Words And Music

Sundays, around 10.15pm.

Every Sunday evening Radio 3 brings you a sequence of classical music, interspersed with well-loved and less familiar poems and prose read by leading actors.

Each week the selection of readings and music is chosen broadly to illustrate or complement a theme.

Full details of all the pieces in the programme are published on the website ahead of broadcast.

Also on the website, alongside each programme, will be a note from the sequence's producer giving an insight into their choice of words and music.

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20070624

Transfigured Night

A sequence of poetry and music taking Richard Dehmel's poem Transfigured Night as a starting point for a theme around night and dreams.

Simon Russell Beale and Emma Fielding read a selection from Longfellow, Poe, Milton, Gerald Manley Hopkins with archive readings from Dylan Thomas and Michael Longley. Music includes Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht, Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit and Takemitsu's Dreamtime.

20070805

A Song of the Seasons

Anthony Calf and Rebecca Saire read poems in an uninterrupted sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of the seasons. Including Thomas Hardy's During Wind and Rain, Philip Larkin's And now the leaves suddenly lose strength, and AE Housman's Loveliest of Trees.

With music by Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Debussy and Britten.

20071007

The Truth about Love

Derek Jacobi and Juliet Stevenson read poetry and prose around the theme of love, including Marvell's To His Coy Mistress, Philip Larkin's Arundel Tomb and Auden's poems Lullaby and Oh Tell me the truth about love.

Music includes Britten's Auden settings, Elgar's Salut d'amour, madrigals by De Rore and Dufay, and Wagner's Prelude to Tristan und Isolde.

20071118

By the Sea

Fiona Shaw and Alex Jennings read a selection of poetry and prose on a sea theme from Elizabeth Bishop, Michael Longley, Charles Dickens, John Masefield and Hugo Williams, with music inspired by the sea by Charles Trenet, Benjamin Britten, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

20071202

From London to Paris

With the opening of London's new international terminal to Paris, Sophie Okonedo and Kenneth Cranham read a selection of poetry and prose around the theme of these two great cities.

Readings include words by Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth, Verlaine, George Orwell and Fleur Adcock, and a range of music from Gibbons, Noel Coward, Elgar, Boulez and Yves Montand.

20071209

Magic

Nicholas Farrell and Miriam Margolyes conjure up words on magic by Shakespeare, Pushkin, Martin Feinstein, Chaucer, Derek Walcott and Keats. These are accompanied by the music of Wagner, Mendelssohn and Tippett, among others.

20071216

To Music

Diana Rigg and Samuel West read a selection of poetry on the theme of music. Including Elizabeth Jennings's First Music, Andrew Marvell's The Empire of Music, DH Lawrence's Piano and TS Eliot's Four Quartets, and WB Yeats reading his poem The Fiddler of Donney.

Music includes Webern's arrangement of Bach's A Musical Offering, songs by Dowland and Schubert, and Seamus Heaney's reading of The Given Note accompanied by piper Liam O'Flynn.

20071223

In Search of England

Rachel Atkins and Joseph Kloska read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of England from John Agard, Maura Dooley, Robert Browning, Fleur Adcock and George Orwell, with music by Delius, Vaughan Williams, Billy Bragg and Purcell.

20080113

Ode to Gaia

Sian Thomas and Jamie Glover read poetry and prose on a theme of the state of the planet, including work by Ted Hughes, WH Auden, John Clare, Alice Oswald, Rachel Carson and Philip Larkin. With music inspired by our landscape by Peter Maxwell Davies, John Cage and Mahler.

20080127

Lost in the City of Waters

Jeremy Irons and Anna Massey explore the splendour and decadence of Venice through the poetry and prose of Longfellow, Browning, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust. With music by Luigi Nono, Gounod, Vivaldi, Hahn, Liszt and Gabrieli.

20080316

Say, What Shall We Dance?

In a sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of dance, Michael Maloney and Emily Raymond read works by Thomas Moore, Laurence Binyon, Rilke, Philip Larkin, Roger McGough and Goethe alongside music by Johann Strauss, Debussy, Louis Andriessen and Britten.

20080420

Two Americas

William Hope and Yolanda Vasquez read poetry and prose on a theme of Two Americas, North and South including work by Walt Whitman, TS Eliot, Robert Frost, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. With music inspired by the Americas from Villa-Lobos, Aaron Copland, Astor Piazzolla and Charles Ives.

20080629

Birth and Rebirth

Josette Simon and Julian Rhind-Tutt are the readers in this edition, which focuses on the theme of babies, flowers and birds, Creation and the Resurrection, and all things new and reborn.

With poems and texts by Sylvia Plath, Wordsworth, Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dorothy Parker and Margaret Drabble, as well as music from Delius, Warlock, Bach and Cleo Laine.

20080713

Blood Wedding

Composer Simon Holt, a lifelong admirer of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, selects music, poetry and prose reflecting the mages of blood, marriage and the moon which suffuse his best-known play, Blood Wedding, performed on Radio 3 earlier this evening.

Including music by Bach, Berg, Bowie, Marilyn Mozart, Manson, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Scarlatti and Lorca and Holt themselves, plus actors Ian McDiarmid and Nuria Benet reading extracts from TS Eliot's Four Quartets, poems by William Empson and Don Paterson, Roberto Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet.

20080720

Ecstasy

A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture, with readings by actors Michael Elwyn and Eleanor Bron.

With works exploring religious ecstasy from John Donne and George Herbert as well as by Olivier Messiaen and Robert Carver. The Romantic obsession with the mind-altering power of the outdoor world is reflected in works by Wordsworth and Schubert. There are also musical evocations of ecstatic feelings in pieces by Scriabin and Thomas Ades, and poetic depictions of the elation felt by lovers in writings by Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson.

20080727

Dancing in the Wind

Sara Kestelman and Rory Kinnear read poetry and prose on the theme of childhood.

Including Prayer before Birth by Louis MacNeice; Morning Song by Sylvia Plath; Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney; and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Music includes Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, Rufus Wainwright's The Art Teacher, John Tavener's To a child dancing in the wind, Schumann's Kinderszenen and Hans Kraas' Brundibar.

20081005

Weary with Toil

Harriet Walter and Robert Glenister read poetry and prose on a theme of work and toil by Shakespeare, Kathleen Jamie, Simon Armitage, John Clare and Carol Rumens. With music by Beethoven, Handel, Elvis Costello and Shostakovich.

20081012

The Ringing Grooves of Change

Penny Downie and Adrian Lukis read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of revolution and change, with poetry by William Blake and Yeats and music by Shostakovich and Paul Robeson.

20081019

Wild Wood

The Wild Wood is where to find Dante and Winnie the Pooh. It's where to shelter from the storm and where one is stalked by nameless terror. It's a place for monkish retreat and contemplation, and a place where, according to Vaughan Williams, an amorous Sir John Falstaff can be found prancing around with antlers on his head.

Readers Emma Fielding and John Rowe visit this beguiling and bewildering space, with the musical help of Wagner, Schubert, John Coltrane and Radiohead.

20081109

War and Peace

On a theme of the eternal struggle between conflict and concord, Joanna David and Paul McGann read poems by Emily Dickinson, George Herbert, John Milton, Wilfred Owen, Edith Sitwell and Walt Whitman. Including music by Bartok, Dowland, William Lawes, Monteverdi and Purcell.

20120617

Poems, prose and music on the theme of the Rose. Ruby petals, emerald stems: the rose speaks love. Its language is beauty, tenderness and eternity; its colour is passion. But the rose also speaks a less familiar language, that of peace, nationalism and revolution, the strangeness of mysticism and the finality of death. This hymn plucks rare and wild roses for its verses with music by Britten, Delius and Bridge and words by Charles Tomlinson, Dorothy Parker and WB Yeates, read by Lindsay Duncan and Iwan Rheon.

04/05/200820081123

With Alison Steadman and Timothy West reading a selection of verse on the theme of food and drink, including Moules a la mariniere by Elizabeth Garrett, Since by WH Auden and Chocs by Carol Ann Duffy as well as Tony Harrison's A Kumquat for John Keats, Hillaire Belloc's On Food and Elizabeth Bishop's The Fish. Interwoven with the poetry is Schubert's Trout Quintet, Feast of the Pheasant by Binchois and Fats Waller performing Hold Tight Want Some Seafood Mama.

191520150201

Anna Chancellor and Malcolm Storry read from literary names including Edith Wharton, Franz Kafka, D. H. Lawrence, P. G. Wodehouse and John Buchan who all published in 1915. For some the war is a vital subject, for others, it's a background presence - and for many, their work shows no hint of the conflict unfolding in Europe and beyond. The music includes Delius, Barber, Bessie Smith and an archive recording of Elgar conducting his own work Polonia Op 76.

Producer Mohini Patel.

A Beat In Time2007102120100725

Actors Greta Scacchi and Greg Wise delve into poems on the subject of time: lives ticking away as the poets contemplate ageing and change, the rhythm of life and clocks themselves - objects that rule our lives.

With poems and prose by Virginia Woolf, Ts Eliot, Wendy Cope, Sylvia Plath and Shakespeare and music by Haydn, Ravel, John Cage, Bach and Philip Glass

With poems and prose by Virginia Woolf, Ts Eliot, Sylvia Plath and Shakespeare and music by Haydn, Ravel, John Cage, Bach and Philip Glass.

A selection of music and poetry on a theme of Time.

A Beat In Time20100725

Actors Greta Scacchi and Greg Wise delve into poems on the subject of Time: lives ticking away as the poets contemplate ageing and change, the rhythm of life, and clocks themselves - objects that rule our lives. With poems and prose by Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot, Sylvia Plath and Shakespeare and music by Haydn, Ravel, John Cage, Bach and Philip Glass.

A selection of music and poetry on a theme of Time.

A Book Of Hours2008010620100731

Amanda Root and Rory Kinnear take an imaginative journey around the clock over the course of 24 hours with poems and prose by Fleur Adcock, John Clare, Shakespeare, Byron, Walt Whitman and Carol Ann Duffy, and music by Sibelius, Debussy, Elvis Costello, Copland and Falla.

Amanda Root and Rory Kinnear take an imaginative journey around the clock over the course of twenty four hours with poems by John Clare, Byron, Louis MacNeice and Carol Ann Duffy and music by Samuel Barber, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel and Elvis Costello.

A sequence of words and music which journey around the clock over the course of 24 hours.

A Book of Hours

A Celebration of the Life of Bach20171224

The words of Bach and those who knew him. With readers Roger Allam and David Annen.

A Change In The Weather20080330

To mark 85 years since the first forecast was broadcast on the BBC, Mark Strong and Niamh Cusack read poetry on the theme of the weather.

Featuring writings by John Donne, AA Milne, W H Auden, Laurence Binyon and Shakespeare interspersed with music from Gene Kelly, Ravel, Gershwin, Flanders and Swann, Mahler, Chopin and Terje Isungset.

A Change in the Weather

To mark 85 years since the first forecast was broadcast on the BBC, Mark Strong and Niamh Cusack read poetry on the theme of the weather.

A Change In The Weather *20080330

To mark 85 years since the first forecast was broadcast on the BBC, Mark Strong and Niamh Cusack read poetry on the theme of the weather.

Featuring writings by John Donne, AA Milne, W H Auden, Laurence Binyon and Shakespeare interspersed with music from Gene Kelly, Ravel, Gershwin, Flanders and Swann, Mahler, Chopin and Terje Isungset.

A Chinese Anthology20080615

Wendy Kweh and David Yip read from two millennia of Chinese poetry covering topics such as love, longing, loss, revolution and protest - with an early poem about a hangover.

Plus music from Debussy, Mahler and Puccini as well as Chinese classical music and folk songs.

Part of Radio 3's Focus on China season.

A Chinese Anthology

Wendy Kweh and David Yip read from two millennia of Chinese poetry covering topics such as love, longing, loss, revolution and protest - with an early poem about a hangover. Plus music from Debussy, Mahler and Puccini as well as Chinese classical music and folk songs.

A Chinese Anthology *20080615

Wendy Kweh and David Yip read from two millennia of Chinese poetry covering topics such as love, longing, loss, revolution and protest - with an early poem about a hangover.

Plus music from Debussy, Mahler and Puccini as well as Chinese classical music and folk songs.

Part of Radio 3's Focus on China season.

A Dante Sequence20070506

Dante's journey from the infernal underworld to Paradise in The Divine Comedy has inspired writers and composers through the ages.

In this sequence, poems by W H Auden, Samuel Beckett, Ts Eliot and Stevie Smith are interwoven with translations of the original by Benedict Flynn and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and music by Liszt, Messiaen and Salvatore Sciarrino.

A Dante Sequence

A Great Exhibition2011112720130713

This Words and Music is a celebration of The Great Exhibition 1851. The backbone of the programme is made up from descriptions of the rooms by Robert Hunt in his Companion to the Official Catalogue.

Scott Handy and Catherine Harvey read extracts from Robert Hunt together with poetry inspired by the exhibits on show. The display of locomotives in the Central Avenue, for example, leads here to William Carlos Williams' 'Overture to a Dance of Locomotives'. Similarly, China was represented by a model of a joss-house, which is depicted in the programme by Wang Wei's 'Toward the Temple of Heaped Fragrance' and Wordsworth's 'In My Mind's Eye a Temple, like a Cloud'.

The music includes Thomas Morley's 'Hard by a Crystal Fountain', Mosolov's 'Iron Foundry' and Bartok's 'Mikrokosmos'.

This Words and Music is a celebration of The Great Exhibition 1851.

The backbone of the programme is made up from descriptions of the rooms by Robert Hunt in his Companion to the Official Catalogue.

Scott Handy and Catherine Harvey read extracts from Robert Hunt together with poetry inspired by the exhibits on show.

The display of locomotives in the Central Avenue, for example, leads here to William Carlos Williams' 'Overture to a Dance of Locomotives'.

Similarly, China was represented by a model of a joss-house, which is depicted in the programme by Wang Wei's 'Toward the Temple of Heaped Fragrance' and Wordsworth's 'In My Mind's Eye a Temple, like a Cloud'.

Scott Handy and Catherine Harvey read poetry and prose inspired by the Great Exhibition.

A Greek Odyssey20121202

Words and Music on the theme of Greece, from classical antiquity to modern day Greece, gripped by austerity.

Sian Phillips and Timothy West read the classical poetry of Euripedes and Homer, defiant verses against the 1960s Junta by Nobel prize winner George Seferis, and contemporary poetry about Greece and the financial crisis.

There is poetry by Lord Byron, regarded as a national hero in Greece for joining their fight for independence, and readings from Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, about his childhood in Corfu, and Louis de Berniere's novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin, set on the island of Kefalonia during the occupation of World War II.

The selection of music includes Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis (born 1925), best known for his film-scores Zorba the Greek and Z, plus opera settings of great Greek mythology, including Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and Monteverdi's Orfeo.

Producer: Timothy Prosser.

A Legend Of Good Women2012052020130407

Since ancient times poets, artists and composers have celebrated the ideal woman. Chaucer's famous poem, from which this programme takes its title, undermined and satirised this process: does abandonment, assault and suffering make for a "good" woman and what place do the murderous Medea and Philomela have in the parade of virtuous femininity?

Oliver Dimsdale and Sian Thomas read poems by Tennyson, Carol Ann Duffy and Browning with music by Gluck, Sibelius, Handel and Stravinsky.

Producer: Natalie Steed

First broadcast in May 2012.

Oliver Dimsdale and Sian Thomas read poems by Tennyson, Carol Ann Duffy and Aphra Behn with music by Salieri, Handel and Britten.

A Silver Sea20150322

The waters around the British Isles have inspired artists, writers and composers for centuries. In this edition of Words and Music Julian Glover and Eleanor Tomlinson share the poetic responses alongside music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ethel Smyth, Felix Mendelssohn and John Ireland, the sum describing a journey around the British Isles.

A Song Of The Seasons2007042920070805

Anthony Calf and Rebecca Saire read poems in an uninterrupted sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of the seasons.

Including Thomas Hardy's During Wind and Rain, Philip Larkin's And now the leaves suddenly lose strength, and AE Housman's Loveliest of Trees.

With music by Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Debussy and Britten.

Anthony Calf and Keeley Hawes read poems in an uninterrupted sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of the seasons.

Including A Song of the Seasons by Alfred Perceval Graves, Thomas Hardy's During Wind and Rain, Philip Larkin's And now the leaves suddenly lose strength, and AE Housman's Loveliest of Trees.

With music by Vivaldi, Astor Piazzolla, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Britten.

A Song of the Seasons

Anthony Calf and Keeley Hawes read poems in an uninterrupted sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of the seasons. Including A Song of the Seasons by Alfred Perceval Graves, Thomas Hardy's During Wind and Rain, Philip Larkin's And now the leaves suddenly lose strength, and AE Housman's Loveliest of Trees.

A String Of Pearls20161211

Pearls of Oyster, born of the new moon and harvested at great peril; pearls for tears and teeth, pearls flung round the neck of a lover; pearls of joy and pearls of sorrow; pearls of poetry and myth; Jude Akuwudike and Aysha Kala read the pearly words of Pliny and Keats, Shakespeare and Erasmus, Darwin and Steinbeck to the sound of Debussy and Bartok, Gershwin and Bruckner, Shankar and Britten.

A String Of Pearls20171220

Texts and music on the theme of pearls, with readings by Aysha Kala and Jude Akuwudike.

Pearls of Oyster, born of the new moon and harvested at great peril; pearls for tears and teeth, pearls flung round the neck of a lover; pearls of joy and pearls of sorrow; pearls of poetry and myth; Jude Akuwudike and Aysha Kala read the pearly words of Pliny and Keats, Shakespeare and Erasmus, Darwin and Steinbeck to the sound of Debussy and Bartok, Gershwin and Bruckner, Shankar and Britten.

A Traveller's Path20070826

As many will be experiencing the inevitable travel chaos of the late summer bank holiday weekend, this sequence of poetry and music explores the idea of the journey.

Melanie Kilburn and Joe Dunlop read a selection from Tennyson, Plath, Baudelaire and Wordsworth, with archive readings from John Betjeman and Philip Larkin.

Music includes Nielsen's Helios Overture, Vaughan Williams's Songs of Travel and Ligeti's Lux Aeterna.

A Traveller's Path

Abundance20120219

: plenty, excess and enough. Hayley Carmichael and Nicholas Farrell read poems by Ted Hughes, Louis MacNeice and Thomas Campion with music from Prokofiev, Dutilleux and Thomas Tallis.

Producer NATALIE STEED.

Music and poetry on the theme of abundance read by Nicholas Farrell and Hayley Carmichael.

"Abundance: plenty, excess and enough."

Hayley Carmichael and Nicholas Farrell read poems by Ted Hughes, Louis MacNeice and Thomas Campion with music from Prokofiev, Dutilleux and Thomas Tallis.

After Life20131020

Words and Music ? After Life

Samantha Morton and Jonathan Coy with poetry, prose and music by women and men who have lost loved ones, exploring the complexities of grief and coming to terms with living without them.

After Shakespeare2014042720150101 (R3)

Poetry, prose and music inspired by Shakespeare including words by T.S. Eliot, Michael Longley, Anna Akmatova, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Hardy and Carol Ann Duffy and Yeats and music by Sibelius, Verdi, Elvis Costello, Duke Ellington, Stravinsky and Berlioz. The readers are Rory Kinnear and Adjoa Andoh.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Poetry, prose and music inspired by Shakespeare including words by T.S. Eliot, Michael Longley, Anna Akmatova, Sylvia Plath, James Joyce and Carol Ann Duffy and music by Sibelius, Frank Martin, Duke Ellington, Tchaikovsky, Michael Tippett and Loudon Wainwright III. The readers are Rory Kinnear and Adjoa Andoh.

Aftermath20140706

From shellshock to women's suffrage, homecomings to war memorials, the League of Nations to Spanish flu, a sequence of poems, prose and music reflecting a world changed by war. James Wilby and Helen Baxendale read poems by Sassoon, Whitman and Gurney and excerpts from Pat Barker, Woodrow Wilson and contemporary documents, while the music includes works by Elgar, Ravel and Tippett.

All Aboard!20120603

Robinson Crusoe is stranded without one, Yann Martel's Pi Patel is stranded with a tiger on one, and Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men are causing chaos mucking about on one. Boats feature frequently in literature and poetry as a means of exploring, escaping or just enjoying the water. Today's Words and Music features famous fictional boats along with important real life vessels such as Captain Cook's explorers, the Titanic, and those used during the Dunkirk landings. Extracts are read by Anne-Marie Duff and Jonathan Keeble and accompanied by nautical music from Wagner, Vaughan Williams, Debussy and Nick Drake.

Producer - Ellie Mant.

All Aboard!

All India Radio2009081620150920

A sequence of poetry, prose and music celebrating literature and song from the Asian subcontinent.

With readings from Meera Syal and Art Malik, and featuring ragas to rap, from Kerala to Calcutta.

A celebration of literature and music from the Asian subcontinent.

A sequence of poetry, prose and music celebrating literature and song from the Asian subcontinent. With readings from Meera Syal and Art Malik, and featuring ragas to rap, from Kerala to Calcutta.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

All India Radio20150920

A sequence of poetry, prose and music celebrating literature and song from the Asian subcontinent. With readings from Meera Syal and Art Malik, and featuring ragas to rap, from Kerala to Calcutta.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

All India Radio *20090816

A sequence of poetry, prose and music celebrating literature and song from the Asian subcontinent.

With readings from Meera Syal and Art Malik, and featuring ragas to rap, from Kerala to Calcutta.

A celebration of literature and music from the Asian subcontinent.

All The World's A Stage2011050820111226

The lights, the greasepaint, the roar of applause: there's no business like show business and this week's Words and Music turns the spotlight on the theatre and showbiz. Actors have fascinated audiences from ancient Greece through to the groundlings of Shakespeare's Globe, on into modern movie houses; and the theatre has been both celebrated as a grand metaphor for life and denigrated as the the site of moral decay. Henry Goodman and Samantha Bond read from work by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, John Dryden, T.S Eliot and Dorothy Parker, accompanied by the music of Puccini, Irving Berlin, Purcell, Sondheim and Thomas Ades.

Producer: Georgia Mann.

Texts and music related to theatre and showbusiness. With Henry Goodman and Samantha Bond.

The lights, the greasepaint, the roar of applause: there's no business like show business and this week's Words and Music turns the spotlight on the theatre and showbiz.

Actors have fascinated audiences from ancient Greece through to the groundlings of Shakespeare's Globe, on into modern movie houses; and the theatre has been both celebrated as a grand metaphor for life and denigrated as the the site of moral decay.

Henry Goodman and Samantha Bond read from work by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, John Dryden, T.S Eliot and Dorothy Parker, accompanied by the music of Puccini, Irving Berlin, Purcell, Sondheim and Thomas Ades.

Texts and music related to theatre and showbusiness.

With Henry Goodman and Samantha Bond

Altitude2007051320100724

A sequence of poetry and music inspired by the world seen from a great height, the flight of birds and the romance of mountain tops.

Musical evocations of mountains by Sibelius, Strauss and Liszt sit with poems by Shelley and Petrarch.

Anton Lesser and Lesley Sharp read works by Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda and EE Cummings which describe the world of birds in flight, and music by composers including Haydn, Honegger and George Benjamin evokes the same subject.

Musical evocations of mountains by Sibelius, Strauss and Liszt sit with work by Shelley and John Evelyn.

Anton Lesser and Lesley Sharp read works by Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda and J.A.

Baker which describe the world of birds in flight, and music by composers including Haydn, J.S.

Bach and Richard Strauss evokes the same subject.

Texts and music inspired by the world seen from above, birds in flight, and mountain tops.

Altitude

Musical evocations of mountains by Sibelius, Strauss and Liszt sit with poems by Shelley and Petrarch. Anton Lesser and Lesley Sharp read works by Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda and EE Cummings which describe the world of birds in flight, and music by composers including Haydn, Honegger and George Benjamin evokes the same subject.

Altitude20100724

A sequence of poetry and music inspired by the world seen from a great height, the flight of birds and the romance of mountain tops.

Musical evocations of mountains by Sibelius, Strauss and Liszt sit with work by Shelley and John Evelyn. Anton Lesser and Lesley Sharp read works by Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda and J.A. Baker which describe the world of birds in flight, and music by composers including Haydn, J.S. Bach and Richard Strauss evokes the same subject.

Texts and music inspired by the world seen from above, birds in flight, and mountain tops.

An American Landscape2009030120090927

On a cold, gusting morning of January 1961 the poet Robert Frost set out to read a specially composed poem at the inauguration of John F Kennedy, the man on whom all America's hopes were pinned.

But the sun's glare and the newness of the poem robbed Frost of his ability, his confidence, to read.

He fell back on a poem he'd written in 1942.

The Gift Outright explores in its few lines one of the deepest and darkest matters facing Americans: the nature of their brief relationship with the land, a land once occupied by others.

The poem, read by Jeff Perry is followed by Virgil Thomson's film score The Plow That Broke the Plains, which was sponsored by the United States Resettlement Administration.

As the orchestrator of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Ferde Grof couldn't have been closer to the heart of American music.

In 1916, Grof drove across the Arizona desert with a group of friends to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon.

He was later inspired by the experience to compose his famous Grand Canyon Suite.

Some years before, in the late 1860's John Wesley Powell, a soldier turned naturalist embarked on the first geological survey of the Grand Canyon.

His journal, which starts as a dry analysis of rock samples and description of geological formations finally becomes a painting and a hymn of praise to this unique American landscape.

I found writer and composer speaking in one language in their breathless excitement in the presence of the Grand Canyon.

I think you'll agree that Grof's music and Powell's journal exactly describe each other.

Etta Baker's Appalachian guitar music is followed by Copland's take on the same region: part of his ballet score Appalachian Spring.

The White Mountains, part of the Appalachian mountains, the most rugged in New England, were visited in the 1830s by the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote an awe-inspiring account of his trip.

His connection with the area was forever sealed by his death there on a subsequent visit many years later.

Copland's classic orchestration of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts ends this section and is itself topped off by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's own version of the original hymn.

The composer Philip Glass has composed America with a photographer's eye, his unique, self-styled voice, mapping America and American life and shipping it across the world as the soundtrack of numerous films.

His early score to The Photographer, unswerving in its forward drive is the adjunct to Robert Lowell's haunting poem, The Mouth of the Hudson, a description of a man standing on an outcrop above a railroad siding and watching the trains switching beneath him.

It's a neutral description until the word ‘unforgivable' at the end.

The 20th century American composer Roy Harris was born in 1898 to poor parents, in a log cabin in Oklahoma, on Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

He had the perfect opportunity to survey the American landscape as he worked for many years as a trucker, criss-crossing the continent.

You can hear the lie of the land in his masterpiece Symphony No.3.

I mixed the symphony with John Ashbery's poem Pyrography, an elliptical commentary of America, written to accompany a travelling exhibition of American landscape paintings.

We end with Charles Ives, possibly the composer who captured the spirit of America better than any other.

Whilst Harris was a trucker, Ives's main job was in insurance.

That was no bar to him writing his totally original and uncompromising musical reflection of the America he saw and heard.

His Three Places in New England here prepares the way for Henry James's reflection on the New England landscape, which I have mixed with Ives's contemplative masterpiece The Unanswered Question.

Appropriately, that piece ends the programme.

Paul Frankl

  • producer

    actors ian barford and jeff perry read works on the theme of the american landscape

    paul frankl

    producer

  • An Autumn Walk20140928

    Autumn is a season which has inspired composers and writers. In today's edition of Words and Music, a selection of poetry and music to celebrate autumn and walking in the leaves. Poetry read by Lesley Sharp and Julian Wadham.

    Producer: Sarah Taylor.

    An Unquiet Mind20140713

    From the madwoman in her attic to the troubled king straining against the leashes of his medical attendants, the depiction of what has historically been called madness has been a common theme in art, music and literature. It has engaged both those who have sought to share their own experience of an unquiet mind and those who have used it to explore complexity, colour and difference in their subjects. Literary contributions in this programme include Cervantes' Don Quixote, Mr Rochester's sad, bad first wife, Anna Karenina and her self-destructive passion, and the Patrick Hamilton character who knows only that he must kill. There's a contemporary account of what it was like to be around George III as his grasp on reason slipped away, and readings about characters - such as Winston in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four, driven mad by circumstances. We also look at collective madness, the greatest example of which must surely be war.

    In music Berlioz describes obsessive love in his Symphonie Fantastique, Strauss depicts the absurdities of Don Quixote in his tone poem of the same name, and Peter Maxwell Davies has his own take on the madness of George III in his 8 Songs for a Mad King. There is also music by Britten, Gesualdo and Nick Drake.

    Extracts are read by Katherine Parkinson and Greg Wise.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Ancient Greece2008122820101024

    Poetry and music on the theme of Ancient Greece. Readings by Tim McMullan, Clare Higgins.

    Words and Music/Ancient Greece

    Actors Tim McMullan and Clare Higgins read poems and prose extracts by Shakespeare, Keats, Auden and Homer etc on the subject of Ancient Greece.

    With music by Schubert, Tippett, Bernstein, Stravinsky and Ravel

    Producer's Note

    The culture and mythology of Ancient Greece have inspired a wide range of writers and composers: the plays of the Elizabethan dramatists William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe; the dramas of Racine during the 17th Century; Goethe; the Romantics Keats, Tennyson and Matthew Arnold; and in the 20th Century Yeats, Auden and Greece’s own Cavafy.

    Cavafy’s Ithaka and Tennyson’s Ulysses both, in different ways, explore the notion of The Journey.

    And their reference point is one of the central myths of ancient Greek culture, the journey of Ulysses/Odysseus back to his homeland of Ithaka after the end of the Trojan War as recounted in Homer’s great epic the Odyssey.

    And so we start this sequence with the famous opening to Homer’s Odyssey where the poet invokes the muse for inspiration and describes Ulysses/Odysseus (“the man of many devices”) as he sets out on his return journey.

    And before that, Keats, whose reading of Homer in the translations of George Chapman was a life-changing experience (“Much have I travelled in the realms of Gold”).

    It was the Greek king Menelaus’s wife, Helen who indirectly caused the Trojan War by running off with the Trojan Prince, Paris.

    Offenbach takes a sardonic view of the whole affair as the Greek kings and heroes march on in La Belle Hlène.

    But Christopher Marlowe and Richard Strauss allow themselves to be swept up in her overwhelming beauty.

    The introductions to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and Tippett’s King Priam both catapult us into the broil of the Trojan War itself.

    In The Shield of Achilles Auden reflects bitterly on the differences between the Greek world as described by Homer—a world where, even amid warfare, imagination naturally ran to scenes of peace—and the world of totalitarian horror Auden himself imagines.

    At the same time, Auden criticizes Homer for attributing glory to warriors.

    Auden's moral opprobrium is directed, not at Thetis or Hephaestus, but at "the strong iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles."

    But, away from the battle we see a softer side of Achilles in his tent, as he fantasizes with his friend Patroclus about their life after the war has finished.

    [Tippett]

    The love of Achilles for Patroclus became one of the icons of male romantic love for the Greeks.

    Cavafy muses on The Horses of Achilles who are upset by the death of Patroclus and mourn the “eternal disaster of death”.

    The Agathon movement from Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium) leads from the Cavafy to Agathon’s speech in praise of love from Plato’s Symposium.

    Ancient Greece seems to have been a very male-dominated society, with women definitely occupying a lower rung of importance.

    However Greek tragedy has given us some of the strongest female characters in world literature: Medea, Clytemnestra, Elektra and Phaedra whose obsessive sexual passion for the virginal Hippolytus ends in disaster (Racine, Britten)

    The Greek male by contrast could either have been all-male, all-conquering heroes such as Odysseus and Achilles; or at the other extreme they were chaste epicene youths such as Hippolytus or Ganymede (Goethe, Schubert)

    We come full circle with Yeats’s poem Leda and the Swan in which Zeus disguises himself as a swan in order to rape Leda who eventually gives birth to Helen whose elopement with Paris triggers the Trojan War.

