famously replied 'Je ne regret rien.'
How the powerful song, Non, Je Ne Regret Rien, revived its singer and became her epitaph.
|13||05 LAST||The Hallelujah Chorus||20120228||20120303|
Stirring, emotional and unmistakable: The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah is the subject of this week's Soul Music.
The Alzheimer's Society runs a group called 'Singing for the Brain'. It's for people with dementia or Alzheimers and their carers who come together to sing in a group. As music is tied so closely to emotional memories, often lyrics and music remain firmly fixed in the brain, even though other memories have died away.
Julia Burton of the Alzheimer's Society recalls the power of the Hallelujah Chorus, as performed at a special event by Singing for the Brain groups in Wiltshire and Dorset.
Mrs Vera Fiton, whose late husband - Ted - had dementia talks about how important the weekly singing group was for both of them. Taking Ted from his care home to 'do the Hallelujah' was a weekly highlight, he enjoyed it so much, Vera recalls, that he'd still be singing in the taxi on the way home.
Carol Pemberton, of the Birmingham-based a capella quintet 'Black Voices', took part in the reopening concert of Birmingham Town Hall in 2007. The programme director suggested they sing The Messiah, but not as Handel intended, rather a daring interpretation arranged by Quincy Jones, called the 'Soulful Messiah'. It's a soul/gospel version which has to be heard to be believed! Carol describes performing it as one of the biggest highs of her career to date.
Jennifer Blakeley runs Alphabet Photography, a photo company based in Niagara Falls in Canada. She came up with the idea of staging a Flash Mob to promote her company. The Hallelujah Chorus had long been a favourite piece, and she - along with her local choir - set up a flash-mob in a local shopping mall. The result was emotional, extraordinary... and achieved so much more than the intended aim to boost her business. Passers by , not linked with the choir, joined in... others cried, emotions ran high. And the resulting You Tube video has now attracted over 37 million hits.
Paul Spicer, composer, conductor and organist, describes the historical backdrop to Handel's exhilirating composition.
Producer: Karen Gregor.
Stirring, emotional and unmistakable: The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah.
Anti-apartheid campaigner Albie Sachs on the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony.
While for many, it will be always associated with brown bread, the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony is an enduring a piece that never fails to move and inspire. We hear from the anti- apartheid campaigner Albie Sachs, who explains that through whistling the theme while in solitary confinement, he was able to make contact with the wider world and kept his spirit and hope alive.
Margaret Caldicott recalls the important role the piece played in her mother's life while in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
Producer Lucy Lunt
An exploration of how Beethoven's Violin Concerto has touched and changed people's lives.
Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61 was written in 1806, but was not a success at its premiere. 200 years on and this Concerto is regarded as one of the greatest pieces ever written for the violin. This programme explores ways in which the Beethoven Violin Concerto has touched and shaped people's lives. Writer Kelly Cherry describes her father loving this piece and still remembering it even when he had Alzheimers. Violinist Robert Gupta talks about this piece being the music which cemented his friendship with Nathaniel Ayers - a moment which changed Robert's life. Joe Quigley remembers hearing the Concerto at a crucial point in his life whilst living in a monastery. Devorina Gamalova recalls being entranced by this music as a child. And violinist Christian Tetzlaff talks about what it's like to play the Beethoven Violin Concerto.
Producer: Rosie Boulton.
|14||03||The Skye Boat Song||20120911||20120915|
For many hearing The Skye Boat Song brings back a wealth of childhood memories, as the words "Speed Bonnie Boat Like a Bird on the Wing" tell the story of the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie, dressed as a maid to the Isle of Skye, after this defeat at the battle of Culloden.
Originally written by Sir Harold Boulton and Anne MacLeod back in the 1870's, we explore the beauty of this song and how it continues to touch people's lives across the world in very different ways.
Contributors in this programme include:
The Queen's Piper, who has played this tune in happy and sad times, recalls playing it outside the Queen's window and leading Princess Margaret's cortege. A New Zealand artist shares his memories of time spent with his father, and the sound of him whistling the song on their way home as dusk fell. A sailor from the Isle of Skye, describes his connection with the spirituality of piece and the Loch on which he sails.
Acclaimed violinist Tasmin Little shares her own arrangement of the piece and explains why it works so well musically. An Australian mum, tells how important this song has been in connecting with the two girls she has adopted from China. Gaelic Singer Maggie MacInnes tells the history of the piece.
The programme includes music by Julian Lloyd Webber, The Corries and Pete Lashley.
Producer - Rachel Matthews.
|14||05 LAST||Bach's St Matthew Passion||20120925||20120930|
was written in 1727 and was probably first performed as part of the Good Friday Service at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. This programme explores ways in which Bach's St Mattew Passion touches and changes people's lives. Guitarist Andrew Schulman describes what happened when he was played this music whilst he was in a coma. James Jacobs talks about the St Matthew Passion providing solace in difficult times during childhood. And singer Emma Kirkby, conductor Paul Spicer and musical historian Simon Heighes explore how the music works and what it's like to perform.
Producer: Rosie Boulton.
An exploration of how Bach's St Matthew Passion touches and changes people's lives.
Bach's St Matthew Passion was written in 1727 and was probably first performed as part of the Good Friday Service at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. This programme explores ways in which Bach's St Matthew Passion touches and changes people's lives. Guitarist Andrew Schulman describes what happened when he was played this music whilst he was in a coma. James Jacobs talks about the St Matthew Passion providing solace in difficult times during childhood. And singer Emma Kirkby, conductor Paul Spicer and musical historian Simon Heighes explore how the music works and what it's like to perform.