    The journey to Ancient Greece ends on the slopes of Mount Parnassus with Apollo, the Greek god of poetry inspiring the 9 muses (Stravinsky, Matthew Arnold).

    And the sequence fades away as Words and Music become one in the wordless conclusion to Strauss’s An dem Baum

    Daphne: Daphne transformed into a laurel tree by Apollo.

    Clive Portbury (producer)

    Poetry and music on the theme of Ancient Greece.

    Readings by Tim McMullan, Clare Higgins.

    Actors Tim McMullan and Clare Higgins read poems and prose by Shakespeare, Keats, Byron, Auden, Homer and Euripides on the subject of Ancient Greece.

    With music by Schubert, Tippett, Bernstein, Stravinsky, Vaughan-Williams and Ravel.

    Actors Tim McMullan and Clare Higgins read poems and prose extracts by Shakespeare, Keats, Auden and Homer etc on the subject of Ancient Greece. With music by Schubert, Tippett, Bernstein, Stravinsky and Ravel

    Cavafy’s Ithaka and Tennyson’s Ulysses both, in different ways, explore the notion of The Journey. And their reference point is one of the central myths of ancient Greek culture, the journey of Ulysses/Odysseus back to his homeland of Ithaka after the end of the Trojan War as recounted in Homer’s great epic the Odyssey.

    And so we start this sequence with the famous opening to Homer’s Odyssey where the poet invokes the muse for inspiration and describes Ulysses/Odysseus (“the man of many devices”) as he sets out on his return journey. And before that, Keats, whose reading of Homer in the translations of George Chapman was a life-changing experience (“Much have I travelled in the realms of Gold”).

    It was the Greek king Menelaus’s wife, Helen who indirectly caused the Trojan War by running off with the Trojan Prince, Paris. Offenbach takes a sardonic view of the whole affair as the Greek kings and heroes march on in La Belle Hlène. But Christopher Marlowe and Richard Strauss allow themselves to be swept up in her overwhelming beauty.

    In The Shield of Achilles Auden reflects bitterly on the differences between the Greek world as described by Homer—a world where, even amid warfare, imagination naturally ran to scenes of peace—and the world of totalitarian horror Auden himself imagines. At the same time, Auden criticizes Homer for attributing glory to warriors. Auden's moral opprobrium is directed, not at Thetis or Hephaestus, but at "the strong iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles."

    But, away from the battle we see a softer side of Achilles in his tent, as he fantasizes with his friend Patroclus about their life after the war has finished. [Tippett]

    The love of Achilles for Patroclus became one of the icons of male romantic love for the Greeks. Cavafy muses on The Horses of Achilles who are upset by the death of Patroclus and mourn the “eternal disaster of death”.

    Ancient Greece seems to have been a very male-dominated society, with women definitely occupying a lower rung of importance. However Greek tragedy has given us some of the strongest female characters in world literature: Medea, Clytemnestra, Elektra and Phaedra whose obsessive sexual passion for the virginal Hippolytus ends in disaster (Racine, Britten)

    The journey to Ancient Greece ends on the slopes of Mount Parnassus with Apollo, the Greek god of poetry inspiring the 9 muses (Stravinsky, Matthew Arnold). And the sequence fades away as Words and Music become one in the wordless conclusion to Strauss’s An dem Baum

    Animals20080224

    Actress Fiona Shaw introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of animals, wild and domestic, including works by Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, William Golding, Lewis Carroll and Paul Durcan, with music by Sibelius, Schumann, Schubert, John Tavener and Poulenc.

    Animals *20080224

    Actress Fiona Shaw introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of animals, wild and domestic, including works by Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, William Golding, Lewis Carroll and Paul Durcan, with music by Sibelius, Schumann, Schubert, John Tavener and Poulenc.

    Apollo And Dionysius20150125

    A programme exploring the contrasting nature of the Apollonian states of Reason and Form with the Dionysiac states of Ecstasy and Chaos.

    Apollo And Dionysus20150125

    This programme is an offering to the gods Apollo and Dionysus, or Bacchus as the Romans called him. Apollo, with his golden curls and athletic beauty is the God of Light. He personifies Reason and Harmony. Dionysus, with vine leaves in his tangled hair, is the God of Wine and he represents Chaos and Ecstasy unchecked by Reason. Are you Apollonian or a Dionysian? If you're not sure, perhaps this edition of Words and Music will help you to make up your mind.

    Producer: Philippa Ritchie.

    A programme exploring the contrasting nature of the Apollonian states of Reason and Form with the Dionysiac states of Ecstasy and Chaos.

    Apples2011071020111229

    Olivia Williams and Oliver Ford Davies read poems and prose inspired by apples with work by Keats, Kafka and Christina Rossetti and music by Schumann, Purcell and Janacek.

    Apples are such a common place food and yet have been deployed in literature and myth to mean much more than the crisp bite and juicy, healthy froth on the tongue. They are a symbol of temptation, seduction and the fall of man as well as, in the savouring of the old names of disregarded varieties, a sort of nostalgic longing for an England of abundant orchards.

    Texts and music inspired by apples, with readings by Olivia Williams and Oliver Ford.

    Apples are such a common place food and yet have been deployed in literature and myth to mean much more than the crisp bite and juicy, healthy froth on the tongue.

    They are a symbol of temptation, seduction and the fall of man as well as, in the savouring of the old names of disregarded varieties, a sort of nostalgic longing for an England of abundant orchards.

    April Showers20170430

    Texts and music on the theme of precipitation. Readers: Lucian Msamati and Lisa Dillon.

    Arcadia20170716

    Texts and music about pastoral landscapes, with readers Fiona Shaw and Jamie Glover.

    Fiona Shaw and Jamie Glover with poetry, prose and music exploring the vision of Arcadia and harmony with nature across the centuries from the pastoral visions of the Ancient Greeks Virgil and Theocritus to the anxieties of the American environmentalist Rachel Carson in 'Silent Spring', Stephen Spender's exploration of technology coming to an English landscape largely unchanged in centuries and Robinson Jeffers's 'Carmel Point' in which he imagines a time when nature and man can live in harmony. Arcadia includes work by Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Virgil Thomson, Debussy, Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Thoreau, Evelyn Waugh, Willa Cather and John Clare.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Architecture2012082620160904 (R3)

    Texts and music on the theme of architecture. Readings: Indira Varma and Robert Glenister.

    Indira Varma and Robert Glenister read poetry and prose on the subject of architecture and the built environment, from the earliest known treatise by Vitruvius to J.G. Ballard's dystopian vision of the modern high-rise. Other texts include poems by Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin and Stephen Spender, critical writing by John Ruskin and Robert Venturi, and a passage from Milton's Paradise Lost. With music from Dufay, Stravinsky, Gabrieli, Varese, Debussy, Widor and Mussorgsky.

    Arrivals And Departures20160911

    Includes music by Purcell, Eno and Pärt and poems by Elizabeth Bishop, William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Louis MacNeice read by Niamh Cusack and Neil Pearson.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    At The Movies2009122720101227

    An edition of BBC Radio 3's weekly mixture of poetry, prose and music inspired by the movies.

    Poets and composers have been associated with the cinema since it began well over a hundred years ago.

    In the early years, artists such the Russian poet Mayakovsky, Jean Cocteau, W H Auden and Bertolt Brecht were all involved as were composers William Walton, Erich Korngold, Max Steiner and Elmer Bernstein.

    Poems include Tony Harrison's Continuous, George Szirtes's In Memoriam Busby Berkeley, Carol Ann Duffy's Big Sue and Now Voyager, ee cummings's your slightest look (heard in Woody Allen's film Hannah and Her Sisters) and Roger McGough's If Life's a Lousy Picture, Why Not Leave before the End?

    Plus music by Michael Nyman, Mozart, Schumann, Bernard Hermann, Aubert, Miles Davis, Nino Rota, Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone.

    A mixture of poetry, prose and music inspired by film.

    A selection of poetry, prose and music inspired by the movies.

    In the early years Russian poet Mayakovsky, Jean Cocteau, W.H.

    Auden and Bertolt Brecht were all involved as were the composers William Walton, Erich Korngold, Max Steiner and Elmer Bernstein.

    In Words and Music at the Movies poems include Tony Harrison's 'Continuous', Carol Ann Duffy's 'Big Sue and Now Voyager', ee cummings' 'your slightest look' (heard in Woody Allen's 'Hannah and her Sisters') and Roger McGough's 'If life's a lousy picture, why not leave before the end?' with music from Michael Nyman, Mozart, Schumann, Bernard Hermann, Aubert, Miles Davis, Nino Rota, Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone.

    The readers are Barbara Flynn and William Hope.

    A selection of poetry, prose and music inspired by the movies. Poets and composers have been associated with the cinema since it began well over a hundred years ago. In the early years Russian poet Mayakovsky, Jean Cocteau, W.H. Auden and Bertolt Brecht were all involved as were the composers William Walton, Erich Korngold, Max Steiner and Elmer Bernstein.

    Atonement20100110

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of atonement, with readings by Simon Russell Beale and Adjoa Andoh.

    Featuring works by John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Anton Chekhov, CS Lewis, Antjie Krog and Kit Wright, accompanied by the music of Samuel Barber, Max Bruch, Benjamin Wallfisch, Dario Marianelli and Barry Adamson.

    Poetry and music on the theme of atonement.

    Readings by Simon Russell Beale, Adjoa Andoh.

    Atonement *20100110

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of atonement, with readings by Simon Russell Beale and Adjoa Andoh.

    Featuring works by John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Anton Chekhov, CS Lewis, Antjie Krog and Kit Wright, accompanied by the music of Samuel Barber, Max Bruch, Benjamin Wallfisch, Dario Marianelli and Barry Adamson.

    Poetry and music on the theme of atonement.

    Readings by Simon Russell Beale, Adjoa Andoh.

    Authority20070819

    Writer and broadcaster Armando Iannucci selects poetry, prose and music around the theme of authority, spanning gods, kings, the state and parents, and encompassing anarchy, rebellion and disobedience.

    Including Pope's Essay on Man and excerpts from Milton's Paradise Lost, Primo Levi's If This Is A Man and Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, with music by Britten, Respighi, Joni Mitchell and Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Margaret Thatcher

    Authority

    Authority *20070819

    Writer and broadcaster Armando Iannucci selects poetry, prose and music around the theme of authority, spanning gods, kings, the state and parents, and encompassing anarchy, rebellion and disobedience.

    Including Pope's Essay on Man and excerpts from Milton's Paradise Lost, Primo Levi's If This Is A Man and Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, with music by Britten, Respighi, Joni Mitchell and Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Margaret Thatcher

    Ave Maria2013050520151222 (R3)

    Music and texts inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary with Jenny Agutter and Andrew Buchan.

    Jenny Agutter can currently be seen starring as Sister Julienne in the hit BBC TV series "Call the Midwife", and Andrew Buchan is currently playing the part of the father of a murdered boy in the ITV drama "Broadchurch".

    The Virgin Mary has inspired perhaps more writing and music than any other historical or Biblical figure and this edition of Words and Music attempts to dip a small toe in the ocean of material available. Following the Bilbical narrative from the Annunciation, the birth and life of her son Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, the story goes beyond the New Testament into Catholic traditions concerning the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, her crowning and, back on earth, the numerous visions and miracles that have been reported in her name over the centuries.

    The programme includes poems, prose and texts by a wide variety of authors including Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Dorothy Parker, Ben Jonson, Marina Warner and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as extracts from the Gospels.

    An eclectic selection of music includes works by Bach, Messiaen, John Tavener, James MacMillan, Massenet and Jacqui Dankworth.

    Producer

    Helen Garrison.

    Ave Maria: Music and texts inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary with Jenny Agutter and Andrew Buchan.

    The Virgin Mary has inspired perhaps more writing and music than any other historical or Biblical figure and this edition of Words and Music attempts to dip a small toe in the ocean of material available. Following the Biblical narrative from the Annunciation, the birth and life of her son Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, the story goes beyond the New Testament into Catholic traditions concerning the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, her crowning and, back on earth, the numerous visions and miracles that have been reported in her name over the centuries.

    The programme includes poems, prose and texts by a wide variety of authors including Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Dorothy Parker, W.B. Yeats, Marina Warner and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as extracts from the Gospels.

    An eclectic selection of music includes works by Bach, Messiaen, Rautavaara, Robert Parsons, James MacMillan, Massenet and Jacqui Dankworth.

    Awake!2010062720101231

    A sequence of music, poetry and prose united by the theme of awakenings.

    Including readings by Peter Marinker and Hattie Morahan from the work of Mary Shelley, A E Housman, Edward Thomas, Anne Bronte and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    With music by Handel, Bach, Stravinsky and Britten.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of awakenings.

    Every Sunday evening Radio 3 brings you a sequence of music, poetry and prose united by a theme: this week work about awakenings.

    Including readings by Peter Marinker and Hattie Morahan from the work of Mary Shelley, A E Housman, Edward Thomas, Anne Bronte and Percy Bysshe Shelley. With music by Handel, Bach, Stravinsky and Britten.

    Ballad Of The Northern Lights2008080320090912

    Douglas Hodge and Stella Gonet read poetry and prose on the theme of the North - from Ted Hughes, Katrina Porteous, Philip Larkin and Kathleen Jamie.

    Music includes Sibelius' Symphony No 4, Delius' North Country Sketches, Holst's A Moorside Suite and Ewan MacColl's The Shoals of Herring.

    Poems and music on the theme of the North.

    Readings are by Stella Gonet and Douglas Hodge

    Ballad of the Northern Lights

    Douglas Hodge and Stella Gonet read poetry and prose on the theme of the North - from Ted Hughes, Katrina Porteous, Philip Larkin and Kathleen Jamie. Music includes Sibelius' Symphony No 4, Delius' North Country Sketches, Holst's A Moorside Suite and Ewan MacColl's The Shoals of Herring.

    Baroque Spring20130303

    As part of Baroque Spring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Zoe Waites read poems and prose about, and by, Baroque composers, including extracts from Francois Couperin's The Art of Playing the Harpsichord and Charles Avison's An Essay on Musical Expression, and poetry by Gerald Manley Hopkins and William Shentone. With music by Bach, Purcell, Rameau and other composers of the period.

    Beauty20120429

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.' John Keats' paean is celebration of that which has inspired love, reverence and harmony. Beauty is an elevation of the senses or a perfect balance of nature. In this edition of Words and Music, Eve Best and Don Warrington put down their vanity mirrors and take the words of Baudelaire, Sara Teasdale and Oscar Wilde to explore what became, for Narcissus, a watery obsession. With music from Mendelssohn, Delius and Wagner.

    Texts and music on the theme of beauty, with readings by Eve Best and Don Warrington.

    Beginnings20130106

    Words and Music marks the start of the new year with a programme on the theme of Beginnings, with readers Geraldine James and Neil Pearson. Tennyson and Denise Levertov poetically mark the new year as a moment for hope and celebration, while Dylan Thomas' In The Beginning re-tells the biblical story of creation, with musical accompaniment from Haydn and Copland. Birth and the beginning of life is the inspiration for poems by Thom Gunn and Sylvia Plath, while Philip Larkin and A.E Housman reflect on the process of renewal, which sees life eternally beginning again.

    Below The Surface2014033020141012

    Poems, prose and music exploring what lies below the surface - from the Underworld to the world of the coal miner and the depths of the sea. With poetry and prose by Shakespeare, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Mimi Khalvati and Louise Glück and music by Purcell, Gluck, Steve Reich and Takemitsu and Amy X. Neuburg. Readings by Juliet Stevenson and Alex Jennings.

    First broadcast in March 2014.

    Poems, prose and music exploring what lies below the surface from the Underworld to the world of the coal miner and the depths of the sea. With poetry and prose by Shakespeare, Seamus Heaney, Eavon Boland, George Orwell, and Louise Glück and music by Grieg, Gluck, Steve Reich and Haydn.

    Berlin2008081720091108

    1989: Twentieth Anniversary

    Berlin may not be as beautiful as Paris; it may not have the brash allure of Rome or even London's muscularity; but no one can think of the twentieth century without thinking of Germany's capital.

    It was on the front line between two of the most powerful ideologies of modern times - communism and capitalism.

    It was Hitler's stage when he seized power in 1933, and now it stands poised between a resurgent Russia in the East and a Europe forging a new identity in the West.

    Actors Henry Goodman and Liz Sutherland read poems and prose to evoke the city's history, alongside a rich array of music.

    Including Strauss, Mendelssohn and Eisler, as well as Weill and U2.

    With readings by Alfred Doblin, Joseph Roth, Bertolt Brecht, Gunter Grass, Peter Schneider and Nazim Hikmet.

    Words and music on the theme of Berlin, with readings by Henry Goodman and Liz Sutherland.

    Tonight's actors are Henry Goodman and Liz Sutherland and you should probably listen out too for the supporting cast which includes Hitler and John F Kennedy!

    Hausmusik

    Oktett, Op.20

    Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

    Mendelssohn: Octet.

    Quintet No 1

    EMI CDC7499582

    Track 8

    Joseph Roth

    Extract from Flight Without End

    Reader: Henry Goodman

    U2

    Zoo Station

    From Achtung Baby

    ISLAND CIDU28

    Track 1

    Erich Kastner

    Extract from Emil and the Detectives

    Ute Lemper, John Mauceri

    Moritat von Mackie Messer

    Composer: Kurt Weill

    From Ute Lemper sings Kurt Weill

    DECCA425204-1

    Track 3

    Georg Heym

    The Demons of the Cities

    The Faber Book of 20th Century German Poems

    Ernst Busch

    Der Graben

    Composer: Hanns Eisler

    Der politische Tucholsky

    Deutsche Grammophon LPMS 44025

    Bertolt Brecht

    Of poor B.B

    Wiener Philharmoniker

    Wozzeck

    Composer: Alban Berg

    Deutsche Grammophon 423 587 -2

    Track 10

    Alfred Doblin

    Extract from eighth book of Berlin Alexanderplatz

    Reader: Liz Sutherland

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Ein Heldenleben

    Richard Strauss

    Deutsche Grammophon 439 039 -2

    Das Kastnerbuch

    Buchberger Quartett

    Ouverture zum Fliegende Hollander wie sie eine schlechte Kurkapelle morgens um 7 am Brunnen vom Blat spielt, fur Streichquartett

    Composer: Paul Hindemith

    Paul Hindemith: Kammermusik

    WER 6197-2 286 197-2

    Track 12

    Anthony Beevor

    Extract from - Berlin The Downfall

    Dennis Russell Davies and Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra

    Low Symphony

    Philip Glass

    Phillips 475 075-2

    Peter Schneider

    Extract from The Wall Jumper

    Nazim Hikmet

    Autobiography

    The Symphony Orchestra of the Southwest German Radio

    Vergangenes number 2 of the Funf Orchesterstucke op.

    16

    Arnold Schoenberg

    Arnold Schoenberg Funf Orchesterstucke op.16

    WERGO WER6018550

    Track 2

    James Fenton

    A German Requiem

    Reader: James Fenton

    Einsturzende Neubauten

    Steh auf Berlin

    Einsurzende Neubauten

    Kollaps

    ZICKZACK ZZ 65

    Anna Funder

    Extract from Stasiland

    Ensemble Modern Josef Bierbichler

    Anmut sparet nicht noch Muhe

    Heiner Goebbels/Hanns Eisler

    Eislermaterial

    CD Code: ECM 4616482

    Gunter Grass

    In the Egg

    Rufus Wainwright

    Going to a Town

    From Release the Stars

    GEFFEN1733587

    Emine Sevgi Ozdamar

    Extract from The Bridge of the Golden Horn

    3Phase

    Der Klang der Familie

    Sven Rohrig and Matthias Roeingh

    Best of Reactive Volume 2

    REACT MUSIC REACTCD197

    Track 7

    Durs Grunbein

    Trilce, Cesar

    Ashes for Breakfast

    To those born later

    Philharmonia Choir and Orchestra

    Ebarme Dich

    J.S.Bach

    Matthaus Passion

    EMI 7243 5 675388 2 2

    CD 2 track 16

    Poems and music on the theme of the city of Berlin, with readings by Henry Goodman and Liz Sutherland.

    Berlin20091108
    Beyond Good And Evil20120819

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of evil. Readings by Ann Mitchell and Andrew Wincott.

    Words and Music on the theme of Evil. Readings by Ann Mitchell and Andrew Wincott. With texts from the Bible, Beowulf and Blake. With Music by Berg, Britten and Black Sabbath.

    A whirlwind tour through the dark alleys of Evil: from the Garden of Eden in Genesis and Milton's Paradise Lost, to the vampires and dominatrices of Baudelaire and Swinburne, via the black magic of Aleister Crowley and Marlowe, to the apocalyptic visions of Blake and Dante, taking in the Evil lurking in the German forest to the cloven hoof on the carpet where Evil is located by Auden in the everyday world, "unspectacular and always human".

    Producer Clive Portbury.

    Birdsong2008021020081221

    Claire Skinner and Hugh Bonneville are the readers in a celebration of nature's musicians.

    The poems include Milton's Nightingale, Hardy's Darkling Thrush and Tennyson's Blackbird, and the music includes Saint-Saens's Cuckoo, Rameau's Hen and Sibelius's Swan of Tuonela.

    Birdsong has fascinated poets and musicians for centuries.

    This poetry selection spans 700 years, from Dafydd ap Gwilym's 14th-century hymn to the thrush to RS Thomas's more recent celebration of the blackbird, while the music ranges almost as far, from the Renaissance lute-song The dark is my delight to a section from Einojuhani Rautavaara's atmospheric Cantus arcticus, memorably enriched by the recorded sound of migrating swans.

    With a pair of 'catalogues' (opening with Izaak Walton's inventory of the 'nimble musicians of the air'), but for the greater part have chosen to concentrate on those songsters who have inspired the most frequent creative effort.

    Most popular among them by far is the nightingale, the thrilling musician of the woods who reduces the other birds to silence with her brilliance in Blake's Milton, sings her traditional song of lost love in Richard Barnfield's As it fell upon a day, and offers encouragement to human lovers in a ravishing air from Rameau's opera Hippolyte et Aricie.

    For Leslie Norris the voice of 'the poet's bird' is both pleasure and torment, a spur to the creative act and a reproach to human inadequacy.

    Not far behind is the skylark, whose ebullient airborne music - for many people the sound of the British summer - is here celebrated in an anonymous 17th-century poem and in music connecting its song to the cares of lovers from the English folk tradition and by Hoagy Carmichael.

    Less virtuosic but no less irresistible to artists have been the cuckoo - the two-note herald of spring humorously imitated by Saint-Saens and argued over in words by Wordsworth and Bunyan - and the owl, whose comforting and disturbing contributions to the soundscape of the winter night are evoked by Edward Thomas and in Dominick Argento's setting of lines from Love's Labour's Lost.

    Other composers and poets have essayed more demanding birdsong imitations: Olivier Messiaen's intricately notated representations became a vital part of his own creative personality; Gerard Manley Hopkins ambitiously attempts a verbal characterisation of a woodlark.

    Few of these skilful impressions would count for much without some wider resonance.

    We have seen that birdsong both marks out the seasons and reminds us of our humble place in the natural world.

    But above all, and as all the poets and composers represented in this programme have recognised, birdsong also touches something deep in our hearts, unstopping the streams of love, longing, memory, joy, laughter and melancholy that lie within us all.

    Readers:

  • Claire Skinner (cs)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins: the woodlark (cs)

    33.25

  • Hugh Bonneville (hb)

    00.00

  • John Milton: sonnet i (hb)

    39.39

  • William Blake: milton (excerpt) (cs)

    37.26

  • William Wordsworth: to the cuckoo (hb)

    08.56

  • alfred, lord tennyson: the blackbird (cs)

    17.39

  • alfred, lord tennyson: the dying swan (cs)

    01:04.12

  • alison hagley, catherine robbin, john mark ainsley
  • anonymous: the dark is my delight
  • anonymous: the lark (cs)

    00:23.11

  • argento: winter (six elizabethan songs)
  • as above

    12.31

  • bejocd-45

    23.59

  • bis cd-1038

    01:10.27

  • britten: the merry cuckoo; spring, the sweet spring (spring symphony)
  • dafydd ap gwilym: the thrush (hb)

    13.49

  • dg 453 433 2

    07.36

  • dxl 1098

    01:02.06

  • edo de waart (conductor)
  • edward thomas: the owl (hb)

    01:00.04

  • edward thomas: the unknown bird (hb)

    35.24

  • erato 0630 155172

    45.20

  • evelyn tubb and michael fields
  • hoagy carmichael (voice) and band
  • hoagy carmichael: skylark
  • howard haskin and david triestram
  • izaak walton: the compleat angler (excerpt) (hb)

    02.05

  • john bunyan: of the cuckoo (cs)

    10.16

  • john eliot gardiner (conductor)
  • john lyly: song (cs)

    03.59

  • lahti symphony orchestra
  • leman classics lc42801

    36.10

  • les arts florissants
  • leslie norris: nightingales (hb)

    54.42

  • marek janowski (conductor)
  • matt molloy (flute) and band
  • messiaen: le merle noir (petites esquisses d'oiseaux)
  • musica oscura 070980

    38.48

  • nicholas daniel (oboe)
  • ondine ode 1095-2

    51.42

  • orchestre philharmonique de radio france
  • osmo vanska (conductor)
  • pacific jazz cdp746862 2

    31.01

  • patricia petibon
  • paul reade: birdsong (aspects of a landscape)
  • peter hill (piano)
  • philharmonia orchestra
  • philips 411 419 2

    59.07

  • rameau: rossignols amoureux (hippolyte et aricie)
  • rautavaara: swans migrating (cantus arcticus)
  • ravel: oiseaux tristes (miroirs)
  • respighi: l'usignuolo (gli'uccelli)
  • richard barnfield: as it fell upon a day (cs)

    46.39

  • rs thomas: a blackbird singing (hb)

    18.25

  • saint-saens: le coucou au fond des bois (le carnaval des animaux)
  • saint-saens: voliere (le carnaval des animaux)
  • san francisco symphony orchestra
  • teldec 4509 974452

    03.20

  • thomas hardy: the darkling thrush (hb)
  • trad.

    english: the lark in the morning: alva (vivien ellis and giles lewin)

  • trad.

    irish: the morning thrush

  • tzimon barto (piano)
  • unicorn dkpcd9144

    20.44

  • virgin cdve930

    16.26

  • william christie (conductor)

    birdsong

  • Birth And Rebirth2008032320080629

    Josette Simon and Julian Rhind-tutt are the readers in this Easter Day edition, focusing on the theme of babies, flowers and birds, Creation and the Resurrection, and all thing new and reborn.

    With poems and texts by Sylvia Plath, Wordsworth, Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dorothy Parker, Walter De La Mare and Margaret Drabble as well as music from Delius, Warlock, Bach and Cleo Laine

    Birth and Rebirth

    Birth And Rebirth * *2008032320080629

    Josette Simon and Julian Rhind-tutt are the readers in this Easter Day edition, focusing on the theme of babies, flowers and birds, Creation and the Resurrection, and all thing new and reborn.

    With poems and texts by Sylvia Plath, Wordsworth, Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dorothy Parker, Walter De La Mare and Margaret Drabble as well as music from Delius, Warlock, Bach and Cleo Laine

    Black Square20140914

    Lisa Dwan, who has been touring her one woman Beckett show to huge critical acclaim, and Peter Marinker, who's about to star in Waiting for Godot at the Cockpit Theatre, explore the work of Wallace Stevens, Rimbaud, T S Eliot and of course, Samuel Beckett; the musical counterpoint is provided by, amongst others, Kurt Schwitters, Beethoven, Morton Feldman, Berio, Satie, Parmegiani and Nancarrow.

    Tying into a series of programmes as BBC Four Goes Abstract and to a Free Thinking Debate at Tate: Figuring out Abstract Art

    Kazimir Malevich's Black Square is a totem of abstract art. He said the aim was to free art from the ballast of objectivity...a struggle which would probably seem rather odd to most composers. Music, after all, is effortlessly abstract by nature even when it seems to be insisting on its relationship with the world. Words are another matter altogether. Literary abstraction works sometimes like painting and sometimes like music.

    My Black Square is then, necessarily, more of a meditation than a manifesto. It is tentative. It aspires to vivid colour, like Kandinsky, but it includes the minute monochrome shadings of Rothko. In the choices I've made I've left room too for argument. Where does abstraction begin? Is it a feature of the way we experience the world and the way we express ourselves about it? Is it dead and buried, as the erstwhile abstract painter Wyndham Lewis once rather grandly declared. As you might expect from an adventure into the abstract the programme works as a collage in the hope of creating something new.

    Malevich is at Tate Modern until October 26th.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Black Square20171112

    Lisa Dwan and Peter Marinker present a programme exploring the idea of abstraction.

    Lisa Dwan and Peter Marinker with a programme inspired by the art of Malevich exploring the idea of abstraction. The readings include Wallace Stevens, Rimbaud, T S Eliot and of course, Samuel Beckett; the musical counterpoint is provided by, amongst others, Kurt Schwitters, Beethoven, Morton Feldman, Berio, Satie, Parmegiani and Nancarrow.

    Kazimir Malevich's Black Square is a totem of abstract art. He said the aim was to free art from the ballast of objectivity a struggle which would probably seem rather odd to most composers. Music, after all, is effortlessly abstract by nature even when it seems to be insisting on its relationship with the world. Words are another matter altogether. Literary abstraction works sometimes like painting and sometimes like music.

    My Black Square is then, necessarily, more of a meditation than a manifesto. It is tentative. It aspires to vivid colour, like Kandinksy, but it includes the minute monochrome shadings of Rothko. In the choices I've made I've left room too for argument. Where does abstraction begin? Is it a feature of the way we experience the world and the way we express ourselves about it? Is it dead and buried, as the erstwhile abstract painter Wyndham Lewis once rather grandly declared. As you might expect from an adventure into the abstract the programme works as a collage in the hope of creating something new.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Blithe Spirit20150726

    This edition of Words and Music hails Shelley's "blithe spirit" - the skylark. This rather nondescript little brown bird fills the skies with the most extraordinary torrent of sound, and has inspired poets and musicians throughout the centuries. Rising vertically from the ground he remains high in the air, fluttering and dropping his "silver chains of sound" , before plummeting back down to earth - a "singing firework" as Edmund Blunden put it. How apt that the collective noun for larks is an "exultation".

    Carolyn Pickles and Adrian Lukis are the readers - there is poetry from Shakespeare to Shelley, Herrick to Ted Hughes, with lark-inspired folk music, art song, chamber and orchestral music and of course some well-known Vaughan Williams.

    Blithe Spirit - The Skylark2015072620160619 (R3)

    As Radio 3 is inspired by birds today, this edition of Words and Music hails Shelley's "blithe spirit" - the skylark. This rather nondescript little brown bird fills the skies with the most extraordinary torrent of sound, and has inspired poets and musicians throughout the centuries. Rising vertically from the ground he remains high in the air, fluttering and dropping his "silver chains of sound", before plummeting back down to earth - a "singing firework" as Edmund Blunden put it. How apt that the collective noun for larks is an "exultation".

    Carolyn Pickles and Adrian Lukis are the readers - there is poetry from Shakespeare to Shelley, Herrick to Ted Hughes, with lark-inspired folk music, art song, chamber and orchestral music and of course some well-known Vaughan Williams...

    This edition of Words and Music hails Shelley's "blithe spirit" - the skylark. This rather nondescript little brown bird fills the skies with the most extraordinary torrent of sound, and has inspired poets and musicians throughout the centuries. Rising vertically from the ground he remains high in the air, fluttering and dropping his "silver chains of sound" , before plummeting back down to earth - a "singing firework" as Edmund Blunden put it. How apt that the collective noun for larks is an "exultation".

    Blood Wedding2007112520080713

    Composer Simon Holt, a lifelong admirer of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, selects music, poetry and prose reflecting the mages of blood, marriage and the moon which suffuse his best-known play, Blood Wedding, performed on Radio 3 earlier this evening.

    Including music by Bach, Berg, Bowie, Marilyn Mozart, Manson, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Scarlatti and Lorca and Holt themselves, plus actors Ian McDiarmid and Nuria Benet reading extracts from Ts Eliot's Four Quartets, poems by William Empson and Don Paterson, Roberto Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet.

    Blood Wedding

    A lifelong admirer of Federico Garcia Lorca, composer Simon Holt has set Lorca's words on many occasions. He selects music, poetry and prose conjuring images of blood, marriage and the moon.

    As well as works by Bach, Berg, Bowie, Mozart, Manson and Lorca himself, Ian McDiarmid and Nuria Benet read extracts from TS Eliot's Four Quartets, poems by William Empson and Don Paterson, Roberto Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, and Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet.

    Blue2014012620140615

    Angel Coulby and Raymond Coulthard read texts inspired by the colour blue, from seas and skies, to a lover's eyes, and blue's associations with sadness and hope. Texts include John Keats' Blue! Tis the Life of Heaven, Rudyard Kipling's Blue Roses, Mary Elizabeth Coleridge's The Blue Bird, and excerpts from H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau and James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. Blue-toned music ranges from Stanford's setting of Coleridge's poem to a jazz trio arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and tracks by Joni Mitchell, Brian Eno and Miles Davis.

    First broadcast in January 2013.

    Texts and music inspired by the colour blue, with readings by Angel Coulby and Raymond Coulthard.

    Book Of Hours20100731

    Amanda Root and Rory Kinnear take an imaginative journey around the clock over the course of twenty four hours with poems by John Clare, Byron, Louis MacNeice and Carol Ann Duffy and music by Samuel Barber, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel and Elvis Costello.

    A sequence of words and music which journey around the clock over the course of 24 hours.

    Borders2010010320170611

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music examining the idea of borders - those that are voluntary, those we use to define ourselves, those that baffle us and those we simply have to cross. With works ranging from Kafka's parable about the construction of the Great Wall of China to Marilynne Robinson's watery meditations on memory and loss; and from Chopin's dramatic exploration of the frontiers between major and minor keys to Ligeti's experiment to create the musical equivalent of a decomposing body.

    With readings by Samuel West and Penelope Wilton.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music examining the idea of borders - those that are voluntary, those we use to define ourselves, those that baffle us and those we simply have to cross.

    With works ranging from Kafka's parable about the construction of the Great Wall of China to Marilynne Robinson's watery meditations on memory and loss; and from Chopin's dramatic exploration of the frontiers between major and minor keys to Ligeti's experiment to create the musical equivalent of a decomposing body.

    With readings by Sam West and Penelope Wilton.

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of borders.

    Readings by Sam West and Penelope Wilton.

    Borders *20100103

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music examining the idea of borders - those that are voluntary, those we use to define ourselves, those that baffle us and those we simply have to cross.

    With works ranging from Kafka's parable about the construction of the Great Wall of China to Marilynne Robinson's watery meditations on memory and loss; and from Chopin's dramatic exploration of the frontiers between major and minor keys to Ligeti's experiment to create the musical equivalent of a decomposing body.

    With readings by Sam West and Penelope Wilton.

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of borders.

    Readings by Sam West and Penelope Wilton.

    Boyhood20150426

    Roger Ringrose and James Stewart contemplate boyhood in texts from Dickens' David Copperfield to the humorous verse of Ogden Nash, and Keats to Guiterman, including music by Tippett and Byrd.

    Elizabeth Arno (producer).

    Boyhood20170611

    Texts and music on the theme of boyhood, with readings by Roger Ringrose and James Stewart

    Brave New Worlds20110515

    Ideas of the future have provided artists with the freedom of imagination to envisage new worlds, drive through change and reinvent traditional art forms.

    These imagined worlds might be oddly familiar, but ones where robots shoulder the burden of manual labour or fear stalks the streets of a rain washed, sky-scraper city.

    In religious texts, the philosophical musings of the Metaphysical poets or in sci-fi and other genre fiction this imagination has given rise to both utopian and dystopian visions.

    Obsession with the future has also inspired composers to drive through change and reinvent their own art form, pushing the boundaries of composition.

    With words from Margaret Atwood, Tennyson and Shelley and music from Tallis, Berlioz and Stockhausen.

    Poetry, prose and musicon the theme of the future.

    Ideas of the future have provided artists with the freedom of imagination to envisage new worlds, drive through change and reinvent traditional art forms. These imagined worlds might be oddly familiar, but ones where robots shoulder the burden of manual labour or fear stalks the streets of a rain washed, sky-scraper city. In religious texts, the philosophical musings of the Metaphysical poets or in sci-fi and other genre fiction this imagination has given rise to both utopian and dystopian visions.

    Breakfast2011100220130630

    "Dinner parties are mere formalities; but you invite a man to breakfast because you want to see him." Thomas Babington Macauley

    Of all the meals we eat Breakfast is the most loaded with possibility - to share a breakfast is to share intimacy, or to sit stubbornly in stony cold silence. It is a defining moment in the day, one of ritual and habit, full of joyous promise, or melancholic wonder. It is a meal to obsess over, to fuss over its constitution, or to ignore and sit in quiet contemplation.

    Felicity Kendal and Gerard Murphy read poetry and prose around the theme of Breakfast ranging from the Victoriana of Mrs Isabella Beeton's missives to servants, to the narcotic fuelled orgies of Hunter S Thompson, the morning misery of Frank O'Hara, to the boiled egg obsessiveness of James Bond. Breakfast music is provided by G.F.Handel, Frank Zappa, Gustav Mahler, and Dusty Springfield amongst others.

    First broadcast in October 2011.

    "Dinner parties are mere formalities; but you invite a man to breakfast because you want to see him." Thomas Babington Macauley

    Felicity Kendall and Gerard Murphy read poetry and prose around the theme of Breakfast ranging from the Victoriana of Mrs Isabella Beeton's missives to servants, to the narcotic fuelled orgies of Hunter S Thompson, the morning misery of Frank O'Hara, to the boiled egg obsessiveness of James Bond. Breakfast music is provided by G.F.Handel, Frank Zappa, Gustav Mahler, and Dusty Springfield amongst others.

    Felicity Kendall and Gerard Murphy read poetry and prose on the theme of Breakfast.

    Of all the meals we eat Breakfast is the most loaded with possibility - to share a breakfast is to share intimacy, or to sit stubbornly in stony cold silence.

    It is a defining moment in the day, one of ritual and habit, full of joyous promise, or melancholic wonder.

    It is a meal to obsess over, to fuss over its constitution, or to ignore and sit in quiet contemplation.

    Felicity Kendall and Gerard Murphy read poetry and prose around the theme of Breakfast ranging from the Victoriana of Mrs Isabella Beeton's missives to servants, to the narcotic fuelled orgies of Hunter S Thompson, the morning misery of Frank O'Hara, to the boiled egg obsessiveness of James Bond.

    Breakfast music is provided by G.F.Handel, Frank Zappa, Gustav Mahler, and Dusty Springfield amongst others.

    Breaking Free: The Fight Between Carnival And Lent20170507

    Texts and music inspired by a 1559 Bruegel painting. Readers: Jenny Agutter, Peter Wight.

    Jenny Agutter and Peter Wight with readings and music inspired by the 1559 oil painting by Pieter Bruegel The Elder. The painting depicts the folk traditions surrounding Carnival and Lent in the German lands in the early decades of the Reformation. The selection of music and readings explores the more universal struggle, between the desire to eat, drink, and let lose, embodied in Carnival, and the spirit of restraint and self-control personified in Lent. Including readings from Rabelais, Baudelaire, Donne, and Emily Dickinson, and music from Verdi, Mozart, Bach and Penderecki.

    Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free season of programming exploring the impact of Martin Luther's Revolution.

    Producer: Luke Mulhall.

    Breaking Free: The World Of Yesterday20170101

    Anton Lesser and Imogen Stubbs explore Stefan Zweig's Vienna through his elegiac memoir, The World of Yesterday. With music by Johann Strauss, Die Strottern, and Schoenberg.

    Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

    Bridge Passage20081116

    A selection of poetry, prose and music inspired by bridges, with readings by Lindsay Duncan and Adam Godley.

    Featuring poetry and prose from Friedrich Holderlin, Edmund Blunden, Longfellow, Dickens, Kafka, Nabokov and Nobel Prize-winning Bosnian writer Ivo Andric.

    The music includes works by Stravinsky, Leo Ferre, Handel, Kodaly, Finzi and Gubaidulina.

    Bridge Passage

    A selection of poetry, prose and music inspired by bridges, with readings by Lindsay Duncan and Adam Godley. Featuring poetry and prose from Friedrich Holderlin, Edmund Blunden, Longfellow, Dickens, Kafka, Nabokov and Nobel Prize-winning Bosnian writer Ivo Andric. The music includes works by Stravinsky, Leo Ferre, Handel, Kodaly, Finzi and Gubaidulina.

    Bridge Passage *20081116

    A selection of poetry, prose and music inspired by bridges, with readings by Lindsay Duncan and Adam Godley.

    Featuring poetry and prose from Friedrich Holderlin, Edmund Blunden, Longfellow, Dickens, Kafka, Nabokov and Nobel Prize-winning Bosnian writer Ivo Andric.

    The music includes works by Stravinsky, Leo Ferre, Handel, Kodaly, Finzi and Gubaidulina.

    British Rivers2014032320141224 (R3)

    From the banks of the Thames, a live edition with poetry, prose and music on British rivers. With music by Delius, Sally Beamish and George Butterworth and words by Ted Hughes, Stevie Smith, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Alice Oswald. The readers are Stella Gonet and Robert Glenister.

    Producer: Fiona McLean

    Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Café to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

    Britten's Poets20131123

    Benjamin Britten's settings of poetry have earned him comparisons with Schubert. He spoke of his desire to 'restore to the musical setting of the English language a brilliance, freedom and vitality' and this he did through the poets he loved, from John Donne and Henry Vaughan to Rimbaud and W.H Auden. In this special edition of Words and Music Alex Jennings and Diana Quick read a selection of verse by the poets who captivated Britten, alongside recordings of some of his best-loved settings, including the Canticles, Les Illuminations and the War Requiem.

    Both readers have an association with Britten: Alex Jennings played the composer in Alan Bennett's play The Habit of Art about a fictional meeting between Auden and Britten.

    Diana Quick has a home on the Suffolk Coast and has been involved in Britten centenary celebrations.

    By The Sea2007031820071118

    Fiona Shaw and Alex Jennings read a selection of poetry and prose on a sea theme from Elizabeth Bishop, Michael Longley, Charles Dickens, John Masefield and Hugo Williams, with music inspired by the sea by Charles Trenet, Benjamin Britten, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

    By the Sea

    By The Sea *2007031820071118

    Fiona Shaw and Alex Jennings read a selection of poetry and prose on a sea theme from Elizabeth Bishop, Michael Longley, Charles Dickens, John Masefield and Hugo Williams, with music inspired by the sea by Charles Trenet, Benjamin Britten, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

    Canada 150: From Sea To Sea To Sea20170625

    William Hope and Jane Perry with music and words reflecting settlers travelling to Canada.

    As part of Radio 3's Canada 150 week, pieces of music and poems read by William Hope and Jane Perry that reflect how Canada has been shaped by the arrival of settlers from all parts of the world through the ages.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    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.

    As part of Radio 3's Canada 150 week, pieces of music and poems read by William Hope and Jane Perry that reflect how Canada has been shaped by the arrival of settlers from all parts of the world through the ages. The writers featured include Margaret Atwood, Wayne Keon, Alice Munro, Émile Nelligan and Rita Joe and there's music by a range of Canadian composers including Violet Archer, Marjan Mozetich, John Greer, Joni Mitchell and Talivaldis Kenins.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    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.

    Carnival2009051720101230

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music evoking the spirit of carnival, with readings by actors Saskia Reeves and Tom Hiddleston.

    Including music by Saint-Saens, Constant Lambert, Verdi and Stravinvsky, as well as writings by Poe, Byron, Elizabeth Bishop, EE Cummings and Malcolm Lowry.

    Poetry, prose and music evoking the spirit of carnival.

    With Saint-Saens, Verdi and Poe.

    Turn the world upside down, break all the rules and let the dead talk to the living and what have you got? Nothing less than the spirit of Carnival.

    This week Words and Music takes its cue from Rome's Saturnalia and the gris gris of New Orleans.

    Carnival may be about laughter and licence but it also acknowledges darkness and unease.

    It's a kind of whistling in the dark and a kind of exorcism.

    It gives physical form to our fears and with its clowns, zombies and ritual helps us to reconcile ourselves to the obscene, the terrible and the outrageously wonderful in our lives.

    Most, if not all of us watch and all of us sometimes wear the mask and join the dance.

    Musical intoxication is supplied by the likes of Saint Saens, Constant Lambert, Verdi and Berlioz and the verbal fireworks come courtesy of Edgar Allan Poe, Byron, Elizabeth Bishop, ee cummings, Malcolm Lowry and Goethe with the actors Saskia Reeves and Tom Hiddleston as the Lords of Misrule.

    Turn the world upside down, break all the rules and let the dead talk to the living and what have you got? Nothing less than the spirit of Carnival. This week Words and Music takes its cue from Rome's Saturnalia and the gris gris of New Orleans.

    Carnival may be about laughter and licence but it also acknowledges darkness and unease. It's a kind of whistling in the dark and a kind of exorcism. It gives physical form to our fears and with its clowns, zombies and ritual helps us to reconcile ourselves to the obscene, the terrible and the outrageously wonderful in our lives. Most, if not all of us watch and all of us sometimes wear the mask and join the dance.

    Poetry, prose and music evoking the spirit of carnival. With Saint-Saens, Verdi and Poe.

    Celebration20101107

    ! Kathryn Tickell heads a distinguished musical line-up in this special edition recorded at The Sage Gateshead, as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival.

    All kinds of celebratory poetry and prose are read by Donald Mcbride and Zita Frith, including a strong North East flavour evoking the area's landscapes, heroes and heroines.

    A special programme of poetry, prose and music, recorded at The Sage Gateshead.

    Part of the Free Thinking 2010,

    Chains Of Desire20080525

    A sequence of poems, prose and letters read by actors Neil Pearson and Clare Higgins interspersed with music, all connected by the theme of erotic love.

    With words by Catullus, Andrew Marvell, Shakespeare, Keats as well as Baudelaire, Flaubert, and Proust (in translation).

    The music includes works by Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Wagner, Dvorak and Orff.

    Chains of Desire

    A sequence of poems, prose and letters read by actors Neil Pearson and Clare Higgins interspersed with music, all connected by the theme of erotic love. With words by Catullus, Andrew Marvell, Shakespeare, Keats as well as Baudelaire, Flaubert, and Proust (in translation). The music includes works by Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Wagner, Dvorak and Orff.

    Chains Of Desire *20080525

    A sequence of poems, prose and letters read by actors Neil Pearson and Clare Higgins interspersed with music, all connected by the theme of erotic love.

    With words by Catullus, Andrew Marvell, Shakespeare, Keats as well as Baudelaire, Flaubert, and Proust (in translation).

    The music includes works by Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Wagner, Dvorak and Orff.

    Circles, Curves And Contours2016060520170521

    are explored as Words and Music strays from the straight and narrow. With literary selections from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emily Dickinson and Tony Harrison and music from Miles Davis and The Beatles to Bach and Bax. The readers are Deborah Findlay and Hugh Fraser.

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Texts and music about circles, curves and contours. Readers: Deborah Findlay, Hugh Fraser.

    Circles, Curves and Contours are explored as Words and Music strays from the straight and narrow. With literary selections from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emily Dickinson and Tony Harrison and music from Miles Davis and The Beatles to Bach and Bax. The readers are Deborah Findlay and Hugh Fraser.

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Circles, Curves And Contours20170521

    Texts and music about circles, curves and contours. Readers: Deborah Findlay, Hugh Fraser.

    Circles, Curves and Contours are explored as Words and Music strays from the straight and narrow. With literary selections from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emily Dickinson and Tony Harrison and music from Miles Davis and The Beatles to Bach and Bax. The readers are Deborah Findlay and Hugh Fraser.

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Clockwise2015051720170326 (R3)

    : Toby Jones and Romola Garai explore our obsession with clocks and timekeeping....everything from Handel's music for musical clocks to St Augustine's meditations on time.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Clockwise: The award-winning actors Toby Jones and Romola Garai explore our obsession with clocks and timekeeping. The imperious shrilling of the alarm clock; the way ticking sometimes sounds like fate approaching; the moments elongated or abbreviated by emotion: the way the imagination tends to go blank before the notion of eternity: these are all part of a meditation on why and how we measure time - from Handel's pieces for musical clocks to St Augustine's Confessions... and all in the time it takes your average chronometer to tick from five thirty in the evening to six forty-five.

    : The award-winning actors Toby Jones and Romola Garai explore our obsession with clocks and timekeeping. The imperious shrilling of the alarm clock; the way ticking sometimes sounds like fate approaching; the moments elongated or abbreviated by emotion: the way the imagination tends to go blank before the notion of eternity: these are all part of a meditation on why and how we measure time - from Handel's pieces for musical clocks to St Augustine's Confessions... and all in the time it takes your average chronometer to tick from five thirty in the evening to six forty-five.

    Clouds20170604

    Texts and music on the theme of clouds. Readers: Simon Russell Beale and Adjoa Andoh.

    Clowns2010070420150614 (R3)

    Alison Steadman and Andrew Sachs read poetry and prose exploring clowns as mysterious constructs that evoke an array of emotions: from laughter to tears, happiness to fear, and wonder to pity. Clowns are seen as solitary, innocent, terrifying, malevolent and sometimes even evil.

    The programme captures the many guises of clowns and begins with a homage to Joseph Grimaldi, considered to be the most famous English Clown. On the first Sunday of every February, clowns gather in the National Clowns' Church (Holy Trinity Church, Dalston, East London) to celebrate the life of Grimaldi, so the beginning of the programme recreates the Grimaldi Service with stanzas from an ode by Thomas Hood read over Stravinsky's Circus Polka arranged for organ.

    Then enter the clowns: Verlaine's Parisian circus clown, the foolish country clowns of John Clare and Henry Parrot, Simon Armitage's Clown Punk, Shel Silverstein's tearful, unfunny 'Cloony the Clown' and Heinrich Boll's naive clown in the confusion of post-war Germany. The familiar figures of the Commedia dell'Arte - Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine and Pantalon - also begin to emerge from the beginning of the programme and are characterized in Schumann's Carnaval, Op.9, the Pierrot of Bantock and Reger, plus Telemann's Columbine from Ouverture Burlesque.

    In the middle of the programme, the 'Clowns' Prayer' recreates the central part of the Grimaldi Service accompanied by Britten's Village Organist's Piece. The darker side of clowns is revealed through Stephen King's 'It' with Respighi's horrifying depiction of death in the Roman circus (Feste romane), Shakespeare's clown gravediggers from Hamlet over Charlie Chaplin's 'Clown's Last Crazy Act', and Betsy Sholl's ghostly 'saddest man in the world'.

    Alison Steadman and Andrew Sachs read poetry and prose exploring clowns as mysterious constructs that evoke an array of emotions: from laughter to tears, happiness to fear, and wonder to pity.

    Clowns are seen as solitary, innocent, terrifying, malevolent and sometimes even evil.

    The programme captures the many guises of clowns and begins with a homage to Joseph Grimaldi, considered to be the most famous English Clown.

    On the first Sunday of every February, clowns gather in the National Clowns' Church (Holy Trinity Church, Dalston, East London) to celebrate the life of Grimaldi, so the beginning of the programme recreates the Grimaldi Service with stanzas from an ode by Thomas Hood read over Stravinsky's Circus Polka arranged for organ.

    Then enter the clowns: Verlaine's Parisian circus clown, the foolish country clowns of John Clare and Henry Parrot, Simon Armitage's Clown Punk, Shel Silverstein's tearful, unfunny 'Cloony the Clown' and Heinrich Boll's naive clown in the confusion of post-war Germany.

    The familiar figures of the Commedia dell'Arte - Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine and Pantalon - also begin to emerge from the beginning of the programme and are characterized in Schumann's Carnaval, Op 9, the Pierrot of Bantock and Reger, plus Telemann's Columbine from Ouverture Burlesque.

    In the middle of the programme, the 'Clowns' Prayer' recreates the central part of the Grimaldi Service accompanied by Britten's Village Organist's Piece.

    The darker side of clowns is revealed through Stephen King's 'It' with Respighi's horrifying depiction of death in the Roman circus (Feste romane), Shakespeare's clown gravediggers from Hamlet over Charlie Chaplin's 'Clown's Last Crazy Act', and Betsy Sholl's ghostly 'saddest man in the world'.

    Texts and music focusing on clowns, with readings from Alison Steadman and Andrew Sachs

    Cockneys20160410

    Jim Conway and Cheryl Fergison venture into Cockney literature, from Chaucer to Dickens and Henry Mayhew to Bernard Shaw. Music includes Elgar and Albert Chevalier, the Cockney King of the music hall.

    Constraint20110925

    A sequence of music.

    poems and prose on the theme of constraint.

    Artists have struggled against restriction, yearning for freedom and yet edges and boundaries can also be tremendous stimuli.

    Siobhan Redmond and John Rowe read poems and prose by Rosa Luxemburg, Andrew Marvell, Billy Collins and Emily Dickinson with music by Ethel Smyth, John Cage, Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc.

    Music and poems on the theme of constraint with Siobhan Redmond and John Rowe.

    A sequence of music. poems and prose on the theme of constraint. Artists have struggled against restriction, yearning for freedom and yet edges and boundaries can also be tremendous stimuli. Siobhan Redmond and John Rowe read poems and prose by Rosa Luxemburg, Andrew Marvell, Billy Collins and Emily Dickinson with music by Ethel Smyth, John Cage, Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc.

    Conversations20150705

    Catherine Harvey and Jamie Parker muse on Conversations from the early Socratic dialogues to Larkin's 'Talking in Bed', and Debrett's to Theodore Zeldin. There are also conversation pieces between modern and original poems, as C. Day Lewis replies poetically to Christopher Marlowe's 'The Passionate Shepherd to his Love'. Music includes Messiaen's Antienne de la conversation intérieure and Telemann's chatty Divertimento in E flat major, TWV.50:21.

    Elizabeth Arno (producer).

    Correspondence20090405
    Correspondence *20090405

    A selection of poetry, prose and music centring on correspondence - between poets, musicians, lovers and friends.

    With writings by Kafka, Ovid and Mary Wollstonecraft interspersed with music from Arthur Honegger, Steve Reich, Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington.

    Poetry, prose and music centring on correspondence.

    With works Kafka, Ovid and Mingus.

    Crowds2013060220161230 (R3)

    Words and Music explores our relationship with Crowds - everyday collectives, the political and the personal.

    We begin with the popular experience of mass gatherings, from sporting events, to the daily commute and the fair ground. William Carlos William's majestic poem 'At The Ball Game' celebrates the festive side of crowds and hints at the potential for terror. This foreboding is embodied in Stravinsky's manipulated puppet trapped in a fairground burlesque, and Petrushka points towards the political nature of crowds. In Dicken's famous revolutionary novel 'A Tale of Two Cities', playful games outside a wine shop end with the word BLOOD painted in red wine. Shakespeare's Coriolanus addresses the mob and Aldous Huxley analyses Hitler, the ultimate manipulator of crowds, in 'Brave New World Revisited'. Verdi's Nabucco completes this section; so synonymous is it with Italian history and politics Ricardo Muti recently found his audience rising as one to join in the 'Hebrew Slaves Chorus'.

    Freddie Mercury's anthem 'Someone to Love' heralds the personal nature of crowds - the pursuit of the perfect match in amongst humanity - and the sense of loneliness experienced in a crowd. We visit Gatsby's vibrant parties, glittering with emptiness; Cinderella fleeing the ball and Maya Angelou's phenomenal woman where men swarm around her like bees. Finally we end with Philip Larkin's love poem written to Maeve whilst listening to a broadcast of the concert she was attending. There are a few other crowd pleasers along the way, including music by Handel, Grieg, Mozart, Beethoven, Elgar and Copland; with additional words from Walt Whitman, Wordsworth and Garrison Keillor.

    Producer, Erika Wright.

    From political protest to festive gatherings or seething sporting events, Words and Music explores the changeable nature of crowds - whether a collective positive force or a destructive mindless mob. Music includes Bizet, Stravinsky, Verdi and Handel with words from Philip Larkin, Garrison Keillor, Shakespeare and Maya Angelou.

    Crushed20080810

    Readers Rafe Spall and Abigail Davies.

    'In the end it took me a dictionary to find out the meaning of unrequited'.

    So sings the Saturday Boy in Billy Bragg's evocation of the pain of unrequited love.

    The dictionary would only have told him that unrequited means unreturned.

    Looking into the world of music and poetry he would have found that unrequited love is much more complex and nuanced.

    Schooldays are often the start, also for Gwyneth Lewis in her poem 'To the boys I loved who never loved me' which brings back memories of adolescence and makes an important statement in this territory: I was never made less by loving you more.

    Unrequited Love can leave someone a sad, winsome and even quite pathetic figure.

    However, in reading poetry and listening to music that dealt with this idea it soon becomes clear that once the hope is gone, how the person deals with the love and longing that remains is fertile ground.

    The physical decline of Miss Haversham's dress and rooms might be shocking, and the still upper lip fortitude found in the Houseman poetry quite painful, but the determination and selfknowledge demonstrated by both are things I found to be noble and empowering.

    The idea of a carrying something inside that isn't just going to go away is also explored in Simon Rae's poem 'Believed'.

    This isn't about unrequited love, but is nonetheless a longing for something that's never going to happen.

    There is perhaps in all of us a longing for the things we didn't do, the words unspoken, people unkissed, journeys not taken.

    This is also touched on in Sophie Hannah's poem To the Memory of Love where Love was Not.

    Unrequited Love can be painful, and the love that remains after hope has gone can be the most painful of all.

    Sophie Hannah reminds us that however painful the feelings, at least those feelings are there, true and present, and in some way make us real.

    There's a great deal of music that can be related to unrequited love.

    Brahms and Berlioz come to mind for their devotions to Clara Schumann and Harriet Smithson respectively.

    Billie Holiday had to be there not just for the song she sings 'Love me or Leave me' here but for her own life and that voice that carries so much loss and pain so beautifully.

    The plangent dissonances of early string music are so reminiscent of the pains and stabs of love, and I've included music by Gibbons and Biber.

    To finish, I have included the quintet from Wagner's Die Meistersinger where Hans Sachs, one of the most humane and complex of all operatic characters sings of how 'the heart's sweet burden had to be subdued' and renounces his love for Eva.

    GIBBONS

    Fantasia No.3

    Consorts For Viols

    Laurence Dreyfus/ Phantasm

    Avie AV0032

    CAROL ANN DUFFY

    Warming her Pearls

    Read by Abigail Davies

    NYMAN

    Trysting Fields

    Film Music 19802001

    Michael Nyman Band

    Virgin CDVED957

    SIMON RAE

    Believed

    Read by Rafe Spall

    BRAHMS

    Intermezzo in C Sharp Minor

    Two Rhapsodies

    Radu Lupu

    Decca 4175992

    A.

    E.

    HOUSMAN

    XXXI (Because I liked you)

    Noel Coward

    Mad About the Boy

    All Woman 3

    Dinah Washington

    Quality TV ALLWOCD03

    BEETHOVEN

    Variations On Bei Mnnern Welche Liebe Fhlen

    Variations for Piano and Cello in E Flat Major

    Jacqueline du Pr/ Daniel Barenboim

    EMI CMS 7630152

    Ben Jonson

    Song to Celia

    BERLIOZ

    Un Bal

    Symphonie Fantastique

    Berlin Philharmonic

    DG 415325-2

    DICKENS

    From Great Expectations

    TCHAIKOVSKY

    Pezzo in forma di Sonatina

    Symphony 4

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

    Virgin VC 7907982

    JOBIM/ DE MORAES/GIMBEL

    The Girl From Ipanema

    Nigel Kennedy Plays Jazz

    Nigel Kennedy / Peter Pettinger

    Chandos CHAN 6513

    HEINRICH HEINE

    Why is the Rose so Pale

    MOZART

    Adagio Piano Concerto No.

    23 in A Major K488

    Piano Concertos

    Daniel Barenboim/ English Chamber Orchestra

    EMI 7691222

    EMILY DICKENSON

    The Heart asks Pleasure First

    JANACEK

    String Quartet No.2,"Intimate Letters"

    String Quartets

    Vanbrugh String Quartet

    Harper Collins 13812

    F Scott Fitzgerald

    Excerpt from the Great Gatsby

    DONALDSON / KAHN

    Love me or leave me

    The Very Best of Billie Holiday

    Billie Holiday

    Verve 5474942

    RUPERT BROOKE

    Love

    Sophie Hannah

    The Memory of Love where Love was Not

    BIBER

    Rosary Sonata No.1 "The Annunciation"

    Rosary Sonatas

    Pavlo Beznosiuk/ David Roblou

    Avie AV 0038

    PETRACH

    Canzoniere I

    SHAKESPEARE

    Sonnet 149

    Gwyneth Lewis

    To the Boys I Loved Who Never Loved Me

    Billy Bragg

    The Saturday Boy

    Brewing Up With Billy Bragg

    Cooking Vinyl COOKCD 107

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIII

    HANDEL

    Ombra Mai F

    La Lucrezia

    A selection of literature and accompanying music.

    Cymru Fach20090726

    In the run up to the 2009 National Eisteddfod of Wales, the annual festival of Welsh culture and language, Words and Music celebrates the land famous for its poetry and song - from the (Anglo-Welsh) lyrical verse of Dylan Thomas to the Welsh poetry of Gwyneth Lewis.

    With the haunting sound of the male voice choir, Wales's leading classical musicians Bryn Terfel and Robert Te,r and some of Wales' most successful pop artists.

    Poems are read by Ruth Madoc and Owen Teale.

    Ruth Madoc and Owen Teale with poetry and music inspired by Wales.

    Dancing In The Wind2007072220080727

    Sara Kestelman and Rory Kinnear read poetry and prose on the theme of childhood.

    Including Prayer before Birth by Louis Macneice; Morning Song by Sylvia Plath; Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney; and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

    Music includes Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, Rufus Wainwright's The Art Teacher, John Tavener's To a child dancing in the wind, Schumann's Kinderszenen and Hans Kraas' Brundibar.

    Dancing in the Wind

    Dante And Blake: The Seven Deadly Sins20160724

    Poems by Dante and William Blake as well as music by Wagner, Janacek and Tchaikovsky.

    In his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri explores the cardinal vices of Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Covetousness, Gluttony and Lust. In his singular and influential model of the afterlife, he climbs the Mountain of Purgatory and encounters seven terraces, each home to penitents suffering torments according to their sin.

    Another visionary poet, William Blake, was an equally individual artist and produced more than a hundred illustrations for Dante's masterwork. The themes of suffering and redemption, darkness and light, appealed to him as both painter and writer, and many of his poems match Dante for intensity and insight.

    Extracts from Dante's Purgatory and Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience are read by Ray Fearon and Aoife Duffin while music includes Wagner, Janacek, Tchaikovsky and Miles Davis.

    Deserts And Springs20150802

    Sylvestra Le Touzel and Samuel Barnett read prose and poetry exploring deserts and springs, both in physical form - the bone-dry wilderness which water turns to fertile soil, and as metaphor - the wasteland of existential emptiness, transformed by the streams of spiritual nourishment. Readings from TS Eliot, Shelley, Hardy and Banjo Paterson, and music by Britten, Schubert, Messiaen and Duke Ellington.

    Different Trains2012020520151004 (R3)

    In 1830, the first railway passenger service in the world was established between Manchester and Liverpool; ever since railways have exerted their special fascination, not least with writers and musicians. They suggest adventure and romance, excitement... and fear. Dickens had a strong dislike of trains, but couldn't ignore them in his fiction.

    The path of a train can mirror a journey through life. The 19th century Parisian railway provided a powerful backdrop to Emile Zola's exploration of the darker side of human nature in La Bête Humaine; while for the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, the train was the means for a soul's symbolic journey towards spiritual fulfilment. Trains mean rendezvous, departure, loss and transportation. For some, the incessant drive of a great steam engine is the epitome of the industrial world. For one poet, the clickety-clack of metal wheels on metal rails chimes into something primeval..

    Jonathan Pryce and Eleanor Bron read poems and texts celebrating our relationship with railways by Zola, Hawthorne, Dickens, Wilfred Owen, Hardy, Larkin, Tolstoy and Primo Levi, with "train" music from Bruckner, Rossini, Offenbach, Villa-Lobos, Ives, Britten, Langgaard, Bainbridge, Reich, Meade "Lux" Lewis and Elvis Presley.

    Texts and music celebrating railways, with readings by Jonathan Pryce and Eleanor Bron.

    In 1830, the first railway passenger service in the world was established between Manchester and Liverpool - ever since railways have exerted their special fascination, not least with writers and musicians. They can evoke adventure and romance, excitement, power and fear. Dickens, for example, had a strong dislike of trains, but couldn't ignore them in his fiction.

    The path of a train can mirror a journey through life. The 19th century Parisian railway provided a powerful backdrop to Emile Zola's exploration of the darker side of human nature in La Bête Humaine; while for the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, the train was the means of carriage for a soul's symbolic journey towards spiritual fulfilment. Arthur Honegger famously used an orchestra to mimic the sound of a great continental steam train, while Rossini - who detested the railway - took a certain pleasure in creating a musical depiction of a hypothetical railway accident. Trains mean rendezvous, departure, loss and transportation. For some, the incessant drive of a great steam engine is potent expression of a mechanised industrialized world. For one poet, the clickety-clack of metal wheels on metal rails evokes something primeval.

    Jonathan Pryce and Eleanor Bron read poems and texts celebrating our relationship with trains by Emile Zola, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, Wilfred Owen, Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin, Leo Tolstoy and Primo Levi; alongside archive recordings from TS Eliot and John Laurie. Featured "Train" music includes musical thoughts from Arthur Honegger, Percy Grainger, Gioachino Rossini, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Mikhail Glinka, Charles Ives, Benjamin Britten, Rued Langgaard, Simon Bainbridge, Meade "Lux" Lewis and Elvis Presley.

    Discovery20130224

    Katherine Parkinson and Stephen Campbell Moore read poems and prose by Charles Dickens, Don Paterson, Jane Austen and Simon Gray on the theme of discovery in all senses of the word. With accompanying music by Bach, Copland, Bruckner and Chopin.

    Producer: Serena Field.

    Displacement20140629

    Words and music on the theme of Displacement, with readers Lesley Sharp and Philip Franks. Including a selection of poetry and prose telling the stories of people from across Europe who were amongst the millions forced to leave their home nations during the Great War, from the hundreds of thousands of Belgians taking refuge in the UK, to Serbians fleeing their homeland after defeat from Austrian forces. With extracts from Virginia Woolf?s diaries, an essay by Henry James, the poetry of Herbert Read and Milutin Bojic, and memoirs written by Queen Marie of Romania during the German-led invasion of her country.

    Part of Radio 3's WWI season, Music in the Great War.

    Do Not Go Gentle2009052420091230

    Barbara Jefford and Neville Jason explore the adventure of entering our 'third age', and the challenges and consolations of old age.

    With readings from Shakespeare, Yeats, Browning, Dylan Thomas, Roger McGough and Dannie Abse, and music including Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Scarlatti, Villa-Lobos, John Taverner, Leiber and Stoller, Jerome Kern, and The Beatles.

    Barbara Jefford and Neville Jason explore the adventure of entering old age.

    With readings from Shakespeare, Yeats, Browning, Dylan Thomas, Roger Mcgough and Dannie Abse, and music including Verdi, Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Ravel and Jerome Kern.

    Do Not Go Gentle *2009052420091230

    Barbara Jefford and Neville Jason explore the adventure of entering our 'third age', and the challenges and consolations of old age.

    With readings from Shakespeare, Yeats, Browning, Dylan Thomas, Roger McGough and Dannie Abse, and music including Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Scarlatti, Villa-Lobos, John Taverner, Leiber and Stoller, Jerome Kern, and The Beatles.

    Barbara Jefford and Neville Jason explore the adventure of entering old age.

    With readings from Shakespeare, Yeats, Browning, Dylan Thomas, Roger Mcgough and Dannie Abse, and music including Verdi, Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Ravel and Jerome Kern.

    Drumming20151025

    Mariah Gayle and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith celebrate one of the oldest musical arts in readings from Whitman, Housman, Kamau Brathwaite, N Scott Momaday and others, and including music by Copland, Steve Reich, Mahler and Gene Krupa.

    Dylan Thomas Out Loud20140504

    A special edition of Words and Music as part of Radio 3's Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations.

    Often set against the background of his beloved South Wales, Thomas explored the big themes: childhood, religion, love and death. The programme includes many well-loved poems and stories, including: 'After the Funeral', 'Do Not Go Gentle', 'The Force That Through the Green Fuse drives the flower', 'Under Milk Wood', 'A Visit to Grandpa's' and 'A Story'. Thomas himself features, in a powerful archive recording of 'Lament'.

    An evocative folk song arrangement from the Cory Band, a hymn from the Tywi Male Choir, and a stirring rendition of Land of My Fathers from Bryn Terfel further emphasise Thomas's roots. But although his Welsh identity is so fundamental, Thomas's work has universal resonance. Thus Thomas also rubs shoulders with the likes of Schubert, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Ligeti, Steve Reich and Johnny Cash.

    The newly commissioned readings are given by two of Britain's most exciting young actors, Catrin Stewart and Trystan Gravelle - both, like Thomas himself, from South Wales. Together they bring to life the texts in idiomatic and vibrant performances, showing Thomas to be a poet in the true bardic tradition, the full impact of whose work is best appreciated read out loud.

    David Papp (producer).

    Ecstasy2007110420080720

    A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture.

    Religious ecstasy is explored through poems by John Donne and George Herbert, and music by Messiaen and Robert Carver.

    The Romantic obsession with the mind-altering power of the outdoor world is reflected in works by Wordsworth and Schubert.

    Musical evocations of ecstatic feelings include pieces by Scriabin and Thomas Ades, while Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson provide a poetic depiction of the elation felt by lovers.

    Read by Michael Elwyn and Eleanor Bron

    A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture, with readings by actors Michael Elwyn and Eleanor Bron.

    With works exploring religious ecstasy from John Donne and George Herbert as well as by Olivier Messiaen and Robert Carver.

    There are also musical evocations of ecstatic feelings in pieces by Scriabin and Thomas Ades, and poetic depictions of the elation felt by lovers in writings by Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson

    Ecstasy

    A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture. Religious ecstasy is explored through poems by John Donne and George Herbert, and music by Messiaen and Robert Carver. The Romantic obsession with the mind-altering power of the outdoor world is reflected in works by Wordsworth and Schubert.

    Ecstasy * *2007110420080720

    A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture.

    Religious ecstasy is explored through poems by John Donne and George Herbert, and music by Messiaen and Robert Carver.

    The Romantic obsession with the mind-altering power of the outdoor world is reflected in works by Wordsworth and Schubert.

    Musical evocations of ecstatic feelings include pieces by Scriabin and Thomas Ades, while Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson provide a poetic depiction of the elation felt by lovers.

    Read by Michael Elwyn and Eleanor Bron

    A sequence of music and poetry evoking states of rapture, with readings by actors Michael Elwyn and Eleanor Bron.

    With works exploring religious ecstasy from John Donne and George Herbert as well as by Olivier Messiaen and Robert Carver.

    There are also musical evocations of ecstatic feelings in pieces by Scriabin and Thomas Ades, and poetic depictions of the elation felt by lovers in writings by Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson

    Education20120318

    This week's Words and Music explores the theme of education. Richard Wilson and Celia Imrie read poetry and prose exploring educational experience, from primary school nature tables and terrifying school mistresses, to the 'cloistral hush' of Oxford University and the darker resonances of learning in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Musical accompaniment includes work by Barber, Schumann and Britten as well as Bartok, Leopold Mozart, Rufus Wainwright and Brahms.

    Texts and music on the theme of education. Readings by Richard Wilson and Celia Imrie

    Eminently Victorian2012070120141222 (R3)

    From Wilde's Symphony in Yellow to Elgar's Cello Concerto - the music and the literature of the Victorians with Rory Kinnear.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Eminently Victorian is a kind of stumble or headlong trip into the kaleidoscopic world of the 19th century. It's a world which embraces Elgar, Mendelssohn and William Sterndale Bennett as easily as George Eliot, Oscar Wilde and Robert Browning. At once familiar and strange it still seems seems utterly contemporary. Anna Maxwell Martin and Rory Kinnear conjure up Gwendolen Harleth and Gunga Din amongst others and the music whirls from the vernacular of Gilbert and Sullivan to Samuel Coleridge Taylor's The Song of Hiawatha.

    is a kind of stumble or headlong trip into the kaleidoscopic world of the 19th century. It's a world which embraces Elgar, Mendelssohn and William Sterndale Bennett as easily as George Eliot, Oscar Wilde and Robert Browning. At once familiar and strange it still seems seems utterly contemporary. Anna Maxwell Martin and Rory Kinnear conjure up Gwendolen Harleth and Gunga Din amongst others and the music whirls from the vernacular of Gilbert and Sullivan to Samuel Coleridge Taylor's The Song of Hiawatha.

    Empire Building20111030

    The quest to Empire-build - from the sixteenth century Spanish conquistadors to the nineteenth century British Raj - has inspired some powerful and enduring words and music.

    Readers Sian Thomas and Timothy West read poetry and prose which conjures both the era of empire, Rudyard Kiplings' 'The White Man's Burden' and Forster's 'A Passage to India', and the discomfort and melancholy of the post Imperial world, with Derek Walcott's 'Poems on the Passing of an Empire' and Langston Hughes' 'Roar China'.

    War poetry offers a disturbing glimpse into the darkest impulses of Empire-building with Hardy's plaintive Drummer Hodge and Siegfried Sassoon's coruscating 'Dulce et Decorum Est' before the heart-rending opening notes of the 'Sanctus' from Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem'.

    Empire-building and enslavement are tragically bound together; in the negro spiritual 'Nobody Knows de Trouble I've Seen' - sung by Barbara Hendricks - and James Weldon Johnson's poem 'Lift Every Voice And Sing' we hear both the sorrowful reality - and joyful rejection - of slavery.

    Texts and music on theme of Empire, with readings by Sian Thomas and Timothy West.

    The quest to Empire-build - from the sixteenth century Spanish conquistadors to the nineteenth century British Raj - has inspired some powerful and enduring words and music. Readers Sian Thomas and Timothy West read poetry and prose which conjures both the era of empire, Rudyard Kiplings' 'The White Man's Burden' and Forster's 'A Passage to India', and the discomfort and melancholy of the post Imperial world, with Derek Walcott's 'Poems on the Passing of an Empire' and Langston Hughes' 'Roar China'. War poetry offers a disturbing glimpse into the darkest impulses of Empire-building with Hardy's plaintive Drummer Hodge and Siegfried Sassoon's coruscating 'Dulce et Decorum Est' before the heart-rending opening notes of the 'Sanctus' from Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem'. Empire-building and enslavement are tragically bound together; in the negro spiritual 'Nobody Knows de Trouble I've Seen' - sung by Barbara Hendricks - and James Weldon Johnson's poem 'Lift Every Voice And Sing' we hear both the sorrowful reality - and joyful rejection - of slavery.

    Encoded20161218

    Today's Words and Music has more to it than meets the eye. Anna Maxwell Martin and Tim McInnerny read texts and poetry inspired by codes, and hidden messages. Codes are a staple in detective and spy novels, and we find characters sending and grappling with them in works by Conan Doyle, Graham Greene and John le Carré. There are also real life examples of codes being used, and broken, from Francis Bacon's ingenious cypher, Mary Queen of Scots' fatal coded letters during her imprisonment by Elizabeth I, and the top-secret work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. The programme also includes clue-ridden text and poems, such as Agatha Christie's Manx Gold which contained cryptic clues to the whereabouts of hidden treasure prizes on the Isle of Man. There are acrostic poems with the names of loved ones hidden within them, and in a similar way, composers often embedded their own, or another's initials into their music - there are examples by Bach, Shostakovich and Berg.

    Producer Ellie Mant.

    Enemies20100822

    One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good.

    So said Jonathan Swift, and this week's Words and Music takes a closer look at what we have to fear from those who wish us harm.

    Struan Rodger and Siobhan Redmond read work by William Blake, Dorothy Parker, Charles Baudelaire, Elizabeth Barlett and Naomi Shihab Nye, with music from Bach, William Walton, Nick Cave and Shirley Bassey.

    Texts and music on the theme of enemies.

    Readings by Struan Rodger and Siobhan Redmond

    One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good. So said Jonathan Swift, and this week's Words and Music takes a closer look at what we have to fear from those who wish us harm. Struan Rodger and Siobhan Redmond read work by William Blake, Dorothy Parker, Charles Baudelaire, Elizabeth Barlett and Naomi Shihab Nye, with music from Bach, William Walton, Nick Cave and Shirley Bassey.

    Texts and music on the theme of enemies. Readings by Struan Rodger and Siobhan Redmond.

    Entente Cordiale2012120920160221 (R3)

    In 1904 Britain and France signed the Entente Cordiale - the formal agreement establishing a special relationship between the two countries. The agreement put in writing something that had existed informally for centuries: a deep cultural understanding, witnessed in the exchange of ideas, music and literature. And despite periods of great turbulence, such as the Napoleonic Wars, Britain and France remained close.

    As part of Radio 3's Napoleon Season, this week's edition of Words and Music sails the English Channel to give expression to this special relationship with words by Rimbaud, Wordsworth and Henry James and music from Debussy, George Benjamin and Poulenc.

    This week's edition of Words and Music sails the English Channel to give expression to this special relationship with music from Delius, Vaughan Williams and Francaix; and words by Swinburne, Proust, Elizabeth David and Julian Barnes. The readers are Rachel Atkins and Jamie Parker.

    Epiphany2012010820120901

    Texts and music on the theme of epiphany, with readings by Joanna David and Bertie Carvel.

    In the Christian tradition, The Epiphany marked one of the first manifestations of God to mankind - to the gentiles - when the Magi or Wise Men were presented to the new-born Christ. It was a moment of revelation, of insight and understanding, as Christ's divinity was revealed.

    Richard Strauss's Die heiligen drei Könige opens this edition of Words and Music with its mournful and subdued strings. Introducing the religious theme, the piece describes the epic and starlit voyage of the three Magi as they sought the Christ child.

    George Mackay Brown's Epiphany Poem, read by Joanna David, describes the horror of this journey: the Magi 'Suffered salt, snow, skulls'. But at the end, the revelation of God to man brings hope and salvation; the first word is made flesh. Strauss expresses the movement from suffering to salvation through the modulation from minor to major key.

    The Epiphany has been interpreted by many composers including Jonathan Dove, Judith Bingham and Richard Trunk whose work we hear in this programme.

    In contrast, TS Eliot's The Journey of the Magi, read by Bertie Carvel, is a dramatic monologue from the point of view of one wise man. The anguished narrator, rather than expounding the joy of the birth or the beauty of the Eastern star, explains that the coming of Christ brought about the end of his world, 'the old dispensation'. The birth was 'bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.'

    In Queen Herod, Carol Ann Duffy subverts the Epiphany story. The poem tells the tale of three queens whose visitation brings a warning: the eastern star heralds the birth of 'a swaggering lad' who will break her daughter's heart. Stansilaw Baranczak's The Three Magi introduces a secular aspect to the theme of epiphany, transposing the story to Communist Poland and the arrest of a dissident: the gold of a watch and the frankincense of cigarette smoke serve as substitutions for the Magi's gifts: 'what is this myrrh, anyway / you'd have to finally look it up / someday.'

    Beethoven's Symphony No.3 expresses a secular epiphany in the finale, as its headlong rush is interrupted with a slow section, building to an overwhelming climax; Janacek's Taras Bulba describes a similar epiphanic movement.

    In the Christian tradition, The Epiphany marked one of the first manifestations of God to mankind - to the gentiles - when the Magi were presented to the new-born Christ. It was a moment of revelation, of insight and understanding, as Christ's divinity was revealed. Epiphanies, in their various appearances, often come suddenly and unexpectedly and are of varying magnitude.

    With music by Bach, Menotti and Lennox Berkeley, and words by TS Eliot, Carol Ann Duffy and Wole Soyinka, read by Joanna David and Bertie Carvel.

    Exile2010090520110619

    Frances Barber and Greg Hicks read poetry and prose exploring the theme of exile.

    The texts look at differing reactions to being away from home and its effects, or thinking that home should be somewhere other than it is.

    Shakespeare, Du Maurier, Italo Calvino, WB Yeats, AE Housman, Browning, Shelley, John Clare, Edward Lear, and Emily Dickinson provide the words; music from Chabrier, Byrd, Bach and Bob Marley, among others.

    Produced by David Papp.

    Texts and music on the theme of exile, with readings by Frances Barber and Greg Hicks.

    Texts and music exploring the theme of exile.

    Readings by Frances Barber and Greg Hicks.

    Frances Barber and Greg Hicks read poetry and prose exploring the theme of exile. The texts look at differing reactions to being away from home and its effects, or thinking that home should be somewhere other than it is. Shakespeare, Du Maurier, Italo Calvino, WB Yeats, AE Housman, Browning, Shelley, John Clare, Edward Lear, and Emily Dickinson provide the words; music from Chabrier, Byrd, Bach and Bob Marley, among others.

    Texts and music exploring the theme of exile. Readings by Frances Barber and Greg Hicks.

    Exile20110619

    Frances Barber and Greg Hicks read poetry and prose exploring the theme of exile. The texts look at differing reactions to being away from home and its effects, or thinking that home should be somewhere other than it is. Shakespeare, Du Maurier, Italo Calvino, WB Yeats, AE Housman, Browning, Shelley, John Clare, Edward Lear, and Emily Dickinson provide the words; music from Chabrier, Byrd, Bach and Bob Marley, among others.

    Produced by David Papp.

    Texts and music on the theme of exile, with readings by Frances Barber and Greg Hicks.

    Face2008092820100131

    Another chance to hear a revised repeat of Words and Music on the theme of the face.

    The face of our mother is the first thing on which we focus when we are born.

    From then on, faces take on a huge significance throughout our lives.

    We communicate all our emotions through our faces, through our eyes and with words through our lips.

    Through our noses we can detect not just when it's time for dinner, but whether somebody is frightened, depressed or attracted to us.

    This programme explores this uniquely human phenomenon, surveying all aspects of the face - beauty, youth, ugliness, love, fear.

    Then there are the barriers put up when the face is not as it should be, when one cannot see, or one encounters a disfigured face, or eyes that tell a terrible story.

    Highly acclaimed actors Michael Maloney and Lesley Sharp read poems and texts by Christina Rossetti, Christopher Marlowe, Ovid, George Barlow and, of course, extracts from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray".

    And there is music by Gershwin, Hildegard of Bingen, Tavener, Purcell, Ivor Gurney, Dowland and George Michael.

    Michael Maloney and Lesley Sharp read poems and texts exploring the face.

    Michael Maloney and Lesley Sharp are the readers in a programme that explores aspects of the face such as beauty, youth, ugliness, love, fear, blindness, disfigurement and unhappy stories behind a face.

    With poems and texts by Walt Whitman, Edward Lear, Marlowe, Ovid and excerpts from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray interspersed with music by Gershwin, Purcell, John Harle, Ivor Gurney and George Michael"

    The face of our mother is the first thing on which we focus when we are born. From then on, faces take on a huge significance throughout our lives. We communicate all our emotions through our faces, through our eyes and with words through our lips. Through our noses we can detect not just when it's time for dinner, but whether somebody is frightened, depressed or attracted to us. This programme explores this uniquely human phenomenon, surveying all aspects of the face - beauty, youth, ugliness, love, fear. Then there are the barriers put up when the face is not as it should be, when one cannot see, or one encounters a disfigured face, or eyes that tell a terrible story.

    Highly acclaimed actors Michael Maloney and Lesley Sharp read poems and texts by Christina Rossetti, Christopher Marlowe, Ovid, George Barlow and, of course, extracts from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray". And there is music by Gershwin, Hildegard of Bingen, Tavener, Purcell, Ivor Gurney, Dowland and George Michael.

    Face

    Face20100131

    Another chance to hear a revised repeat of Words and Music on the theme of the face.

    The face of our mother is the first thing on which we focus when we are born. From then on, faces take on a huge significance throughout our lives. We communicate all our emotions through our faces, through our eyes and with words through our lips. Through our noses we can detect not just when it's time for dinner, but whether somebody is frightened, depressed or attracted to us. This programme explores this uniquely human phenomenon, surveying all aspects of the face - beauty, youth, ugliness, love, fear. Then there are the barriers put up when the face is not as it should be, when one cannot see, or one encounters a disfigured face, or eyes that tell a terrible story.

    Highly acclaimed actors Michael Maloney and Lesley Sharp read poems and texts by Christina Rossetti, Christopher Marlowe, Ovid, George Barlow and, of course, extracts from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray". And there is music by Gershwin, Hildegard of Bingen, Tavener, Purcell, Ivor Gurney, Dowland and George Michael.

    Fairy Tale20131201

    Texts and music on the theme of fairy tales. Readers: Hayley Atwell and Tim Pigott-Smith.

    Fairy tales shape our imagination. As children their fantasy strikes us as vivid and compelling and as adults their simple surface often seems a shimmering veil over a more profound if disturbing reality. They're distorting mirrors where for a moment at least a prince can look like a frog and a pea can leave a bruise on the soft flesh of a sleeping princess. The actors Hayley Atwell and Tim Pigott-Smith invite us for a stroll in this deep, dark wood - haunted by Janacek, Medtner, Syzmanowski, Dvorak and Humperdinck on one side of the twisting path and by Sylvia Townsend Warner, the Brothers Grimm and Margaret Atwood on the other.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Fame20101010

    Poetry and music on the theme of fame and celebrity, read by Imogen Stubbs and Michael Maloney.

    This week's programme looks at the value - or cost - of fame.

    Can recognition itself bring happiness? What happens when the soft caress of the camera is replaced by the harsh gaze of the paparazzi? Why do so many yearn for their 'fifteen minutes of fame'? And how differently do we view those who have earned their celebrity status through great achievements in life rather than in the film studio?

    Writing by Rita Dove, Boris Pasternak, John Clare, Geoffrey Hill, Charles Simic and Emily Dickinson is accompanied by the music of Handel, John Tavener, Stephen Sondheim and Marianne Faithfull.

    Texts and music about fame and celebrity.

    Readings by Imogen Stubbs and Michael Maloney

    This week's programme looks at the value - or cost - of fame. Can recognition itself bring happiness? What happens when the soft caress of the camera is replaced by the harsh gaze of the paparazzi? Why do so many yearn for their 'fifteen minutes of fame'? And how differently do we view those who have earned their celebrity status through great achievements in life rather than in the film studio?

    Texts and music about fame and celebrity. Readings by Imogen Stubbs and Michael Maloney.

    Family Portraits20091025

    Free Thinking 2009

    Ian McMillan introduces a special edition, as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

    In an atmospheric evening of poetry and music inspired by family life, County Durham-born actress Gina McKee and Live Theatre's Donald McBride read poems by Philip Larkin, John Clare, Sylvia Plath and Newcastle's own Thomas Whittle.

    Plus a newly-commissioned dramatic dialogue for both actors by Karen Laws, Free Thinking Writer-in-Residence.

    They are joined by members of the Northern Sinfonia playing works for string quartet by Purcell, Haydn and Dvorak, as well as music from Newcastle-based folk singer Emily Portman and concertina and Northumbrian pipes player Alistair Anderson.

    Ian McMillan introduces a special edition recorded from the 2009 Free Thinking festival.

    Fathers And Sons20121028

    Fathers and their sons -- or should that be sons and their fathers? Whichever way you look at it, it has to be one of the most powerful of human bonds....sometimes nurturing, sometimes destructive but always unavoidable. This evening's Words and Music features two of Britain's best known actors - Sir Freddie Jones and as you might expect under the circumstances, his son Toby. Freddie has starred in everything from The Elephant Man to Emmerdale Farm and Toby is just as ubiquitous - think of Berberian Sound studio, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or Dr Who. They stay pretty much in character for the programme - with the odd surprise - to explore this turbulent domestic terrain drawing on Shakespeare, Turgenev, Coleridge and Les Murray as they go. Further illumination, wit and vitality is provided by JS Bach and his son CPE, the Strauss family, Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart and by Bob Dylan and Horace Silver - so something for everyone, as they say.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Faust20070923

    A sequence of music and poetry reflecting the age-old obsession with the German legend of Faust.

    With readings by Neil Dudgeon and Carolyn Pickles

    Faust: A sequence of music and poetry reflecting the age-old obsession with the German legend of Faust. With readings by Neil Dudgeon and Carolyn Pickles.

    Feasting With Panthers2009100420100919

    A selection of words and music on the theme of gay love.

    Douglas Hodge and Helen McCrory read poems and texts by W.

    H.

    Auden, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, A.

    E.

    Housman and Sappho etc.

    Includes music by Szymanowski, Britten and Tchaikovsky.

    Texts and music on the theme of gay love.

    Readings by Douglas Hodge and Helen McCrory.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of gay love, with readings by Douglas Hodge and Helen Mccrory.

    Including poems and texts by W H Auden, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, AE Housman and Sappho, plus music by Szymanowski, Britten and Tchaikovsky.

    Words and music on the theme of gay love, with readings by Douglas Hodge and Helen Mccrory

    A selection of words and music on the theme of gay love. Douglas Hodge and Helen McCrory read poems and texts by W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, A. E. Housman and Sappho etc. Includes music by Szymanowski, Britten and Tchaikovsky.

    Texts and music on the theme of gay love. Readings by Douglas Hodge and Helen McCrory.

    Featherbrained2014060120151228 (R3)

    An exploration of birds and the human imagination from Wallace Stevens to the crows in Disney's Dumbo with the actors Anna Maxwell Martin and Jonjo O'Neill.

    Is there something atavistic about an earthbound creature's fascination with flying? Could this be why birds have such a grip on our imagination? Think of it - Shakespeare's starlings and jackdaws - Rossini's thieving magpie - Lewis Carroll and the dodo....The Owl and the Pussycat...Messiaen's extraordinary musical aviary... we're always adding to the list. Somehow, it seems, our minds are refreshed and perplexed by birds. Although profoundly different we seek out similarities with their behaviour; then, perversely, we decide to envy their singularity; we ponder their savagery, then wonder if we should follow their example; even as we hunt them, we marvel at their resilience - windblown scraps flying against a howling gale, or sandmartins snuggling together in deep domesticity. This evening's edition of Words and Music is an exploration of all things featherbrained - an all too human swoop from Wallace Stevens' blackbird to the singing crows in Disney's Dumbo; from the ambivalent sweetness of the dove you can hear in Du Fay or Penalosa to the slight and sensual figure of a wading girl that James Joyce transforms into a seabird. Whether a lark ascending makes your heart leap or whether you're stirred by the brassy lure of a buzzard, prepare to take wing.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    "Featherbrained" is an exploration of the way in which birds enter our imagination with the actor Jonjo O'Neill. It ranges freely and widely from Joyce's description of a young girl as a wader to the street-wise crows in Disney's Dumbo and from The Buzzard Song to the Magic Flute.

    Femme Fatales2009011820091229

    A programme of poetry and music on the theme of the femme fatale, an idea exemplified in some of the most passionate artistic creations, including Medusa, Delilah, Carmen and Lady Macbeth.

    Jeremy Northam and Harriet Walter read works by Keats, Spenser, Shakespeare, Wilde, Carol Anne Duffy and Angela Carter, alongside music by Handel, Massenet, Saint-Saens, Richard Strauss, Bizet and Gershwin.

    Poetry and music on the theme of the femme fatale.

    Jeremy Northam and Harriet Walter read.

    Femme Fatales * *2009011820091229
    Femmes Fatales20091229

    Fighting Spirit20120527

    With just two months to go before the start of the 2012 Olympics, and inspired by the idea of what motivates athletes to compete, an exploration of the theme of fighting spirit in its many guises.

    From Aesop's famous morality tale of the hare and tortoise, through Lewis Carroll's selfish Queen domineering in a game of croquet, to Henry V's call to arms on St Crispin's Day - a range of driven characters reveal what it is that makes them tick.

    Actors Alison Steadman and Peter Egan read poetry and prose alongside music including Raymond Scott, Schubert, Wagner, Irving Berlin and Queen.

    Finishing The Hat2010041820101228

    Alex Jennings and Carolyn Pickles read poetry and prose from William Carlos Williams, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, E.M.

    Forster, Fleur Adcock and Thom Gunn.

    With music by Ned Rorem, Debussy, Morton Feldman, Mussorgsky, George Gershwin, Respighi and Stephen Sondheim.

    Words and music inspired by painting, with readings by Alex Jennings and Carolyn Pickles.

    Readers are Alex Jennings and Carolyn Pickles.

    Every Sunday evening Radio 3 brings you a sequence of music, poetry and prose united by a theme: this week work inspired by painting and artists.

    Forster, Carol Ann Duffy and Thom Gunn.

    With music by Ned Rorem, Debussy, Morton Feldman, Mussorgsky, Respighi and Stephen Sondheim.

    Alex Jennings and Carolyn Pickles read poetry and prose from William Carlos Williams, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, E.M. Forster, Fleur Adcock and Thom Gunn.

    Fins, Scales And Hooks20150913

    Venture into a watery world for a poetic and musical exploration of fish and fishing with Emma Fielding and Michael Simkins. Elizabeth Bishop and Derek Walcott can be found swimming alongside George Gershwin and Benjamin Britten.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Fire And Ice - Fire20110306

    In the first of two programmes inspired by Robert Frost's poem, 'Fire and Ice', Alex Jennings read poetry and prose inspired by fire with work by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, D.H.

    Lawrence, William Golding and Carol Ann Duffy with music by Tartini, Peggy Lee, Debussy, Lauridsen, Stravinsky and Falla.

    In the first of two programmes inspired by Robert Frost's poem, 'Fire and Ice', Alex Jennings read poetry and prose inspired by fire with work by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, D.H. Lawrence, William Golding and Carol Ann Duffy with music by Tartini, Peggy Lee, Debussy, Lauridsen, Stravinsky and Falla.

    Fire And Ice - Fire2012010120111227

    In the first of two programmes inspired by Robert Frost's poem, 'Fire and Ice', Alex Jennings read poetry and prose inspired by fire with work by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, D.H. Lawrence, William Golding and Carol Ann Duffy with music by Tartini, Peggy Lee, Debussy, Lauridsen, Stravinsky and Falla.

    Producer Fiona McLean.

    Texts and music inspired by fire, with readings by Alex Jennings and Carolyn Pickles

    Fire And Ice - Ice20110313

    Carolyn Pickles and Alex Jennings read poetry and prose inspired by ice including work by Wordsworth, Byron, Jenni Diski, Helen Dunmore and T.S.

    Eliot with music from Tchaikovsky, Wolf, Vaughan Williams and Liszt.

    Texts and music inspired by ice, with readings by Carolyn Pickles and Alex Jennings.

    Fire And Ice - Ice2012010820111228

    In the second episode of programmes inspired by Robert Frost's poem Fire and Ice Carolyn Pickles and Alex Jennings read poetry and prose on the theme of ice. Fly with the Snow Queen, past the vivid blue icebergs of Antarctica and on to Byron's cold, dark vision of the end of the world.

    You'll hear music by Purcell, Vaughan-Wiliams, Rachmaninov and Eliza Carthy as well as poems and prose from Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth, Edmund Spenser, Simon Armitage and Jenny Diski.

    Producer Fiona McLean.

    Texts and music inspired by ice, with readings by Carolyn Pickles and Alex Jennings

    Flnerie - A View Of A Paris20140511

    An imagined serendipitous journey through Paris's streets, past and present, told through its literature and music, with the actors Tamsin Greig and Neil Pearson

    The Flâneur - "that aimless stroller who loses himself in the crowd, who has no destination and goes wherever caprice or curiosity directs his or her steps".

    It was Baudelaire, in his "Fleurs du Mal" in the late 19th century, who created flânerie as a literary ideal for evoking the patterns and emotions of modern urban life in Paris; but the concept of the detached observer - casual, directionless, voyeuristic - who finds refuge within the crowded streets of the capital, had been around for some time. Balzac, writing in the years before the advent of Haussman's modern cityscape, had described flânerie as "the gastronomy of the eye". Later, the German writer and social-critic, Walter Benjamin, would use the experiences of the Parisian flâneur as illustrations for socio-political commentary.

    In this edition of Words and Music, we - much in the spirit of the flâneur - take a casual musical and literary journey through Paris's imagined streets. Glimpses of buildings bring to mind the city's great history and its inhabitants; its poets, writers and composers. Imagine sauntering past Notre Dame and the neighbouring university: and the ribaldry of medieval Paris fills the mind's eye, evoking the words of Villon and Rabelais; of Victor Hugo describing the medieval skyline and the festive sound of the medieval bells.

    Next on to the Louvre and the Marais, and echoes of the grandeur of Paris during the age of the Sun King; of Marie de Rabutin-Chantal de Sévingné's famous letters; of the music of Lully and Charpentier. Turn another corner, and find the youthful Marin Marais, lost and bewildered by the banks of the Seine - his voice, post-pubescent - his services no longer required in the Royal Chapel.

    A hundred years on, and in the wretched area of Sainte-Antoine, Charles Dickens watches the abject poor seemingly rehearse events for one the city's least glorious moments; their hands and clothes stained with red wine, like blood.

    Balzac lists the varied "physiognomy" of the Parisian back streets in the years just before Haussmann re-invented the city - we follow him into some of Paris's more forbidding and darker haunts; while later - into the Belle Époque and beyond - coursing among the newer buildings, parks and thoroughfares - Baudelaire, Proust and Zola observe Parisian life with a multitude of senses and a painterly eye. As do Fauré, Verlaine and Debussy.

    "Among all cities, there is none more associated with the book than Paris", wrote Walter Benjamin. Ernest Hemingway finds refuge in one of the city's necessary cafes, watching and transcribing, while Beria and Bechet set the same thoughts to music.

    Finally, our serendipitous journey presents an aspect of the modern Paris: not the beautiful; nor the bustling, fashionable and vibrant; but urban nonetheless. The city at its edge - people at the periphery. The world in the Banlieue: of graffiti and the blues.

    Flaneurie - A View Of A Paris20140511

    An imagined serendipitous journey through Paris's streets, past and present, told through its literature and music, with the actors Tamsin Grieg and Neil Pearson

    The Flâneur - "that aimless stroller who loses himself in the crowd, who has no destination and goes wherever caprice or curiosity directs his or her steps".

    It was Baudelaire, in his "Fleurs du Mal" in the late 19th century, who created flâneurie as a literary ideal for evoking the patterns and emotions of modern urban life in Paris; but the concept of the detached observer - casual, directionless, voyeuristic - who finds refuge within the crowded streets of the capital, had been around for some time. Balzac, writing in the years before the advent of Haussman's modern cityscape, had described flâneurie as "the gastronomy of the eye". Later, the German writer and social-critic, Walter Benjamin, would use the experiences of the Parisian flâneur as illustrations for socio-political commentary.

    In this edition of Words and Music, we - much in the spirit of the flâneur - take a casual musical and literary journey through Paris's imagined streets. Glimpses of buildings bring to mind the city's great history and its inhabitants; its poets, writers and composers. Imagine sauntering past Notre Dame and the neighbouring university: and the ribaldry of medieval Paris fills the mind's eye, evoking the words of Villon and Rabelais; of Victor Hugo describing the medieval skyline and the festive sound of the medieval bells.

    Next on to the Louvre and the Marais, and echoes of the grandeur of Paris during the age of the Sun King; of Marie de Rabutin-Chantal de Sévingné's famous letters; of the music of Lully and Charpentier. Turn another corner, and find the youthful Marin Marais, lost and bewildered by the banks of the Seine - his voice, post-pubescent - his services no longer required in the Royal Chapel.

    A hundred years on, and in the wretched area of Sainte-Antoine, Charles Dickens watches the abject poor seemingly rehearse events for one the city's least glorious moments; their hands and clothes stained with red wine, like blood.

    Balzac lists the varied "physiognomy" of the Parisian back streets in the years just before Haussmann re-invented the city - we follow him into some of Paris's more forbidding and darker haunts; while later - into the Belle Époque and beyond - coursing among the newer buildings, parks and thoroughfares - Baudelaire, Proust and Zola observe Parisian life with a multitude of senses and a painterly eye. As do Fauré, Verlaine and Debussy.

    "Among all cities, there is none more associated with the book than Paris", wrote Walter Benjamin. Ernest Hemingway finds refuge in one of the city's necessary cafes, watching and transcribing, while Beria and Bechet set the same thoughts to music.

    Finally, our serendipitous journey presents an aspect of the modern Paris: not the beautiful; nor the bustling, fashionable and vibrant; but urban nonetheless. The city at its edge - people at the periphery. The world in the Banlieue: of graffiti and the blues.

    An imagined serendipitous journey through Paris's streets, past and present, told through its literature and music, with the actors Tamsin Greig and Neil Pearson

    It was Baudelaire, in his "Fleurs du Mal" in the late 19th century, who created flânerie as a literary ideal for evoking the patterns and emotions of modern urban life in Paris; but the concept of the detached observer - casual, directionless, voyeuristic - who finds refuge within the crowded streets of the capital, had been around for some time. Balzac, writing in the years before the advent of Haussman's modern cityscape, had described flânerie as "the gastronomy of the eye". Later, the German writer and social-critic, Walter Benjamin, would use the experiences of the Parisian flâneur as illustrations for socio-political commentary.

    Flowers Of Evil20080518

    The programme explores Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal, an expression of personal torment and the conflict between Catholic morals and debauchery in 19th-Century Paris.

    Antony Sher reads from the texts, with Imogen Stubbs reading complementary works by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound and Ts Eliot.

    With the voice of Jean-Louis Barrault and music influenced by Baudelaire from Debussy, Duparc, Serge Gainsbourg and Diamanda Galas, as well as Takemitsu and Messiaen.

    Flowers of Evil

    The programme explores Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal, an expression of personal torment and the conflict between Catholic morals and debauchery in 19th-Century Paris. Antony Sher reads from the texts, with Imogen Stubbs reading complementary works by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound and TS Eliot.

    Flowers Of Evil *20080518

    The programme explores Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal, an expression of personal torment and the conflict between Catholic morals and debauchery in 19th-Century Paris.

    Antony Sher reads from the texts, with Imogen Stubbs reading complementary works by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound and Ts Eliot.

    With the voice of Jean-Louis Barrault and music influenced by Baudelaire from Debussy, Duparc, Serge Gainsbourg and Diamanda Galas, as well as Takemitsu and Messiaen.

    Food And Drink2008050420081123

    With Alison Steadman and Timothy West reading a selection of verse on the theme of food and drink, including Moules a la Mariniere by Elizabeth Garrett, Since by W H Auden and Chocs by Carol Ann Duffy as well as Tony Harrison's A Kumquat for John Keats, Hillaire Belloc's On Food and Elizabeth Bishop's The Fish.

    Interwoven with the poetry is Schubert's Trout Quintet, Feast of the Pheasant by Binchois and Fats Waller performing Hold Tight Want Some Seafood Mama.

    With Alison Steadman and Timothy West reading a selection of verse on the theme of food and drink, including Moules a la Mariniere by Elizabeth Garrett, Since by WH Auden and Chocs by Carol Ann Duffy as well as Tony Harrison's A Kumquat for John Keats, Hillaire Belloc's On Food and Elizabeth Bishop's The Fish. Interwoven with the poetry is Schubert's Trout Quintet, Feast of the Pheasant by Binchois and Fats Waller performing Hold Tight Want Some Seafood Mama.

    Food For Thought2009042620091225

    A selection of poetry, prose and music on the subject of food, with readings by Samantha Bond and Robert Powell.

    Including stories from the Bible, poetry by Robert Frost and Carol Anne Duffy as well as writings by Jane Grigson, Marcel Proust, Samuel Pepys and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

    Music includes Chabrier, Cage, Schubert, Stravinsky and Bach.

    A selection of poetry, prose and music on the subject of food.

    Food For Thought *2009042620091225
    Footloose20171029

    Poetry, prose and music on the subject of feet, with Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst.

    Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst, starring in the current, long-running TV drama series "Cold Feet", read poetry and prose on the subject of... feet.

    The notion of a programme about feet might at first seem comical, but once you begin to look at how the image of the foot is used in literature, a wide range of symbolism reveals itself. Phrases such as "best foot forward", "the world at your feet", "falling at your feet" all evoke power and achievement. "Treading on eggshells", "a foot in the door", "pussy-footing around", "getting cold feet", all point towards hesitation and a lack of confidence. The symbolism of Jesus Christ washing his disciples' feet, re-enacted every Maundy Thursday, is one of the most powerful symbolic acts in the Christian liturgical calendar. Just as powerful is the image of an army marching to war. Children's literature and fairy tales are peppered with footprints, from Cinderella trying on the glass slipper to The Little Mermaid, who has to endure the sensation of dancing on sharp knives in order to become human.

    From bare feet to dancing feet and booted feet, with everything in between, the programme features poetry and prose by writers including Cecil Day Lewis, DH Lawrence, Hans Christian Andersen, Pauline Prior-Pitt and Jung Chang, and music by Prokofiev, Victoria, Fats Waller and Kirsty MacColl..

    Producer Helen Garrison.

    Forty Years Of Poetry On Radio 320071028

    It's 40 years since Radio 3 made its entrance on the world's stage.

    Poetry has been the station's lifeblood from its earliest days, so there's no better way to toast the past and welcome the future than a deep draught of the 'blushful Hippocrene'.

    Featuring some of the most arresting performances poets have given on Radio 3 in the past 40 years, from John Ashbery to Derek Walcott, with music to match.

    Forty Years of Poetry on Radio 3

    It's 40 years since Radio 3 made its entrance on the world's stage. Poetry has been the station's lifeblood from its earliest days, so there's no better way to toast the past and welcome the future than a deep draught of the 'blushful Hippocrene'.

    Forty Years Of Poetry On Radio 3 *20071028

    It's 40 years since Radio 3 made its entrance on the world's stage.

    Poetry has been the station's lifeblood from its earliest days, so there's no better way to toast the past and welcome the future than a deep draught of the 'blushful Hippocrene'.

    Featuring some of the most arresting performances poets have given on Radio 3 in the past 40 years, from John Ashbery to Derek Walcott, with music to match.

    Four Medieval Mystic Masters Across Religions20130428

    through verses read by Derek Jacobi and Sinead Cusack.

    Words and Music travels back to the 12th and 13th centuries through the spiritual poetry of four remarkable mystics; one Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim, and one Buddhist. German Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Iberian-born Hebrew poet Rabbi Judah Halevi, Persian Sufi master Rumi, and Tibetan monk Jetsun Milarepa provide this varied tapestry of reflections reaching to the core of spiritual belief, a tapestry surprisingly fresh and still relevant in today's world. The music featured, taken from the complex soundscapes nurtured over the centuries by these four religions, offers a quite unique spiritual journey, full of contrasting colours and feelings.

    Foxes And Wolves20171203

    A programme exploring wolves as both wild and nurturing, foxes as both cunning and prey.

    Alison Steadman and Tim Dutton read from Aesop to Sarah Hall, Rudyard Kipling to Roald Dahl, with music from Janáček and Mozart to Sondheim and Jimi Hendrix in a programme exploring the wolves as both wild and nurturing, foxes as both cunning and prey.

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Image: Sloth, detail from the Seven Deadly Sins, 1485, by Hieronymus Bosch (ca 1450-1516), oil on canvas, 120x150 cm. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Madrid, Museo Del Prado.

    Free Thinking 2010, Celebration20101107

    Celebration! Kathryn Tickell heads a distinguished musical line-up in this special edition recorded at The Sage Gateshead, as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival. All kinds of celebratory poetry and prose are read by Donald McBride and Zita Frith, including a strong North East flavour evoking the area's landscapes, heroes and heroines.

    A special programme of poetry, prose and music, recorded at The Sage Gateshead.

    Free Thinking: The Speed Of Life20170319

    Actors Kim Gerard and Samuel West are joined by an ensemble from Royal Northern Sinfonia live from Radio 3's Free Thinking festival in Gateshead with music and readings exploring this year's theme: The Speed of Life.

    Free Thinking: Who's In Control?20131027

    In this special edition of Words and Music, recorded in front of an audience at St Marys Heritage Centre, Gateshead as part of this year's Free Thinking Festival, readers Kevin Whately (Inspector Morse, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet) and Madelaine Newton (When the Boat Comes In), read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of this year's festival: 'Who's In Control?'.

    They appear alongside their daughter Kitty Whately, the mezzo-soprano and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the acclaimed Leonore Piano Trio and Kathryn Tickell, the Northumbrian piper and composer whose work is deeply rooted in the folk traditions of the North East.

    Words come courtesy of Shakespeare, Dickens and Wordsworth, and musically we'll move from Beethoven to Sondheim, Arne to Mahler.

    BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

    A special live edition from Radio 3's 2013 Free Thinking festival of ideas.

    From London To Paris2007022520071202

    With the opening of London's new international terminal to Paris, Sophie Okonedo and Kenneth Cranham read a selection of poetry and prose around the theme of these two great cities.

    Readings include words by Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth, Verlaine, George Orwell and Fleur Adcock, and a range of music from Gibbons, Noel Coward, Elgar, Boulez and Yves Montand.

    Sophie Okonedo and Kenneth Cranham read a selection of poetry and prose around the theme of two great cities, from Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth and Verlaine to George Orwell and Fleur Adcock.

    The programme includes music by Gibbons, Noel Coward, Elgar, Pierre Boulez and Yves Montand.

    From London to Paris

    Sophie Okonedo and Kenneth Cranham read a selection of poetry and prose around the theme of two great cities, from Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth and Verlaine to George Orwell and Fleur Adcock. The programme includes music by Gibbons, Noel Coward, Elgar, Pierre Boulez and Yves Montand.

    Fugue20150823

    - an adventure with the actors Adjoa Andoh and Peter Marinker where the musical form counterpoints the psychological state, where Sylvia Plath sits next to Johann Sebastian Bach and Dylan Thomas makes room for Darius Milhaud.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Full Of Noises2009082320101223

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music exploring the distinction between listening and hearing, with readings by John Paul Connolly and Rebecca Hall.

    Including writings by EM Forster, PG Wodehouse, Ian Mcewan, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Walt Whitman, as well as music from Shostakovich, Tallis, Ravel, Sciarrino, Bach and Part.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of hearing and listening.

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    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson.

    Producer: Ray Abbott.

    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910507]

    Fritz Spiegl presents a personal selection of music, verse and prose. With Diana Bishop and Gary Watson. Producer Ray Abbott Stereo

    Contributors

    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson.

    Producer: Ray Abbott

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    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson.

    Producer: Ray Abbott

    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910514]
    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910514]
    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910521]

    Fritz Spiegl presents a personal selection of music, verse and prose. I With Diana Bishop , I

    Gary Watson and ' Garard Green.

    Producer Ray Abbott Stereo

    Contributors

    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson

    Unknown: Garard Green.

    Producer: Ray Abbott

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    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson

    Unknown: Garard Green.

    Producer: Ray Abbott

    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910528]

    Fritz Spiegl presents a personal selection of music, verse and prose. With Diana Bishop , Gary Watson and Garard Green.

    Producer Ray Abbott Stereo

    Contributors

    Unknown: Fritz Spiegl

    Unknown: Diana Bishop

    Unknown: Gary Watson

    Unknown: Garard Green.

    Producer: Ray Abbott

    Genome: [r4 Bd=19910528]
    Get Thee To A Nunnery20121007

    Music, poetry and prose on the theme of Nuns. Read by Sheila Hancock and Ellie Kendrick.

    From the ghostly nun in Villette by Charlotte Bronte, via the social climbing prioress of Chaucer's Canterbury's Tales, to Shakespeare's virtuous Isabella in Measure for Measure, and the foreboding convent of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus.

    Music includes the penitential nuns of Puccini's Suor Angelica, the tragic nuns of Poulenc's Les Dialogues des Carmelites, and men dressed as nuns in Rossini's Count Ory. There is music composed by nuns, including the soaring 12th-century chants of Hildegard von Bingen, and instrumental music by Vivaldi, who wrote most of his compositions at the hospital and convent school in Venice, the Ospedale della Pietà.

    Gifts2010122620151225 (R3)

    Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy read poems and prose on the festive theme of giving and receiving gifts.

    Through the words of writers from Robert Herrick to O.

    Henry, and from Edward Lear to Walt Whitman, Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy unwrap simple gifts of friendship and lavish gifts of love.

    They explore the desire of gifts and the rejection of friendships.

    Music includes Siegfried Idyll by Wagner, which was composed as a birthday present for his wife Cosima, and Colleen's musical boxes.

    Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy read poems and prose about giving and receiving gifts.

    Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy read poems and prose on the festive theme of giving and receiving gifts. Through the words of writers from Robert Herrick to O. Henry, and from Edward Lear to Walt Whitman, Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy unwrap simple gifts of friendship and lavish gifts of love. They explore the desire of gifts and the rejection of friendships. Music includes Siegfried Idyll by Wagner, which was composed as a birthday present for his wife Cosima, and Colleen's musical boxes.

    Producer: Elizabeth Arno.

    Good Intentions2014052520160103 (R3)

    Intent is a great driver for drama. The better the intent the more agonising the tragedy when it all goes wrong and, in equal part, the more hilarious the comedy as chaos unfolds in front of a knowing audience. And there are several different varieties of good intention; the ambitious, the optimistic, the clear sighted, the nervous and the horribly mistaken.

    Today's Words and Music seeks, with the best of intentions, to illustrate just a few of them and to discover where they might lead, beginning with a well-intentioned trip to the underworld where Orpheus attempts to win back his wife.

    Eve's intentions appear laudable enough as Milton has her contemplate sampling 'the fruit of that forbidden tree', and its hard to blame Shakespeare's Juliet and Friar Lawrence for hatching a plot that they believe will ensure a happy ending all round.

    In the 100th anniversary year of the Great War there's a look back to the now agonising intentions of the Music Hall Recruitment songs with the results reflected with understated eloquence by Sarojini Naidu's 'Gift of India.'

    And there are less direct approaches. Was Midas a greedy tyrant or just another, very modern, figure to fall under the sway of the apparent virtue of economic need? Carol Ann Duffy has Mrs Midas watch and judge the results. And Robert Burns, doing what any farmer should be doing at harvest time, finds his innocent intentions are pretty grim news for the mouse whose home he unwittingly exposes.

    And then there's the sheer joy resulting from the operatic activities of a cleaning lady in Wexford, shared by the late Bernard Levin, and the Flanders and Swann hymn to eternal self-generating good works in 'The Gasman Cometh'.

    The readers are John Sessions and Indira Varma.

    Producer: Tom Alban.

    There's a look back to the now agonising intentions of the Music Hall Recruitment songs with the results reflected with understated eloquence by Sarojini Naidu's 'Gift of India.'

    Goodbye To All That20130317

    Good-bye to All That: words and music saying farewell to all things old: the collapse of old orders; the end of a relationship; or a farewell to one's old life. With words from Robert Graves, PB Shelley and Shakespeare and music from Mozart, Strauss and Ravel.

    Green2012090920150531 (R3)

    Texts and music exploring the colour green. Readings by Niamh McGrady and Sean Barrett.

    Has any colour attracted a wider range of associations than green? This Words and Music programme explores its resonance - from emeralds to vegetables and frogs to leprechauns, the greenhorn and the green-ey'd monster, Irish republicanism and international environmentalism - in poetry and prose from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Wilfred Owen, Dylan Thomas and P. G. Wodehouse; and music from Schubert to Maxwell Davies.

    Readings: Niamh McGrady and Sean Barrett.

    First broadcast 09/09/2012.

    Greeneland2016040320161228 (R3)

    A celebration of Graham Greene on the 25th anniversary of his death with the actors Samuel West and Romola Garai. Pack your bags, check your passport and prepare to renew your acquaintance with Scobie, Aunt Augusta, Sarah Miles, Minty and of course Harry Lime. As they buttonhole you expect to hear music that complements or even contradicts what they have to say - Honegger's Pacific 231, The Walk to the Paradise Garden by Delius, a medieval motet, the odd snatch of gypsy zither and maybe even a spot of dodecaphony - music as angular, varied and surprising as the features of Greeneland itself.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Gsoh: Good Sense Of Humour20110123

    This edition of Word and Music draws together a universal theme - what makes you laugh? Or as the personal ads put it: "GSOH", a Good Sense of Humour.

    Over the ages, poets and writers have drawn inspiration from the things that make us laugh and musicians have tickled our funny bones with their musical notes.

    Sophie Thompson and Sanjeev Bhaskar read a selection works from Ogden Nash, Hilaire Belloc, Shakespeare and Wendy Cope and music to accompany these include the laughing aria from Die Fledermaus, some Erik Satie and a smidgen of Sondheim.

    Producer: Belinda Naylor.

    Texts and music on the theme of humour.

    Readings by Sophie Thompson and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

    This edition of Word and Music draws together a universal theme - what makes you laugh? Or as the personal ads put it: "GSOH", a Good Sense of Humour. Over the ages, poets and writers have drawn inspiration from the things that make us laugh and musicians have tickled our funny bones with their musical notes.

    Texts and music on the theme of humour. Readings by Sophie Thompson and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

    Hallelujah!2010111420111223

    Jane Horrocks and Rory Kinnear are the readers in this sequence of music, poetry and prose celebrating the many facets of joy; with words from Thomas Hardy, Rabindranath Tagore, Friedrich Schiller among others, and music ranging from Handel to Leonard Cohen, and from Mozart to Randall Thompson to Judy Garland.

    Celebrating the many facets of joy, with readings by Jane Horrocks and Rory Kinnear.

    Jane Horrocks and Rory Kinnear are the readers in the regular sequence of music, poetry and prose, this week celebrating the many facets of joy, with words from Thomas Hardy, Rabindranath Tagore, Friedrich Schiller among others, and music ranging from Handel to Leonard Cohen, and from Mozart to Randall Thompson to Judy Garland

    Hallelujah! Jane Horrocks and Rory Kinnear are the readers in the regular sequence of music, poetry and prose, this week celebrating the many facets of joy, with words from Thomas Hardy, Rabindranath Tagore, Friedrich Schiller among others, and music ranging from Handel to Leonard Cohen, and from Mozart to Randall Thompson to Judy Garland.

    Hallucinations20151129

    Words and Music takes a journey into the unknown to explore the world of hallucinations in poetry, prose and music.

    Samantha Bond and Stephen Campbell Moore read texts by Lewis Carroll, Alex Garland, Baudelaire, Allen Ginsberg and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    Music includes Berlioz, Ligeti, Jeff Buckley, Hildegard of Bingen and Steve Reich.

    Handel Week - Handel's Divas2009041220091221

    Geraldine James and Michael Maloney read extracts from journals, newspapers, letters and poetry of Handel's time about the highs and lows of opera and oratorio performances in London.

    These are interspersed with music by the composer himself.

    In his London operas, Handel provided vehicles for the most famous singers, mostly brought over from Italy.

    The infamous rivalries between singers such as Senesino, Cuzzoni and Faustina were played out in public.

    Music and poems with extracts from journals and newspapers about Handel's opera singers.

    Hands2016020720161226 (R3)

    Imogen Stubbs and Simon Shepherd read a selection of poetry and prose exploring the way our hands, as much anything, distinguish us from all animals; even other primates cannot match us for dexterity or the handling of tools and instruments. There are few activities either in the practicality of everyday life or the creative process where hands are not involved - from making and mending to painting, writing or playing an instrument. They are also a vital means of communication, but equally they can be violent and destructive.

    This edition of Words and Music explores the various roles our hands play as expressed in music from Handel, Steve Reich, Sir Michael Tippett, Puccini, Janacek and Bill Withers, with poetry from Shakespeare, John Donne, Seamus Heaney, Wendy Cope, Mary Cornish, Ruth Padel and Michael Rosen and prose from Dickens and Helen MacDonald.

    Producer: Harry Parker

    Scroll down the webpage for more information about the music used, and the Producer's Notes.

    This edition of Words and Music explores the various roles our hands play as expressed in music from Handel, Steve Reich, Sir Michael Tippett, Puccini, Janacek and Bill Withers, with poetry from Shakespeare, John Donne, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, Wendy Cope, Mary Cornish, Ruth Padel and Michael Rosen and prose from Dickens and Helen MacDonald.

    Happiness *20080203

    Actor Simon Russell Beale curates a sequence of words and music on the theme of happiness.

    Emma Fielding and John Rogan read poems and texts by Wordsworth, Adcock, Shakespeare, AA Milne and Sassoon.

    Music eovking the happiness of the texts includes Byrd's Haec dies, Blossom Dearie singing I'm in Love, Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, Adams's China Gates and Wagner's Siegfried Idyll.

    Happiness

    Actor Simon Russell Beale curates a sequence of words and music on the theme of happiness. Emma Fielding and John Rogan read poems and texts by Wordsworth, Adcock, Shakespeare, AA Milne and Sassoon.

    Hard Times2013111020150102 (R3)

    Money and its lack provides the theme for this edition. Sarah Smart and Nathaniel Parker read poems and prose about the Bohemian life, the dream of getting rich and life at the bottom of the pile by Thomas Hardy, George Orwell and U A Fanthorpe. There's music by Handel, Ligeti and Prokofiev.

    Harold Pinter20090222

    A programme devoted to the playwright and actor who died in December 2008, featuring archive recordings of Pinter himself reading poems by Thomas Hardy, Nazim Hikmet and his own work.

    Plus new readings by Michael Gambon, including the passage from No Man's Land which the actor read at Pinter's request at the playwright's funeral.

    He also reads a passage from Proust's Time Regained, a poem by WS Graham and an unpublished poem heard for the first time, To My Wife, dedicated to Antonia Fraser.

    Penelope Wilton's readings include a passage from Old Times and, with Michael Gambon, she reads the passage from Ts Eliot's Little Gidding chosen by Pinter for her to read at his funeral.

    Some of the late playwright's favourite music is also featured, including Miles Davis, Bach, Thelonius Monk, Schubert (played by his friend Mitsuko Uchida) and Beethoven, alongside music from one of the films Pinter worked on - The French Lieutenant's Woman.

    A programme devoted to Harold Pinter, with recordings of the playwright himself.

    Healing2010031420101224

    Two of Britain's most well loved actors - Celia Imrie and Bill Paterson - read poems and texts on the subject of Healing.

    Ranging from Jesus' healing miracles in the Gospels of the New Testatment to Florence Nightingale's advice on nursing, the texts and poems cover all aspects of healing.

    Doctors and nurses feature in works by HG Wells, Louisa M Alcott and Richard Gordon.

    Then there are spiritual, emotional and political healing as described by authors as diverse as Dorothy Parker, Robert Burns, Carol Ann Duffy and Nelson Mandela, interwoven with music by Wagner, John Adams, Durufle and Sting.

    Texts and music on the subject of healing, with readings by Celia Imrie and Bill Paterson.

    Two of Britain's most well loved actors - Celia Imrie and Bill Paterson - read poems and texts on the subject of Healing. Ranging from Jesus' healing miracles in the Gospels of the New Testatment to Florence Nightingale's advice on nursing, the texts and poems cover all aspects of healing. Doctors and nurses feature in works by HG Wells, Louisa M Alcott and Richard Gordon. Then there are spiritual, emotional and political healing as described by authors as diverse as Dorothy Parker, Robert Burns, Carol Ann Duffy and Nelson Mandela, interwoven with music by Wagner, John Adams, Durufle and Sting.

    Heroes *20070909

    A sequence of poetry and music on a heroic theme.

    Heroes of legend and history, from Beowulf to John F Kennedy, are celebrated in works by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Birtwistle, while poets including Shelley, Robert Graves and W H Auden meditate on the double-edged nature of heroism.

    Read by Jamie Glover and Charlie Norfolk.

    Heroes

    Heroes of legend and history, from Beowulf to John F Kennedy, are celebrated in works by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Birtwistle, while poets including Shelley, Robert Graves and WH Auden meditate on the double-edged nature of heroism. Read by Jamie Glover and Charlie Norfolk.

    Hidden20130210

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of concealment and the invisible.

    Alex Jennings and Maxine Peake read poems and prose by Lewis Carroll, Edward Thomas and John Clare about secrets, lost things and encrypted meaning. There's music by Elgar, Berg, Bach and Janacek.

    Producer: Natalie Steed.

    Hinterland20161023

    Olivia Williams and Michael Pennington read poetry and prose on the subject of hinterland, from the travel writing of Bruce Chatwin and Robert Byron to the sinister underworld of Virgil's Aeneid, via contemporary urban byways, childhood dreams and remote islands. Texts include poems by William Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti, Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost, alongside music by Dowland, Reich, Mendelssohn, Bach and Britten.

    Home2014120720151011 (R3)

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of home with words by Marilynne Robinson, Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Thom Gunn and DH Lawrence and music by Dvorak, Butterworth, Schubert and Jerome Kern. The readers are Adjoa Andoh and Robert Glenister.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Hope And Despair20091213

    Romola Garai and Tim McMullan read poetry and prose on the theme of hope and despair.

    With poetry from Ts Eliot, Tennessee Williams and Emily Dickinson.

    Including readings from the works of George Orwell and Roald Dahl, as well as music by Shostakovich, Biber and George Crumb.

    Horse2013011320130908

    Emily Taaffe and Sam Troughton read poetry and prose on the subject of horses, including texts by Larkin, Swift, Yeats and Shakespeare and music by Mahler, Berlioz, Rossini and Boyce.

    First broadcast in January 2013.

    I Am A Camera20130203

    An image of Germany through Words and Music: I am a camera.

    I Love No Leafless Land2013051220170108 (R3)

    "I love no leafless land"

    Readers: Lucy Briers and Gerard Murphy.

    Taking its title from words by A E Housman, this edition of Words and Music is inspired by trees.

    There are individual real trees such as Sassoon's "Blunden's Oak", or a spectacularly "dissolving" storm-battered beech, and trees that are symbolic - C. Day Lewis's Christmas Tree, and the trees that mark the passing of the year.

    With poetry on the relationships between people and trees, the pleasure and pain of being solitary (Walt Whitman) , and the struggle for survival (D H Lawrence) , insistence on the need for trees (Gerard Manley Hopkins "Binsey Poplars, felled") and meditations on long life and ageing (W H Davies).

    There are also celebrations of the sheer beauty and abundance of trees. Trees have spirits, so the Green Man makes his appearance, as do the dryads and hamadryads of mythology. (Shakespeare, James Thomson, C S Lewis)

    The words are interleaved seamlessly with music, including Respighi's Pines, song settings by Butterworth and Madeleine Dring, an atmospheric evocation of acacias by Toru Takemitsu and some music generated by the wood of the trees themselves, using electronics and a modified turntable.

    I Need A Holiday2014082420160703 (R3)

    Words and Music goes on holiday with readers Scott Handy and Jemima Rooper, taking in the Italian sights, the South of France, the great outdoors and the breezy British seaside. They struggle with the journey, the swarms of tourists, the rucksacks, the weather forecast and the age-old problems of expectation exceeding reality but are determined to have a good time. There is also archive recording of John Betjeman and Philip Larkin reading their own work. The soundtrack to the getaway is provided by Liszt and Gershwin, Vaughan Williams and Whitlock, and Suggs and Solomon Burke, to name a few.

    I Robot20171008

    Kenneth Colley and Yolanda Kettle in an exploration of robots and automata.

    Readers Kenneth Colley and Yolanda Kettle. From Descartes' thought experiments on the way clockwork illuminates animal nature, via Hoffmann's humorous but slightly anxious fantasia about the chaos caused when an automaton is introduced into polite society, to modern science fiction's explorations of how humans and robots might ultimately meet in an apocalyptic conflict. With music from Bach, Haydn and Handel, to Ligeti, Stockhausen and Reich, and Aphex Twin.

    Producer: Luke Mulhall.
    Please scroll down to read the Producer Notes about this programme.

    Image: 26th April 1955: A youth makes his homemade robot walk. (Credit: Keystone / Getty Images)

    Readers Kenneth Colley and Yolanda Kettle. From Descartes' thought experiments on the way clockwork illuminates animal nature, via Hoffmann's humorous but slightly anxious fantasia about the chaos caused when an automaton is introduced into polite society, to modern science fiction's explorations of how humans and robots might ultimately meet in an apocalyptic conflict. With music from Bach, Haydn and Handel, to Ligeti, Stockhausen and Reich, and Aphex Twin.

    Producer: Luke Mulhall.

    Iberia2007070820090822

    A sequence of poetry and music inspired by the sights and sounds of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Music by Granados, Falla and Miles Davis is combined with examples of the flamenco and fado traditions, while Andrew Wincott and Yolanda Vazquez read work by Portuguese and Spanish writers such as Lorca and Fernando Pessoa.

    This is complemented by atmospheric writing by outsiders such as Byron, Washington Irving and Ted Hughes.

    Poetry and music inspired by the peninsula, with flamenco, fado and atmospheric readings.

    Music by Granados, de Falla and Miles Davis is combined with examples of the Flamenco and Fado traditions, while Andrew Wincott and Yolanda Vazquez read work by Portuguese and Spanish writers including Lorca and Fernando Pessoa.

    Iberia

    Ideas Of Wilderness2009062120101221

    Jenny Agutter and Anton Lesser explore ideas of wilderness from all corners of the globe, reading works by W H Auden, eco-writer Jeffers Robinson, the Australian Elizabeth Brown, Shackleton and the Taoist wilderness literature of Ancient China.

    Music includes excerpts from Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Etoiles, Redolfi's Mare Teno, Purcell's Solitude and Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet.

    Jenny Agutter and Anton Lesser read works about wilderness from all corners of the globe.

    Jenny Agutter and Anton Lesser explore ideas of wilderness from all corners of the globe, reading works by WH Auden, eco-writer Jeffers Robinson, the Australian Elizabeth Brown, Shackleton and the Taoist wilderness literature of Ancient China. Music includes excerpts from Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Etoiles, Redolfi's Mare Teno, Purcell's Solitude and Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet.

    Idleness2011041020120916

    The weekly sequence of music, poetry and prose celebrates the art of doing nothing much at all. Claudie Blakley and Tony Haygarth rise from their couches to explore the idle thoughts of Keats, Jerome K. Jerome, Tennyson, Kenneth Grahame and Michel de Montaigne among others, and there is music from the likes of Debussy, Hoagy Carmichael, Vivaldi, Delius and The Kinks. Tune in if you can be bothered...

    First broadcast in April 2011.

    Claudie Blakley and Tony Haygarth celebrate the art of doing nothing much at all.

    Illumination20090531

    Illumination20091101
    Illumination *2009053120091101

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of illumination, with readings by Sian Thomas and Jamie Glover.

    Including works by Rimbaud, Jo Shapcott and Margaret Atwood with accompanying music by Thomas Ades, Arvo Part and Schubert.

    Words and music on the theme of illumination.

    Readings are by Sian Thomas and Jamie Glover

    Illusions Of Power2009101120111221

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of power, with readings by Sheila Hancock and Tom Hollander.

    With poems from Percy Shelley, Ted Hughes, Rudyard Kipling and Margaret Atwood, as well as music by Prokofiev, Ligeti and Handel.

    Please note this programme contains strong language.

    Words and music on the theme of power, with readings by Sheila Hancock and Tom Hollander.

    In Disguise2014100520150906 (R3)

    Men, women, gods and a toad all don disguise in this edition of Words and Music, in pursuit of sex, riches, revenge and freedom.

    Susan Jameson and Tom Durham read poems and prose from Homer, the Bible and Shakespeare; and WB Yeats, Michael Donaghy and Kenneth Grahame.

    Emotions are hidden, but find expression in music by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Saint Saëns, Charlie Parker, Martin Carthy and Elvis Presley.

    Producer: Julian May.

    In Hirsuite Of The Truth2013021720161229 (R3)

    In hirsute of the truth: hair can be a weapon with which to strangle your lover or a net in which to catch your crumbs. During the Victorian period, hair was a highly charged symbol of virility and an object of commerce. Changing hairstyles depict the changing power relationship between women and patriarchy. It has been fetishised, idolised and can be very useful if you're a cellist.

    From the stories of Samson and Delilah and Rapunzel we see how hair - for centuries even - was considered a metaphor for virtue or righteousness: an idea especially evinced in the novels of Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. Deryn Rees-Jones's haunting poem 'My Father's Hair' describes how her father's identity developed during his life and how, at his life's end, the 'long white wings' come to rest on the pillow of his sick bed.

    Evil and violence pursue the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. First told in a Penny Dreadful of the 1840s, the story of Sweeney Todd inspired Stephen Sondheim's Opera of the same name. It follows a long history of compositions which conjure images of death and destruction: from Robert Browning's sinister 'Porphyria's Lover' to Carol Ann Duffy's 'Medusa'.

    Producer: Gavin Heard.

    In Hirsute Of The Truth20130217

    : hair can be a weapon with which to strangle your lover or a net in which to catch your crumbs. During the Victorian period, hair was a highly charged symbol of virility and an object of commerce. Changing hairstyles depict the changing power relationship between women and patriarchy. It has been fetishised, idolised and can be very useful if you're a cellist.

    From the stories of Samson and Delilah and Rapunzel we see how hair - for centuries even - was considered a metaphor for virtue or righteousness: an idea especially evinced in the novels of Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. Deryn Rees-Jones’s haunting poem ‘My Father’s Hair’ describes how her father’s identity developed during his life and how, at his life’s end, the ‘long white wings’ come to rest on the pillow of his sick bed.

    Evil and violence pursue the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. First told in a Penny Dreadful of the 1840s, the story of Sweeney Todd inspired Stephen Sondheim’s Opera of the same name. It follows a long history of compositions which conjure images of death and destruction: from Robert Browning’s sinister ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ to Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Medusa’.

    Producer: Gavin Heard

    In Search Of England2007060320071223

    Harriet Walter and Robert Glenister read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of England.

    Including works by John Agard, Maura Dooley, Robert Browning, Fleur Adcock and George Orwell, with music by Delius, Vaughan Williams, Billy Bragg and Purcell.

    In Search of England

    In Search Of The Sublime2010092620101229

    Stephen Mangan and Adjoa Andoh read prose and poetry about mankind's yearning for transcendence. Writers, artists and composers have delighted in recreating the effects of overwhelming sensation and emotion induced by tempests, terror, jealousy and the serene soar of the soul. Texts by Keats, Mary Wollstoncraft, Sappho and Frank O'Hara. With music by Haydn, Thomas Ades, Janacek, Richard Hawley and Lili Boulanger.

    The human soul's desire for transcendence. Readings by Stephen Mangan and Adjoa Andoh.

    The inexorable yearning for transcendence: Stephen Mangan and Adjoa Andoh read prose and poems by Keats, Mary Wollstonecraft and Robert Scott with music by Janacek and Prokofiev.

    The human soul's desire for transcendence.

    Readings by Stephen Mangan and Adjoa Andoh.

    Stephen Mangan and Adjoa Andoh read prose and poetry about mankind's yearning for transcendence.

    Writers, artists and composers have delighted in recreating the effects of overwhelming sensation and emotion induced by tempests, terror, jealousy and the serene soar of the soul.

    Texts by Keats, Mary Wollstoncraft, Sappho and Frank O'Hara.

    With music by Haydn, Thomas Ades, Janacek, Richard Hawley and Lili Boulanger.

    In The Dark20170416

    Emily Bruni and Robert Bathurst read texts and poetry on today's theme, 'In the Dark' - the experience of not seeing things as they really are. For some it is physical blindness which prevents seeing, while for others it is metaphorical; they can't see because they are being deceived, or are deceiving themselves. And for some, being physically blind actually helps to see the world as it really is. Texts and poetry by Austen, Ishiguro, Milton, Sophocles and Jennings are accompanied with music by Stravinsky, Saariaho, Dowland and Fauré.

    In The House Of God20090125

    Hugo Thurston and Pookie Quesnel read poetry and prose on the theme of places of worship including work by Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson and Thomas Hardy, with music by Bach, Britten and Monteverdi.

    Hugo Thurston and Pookie Quesnel with readings and music about places of worship.

    In The Microscope *20090705

    Cheryl Campbell and Douglas Hodge explore the world of science in poetry and prose with work by Miroslav Holub, Mary Shelley, Thomas Hardy, Fleur Adcock and Emily Dickinson and music by Philip Glass, Dvorak, Takemitsu and Bach.

    Cheryl Campbell and Douglas Hodge explore the world of science in poetry, prose and music.

    In The Park2009091320091220

    In The Park *2009091320091220

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of public parks, with readings from Greta Scacchi and Henry Goodman.

    Including writing by Ted Hughes, DH Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Gwen Harwood and Sara Teasdale, as well as music from Handel, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Phyllis Tate and Nina Simone.

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of parks.

    Readings by Greta Scacchi and Henry Goodman

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of parks, with readings from Greta Scacchi and Henry Goodman.

    Including writing by Thackeray, DH Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Gwen Harwood and Sara Teasdale, as well as music from Handel, Debussy, Phyllis Tate, Stephen Sondheim and Charles Ives.

    In The South20150719

    : Anne-Marie Duff and Malcolm Sinclair head off across the Channel to explore the words, music and sounds of southern Europe, in the company of Alphonse Daudet, Hilaire Belloc, Paul Valéry and Marcel Pagnol. With music by Berlioz, Canteloube, Rodrigo, Ennio Morricone, Michel Fugain and Italian folk band Sonidumbra.

    Producer: Simon Elmes.

    In the South: Anne-marie Duff and Malcolm Sinclair head off across the Channel to explore the words, music and sounds of southern Europe, in the company of Alphonse Daudet, Hilaire Belloc, Paul Valéry and Marcel Pagnol. With music by Berlioz, Canteloube, Rodrigo, Ennio Morricone, Michel Fugain and Italian folk band Sonidumbra.

    Infidelity2016062620170212 (R3)

    Fenella Woolgar and Timothy Watson explore infidelity from Tristan and Iseult to Anthony Blunt with texts from Dante, the Earl of Rochester, Robert Browning, Dorothy Parker, W.H. Auden, Hugo Williams and Jackie Kay, accompanied by music from Purcell, Mozart, Diego Ortiz, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg, Pinho Vargas and Nina Simone

    Producer: Philippa Ritchie

    Scroll down the webpage for more information about the music used, and the producer's note.

    Fenella Woolgar and Timothy Watson explore infidelity from Tristan and Iseult to Anthony Blunt with texts from Dante, the Earl of Rochester, Robert Browning, Dorothy Parker, W.H. Auden, Hugo Williams and Jackie Kay, accompanied by music from Purcell, Mozart, Diego Ortiz, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg, Pinho Vargas and Nina Simone

    Innocence And Experience *20070304

    Imogen Stubbs and Bill Paterson read a selection of poetry and prose around the theme of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience.

    Featured writers include Emily Dickinson, John Clare, Robert Herrick, Thomas Mann and George Herbert.

    Sylvia Plath reads her poem Ariel and Brian Patten's A Blade of Grass, a poem about the loss of innocence.

    The programme includes Blake settings by Vaughan Williams, Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety and Tallis's Spem in Alium.

    Innocence and Experience

    Featured writers include Emily Dickinson, John Clare, Robert Herrick, Thomas Mann and George Herbert. Sylvia Plath reads her poem Ariel and Brian Patten's A Blade of Grass, a poem about the loss of innocence.

    Insects2009030820100221

    They creep upon the earth, and buzz and flit above us in the air, but we rarely think of them.

    This week's Words and Music is devoted to the tiny invertebrate world of insects, and the beauty and variation to be found within.

    The grasshopper singing on a summer is celebrated by Josquin's frotolla El Grillo, and the slow patient progress of a snail reflected by Thom Gunn's poem Considering The Snail.

    We certainly notice insects that bother us, provoking ire in D H Lawrence's The Mosquito, and Robert Burns's To A Louse, but the invertebrate kingdom brings us great joy as well, through the beauty of butterflies and the industry of bees.

    Ewan Bailey and Rachel Atkins read poetry to lead us through this minute, mysterious world.

    (Rpt).

    A selection of poetry and music on the theme of insects.

    With poems by Ted Hughes.

    Poetry, prose and music devoted to the world of insects, and the beauty and variation to be found within, with readings by Ewan Bailey and Rachel Atkings.

    Including Thom Gunn's poem Considering the Snail, DH Lawrence's The Mosquito and Robert Burns' To A Louse, as well as music by Josquin, Roussel, Bartok and Martin Carthy

    International Women’s Day € Seven Ages Of Women2015030820170305 (R3)

    To mark International Woman's Day a special edition exploring the lives of women from birth to death in poetry, prose and music. The readers are Fiona Shaw and Ellie Kendrick. With words by Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Carol Ann Duffy, Kate Chopin, Muriel Spark, Kathleen Jamie, Emily Dickinson and Mrs Gaskell and music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Sally Beamish, Joan Baez, Judith Weir, Elizabeth Maconchy and Clara Schumann.

    To find out more about Radio 3's International Women's Day programming follow @BBCRadio3 and the hashtag #womensday.

    International Women's Day20150308

    To mark International Woman's Day a special edition exploring the lives of women from birth to death in poetry, prose and music. The readers are Fiona Shaw and Ellie Kendrick. With words by Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Carol Ann Duffy, Kate Chopin, Muriel Spark, Kathleen Jamie, Emily Dickinson and Mrs Gaskell and music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Sally Beamish, Joan Baez, Judith Weir, Elizabeth Maconchy and Clara Schumann.

    To find out more about Radio 3's International Women's Day programming follow @BBCRadio3 and the hashtag #womensday.

    Intimate Letters20100321

    Actors Christopher Eccleston and Olivia Hallinan read from a selection of love letters - both real and fictional - by Shakespeare, Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, Keats and Oscar Wilde; including music by Couperin, Wagner, Kurt Weill and Mozart.

    Christopher Eccleston and Olivia Hallinan read from love letters - real and fictional.

    Islands20151101

    Kate Fleetwood and Dominic Mafham explore literary writings about islands from John Donne's famous Meditation No.17 to A. K. Ramanujam's take on the Donne, 'No Man is an Island', and Daniel Defoe to Derek Walcott. The music includes works by Rautavaara, Purcell and Otto Luening.

    Italian Fantasy20090801

    Italian Fantasy * *2008070620090801

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music inspired by travellers to Italy.

    Actors Emily Bruni and Benedict Cumberbatch read poetry, including works by Byron, arch-Italophile Robert Browning and EE Cummings, who depicts numberless hordes of tourists to Italy clutching cameras.

    With prose from Henry James, explaining Wordsworth's enthusiasm for a particular Italian pine tree, cookery writer Elizabeth David on white truffles and American writer Eleanor Clark, who found the fountains of Rome surprisingly shocking.

    The music includes Berlioz's Harold in Italy inspired by Byron, Bob Dylan's When I paint my masterpiece, Respighi's depictions of the pines and fountains of Rome and the vocal sound of the Italian trallalero team Vagabondo.

    Poetry, prose and music inspired by travellers to Italy.

    With poetry by Byron and Browning

    Italian Fantasy

    Actors Emily Bruni and Benedict Cumberbatch read poetry, including works by Byron, arch-Italophile Robert Browning and EE Cummings, who depicts numberless hordes of tourists to Italy clutching cameras. With prose from Henry James, explaining Wordsworth's enthusiasm for a particular Italian pine tree, cookery writer Elizabeth David on white truffles and American writer Eleanor Clark, who found the fountains of Rome surprisingly shocking.

    It's Not Dark Yet20161009

    As the nights begin to lengthen, It's Not Dark Yet.... takes us into the world of prophecy and doom, long despairing nights of the soul, war, loss of faith, our life-long fear of death and the saving brightness of those who do not yield. Malcolm Storry and Michelle Terry read from The Poetic Edda, William Blake, Dylan Thomas and W B Yeats, Shakespeare and Auden, Carol Ann Duffy, Kathleen Jamieson, Siegfried Sassoon and T H White and we hear the music of Messiaen and Janacek, Bruckner, Tavener, Judy Collins, Maria Callas, Liszt and Beethoven and Al Bowlly.

    Readers: Malcolm Storry and Michelle Terry

    Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

    Jewels20140202

    Robert Glenister and Fenella Woolgar are the readers in this edition of Words and Music inspired by jewels and gems. There are readings from the King James Bible, John Webster, James Thurber, Robert Graves and Dorothy Parker and music by Jazeps Vitols, Bizet, Stravinsky, Wolf-Ferrari, Orlando de Lassus, Tchaikovsky and The Beatles.

    Produced by Philippa Ritchie.

    Jewels20141123

    Robert Glenister and Fenella Woolgar are the readers in this edition of Words and Music inspired by jewels and gems. There are readings from the King James Bible, John Webster, James Thurber, Robert Graves and Dorothy Parker and music by Jazeps Vitols, Bizet, Stravinsky, Wolf-Ferrari, Orlando du Lassus, Tchaikovsky and Bartok.

    John Milton *20081207

    Poetry and music inspired by Milton's description of 'darkness visible' in Paradise Lost.

    For Radio 3's celebration of the 400th anniversary of John Milton's birth, a programme of poetry and music exploring the theme from Paradise Lost of 'darkness visible'.

    Kafka And Co2015051020151230 (R3)

    Poetry, prose and music exploring the themes in Kafka - the absurd, isolation, chaos, parents and children, transformation and authority. The readers are Rory Kinnear and Juliet Stevenson. With poems and prose by Franz Kafka, T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Carol Ann Duffy and U.A. Fanthorpe and music by Martinu, Dvorak, Gideon Klein, Krenek, Talking Heads, Prokofiev, Kurtag and Rufus Wainwright.

    Poetry, prose and music exploring the themes in Kafka - the absurd, isolation, chaos, parents and children, transformation and authority. The readers are Rory Kinnear and Juliet Stevenson.

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!20121223

    Murder, mayhem and lust. The actors Tracy-Ann Oberman and Henry Goodman blunder through the mean streets of the soul - stalked by glamour and dogged by obsession.

    Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang!20170806

    Molls, murder and mean streets with Henry Goodman and Tracy-Ann Oberman.

    Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang! is a brazen attempt to lure you into temptation. It's a fast ride to a place where sex and violence collide. People literally dance for their lives or are ordered to stay glued to their seats or risk losing theirs. It's the world of noir - the world of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M Cain, Chester Himes and Elmore Leonard. It's a world populated by "friends of Italian opera" as Billy Wilder famously put it in Some Like it Hot. Rigoletto is a well established gangster favourite but you'll also hear Carreras singing Amapola and Pavarotti's Chi mi frena in tal momento - not to mention John Adams's City Noir, John Zorn's Spillane and Kurt Weill. Tracy-Ann Oberman and Henry Goodman brave the shadows and lead us along the mean streets deep into the poisoned heart of this modern darkness.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Labyrinth20110327

    What lies at the heart of the labyrinth? Minotaur or man? Fear or delight? We're all fascinated by labyrinths - whether they're an impenetrable jumble of box hedges in the garden of a stately home or the multiplying reflections in a hall of mirrors.

    We move through them at the speed of dreams - sometimes as quick as a flicker of lightning sometimes as slow as the drift of sand in an hour glass.

    From inside they can appear both menacing and beguiling.

    From outside they can be treated as an engaging puzzle but one where the solution is never in doubt.

    This evening - should you accept their invitation - you can join Rory Kinnear and Anna Maxwell Martin in a maze of words and music.

    Along the way you are likely to bump into George Herbert, Thelonious Monk, Arvo Part, Erik Satie, Jorge Luis Borges, Edwin Muir, Bach and Francis Seyrig - some of them more than once....even if you don't lose your way or your nerve.

    Texts and music focusing on labyrinths.

    Readings by Anna Maxwell Martin and Rory Kinnear.

    What lies at the heart of the labyrinth? Minotaur or man? Fear or delight? We're all fascinated by labyrinths - whether they're an impenetrable jumble of box hedges in the garden of a stately home or the multiplying reflections in a hall of mirrors. We move through them at the speed of dreams - sometimes as quick as a flicker of lightning sometimes as slow as the drift of sand in an hour glass. From inside they can appear both menacing and beguiling. From outside they can be treated as an engaging puzzle but one where the solution is never in doubt. This evening - should you accept their invitation - you can join Rory Kinnear and Anna Maxwell Martin in a maze of words and music. Along the way you are likely to bump into George Herbert, Thelonious Monk, Arvo Part, Erik Satie, Jorge Luis Borges, Edwin Muir, Bach and Francis Seyrig - some of them more than once....even if you don't lose your way or your nerve.

    Texts and music focusing on labyrinths. Readings by Anna Maxwell Martin and Rory Kinnear.

    Land's End To John O'groats20150816

    Today's Words and Music plots the route from Land's End to John o'Groats, featuring literary characters and situations, writers, poets, historical events, and music associated with places along the way. Beginning on the Cornish cliffs with Henry Alford, through Devon with Sir Henry Baskerville on Dartmoor, to Somerset where secret agent Jim Prideaux is lying low in Taunton. John Betjeman's bells in Bristol, across the Severn Bridge into Monmouth, and more bells in Ledbury described by Wordsworth. A recipe from Shrewsbury, witches in Lancashire, and a composer searching for inspiration in the Lake District. Across the border into Scotland and a fugitive hiding in Galloway, old photographs from Glasgow, a fair maid in Perth and a lovely lass in Inverness. Excerpts are read by Claudie Blakley and Greg Wise.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Last Things20110130

    An edition of Words and Music about endings with readers Tim Pigott-Smith and Katherine Parkinson.

    The subjects include last love and its consolations; death and what may follow; sound fading into silence and Heaven and Hell.

    These pieces are often the last words of a writer or a composer's last works and can act as a wry counterpoint, or even a kind of swansong.

    So Schubert's 'String Quintet' sits next to John Updike's birthday meditations shortly before his death in 2009; Mozart's 'Requiem' jostles up against the beautiful but bleached words of the narrator in Paul Auster's apocalyptic novel 'In the Country of Last Things'; and The Doors' psychedelic anthem, 'The End', underpins Michael Herr's memories of Vietnam and his eerie vision of a soul slowly unravelling like a parachute.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Texts and music about endings, with readings by Tim Pigott-Smith and Katherine Parkinson.

    Law And Order2011042420111220

    Andrew Buchan (Garrow's Law) and Josette Simon OBE (Casualty, Silent Witness) read poetry and prose about Law and Order. Following the model used by a popular American TV series of the same name, they begin by focusing on crime itself with T.S.Eliot's mischievous cat Macavity and extracts from "Crime and Punishment" and PD James, followed by the appearance of the police - both the uniformed variety and the private detective. Then they are in court with Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mocking Bird" (Harper Lee) and Shakespeare's Portia from "The Merchant of Venice". Finally sentence is carried out and the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin is hanged and Oscar Wilde is in Reading Gaol writing his famous ballad. Other writers featured include Seamus Heaney, Arthur Conan Doyle, Roger McGough, Carol Ann Duffy and Alfred Noyes.The texts are interwoven with music by Janacek, Britten, Gilbert and Sullivan, Prokofiev and Henry Mancini.

    Andrew Buchan and Josette Simon read poetry and prose about crime, police and the courts.

    Andrew Buchan (Garrow's Law) and Josette Simon OBE (Casualty, Silent Witness) read poetry and prose about Law and Order.

    Following the model used by a popular American TV series of the same name, they begin by focusing on crime itself with T.S.Eliot's mischievous cat Macavity and extracts from "Crime and Punishment" and PD James, followed by the appearance of the police - both the uniformed variety and the private detective.

    Then they are in court with Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mocking Bird" (Harper Lee) and Shakespeare's Portia from "The Merchant of Venice".

    Finally sentence is carried out and the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin is hanged and Oscar Wilde is in Reading Gaol writing his famous ballad.

    Other writers featured include Seamus Heaney, Arthur Conan Doyle, Roger McGough, Carol Ann Duffy and Alfred Noyes.The texts are interwoven with music by Janacek, Britten, Gilbert and Sullivan, Prokofiev and Henry Mancini.

    Legend Of Orpheus20121111

    Orpheus, 'the Thracian Bard' and son of Apollo, was the great natural musician of Greek mythology. Readers Mariah Gale and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith celebrate the artistry which had the power to charm even rocks and stones, and the love which took him to the dark Underworld to regain his Eurydice, in words by Rilke, Virgil, Goethe and Carol Ann Duffy, and music by Monteverdi, Handel, Beethoven, Gluck and Birtwistle.

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men20120923

    : Tom Goodman-Hill and Emma Fielding are the readers of poems and prose about the celebration of men, the great and the not so noble.

    From the Greek and Trojan kings, to the tyrants of the twentieth century via Einstein and the paeans sung by artists to their mentors and heroes. Seamus Heaney mourns Robert Lowell whilst Philip Larkin utters an unalloyed yes to Sidney Bechet.

    There's music from Britten, written especially for the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and an elegy for Philip Sidney by WIlliam Byrd as well as music by John Adams, Mozart and Berlioz.

    Producer: Natalie Steed.

    Let's Face The Music And Dance2011052920111230

    Words and music on the theme of dance including poetry and prose by Shelley Patrick Kavanagh, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot and Jane Austen with music by Schubert, John Tavener, Poulenc, Fred Astaire and Shostakovich.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Words and music on the theme of dance read by Imogen Stubbs and Joseph Kloska.

    Words and music on the theme of dance including poetry and prose by Shelley Patrick Kavanagh, William Carlos Williams, T.S.

    Eliot and Jane Austen with music by Schubert, John Tavener, Poulenc, Fred Astaire and Shostakovich.

    Let's Write A List20170709

    Texts and music on the theme of list-making, with readers Jon Strickland and Emma Powell.

    Let's write a list. From the week's shopping to the Ten Commandments, from the pop charts to the phone directory, life is full of lists. This exploration of our obsession with list-making includes Mozart's Don Giovanni's conquests, Maria's Favourite Things from the Sound of Music, Polonius's advice to Laertes, Bridget Jones's New Year Resolutions and Herman Melville's catalogue of whales. Readings by Jon Strickland and Emma Powell.

    Life In A Cold Climate20151213

    The many facets of living in the the frozen north. Bill Paterson and Janie Dee read works by Torkilk Morch, John Haines, Jack London, Alootook Ipellie, Gerda Hvisterdahl, Peter Hoeg and Jorma Etto. With music by Edvard Grieg, Terje Bjorklund, John Luther Adams, Jon Oivind Ness, Torgeir Vassvik, Sainkho Namtchylak and Esbjorn Svensson.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Life On The Ocean Wave20170219

    Poetry, music and readings reflecting on the nautical life, including words by Masefield, Melville, Homer and Hardy, and music by Britten, Mendelssohn, Purcell and Tom Waits. Read by Lesley Sharp and John Shrapnel.

    Light Fantastic: The 1950s20110626

    As part of the Light Fantastic Festival, this week's Words and Music is on the theme of the 1950s with music, poetry and prose from the decade.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music from the 1950s.

    Light!20141026

    On the day that the clocks fall back an hour after Daylight Saving - Cheryl Campbell and William Houston present a montage of music and speech inspired by ideas of Light. Featuring words and music from a diverse body of writers: William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Werner Heisenberg, Arthur C Clarke, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Henry Vaughan, and Dante; and from the Talmud and Rig-Veda. And composers: Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Britten, Ludwig van Beethoven, Toru Takemitsu, Henry Purcell, Claude Debussy, Morten Lauridsen, Gyorgy Ligeti, Franz Schubert, Philip Glass and Carl Orff.

    The programme weaves a tapestry of different illustrations, understandings, and poetic interpretations about light: light as a metaphor for love, birth, innocence, and purity; as a fundamental particle of science; as an expression of the presence of the Divine, of God's munificence; or quiet simply, as a marker of the cyclical day.

    Like Father, Like Son?2015101820151231 (R3)

    Marking the centenary of Arthur Miller's birth - a playwright noted for his fascination with fathers and sons - an exploration of the many facets of this complex relationship, featuring a selection of poetry and prose read by Nicholas Farrell and Sam Troughton and music by Rossini, Stravinsky, David Axelrod and others.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Live At Southbank Centre: British Rivers20140323

    From the banks of the Thames, a live edition with poetry, prose and music on British rivers. Wth music by Delius, Sally Beamish and George Butterworth and words by Ted Hughes, John Clare and Alice Oswald.

    Producer: Fiona McLean

    Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Café to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

    Live From The Free Thinking Festival20141102

    Actors Jonathan Keeble and Sian Thomas are joined by the dazzling folk singer Eliza Carthy, the innovative saxophonist, composer and Radio 3 New Generation Artist Trish Clowes, members of Royal Northern Sinfonia and pianist Kate Thompson for a special live edition of Words and Music. The programme takes the theme of this year's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas, 'the Limits of Knowledge', with readings from Douglas Adams to Thomas Hardy and Kant to Ogden Nash. Music includes Messiaen's 'Quartet for the End of Time', Bach and Bartok, plus folk songs from Eliza Carthy and improvisations from Trish Clowes.

    Locomotion20101003

    An edition of Words and Music dedicated to Locomotion.

    A selection of music and poetry provides the short dash through the A-Z of getting from A-B - and steams its way through the implacable human passion for all forms of locomotion.

    Readers Claire Rushbrook and Andrew Wincott guide us through a scenic route -- so music from Wagner, Ellington, Mayfield, Eno and Schubert are among the stops on one branch of the journey while words from Marvell, Lear, Patrick Leigh Fermor and E Nesbit are scheduled destinations on the other.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Texts and music about getting from A to B.

    Readers: Claire Rushbrook and Andrew Wincott.

    An edition of Words and Music dedicated to Locomotion. A selection of music and poetry provides the short dash through the A-Z of getting from A-B - and steams its way through the implacable human passion for all forms of locomotion.

    Texts and music about getting from A to B. Readers: Claire Rushbrook and Andrew Wincott.

    London2012062420141116

    Words and Music: London

    Words and Music celebrates the great capital city with music and texts read by two distinguished London-born actors, Dame Eileen Atkins and Sir David Jason.

    In many ways a city of contradictions, Words and Music celebrates the Thames, the church bells, the parks and the architecture, along with the less salubrious side of the city - the overcrowding, the noise and the stench which Londoners have complained about for centuries. We view London through the eyes of its chroniclers such as Daniel Defoe and John Evelyn, along with eminent visitors to the city such as Handel and Haydn. There are also references to key events in London's history - the Fire, the Plague, the Blitz, and the terror of Jack the Ripper. Above all, there is a sense of the love of the city from the writings of authors and poets who lived there, including Charles Dickens, George Orwell, T.S. Eliot and John Keats.

    London has inspired many composers, and the readings are accompanied by music by Vaughan Williams, Walton, Britten, Haydn and Elgar.

    Producer: Ellie Mant.

    With all eyes on London this summer for the Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Words and Music celebrates the great capital city with music and texts read by two distinguished London-born actors, Dame Eileen Atkins and Sir David Jason.

    Look To The Skies20150315

    Music, poetry and prose which gaze at the sky and the objects in it. Readings by Emilia Fox and Anthony Calf

    Producer Harry Parker.

    Lost In The City Of Waters *2007061020080127

    Jeremy Irons and Anna Massey explore the splendour and decadence of Venice through the poetry and prose of Longfellow, Browning, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust.

    With music by Luigi Nono, Gounod, Vivaldi, Hahn, Liszt and Gabrieli.

    Lost...and Found?20170423

    Texts and music on the theme of being lost, with readers Harriet Walter and Don Warrington

    Lost thoughts, lost paths, lost time, lost love, lost innocence. Harriet Walter and Don Warrington read poetry and prose on the idea of being lost, both physically and metaphysically. With texts by Dante, Thoreau, Marquez, Stevie Smith and Emily Dickinson, and music by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Jerome Kern and Charles Ives.

    Lost thoughts, lost paths, lost time, lost love, lost innocence. Harriet Walter and Don Warrington read poetry and prose on the idea of being lost, both physically and metaphysically. With texts by Dante, Thoreau, Marquez, Stevie Smith and Emily Dickinson, and music by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Jerome Kern and Charles Ives.

    Loving The Alien20131117

    Texts and music about the fascination with and love of the strange.

    Fascination with and love of the strange is the theme for this edition of Words and Music.

    Brian Cox and Amara Khan read poems by Tennyson, Ezra Pound and Craig Raine amongst others about Lotus Eaters, Selkies and monstrous and alien delights. There's music from composers, like Carl Maria von Weber, Britten and Gershwin who sought inspiration from other musical traditions and cultures and an extraordinary collaboration between the Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen and the Kronos Quartet. There's the inter-species love of the Owl and the Pussycat described by Edward Lear as well as Caliban's speech of promises to his wondrous new masters and music associated with aliens of the more traditional, extra-terrestrial kind including the theremin.

    Producer: Natalie Steed.

    Magic2007081220071209

    Linked to the Shakespeare theme of this year's Proms, Nicholas Farrell and Miriam Margolyes conjure up words on magic by Shakespeare, Pushkin, Martin Feinstein, Chaucer, Derek Walcott and Keats.

    These are accompanied by the music of Wagner, Mendelssohn and Tippett, among others.

    Magic

    Linked to the Shakespeare theme of this year's Proms, Nicholas Farrell and Miriam Margolyes conjure up words on magic by Shakespeare, Pushkin, Martin Feinstein, Chaucer, Derek Walcott and Keats. These are accompanied by the music of Wagner, Mendelssohn and Tippett, among others.

    Make The Mark20110807

    Peter Capaldi and Emily Bruni read poetry and prose on the theme of music, from the metaphysical to the everyday. The programme explores the wide-ranging facets and inescapable power of music: the mystical concept of the music of the spheres, the power of music in childhood and everyday life, music as a psychological tormentor and the beauty of music in performance.

    With poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy and Pablo Neruda, and prose by Nick Hornby and Louis de Bernieres. Music to compliment the readings includes works by Messiaen, Purcell, Pergolesi, Charles Mingus, Neil Young and Philip Glass.

    Peter Capaldi and Emily Bruni read poetry and prose on the theme of music.

    Peter Capaldi and Emily Bruni read poetry and prose on the theme of music, from the metaphysical to the everyday.

    The programme explores the wide-ranging facets and inescapable power of music: the mystical concept of the music of the spheres, the power of music in childhood and everyday life, music as a psychological tormentor and the beauty of music in performance.

    With poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy and Pablo Neruda, and prose by Nick Hornby and Louis de Bernieres.

    Music to compliment the readings includes works by Messiaen, Purcell, Pergolesi, Charles Mingus, Neil Young and Philip Glass.

    Making Music20170903

    Sylvestra Le Touzel and Paul Jesson explore, via readings, what we do when we make music.

    As the Proms season comes to its final week we feature a series of readings from Sylvestra Le Touzel and Paul Jesson considering what we do when we create, practice and perform music. The writers featured include Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Philip Larkin, John Dryden and James Joyce. The music comes from composers and performers such as Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Keith Jarrett, Joni Mitchell, Sidney Bechet and William Alwyn.

    Producer: Harry Parker

    (Main image: Royal Albert Hall. Credit : Chris Christodoulou)

    As the Proms season comes to its final week we feature a series of readings from Sylvestra Le Touzel and Paul Jesson considering what we do when we create, practice and perform music. The writers featured include Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Philip Larkin, John Dryden and James Joyce. The music comes from composers and performers such as Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Keith Jarrett, Joni Mitchell, Sidney Bechet and William Alwyn.

    Malady20100411

    The great American essayist, Susan Sontag, once said that we all carry two passports - one that allows us into the kingdom of the well and another, less seldom used, which ushers us into the realm of the sick.

    This week's edition of Words and Music is all about that kingdom of malady - from the famous musical sneeze in Kodaly's Hary Janos suite to the balm of Bach's cantata - Ich habe genug.; from Pinter's description of electroconvulsive therapy to John Evelyn's eye- witness account of the removal of a bladder stone.

    The readers for this journey into the night-side of life are Rory Kinnear and Anna Maxwell Martin.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music focusing on sickness.

    Including Kodaly and Bach.

    Man And Beast2008102620090607

    Hermione Norris and Jim Norton are the readers in a sequenece of poetry, prose and music on the theme of the relationship between animals and humans.

    Including works by John Donne, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, WH Hudson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge interspersed with music including Barber, Vivaldi, Haydn, Britten, Noel Coward, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash

    Radio 3's sequence of music and readings examines the relationship between humans and animals, with readings by Hermione Norris and Jim Norton.

    Including poetry and prose by John Donne, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, WH Hudson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge among others, interspersed with music from Barber, Vivaldi, Haydn, Britten, Noel Coward, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash among others.

    Poetry, prose and music exploring the relationship between humans and animals.

    Man and Beast

    Hermione Norris and Jim Norton are the readers in a sequenece of poetry, prose and music on the theme of the relationship between animals and humans. Including works by John Donne, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, WH Hudson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge interspersed with music including Barber, Vivaldi, Haydn, Britten, Noel Coward, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash.

    Man And Beast20090607
    Man Made2010053020120804

    Sequence of poetry, prose and music on the relationship between man, nature and machines.

    Caroline Catz and Anthony Flanagan read a selection of poetry and prose, serious and light-hearted, celebrating the relationship between humankind, nature and machines.

    The programme begins with a look at man's use of machinery through history, including words from Karl Marx and Charles Dickens, and music from Bach and the Beach Boys.

    Meanwhile, poets Rudyard Kipling and Carl Sandburg look into the minds of machines and imagine how they must feel as they carry out their work. This leads down the shady avenue of artificial intelligence: the endeavour to create the perfect machine in man's image, an idea investigated by Science Fiction writer Philip K Dick. Interspersed are Olympia the doll's aria from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, and music featuring telephones, typewriters and helicopters.

    Philip Larkin's poem The Mower hints at the destructive power of machines, as he finds a mauled hedgehog in the blades of his lawnmower, while Kenneth Grahame's animal characters from The Wind in the Willows have a close encounter with an automobile. D.H. Lawrence ponders where it will all lead, and nature and the man-made dance together in the music of Messiaen.

    Maps2015011120170102 (R3)

    Hugh Bonneville and Barbara Flynn travel across maps in literature, from 'The Pilgrim's Progress' by John Bunyan to Roger McGough's comical poem, 'The Map'.

    This edition of Words and Music looks at the early maps described by Herodotus, and poetic reflections on the Mappa Mundi by John Davies of Hereford and the contemporary poet, Philip Gross. There are reflections too on Captain Cook's cartography, a farcical description of map-making from Lewis Carroll's 'Sylvie and Bruno Concluded', and poems on mapping the next world by John Donne and Joy Harjo.

    Music includes the anonymous Italian melody 'Ayo visto lo mappamundi' and John Cage's Atlas Eclipticalis.

    Elizabeth Arno (producer).

    Mark The Music20091206

    Mark The Music * *20091206

    Peter Capaldi and Emily Bruni read poetry and prose on the theme of music, from the metaphysical to the everyday.

    The programme explores the wide-ranging facets and inescapable power of music - the mystical concept of the music of the spheres, the power of music in childhood and everyday life, music as a psychological tormentor and the beauty of music in performance.

    With poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy, Ian Crichton Smith and Pablo Neruda, and prose by Nick Hornby and Louis De Bernieres.

    Music to compliment the readings includes works by Bach, Brahms, Philip Glass and Sigur Ros.

    Peter Capaldi and Emily Bruni read poetry and prose on the theme of music.

    May Day2010050220120506

    is often associated with English pastoral images: Maypoles, morris dancing and the gathering of greenery. But there's a darker side too, as May Day has throughout history had an undercurrent of misrule, evil practices and sexual liberty. Sarah Alexander and Julian Rhind-Tutt perform poems and prose on the theme by Milton, Chaucer, Herrick and Richmal Crompton, with music including Britten, Debussy, Michael Berkeley, and The Rolling Stones.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    is often associated with English pastoral images: Maypoles, morris dancing and the gathering of greenery.

    But there's a darker side too, as May Day has throughout history had an undercurrent of misrule, evil practices and sexual liberty.

    Sarah Alexander and Julian Rhind-tutt perform poems and prose on the theme by Milton, Chaucer, Herrick and Richmal Crompton, with music including Britten, Debussy, Michael Berkeley, and The Rolling Stones.

    Words and music on the theme of May Day.

    Readers: Sarah Alexander and Julian Rhind-tutt

    Memory20080302

    Saskia Reeves and Alex Jennings read poetry and prose by Philip Larkin, Carol Ann Duffy, Lewis Carroll, Billy Collins and Patrick Kavanagh, interspersed with music from Mahler, Joan Baez, the Beatles, Schumann, George Butterworth, Tchaikovsky and Liszt.

    Memory

    Memory2015022220170103 (R3)

    'Memories,' according to PG Wodehouse 'are like mulligatawny soup in a cheap restaurant. It is best not to stir them.'

    In this memory-themed edition of Words and Music Tom Hiddleston and Eleanor Bron nonetheless poke around with the soup spoon to discover what's below the surface.

    Among the ingredients Wordsworth and Bertie Wooster are in remarkable agreement; Alan Bennett struggles to comes to terms with his mother's dementia; and Fanny Burney recalls her horrific operation. St Peter and Montaigne have trouble remembering; Ted Hughes remembers all too well his honeymoon with Sylvia Plath; William Blake and Elizabeth Jennings look back on happier days. Somewhere in the middle is a large dollop of Proust.

    It's all to be found floating in the music of Purcell, Conlon Nancarrow, Chabrier, John Adams, Brahms and Bach.

    David Papp (producer).

    Mendelssohn Weekend - The Great Trip20090509

    Edward Bennett reads extracts from letters Mendelssohn wrote during the 'Great Trip'.

    In 1829, aged 20, the young and impressionable composer embarked on a tour that lasted until 1832.

    It was the longest trip undertaken by any musician in modern times and spanned England, Scotland, the Swiss Alps and European cities such as Vienna, Rome and Paris.

    The journey concluded in London, a city where Mendelssohn felt particularly at home.

    Throughout the trip, Mendelssohn wrote letters to his family about his impressions of the landscape, culture and customs of the different countries he encountered.

    It was also a process of self-discovery where he thought about his future plans and his identity as a German.

    In London he sees streets shrouded in fog; in Edinburgh he scrambles up Arthur's Seat for a view of the city.

    He notes in Vienna that people do nothing at all.

    Travelling down the Danube by boat is a highlight and in Pressburg he joins in the celebrations for the crowning of the King of Hungary.

    His final destination is London, where he is overwhelmed by the enthusiastic reception by audiences.

    The programme includes music written by Mendelssohn alongside music the composer would have heard during his years of travelling.

    Edward Bennett reads from Mendelssohn's letters about the composer's travels in Europe.

    Mermaids2013092920140727

    Amanda Root and Toby Stephens are the readers in this edition of Words and Music which is inspired by the multi-faceted character of the mermaid. Responding to the call of the siren are composers including Debussy, Ravel, Zemlinsky and Gershwin and writers such as Hans Christian Andersen, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and T.S. Eliot.

    First broadcast 29 September 2013

    Devised by Sarah Peverley

    Producer: Philippa Ritchie.

    Amanda Root and Toby Stephens are the readers in this edition of Words and Music on the theme of Mermaids with music by Debussy, Ravel, Zemlinsky, Dvorák and Gershwin and texts by Hans Christian Andersen, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Walter de la Mare and TS Eliot.

    Metamorphosis2013012720130907

    Meera Syal and Harry Hadden-Paton are the readers in this edition of Words and Music on the theme of Metamorphosis. How does it feel to be turned into someone or something else? The mischief and mayhem ensuing from unexpected transformation is explored through the words of Ovid, Shakespeare, Kafka, Roald Dahl and Jo Shapcott and the music of Britten, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Handel and Lerner and Loewe.

    Producer: Philippa Ritchie

    First broadcast in January 2013.

    Mezzogiorno2015011820151229 (R3)

    is the land of lemon trees as well as the Mafia; it's the land of poverty and of plenty; of Giuseppe di Lampedusa as well as Leoncavallo. For centuries, Europe's beautiful south has held the Western imagination captive; so join Alexandra Gilbreath and John Rowe as they explore a region where Aeneas rubs shoulders with the Vespa.

    Mezzogiorno is the land of lemon trees as well as the Mafia; it's the land of poverty and of plenty; of Giuseppe di Lampedusa as well as Leoncavallo. For centuries, Europe's beautiful south has held the Western imagination captive; so join Alexandra Gilbreath and John Rowe as they explore a region where Aeneas rubs shoulders with the Vespa.

    Middles20120226

    : neither the fresh hope of beginning nor the reflection of the end but complexity and endurance. Poems by W.H. Auden, Robert Frost and Thomas Hardy are read by Juliet Stevenson and Peter Marinker with music by Shostakovitch, Bach and Ned Rorem.

    Texts and music on the theme of middles. Readings by Juliet Stevenson and Peter Marinker.

    Mindfulness And 'i': The Sense Of Self20170924

    Poetry, prose and music reflecting on the meaning of our existence.

    Poetry, prose and music reflecting on the meaning of our existence. This edition takes you through an imagined mindfulness session, opening up a path of self-awareness. The programme flows as a carefully driven stream of consciousness, but also aims to place the listener in a pre-meditative state. it's a personal journey into your inner-self so the texts mostly an explore the first person, mirroring ordinary human interaction, through feelings like love and anguish, whilst also revealing deeply felt responses to our everyday contact with the outer world, with nature and our environment.
    Prose and verse, read by Aiysha Hart and Jonathan Aris, come from writers and thinkers from both East and West, ancient and new, such as Hermann Hesse, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, George Eliot, Octavio Paz, W.B. Yeats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Stuart Mill, Jorge Luis Borges, T.S. Eliot, Rabindranath Tagore, Carl Jung, as well as traditional Chinese poets, among them Du Fu and Li Po.

    Producer Juan Carlos Jaramillo.

    Miniatures20100620

    Words and Music celebrates the miniature this week with music from Webern, Billy Mayerl and Delius and a few well chosen words from Herbert, e e cummings and Gertrude Stein amongst others.

    The giants in this magical Lilliput are John Rowe and Lia Williams.

    Texts and music focusing on miniatures, with readings by John Rowe and Lia Williams

    Mirrors And Reflections20161120

    Henry Goodman and Lisa Dillon with a selection of readings and music on reflections and mirrors including works by James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Lewis Carroll, Schubert, Pärt, Captain Beefheart, Haydn and Machaut.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Producer's Notes.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Monarchs20101219

    This edition of Words and Music explores the theme of monarchs. Kings and Queens have long possessed the imaginations and financed the careers of poets, playwrights and composers. Readers Samantha Bond and Simon Chandler play a host of historical kings and queens, from Shakespeare's Henry V and IV to Schiller's Queen Elizabeth I and Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts.

    Royal coronations with their pomp and visual grandeur have inspired some of the greatest music ever written. Handel's Zadok the Priest and Walton's Crown Imperial provided the soundtracks to the coronations of George II and VI respectively; and we hear Samuel Pepys relate the incredible sight of '24 violins' at the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

    The predicament of kingship was one of Shakespeare's most enduring fascinations, his Henry IV and V soliloquize in some of his greatest verse on the isolation of the ruler's plight, an isolation that may have been understood only too well by Shakespeare's great patron: Elizabeth I. Music by Donizetti and Schumann, and drama by Schiller capture the tragedy of Elizabeth's relationship with her passionate cousin Mary, Queen of Scots; whose last letter we hear, written on the eve of her execution.

    Texts and music on the theme of monarchs. Readings by Samantha Bond and Simon Chandler.

    Monarchs2012072120101219

    Kings and Queens have long possessed the imaginations and financed the careers of poets, playwrights and composers. Readers Samantha Bond and Simon Chandler play a host of historical kings and queens, from Shakespeare's Henry V and IV to Schiller's Queen Elizabeth I and Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts.

    Royal coronations with their pomp and visual grandeur have inspired some of the greatest music ever written. Handel's Zadok the Priest and Walton's Crown Imperial provided the soundtracks to the coronations of George II and VI respectively; and we hear Samuel Pepys relate the incredible sight of '24 violins' at the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

    The predicament of kingship was one of Shakespeare's most enduring fascinations, his Henry IV and V soliloquize in some of his greatest verse on the isolation of the ruler's plight, an isolation that may have been understood only too well by Shakespeare's great patron: Elizabeth I. Music by Donizetti and Schumann, and drama by Schiller capture the tragedy of Elizabeth's relationship with her passionate cousin Mary, Queen of Scots; whose last letter we hear, written on the eve of her execution.

    This edition of Words and Music explores the theme of monarchs.

    Kings and Queens have long possessed the imaginations and financed the careers of poets, playwrights and composers.

    Readers Samantha Bond and Simon Chandler play a host of historical kings and queens, from Shakespeare's Henry V and IV to Schiller's Queen Elizabeth I and Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts.

    Royal coronations with their pomp and visual grandeur have inspired some of the greatest music ever written.

    Handel's Zadok the Priest and Walton's Crown Imperial provided the soundtracks to the coronations of George II and VI respectively; and we hear Samuel Pepys relate the incredible sight of '24 violins' at the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

    The predicament of kingship was one of Shakespeare's most enduring fascinations, his Henry IV and V soliloquize in some of his greatest verse on the isolation of the ruler's plight, an isolation that may have been understood only too well by Shakespeare's great patron: Elizabeth I.

    Music by Donizetti and Schumann, and drama by Schiller capture the tragedy of Elizabeth's relationship with her passionate cousin Mary, Queen of Scots; whose last letter we hear, written on the eve of her execution.

    Texts and music on the theme of monarchs.

    Readings by Samantha Bond and Simon Chandler.

    Money2011022020111222

    makes the world go round.

    It also tends to bring out the worst in people, and a wealth of novels and poems have been written on and around the subject.

    The gentlemen in Jane Austen's novels usually have plenty of it, while the unfortunate Katerina Ivanovna in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment certainly does not.

    Defoe's Moll Flanders and F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby are on the make, while characters in Dickens and E Nesbit are in a ruinous state through losing their money.

    And Martin Amis's John Self thinks he's making money, later to find that he's actually losing it too.

    Sylvestra Le Touzel and Dan Stevens read poems and texts which show the impact money, or lack of money has on literary characters' lives, with music by Beethoven, Puccini, Stravinsky and Abba.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Texts and music on the theme of money.

    Readings by Sylvestra Le Touzel and Dan Stevens.

    makes the world go round. It also tends to bring out the worst in people, and a wealth of novels and poems have been written on and around the subject. The gentlemen in Jane Austen's novels usually have plenty of it, while the unfortunate Katerina Ivanovna in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment certainly does not. Defoe's Moll Flanders and F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby are on the make, while characters in Dickens and E Nesbit are in a ruinous state through losing their money. And Martin Amis's John Self thinks he's making money, later to find that he's actually losing it too.

    Money makes the world go round. It also tends to bring out the worst in people, and a wealth of novels and poems have been written on and around the subject. The gentlemen in Jane Austen's novels usually have plenty of it, while the unfortunate Katerina Ivanovna in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment certainly does not. Defoe's Moll Flanders and F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby are on the make, while characters in Dickens and E Nesbit are in a ruinous state through losing their money. And Martin Amis's John Self thinks he's making money, later to find that he's actually losing it too.

    Texts and music on the theme of money. Readings by Sylvestra Le Touzel and Dan Stevens.

    Monkey Business20160821

    It begins in mischief and ends in confusion. Monkeys are the lords of misrule. They're as entertaining as they are mischievous. In their needs and affections they can also seem almost human. Are we monkeys or are they men? In Monkey Business the actors Rosalie Craig and Philip Franks will be leaping about between the probable and the improbable. Searching for airborne fun rather than earthbound enlightenment. They'll be swinging from the cosmology of 16th-century China to the simian aspirations of The Jungle Book and will conjure mayhem from Satie, Beethoven, Britten and Ligeti to hasten them on the way. As Kipling put it - "here we go in a flung festoon, half-way up to the jealous moon."

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Monsters20081214

    A selection of poetry and music on the theme of monsters, with readings by Don Warrington and Carolyn Pickles.

    Including works by Jack Mapanje, Christina Rossetti, Seamus Heaney, Yeats, Hans Christian Andersen, Robert Browning, Sylvia Plath, Brian Patten, Carol Ann Duffy, Tennyson and Ted Hughes, and music including Grieg, Knussen and Schubert.

    NB: This broadcast starts at approximately 22.50

    Moonstruck2010052320160117 (R3)

    Art Malik and Alexandra Gilbreath read poetry and prose that explores our ancient and continuing fascination with the moon, in various guises: as a symbol of purity, as a capricious, changeable being, as an object to reach in the imagination and through scientific exploration.

    With texts by Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Charles Baudelaire, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, and music from Mendelssohn, Debussy, Schumann, Judy Garland, and Radiohead.

    Poetry, prose and music about the moon.

    Readers: Art Malik and Alexandra Gilbreath.

    Art Malik and Alexandra Gilbreath read poetry and prose that explores our ancient and continuing fascination with the moon, in various guises: as a symbol of purity, as a capricious, changeable being, as an object to reach in the imagination and through scientific exploration. With texts by Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Charles Baudelaire, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, and music from Mendelssohn, Debussy, Schumann, Judy Garland, and Radiohead.

    Mozart: An Inspiration20110102

    Mozart's genius has inspired many artists to comment on his musical creativity.

    This edition of Words and Music focuses on the writers inspired by Mozart to a new creativity of their own.

    Michael Pennington and Olivia Williams read from authors including Eduard Morike, Sara Teasdale, Hardy, Goethe, and Wallace Stevens, accompanied by some of Mozart's finest music.

    Texts and music focusing on writers inspired by Mozart to a new creativity of their own.

    Mozart's genius has inspired many artists to comment on his musical creativity. This edition of Words and Music focuses on the writers inspired by Mozart to a new creativity of their own. Michael Pennington and Olivia Williams read from authors including Eduard Morike, Sara Teasdale, Hardy, Goethe, and Wallace Stevens, accompanied by some of Mozart's finest music.

    Music On The Brink20140105

    The world on the brink of war in poetry, letters, diaries and music.

    Neptune's Kingdom2013072120140817

    The undersea world is evoked in a sequence of words and music. Emily Taaffe and Nicholas Farrell read poetry and prose by Rita Dove, William Shakespeare and Charles Kingsley and the submarine music is provided by Britten, Hovhaness and Holst.

    Songs of mackerel shoals and whale tales swell the ocean and the seas pick clean the bones of the drowned. There's beauty, death and the sea-change of new life here in the deep.

    The undersea world is evoked in a sequence of words and music. Emily Taafe and Nicholas Farrell read poetry and prose by Rita Dove, William Shakespeare and Charles Kingsley and the submarine music is provided by Britten, Hovhaness and Holst.

    Nine Lives20110918

    From the mew of the pussycat to the roar of the lion, Nine Lives pays homage to the musicality and poetry of the feline form.

    Juliet Stevenson and Kenneth Cranham read poetry and prose from Rudyard Kipling, T.S.

    Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Ruth Padel and Grace Nichols accompanied by music from Saint-Saens, Rossini, Telemann, John Tavener, Ravel and Tchaikovsky.

    Producer: Baya Cat

    Texts and music on the theme of cats.

    Readings by Juliet Stevenson and Kenneth Cranham.

    From the mew of the pussycat to the roar of the lion, Nine Lives pays homage to the musicality and poetry of the feline form. Juliet Stevenson and Kenneth Cranham read poetry and prose from Rudyard Kipling, T.S. Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Ruth Padel and Grace Nichols accompanied by music from Saint-Saens, Rossini, Telemann, John Tavener, Ravel and Tchaikovsky.

    Texts and music on the theme of cats. Readings by Juliet Stevenson and Kenneth Cranham.

    No Stronger Than A Flower2013121520141226 (R3)

    Emilia Fox and Jamie Glover are the readers in this edition of Words and Music inspired by the fragility of flowers compared with the power of their beauty.

    With readings from Shakespeare, John Clare, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Michael Longley and a book of Victorian Flower Etiquette. There is music by Schumann, Delibes, Vaughan Williams, Richard Strauss, Robert Chilcott and Fats Waller.

    Emilia Fox and Jamie Glover are the readers in this edition of Words and Music inspired by flowers, which despite their seeming frailty, or perhaps because of it, are a potent symbol of both transience and rebirth.

    There are readings from Shakespeare, John Clare, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Michael Longley and a book of Victorian Flower Etiquette and music by Schumann, Delibes, Vaughan Williams, Richard Strauss, Robert Chilcott and Fats Waller.

    Produced by Philippa Ritchie.

    Nocturne20110206

    Sian Thomas and William Hope read poetry and prose inspired by the night including work by Neruda, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, John Burnside, Jackie Kay, A.E.

    Housman and Rachel Carson with music by Mozart, Stephen Sondheim, Schumann, John Adams and Samuel Barber.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Texts and music inspired by the night, with readings by Sian Thomas and William Hope.

    Sian Thomas and William Hope read poetry and prose inspired by the night including work by Neruda, Jackie Kay, Emily Dickinson, John Burnside, Jackie Kay, A.E. Housman and Rachel Carson with music by Mozart, Borodin, Takemitsu, June Tabor and Faure.

    Sian Thomas and William Hope read poetry and prose inspired by the night including work by Neruda, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, John Burnside, Jackie Kay, A.E. Housman and Rachel Carson with music by Mozart, Stephen Sondheim, Schumann, John Adams and Samuel Barber.

    Nocturne20111120

    Sian Thomas and William Hope read poetry and prose inspired by the night including work by Neruda, Jackie Kay, Emily Dickinson, John Burnside, A.E.

    Housman and Rachel Carson with music by Mozart, Borodin, Takemitsu, Aaron Copland, Steve Reich and Faure.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Texts and music inspired by the night, with readings by Sian Thomas and William Hope.

    Sian Thomas and William Hope read poetry and prose inspired by the night including work by Neruda, Jackie Kay, Emily Dickinson, John Burnside, A.E. Housman and Rachel Carson with music by Mozart, Borodin, Takemitsu, Aaron Copland, Steve Reich and Faure.

    Nonsense20160529

    Griff Rhys Jones and Debra Stephenson delve into nonsense literature, from Anglo-Saxon riddles to limericks by Edward Lear, a poem by Brendel and Lewis Carroll, with music by Bach, Ligeti and Gilbert and Sullivan.

    Nonsense20171226

    Texts and music on the theme of nonsense. Readers: Griff Rhys Jones and Debra Stephenson.

    Northern Lights: The North Pole20151206

    Olivia Williams and Charles Edwards go on a literary journey to the North Pole through texts by A. A. Milne, Jules Verne and Pindar, and including music by Rautavaara, Nystroem and Tanya Tagaq. Part of Radio 3's Northern Lights season.

    Northern Lights: The North Pole20180101

    Texts and music related to the North Pole. Readers: Olivia Williams and Charles Edwards.

    Nostalgia20170514

    Texts and music on the theme of nostalgia, with readings by Samantha Bond and Scott Handy.

    O Albion20170528

    Texts and music on the theme of England, with readings by Meera Syal and Philip Franks.

    How could you resist the temptation of "a full English " with Meera Syal and Philip Franks? The star of Goodness Gracious Me joins forces with the narrator of The Rocky Horror show to explore the meaning of England and Englishness to a score provided by Thomas Ades, Edward Elgar, Cornershop, William Byrd, Fairport Convention, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Purcell amongst others.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    O Albion20171221

    Texts and music on the theme of England, with readings by Meera Syal and Philip Franks.

    How could you resist the temptation of "a full English" with Meera Syal and Philip Franks? The star of Goodness Gracious Me joins forces with the narrator of The Rocky Horror Show to explore the meaning of England and Englishness to a score provided by Thomas Adès, Edward Elgar, Cornershop, William Byrd, Fairport Convention, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Purcell amongst others.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Obsession20110724

    "Obsession requires a commendable mental agility", according to Nick Hornby and this edition of Words and Music wrestles with ideas that inexorably take hold of the brain. Readers are Olivia Colman and Toby Stephens.

    There is nothing more absorbing than being in the throes of love, and the more unrequited it is, the more obsessive the lover becomes - from the ide fixe of Berlioz, in his almost gothic passion for Harriet Smithson, to the hormone-fuelled obsession with the teen idol, as suffered by the young Allison Pearson.

    But this passion can disintegrate into something more sinister, and so enter the stalker, courtesy of Ian McEwan and The Police, and the narcissist, taken to fantastical extreme in The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

    And there are those whose minds work in a way they struggle to control - Dr Johnson may have had a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, there is the hoarder, the hypochondriac, and the keeper and interpreter of minutiae, like Nick Hornby's football obsessive.

    And finally the all-absorbing, all-encompassing epic grand passion, the inability to concentrate on anything else - Ahab's quest for the white whale, and the Arthurian knight's mission to find the Holy Grail.

    Music from jazz, pop, rock and classical, including Cole Porter's rather unsettling (in this context) "Night and Day", the romanticism of Schubert, Berlioz and Wagner, and the joyous piling up of insistent ostinati by Herbie Hancock.

    Texts and music on the theme of obsession. Readings by Olivia Colman and Toby Stephens.

    "Obsession requires a commendable mental agility", according to Nick Hornby and this edition of Words and Music wrestles with ideas that inexorably take hold of the brain.

    Readers are Olivia Colman and Toby Stephens.

    Texts and music on the theme of obsession.

    Readings by Olivia Colman and Toby Stephens.

    Ode To Autumn *20080921

    A sequence of music interspersed with readings of poetry and prose on the theme of autumn.

    Nicholas Farrell and Rachel Atkins read works by Robert Frost, Yeats, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Yeats and Ted Hughes.

    With music by Vaughan Williams, Vivaldi, Mahler, Charlie Parker, Piazzolla and Haydn.

    Nicholas Farrell and Rachel Atkins read works by Robert Frost, Yeats, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Yeats and Ted Hughes. With music by Vaughan Williams, Vivaldi, Mahler, Charlie Parker, Piazzolla and Haydn.

    Ode To Gaia2007040120080113

    Sian Thomas and Jamie Glover read poetry and prose on a theme of the state of the planet, including work by Ted Hughes, W H Auden, John Clare, Alice Oswald, Rachel Carson and Philip Larkin.

    With music inspired by our landscape by Peter Maxwell Davies, John Cage and Mahler.

    On The Edge20170129

    Words and Music exploring the idea of on the edge, writing and musical marginalia and tension. From birth to death, the seashore to the cliff, precipices and sleep, beginnings and endings, roadsides and corners, featuring artists as diverse as Wagner, Kafka, Ligeti, Ballard

    With David Threlfall and Alexandra Gilbreath

    Producer: Luke Mulhall.

    On The Road2014081020150524 (R3)

    Head out on the highway with Jack Lowden who won an Olivier for his part in Ibsen's Ghosts and Anna Madeley, the star of Yael Farber's production of The Crucible at the Old Vic. They'll be exploring the code of the road with Frost, Cummings, Nabokov, Schubert, Adams and Van Morrison -- so it promises to be a wild ride... just strap on your leathers and prepare for adventure and whatever comes your way.

    Producer: Zahid Warley

    First broadcast 10/08/2014.

    Head out on the highway as award winning actor Jack Lowden explores the code of the road. Frost, Cummings, Nabokov, Schubert, Adams and Van Morrison are all part of the gang so it promises to be a wild ride... just strap on your leathers and prepare for adventure and whatever comes your way.

    Once Upon A Time...20160508

    Once upon a time, quite recently, two of Britain's leading actors read a selection of fairy tales and fairy tale-inspired poetry and prose. Join Jim Broadbent and Helen McCrory as they enter a deep, dark forest of texts: some funny and irreverent, others creepy and sinister.

    Along the way they find not only Charles Perrault and a pair of Grimm brothers, but also the likes of Roald Dahl and Carol Ann Duffy, Angela Carter and Italo Calvino. Stay close to Jim and Helen! Because over there it looks like a scary bit of Freudian analysis is going to jump out and make you feel a bit queasy. And what's that you hear? Yes, it's music by Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, and Steve Reich, among others...

    David Papp (producer).

    Once Upon A Time...20171227

    Texts and music about fairy tales, with readings by Jim Broadbent and Helen McCrory.

    Once upon a time, quite recently, two of Britain's leading actors read a selection of fairy tales and fairy tale-inspired poetry and prose. Join Jim Broadbent and Helen McCrory as they enter a deep, dark forest of texts: some funny and irreverent, others creepy and sinister.

    Along the way they find not only Charles Perrault and a pair of Grimm brothers, but also the likes of Roald Dahl and Carol Ann Duffy, Angela Carter and Italo Calvino. Stay close to Jim and Helen! Because over there it looks like a scary bit of Freudian analysis is going to jump out and make you feel a bit queasy. And what's that you hear? Yes, it's music by Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, and Steve Reich, among others...

    David Papp (producer).

    Outbreak20140622

    Words and music from around Europe at the start of World War I read by Emma Fielding and Harry Hadden-Paton. With words by Edward Thomas, Stefan Zweig, Edmund Blunden, Winston Churchill, Katherine Mansfield, Anna Akhmatova and Rupert Brooke and music by Vaughan Willliams, Berg, Debussy, Zemlinsky, Koechlin, Elgar and the recruiting songs which encouraged men to join up for the Front.

    Part of Radio 3's WWI season, Music in the Great War.

    Partition20170820

    A sequence of music and readings about the Partition of India and its legacy.

    August 1947 - just seventy years ago - and Britain grants independence to India but at the same time splits its dominion to create Pakistan. The actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, whose own family was caught up in the turmoil, joins Ayesha Dharker in a programme that traces the emotional and psychological cost of Partition. There are readings from the work of Intizar Husain, Saadat Hasan Manto, Kushwant Singh, Amrita Pritam and Anita Desai, amongst others, and music that reflects the turbulence - whether it's a rallying cry, a lament, the sound of stunned incredulity or simply strangulated laughter in the face of bureaucratic insanity.

    Partition deepens religious divisions on the subcontinent. Twelve million people are displaced and are forced to find new homes in the new states. Sickness and starvation claim many on the road; many more die in sectarian violence. Some historians put the death toll as high as two million. It's a huge political earthquake in the life of southern Asia and the aftershock is still being felt today.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Party!2013122920141214 (R3)

    With the festive season well under way, actors David Neilson and Naomi Bentley read poetry and prose on a party theme. Music includes Verdi, Fats Waller and Fred Astaire.

    Passing The Time Of Day2014011220161222 (R3)

    Today's Words and Music takes the duration of a day as its theme, with different times pinpointed as a snapshot into characters' literary lives. So Ralph from Stephen King's Insomnia is woken by birdsong at 5.15, Elizabeth Bennett takes an ill-advised early morning walk, and Jerome K Jerome's 3 Men have enormous trouble finding the 11.05 to Kingston. A big furry, stripy tiger unexpectedly comes to tea, and Henry James celebrates the agreeable time between mid-afternoon and dusk. By seven o'clock the evening is in full swing with a lavish party over at Jay Gatsby's, while Louisa May Alcott's Little Women are too distressed to go to bed. There is poetry too, with Rossetti's Silent Noon, Emma Saiko's evocative poem about waking from an afternoon nap, and a teacher in DH Lawrence's poem Last Lesson of the Afternoon who can't wait for the bell to ring. TS Eliot depicts dusk in his Preludes, and Dorothy Aldis' narrator quietly sets the supper table for her family.

    The music also highlights different times of day, beginning with a dawn chorus from Janequin, and Strauss's Morning Papers. Bach's Coffee Cantata for mid-morning, and Arnold's Day Dreams for after lunch. The evening section features Strauss's Der Abend, Harbison's Remembering Gatsby and Purcell's One charming night from The Fairy Queen. The programme ends with Bridge's setting of Shakespeare's 43rd sonnet, which suggests that sometimes you can see most clearly when you are asleep. Extracts are read by Sally Phillips and Jonathan Keeble.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Passion Play20150405

    On Easter Sunday the actors Houda Echouafni and Patrick O'Kane explore the story of the Passion with music by Bach, Ferguson, Part, Handel and words from the King James Bible, A. E. Housman and Philip Pullman amongst others.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Pastiche, Parody And Passing Off20150412

    Nothing is quite what it seems in this edition of Words and Music. We have authors and composers imitating the style of others as affectionate tribute or humorous parody. We have new music written to sound like old music. We have imitation as a plot device, where characters in novels or operas pretend to be something, or someone, they are not. And we have out-and-out fakery. Extracts are read by a variety of actors including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Alan Rickman and Rex Harrison. Or are they really Debra Stephenson and John Sessions?

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Perchance To Dream2012123020160124 (R3)

    Freud argued that dreams could be interpreted, and for many literary characters, such as Winston in 1984 and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina the dream is used as a device to reveal the character's true or subconscious feelings. Nightmares are also well represented, with chilling passages from Moby-Dick and Wuthering Heights. There are also aspirational dreams from real people such as Churchill and George Mallory, and literary figures; Jude the Obscure is desperate to escape his miserable life through learning, while Rebecca Sharp sees a rich husband as her salvation. Prophetic and opium-induced dreams also feature, alongside music by Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Stravinsky and Handel. Extracts are read by Sophie Thompson and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

    Producer - Ellie Mant.

    Perfection2012042220120908

    Physical beauty is the ultimate expression of human perfection. In geometry, the circle is, according to Aristotle, 'the perfect, first, most beautiful form'. This week's Words and Music goes in pursuit of perfection - an often elusive intangible concept for many writers and musicians. It can be an unattainable state, ending only in disappointment and failure. But there is still hope, for comfort can be found in the simplicity and stability of its sibling, imperfection.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of perfection.

    Physical beauty is the ultimate expression of human perfection. In geometry, the circle is, according to Aristotle, 'the perfect, first, most beautiful form'. This week's Words and Music goes in pursuit of perfection - an often elusive intangible concept for many writers and musicians. It can be an unattainable state, ending only in disappointment and failure. But there is still hope, for comfort can be found in the simplicity and stability of its sibling, imperfection. With readings by Helen Baxendale and David Schofield.

    Producer: Gavin Heard

    First broadcast in April 2012.

    Texts and music on the theme of perfection. Readers: Helen Baxendale and David Schofield.

    Piano20121014

    Season on the BBC.

    Louise Jameson and Joshua Richards with poetry, prose and music celebrating the piano.

    The piano inspires a kaleidoscope of musical styles, but packs an emotional punch as well. Join actors Louise Jameson and Joshua Richards for poetry and prose that celebrates love, loss, nostalgia, grim determination and joy, all inspired by the piano. With music to match, of course.

    Pilgrimage20160828

    Robert Powell and Josette Simon with an anthology of words with music reflecting the spirit and idea of pilgrimage through the ages, from Canterbury to Graceland.

    Programme Catalogue - Details: 02 October 199019901002

    BBC Programme Number: 90BG3406

    Recorded on 1990-09-25

    Producer: R. ABBOTT

    Next in series: 03 October 1990

    Previous in series: PROG 1

    See more WORDS AND MUSIC programmes (13)

    Broadcast history

    02 Oct 1990 23:30-00:00 (RADIO 4)

    14 May 1991 23:00-23:30 (RADIO 4)

    Programme Catalogue - Details: 03 October 199019901003

    BBC Programme Number: 90BG3407

    Recorded on 1990-09-28

    Producer: R. ABBOTT

    Next in series: PROG 4

    Previous in series: 02 October 1990

    See more WORDS AND MUSIC programmes (13)

    Broadcast history

    03 Oct 1990 23:30-00:00 (RADIO 4)

    21 May 1991 23:00-23:30 (RADIO 4)

    Programme Catalogue - Details: Prog 119901001

    BBC Programme Number: 90BG3405

    Recorded on 1990-09-25

    Producer: R. ABBOTT

    Next in series: 02 October 1990

    Previous in series: SOUND ARCHIVE

    See more WORDS AND MUSIC programmes (13)

    Broadcast history

    01 Oct 1990 23:30-00:00 (RADIO 4)

    07 May 1991 23:00-23:30 (RADIO 4)

    Programme Catalogue - Details: Prog 419901004

    BBC Programme Number: 90BG3408

    Recorded on 1990-10-02

    Producer: R. ABBOTT

    Next in series: CULTS AND CLASSICS

    Previous in series: 03 October 1990

    See more WORDS AND MUSIC programmes (13)

    Broadcast history

    04 Oct 1990 23:30-00:00 (RADIO 4)

    28 May 1991 23:00-23:30 (RADIO 4)

    Programme Catalogue - Station

    Radio 4

    Purcell Weekend - Years Of Wonders20090322
    Purcell Weekend - Years Of Wonders *20090322

    Juliet Stevenson and Kenneth Cranham read prose and poetry describing the momentous times that the composer Henry Purcell would have witnessed.

    He was a baby at the Restoration of Charles II to the throne, but would have known the Great Plague and Great Fire of London.

    In adulthood, he would have seen both the accession and the forced abdication of James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as well as the coronation of James's daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange.

    Readings include excerpts from Pepys, Evelyn, Dryden, Aphra Behn and Defoe, while the music includes Purcell and his contemporaries alongside works from the 20th century.

    A programme of words and music spanning the turbulent period of Purcell's lifetime.

    Quest2013041420140803

    Dragons, damsels, storms and the terrors of the Underworld confront the hero on his journey in this edition of Words and Music on the theme of Quest.

    Jasper Britton and Imogen Stubbs read poetry and prose ranging from Homer, Malory and Tennyson to TH White, L Frank Baum and UA Fanthorpe, with music by Monteverdi, Purcell, Bartok, Dvorák, Richard Strauss, Birtwistle and Arvo Pärt.

    First broadcast 14 April 2013

    Producer Philippa Ritchie.

    Radio 3 Presenters20090719

    As part of the BBC Poetry Season, a selection of poems recommended by BBC Radio 3 presenters.

    Including work by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Keats, W H Auden, Emily Dickinson, Edna St Vincent Millay and Maya Angelou, and music by Bach, Shostakovich, Nina Simone, Schubert, Martinu and Yasmin Levy.

    The choices include Jez Nelson on Langston Hughes's The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Rob Cowan on I Could Not Stop by Emily Dickinson, Fiona Talkington on Sonnet XLVII by Edna St Vincent Millay and Stephen Johnson on September 1, 1939 by W H Auden.

    The readers are Tamsin Greig and Alex Jennings.

    As part of the BBC Poetry Season, poems and music chosen by BBC Radio 3 presenters.

    Rain2012071520131013

    The rainstorm is an invitation to pause and step outside the normal stream of everyday time and to reflect or remember; for some an irritant, for others an opportunity and for others a reminder of the power of nature or God and the impotence of man.

    In this edition of Words and Music Tim McMullan and Emily Taaffe read poems and prose by John Clare, Thomas Hardy and Emily Dickinson with music from Sibelius, Finzi and Debussy.

    Producer: Natalie Steed.

    Texts and music on the theme of rain, with readings by Tim McMullan and Emily Taaffe.

    Rain: poems read by Tim McMullan and Emily Taaffe music from Sibelius, Finzi and Debussy.

    Poems read by Tim McMullan and Emily Taaffe. Music from Berlioz, Finzi and Debussy.

    Reach For The Sky20140309

    Mankind's yearning to fly, from the myth of Icarus to the pioneering astronauts of the twentieth century, reflected in poetry and prose by Da Vinci, Yeats and Carl Sagan, and in music by Vaughan Williams, Weill, Ives and Barber. Readings are by Kate Fleetwood and Will Howard.

    Reach For The Sky20171126

    Texts and music about mankind's yearning to fly. Readers: Kate Fleetwood and Will Howard.

    Recipes20140831

    Texts and music about food and drink, with readings by Ben Miles and Emily Joyce.

    A celebration of all things culinary and mixological, from an ancient recipe for chocolate to James Bond's iconic 'Vesper' Martini. Texts come from Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and Fannie Flagg, while music includes morsels by Martinu, Bernstein and Rodrigo. Recipes, factual and fictional, basic and outlandish, read by Ben Miles and Emily Joyce.

    Reconciliation20110731

    In our personal lives or on the world stage, reconciliation is an essential part of humankind's co-existence and civility.

    It can sometimes be a painful process, admitting our mistakes or failings, but it can also be a moment of celebration where we achieve redemption and forgiveness; where we can put the past behind us and move forward with great hope and optimism.

    Actors Harriet Walter and Oliver Dimsdale read poetry by John Donne, Peter Porter and Elizabeth Jennings, with music by Tchaikovsky, John Adams and Nick Cave.

    Texts and music related to reconciliation.

    Readings by Harriet Walter and Oliver Dimsdale.

    In our personal lives or on the world stage, reconciliation is an essential part of humankind's co-existence and civility. It can sometimes be a painful process, admitting our mistakes or failings, but it can also be a moment of celebration where we achieve redemption and forgiveness; where we can put the past behind us and move forward with great hope and optimism. Actors Harriet Walter and Oliver Dimsdale read poetry by John Donne, Peter Porter and Elizabeth Jennings, with music by Tchaikovsky, John Adams and Nick Cave.

    Texts and music related to reconciliation. Readings by Harriet Walter and Oliver Dimsdale.

    Remembrance2014110920161113 (R3)

    Remembering those who died in war over the last century including poetry by Seamus Heaney, Vera Brittain, Owen Sheers, Rupert Brooke, Michael Longley, Primo Levi and Margaret Postgate Cole and music by Ravel, Holst and John Adams. The readers are Simon Russell Beale and Hattie Morahan.-.

    Remembering those who died in war over the last century including poetry by Seamus Heaney, Vera Brittain, Owen Sheers, Rupert Brooke, Michael Longley, Primo Levi and Margaret Postgate Cole and music by Ravel, George Butterworth and Samuel Barber. The readers are Simon Russell Beale and Hattie Morahan.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Retail Therapy2012111820151221 (R3)

    Poetry and prose exploring all aspects of shopping and trade, read by Phil Davis (Whitechapel/Silk) and Raquel Cassidy (Lead Balloon/Teachers). From Madame Bovary's compulsive spending and The Mayor of Casterbridge selling his wife to the betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver and Charlie Bucket's life changing purchase of that golden ticket lined Whipple-Scrumptious Fudge-Mallow Delight.

    Revenge20121125

    This week's edition of Words and Music satiates itself on the cold dish of revenge. It's an act of passion meted out on our foes, ourselves, love, old age, the sun....So many subjects have been the focus of humankind's ire. Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus opens the programme with a threat to the foul offender who shall quake at the feet of revenge. And we hear music composed for some of literature's most famous revenge scenes: Romeo's revenge on Tybalt for murdering Mercutio; Diana's revenge upon Actaeon for espying her naked; or the chilling revenge of the Pied Piper upon the citizens of Hamelin. With music by Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Janacek; and words by Carol Ann Duffy, Ted Hughes and Charles Dickens. The readers and Samantha Bond and Kenneth Cranham.

    Producer: Gavin Heard.

    Richard Wagner: Transformations And Transfigurations2013051920131208

    The much loved actors Juliet Stevenson and Michael Pennington present a selection of prose and poetry combined with music, evoking the spirit and art of Richard Wagner.

    As part of BBC Radio 3's bicentennial celebrations of the birth of Richard Wagner, this edition of Words and Music does homage to one of the most outstanding of all Romantic composers - the man, it is claimed, who stands alongside Jesus Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte as having inspired more printed words than anyone else.

    Transformations and transfigurations; music , memory and myth emerge through the poetry and prose of the "Nibelungenlied"; the works of Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarmé, and Gabriele D'Annunzio; the programme finds the "Wagnerian" in the writings of TS Eliot, DH Lawrence and Oscar Wilde; and gathers homages, portraits and reposts to the "Master" in the words of those who knew him, including Wagner's "Parsifal muse", Judith Gautier; the philosopher Freiderich Nietzsche; and Wagner's wife, Cosima. Each verbal leitmotif is sheathed in the Wagnerian glories that are Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, The Mastersingers and The Ring.

    Transformations and transfigurations; music , memory and myth emerge through the poetry and prose of the "Nibelungenlied"; the works of Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarmé, and Gabriele D'Annunzio; the programme finds the "Wagnerian" in the writings of TS Eliot, DH Lawrence and Oscar Wilde; and gathers homages, portraits and reposts to the "Master" in the words of those who knew him, including Wagner's "Parsifal muse", Judith Gautier; the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; and Wagner's wife, Cosima. Each verbal leitmotif is sheathed in the Wagnerian glories that are Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, The Mastersingers and The Ring.

    Rooms2014122820160327 (R3)

    Poetry, prose and music on the theme of rooms - from ballrooms to bedrooms, from Beethoven to the Beach Boys and from Dylan Thomas to Roald Dahl and the voices of Amanda Root and Nicholas Farrell.

    Route Nationale20100815

    A journey around provincial France, as Jonathan Firth and Haydn Gwynne read poetry and prose by Paul Verlaine, Gillaume Apollinaire, Elizabeth David and Peter Mayle, with accompanying music by Debussy, Berlioz, Chausson, Josephine Baker and Charles Trenet.

    Producer: Lisa Davis.

    Music and poetry set in provincial France.

    Readings by Jonathan Firth and Haydn Gwynne

    Music and poetry set in provincial France. Readings by Jonathan Firth and Haydn Gwynne.

    Ruins20140223

    The actors Kenneth Cranham and Joanna David contemplate ruins in texts from anonymous Anglo-Saxon verse, telling of the ruined city of Aquae Sulis, which is most probably Bath, to the ruins of Empire, as vividly portrayed by Derek Walcott. They also reflect on the ruins of ancient lands like Egypt, romantic sham ruins, human ruins and ruined minds. This edition of Words and Music includes texts by Walter de la Mare to Philip Roth and Wordsworth to Rilke, and music reconstructed from ancient Rome, Rachmaninov and Kurtag.

    Rule-breaking20151115

    Joseph Millson and Naomi Frederick are the readers in this edition of Words and Music on the theme of rule-breaking, curated by New Generation Thinker Corin Throsby. With music by Monteverdi, Haydn, Janacek, Stravinsky and The Clash and words by Ovid, Shelley, Byron and Roald Dahl.

    Rules And How To Break Them20151108

    From St Mary's Church in Gateshead, a special live edition of Words and Music as part of this year's Free Thinking Festival on the theme 'Tearing Up The Rule Book'. Patricia Hodge and Stephen Tompkinson read texts and poetry about Rules and How to Break Them, accompanied by live music from members of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, choir Voices of Hope, and pianist John Reid.

    There are literary characters who railed against the rules, such as Winston in Orwell's 1984, and the unfortunate boys in Golding's Lord of the Flies, real life people like Charles Darwin and Emmeline Pankhurst who dared to challenge the status quo, and writers who broke the rules with their writing style or content. Musically there has been a long tradition of rule-breakers, from Byrd and Shostakovich using their music to subvert religious or political laws, to innovators such as Beethoven, Schoenberg and John Cage who changed the musical direction for all who followed them.

    Russia After The Revolution20171105

    A sequence of readings and music from Russia spanning the century since the Revolution.

    A sequence of readings and music from Russia in the century since the revolution, ranging from writings banned in the early Soviet years (Bulgakov's surreal novel The Master and Marguerita) to the futuristic post-Soviet writing of Vladimir Sorokin. Music includes the two titans of the Stalin era, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, as well as the polystylistic blendings of light and serious music by Alfred Schnittke.
    Readings by Henry Goodman and Dolya Gavanski.

    Part of Radio 3's season Breaking Free: A Century of Russian Culture.

    Russian Dreams2007052020090830

    A journey to Russia, as imagined by poets and musicians: natives, exiles and foreigners.

    Music by French composer Tournemire conjures up the bells of Moscow, while verses by Marina Tsvetaeva give a Russian literary slant on the same subject.

    Stravinsky depicts his homeland from the perspective of both resident and emigre, one in an unabashedly Russian vein, the other unmistakably coloured by his exposure to American jazz.

    Including poems by Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Lermontov and Osip Mandelstam, and music by Borodin, John Field and Schnittke.

    Readings by Andrew Sachs and Siobhan Redmond.

    Including poems by Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Lermontov and Osip Mandelstam, and music by Borodin, John Field and Benny Goodman

    Russian Dreams

    Music by French composer Tournemire conjures up the bells of Moscow, while verses by Marina Tsvetaeva give a Russian literary slant on the same subject. Stravinsky depicts his homeland from the perspective of both resident and emigre, one in an unabashedly Russian vein, the other unmistakably coloured by his exposure to American jazz.

    Including poems by Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Lermontov and Osip Mandelstam, and music by Borodin, John Field and Benny Goodman. Readings by Andrew Sachs and Siobhan Redmond.

    Saints And Sinners20150215

    Words and music on saints and sinners. With readings by Jonathan Pryce and Jenny Agutter from Shakespeare, Dickens, TS Eliot and Tennyson, and music from Poulenc and Schoenberg.

    This edition is about actual saints - such as St Simeon Stylites and St Joan, and about the saintly - such as Amy Dorrit from Dickens' novel who selflessly looks after her father.

    We hear about the fall of Th' infernal Serpent from Heaven in Milton's Paradise Lost, whilst one devil writes to another in one of CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters. There's a reading of the poem about sin that inspired Schoenberg's music of the same name, Verklärte Nacht.

    And there's music from the final scene of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, when the nuns go to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

    Saints and Sinners20171228

    Texts and music focusing on saints and sinners. Readers: Jonathan Pryce and Jenny Agutter.

    Words and music on saints and sinners. With readings by Jonathan Pryce and Jenny Agutter from Shakespeare, Dickens, TS Eliot and Tennyson, and music from Poulenc and Schoenberg.

    This edition is about actual saints - such as St Simeon Stylites and St Joan, and about the saintly - such as Amy Dorrit from Dickens' novel who selflessly looks after her father.

    We hear about the fall of Th' infernal Serpent from Heaven in Milton's Paradise Lost, whilst one devil writes to another in one of CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters. There's a reading of the poem about sin that inspired Schoenberg's music of the same name, Verklärte Nacht.

    And there's music from the final scene of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, when the nuns go to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

    Say, What Shall We Dance? *2007041520080316

    To tie in with the Sunday Feature on Akram Khan, Words and Music is an uninterrupted sequence of music, poetry and prose on the theme of dance.

    Including works by Thomas Moore, Laurence Binyon, Rainer Maria Rilke, Philip Larkin, Roger Mcgough and Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe and music by Johann Strauss, Claude Debussy, Louis Andriessen and Benjamin Britten

    Say, What Shall We Dance?

    Scotland2010022820101017

    This week's Words and Music explores Scottish landscape and history.

    Jimmy Yuill and Stella Gonet read poems and prose by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sorley MacLean, Edwin Muir, Muriel Spark, John Burnside, Jackie Kay and Robert Crawford.

    The music reflects Scotland's rich heritage with work from Scottish composers and musicians including James MacMillan, Judith Weir, Tommy Smith, Thea Musgrave, Aly Bain and Jean Redpath as well as from the many composers like Peter Maxwell Davies and Max Bruch who have been inspired by Scotland.

    Poetry, prose and music on a Scottish theme.

    The readers are Jimmy Yuill and Stella Gonet.

    Poetry, prose and music on a Scottish theme. The readers are Jimmy Yuill and Stella Gonet.

    This week's Words and Music explores Scottish landscape and history. Jimmy Yuill and Stella Gonet read poems and prose by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sorley MacLean, Edwin Muir, Muriel Spark, John Burnside, Jackie Kay and Robert Crawford. The music reflects Scotland's rich heritage with work from Scottish composers and musicians including James MacMillan, Judith Weir, Tommy Smith, Thea Musgrave, Aly Bain and Jean Redpath as well as from the many composers like Peter Maxwell Davies and Max Bruch who have been inspired by Scotland.

    Self-improvement20110501

    Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen explore through poetry and prose a subject that has exercised some of the greatest minds of all time: self-improvement. What is the value of seeking out knowledge, physical improvement and enlightenment through self-teaching and motivation? With words of wisdom from a variety of sources across the ages including Confucius, Kant, Tennyson, Charlotte Bronte and Alan Bennett, together with music by Elgar, Clementi, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Bob Dylan.

    Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen in readings on the subject of self-improvement.

    Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen explore through poetry and prose a subject that has exercised some of the greatest minds of all time: self-improvement.

    What is the value of seeking out knowledge, physical improvement and enlightenment through self-teaching and motivation? With words of wisdom from a variety of sources across the ages including Confucius, Kant, Tennyson, Charlotte Bronte and Alan Bennett, together with music by Elgar, Clementi, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Bob Dylan.

    Serpentine20160417

    Poems, prose and music about snakes - real, mythological and metaphorical. With readings by Tracy-Ann Oberman and Ewan Bailey.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Serpentine20171219

    Texts and music on the theme of snakes. Readers: Tracy-Ann Oberman and Ewan Bailey.

    Seventh Heaven20080309

    The number seven is considered sacred and symbolic in many cultures around the world and it provides the theme for this programme featuring poetry, prose and verse by Shakespeare, Donne and Ginsberg as well as music from Dave Brubeck, Stockhausen, Glenn Gould and Angela Hewitt.

    Seventh Heaven

    Shakespeare And Jealousy20160423

    "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on"

    Juliet Stevenson and Tim Pigott-Smith perform readings accompanied by centuries of music inspired by one of Shakespeare's darker themes: jealousy - live from the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Other Place theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of Radio 3's Sounds of Shakespeare.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    BBC Radio 3 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a season celebrating the four centuries of music and performance that his plays and sonnets have inspired. Over the anniversary weekend, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, Radio 3 will broadcast live from a pop-up studio at the RSC's The Other Place Theatre and other historic venues across Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Shakespeare And Power2016042320160716 (R3)

    "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown".

    Actors Juliet Stevenson and Tim Pigott-Smith perform readings accompanied by centuries of music inspired by one of Shakespeare's favourite themes: the power of royalty and monarchy as a metaphor for the relationship between men and women.

    Producer: Fiona McLean

    First broadcast live from the RSC's The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 2016.

    Actors Juliet Stevenson and Tim Pigott-Smith perform readings accompanied by centuries of music inspired by one of Shakespeare's favourite themes: the power of royalty and monarchy as a metaphor for the relationship between men and women - live from the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Other Place theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    BBC Radio 3 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a season celebrating the four centuries of music and performance that his plays and sonnets have inspired. Over the anniversary weekend, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, Radio 3 will broadcast live from a pop-up studio at the RSC's The Other Place Theatre and other historic venues across Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Shakespeare And Youth20160424

    Student actors from Stratford's Shakespeare Institute perform prose and poetry on the theme of - what else? Youth! Live from Radio 3's pop-up studio at the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Other Place theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of Radio 3's Sounds of Shakespeare weekend.

    Producer: Zahid Warley

    BBC Radio 3 is marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a season celebrating the four centuries of music and performance that his plays and sonnets have inspired. Over the anniversary weekend, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, Radio 3 will broadcast live from a pop-up studio at the RSC's The Other Place Theatre and other historic venues across Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Slavery And Freedom20070325

    The poet and novelist Jackie Kay introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of slavery and freedom including work by Langston Hughes, Fred D'Aguiar, Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

    Including music inspired by slavery and freedom by Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson, Beethoven and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

    Slavery and Freedom

    The poet and novelist Jackie Kay introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of slavery and freedom including work by Langston Hughes, Fred D'Aguiar, Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Including music inspired by slavery and freedom by Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson, Beethoven and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

    Sleep20080907

    A sequence of poems and music on the theme of sleep, with readings by Lisa Dillon and Adrian Rawlins.

    The music is by Peter Warlock, Ivor Gurney, Richard Strauss and The Beatles, and the poetry is by John Keats, Margaret Atwood and Shakespeare.

    Sleep

    A sequence of poems and music on the theme of sleep, with readings by Lisa Dillon and Adrian Rawlins. The music is by Peter Warlock, Ivor Gurney, Richard Strauss and The Beatles, and the poetry is by John Keats, Margaret Atwood and Shakespeare.

    Solitude2009111520101121

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music exploring the theme of solitude, with readings by Paul Mcgann and Kirsty Besterman.

    With works from Alexandre Dumas, William Wordsworth, Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou as well as music from Bach, Delius, Strauss, Scriabin and Thelonius Monk.

    Poetry, prose and music exploring the emotion and experience of being alone.

    We shut out the hustle and bustle of the outside world and explore the emotion and experience of solitude through a sequence of poetry, prose and music.

    Readings by Paul Mcgann and Kirsty Besterman.

    With words from Alexandre Dumas, William Wordsworth, Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou and music from Bach, Delius, Strauss, Scriabin and Thelonious Monk.

    We shut out the hustle and bustle of the outside world and explore the emotion and experience of solitude through a sequence of poetry, prose and music. Readings by Paul McGann and Kirsty Besterman.

    Solo20140209

    The gap between solitude and loneliness is huge and yet puzzling. You can enjoy your own company and yet dislike being abandoned to your own devices. You can argue that we're born alone, live alone and die alone and yet we live life navigating our relations with other people. Even when we are in splendid and palpable isolation at times it feels as if there is more than one of us in the room.

    The actor Toby Jones has plotted a course that takes in the words of John Clare, Ralph Ellison, Edward Thomas, John Williams and George Herbert amongst others; musical triangulation is provided by Elliott Carter, Mozart, John Coltrane, Hildegard von Bingen, Philip Glass, Billie Holiday, Gyorgy Ligeti, Puccini and Bach - masters of the ensemble but also of the solo.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Solo20171022

    Actor Toby Jones charts the uncertain terrain between loneliness and solitude.

    The actor Toby Jones reads the words of John Clare, Ralph Ellison, Edward Thomas, John Williams and George Herbert amongst others; musical triangulation is provided by Elliott Carter, Mozart, John Coltrane, Hildegard von Bingen, Philip Glass, Billie Holiday, Gyorgy Ligeti, Puccini and Bach - masters of the ensemble but also of the solo.

    This week Toby Jones is also making his own selection of music which you can hear on Thursday night from midnight and is downloadable as The Late Junction Mixtape.

    For this Words and Music the readings explore the gap between solitude and loneliness. You can enjoy your own company and yet dislike being abandoned to your own devices. You can argue that we're born alone, live alone and die alone and yet we live life navigating our relations with other people. Even when we are in splendid and palpable isolation at times it feels as if there is more than one of us in the room.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    The gap between solitude and loneliness is huge and yet puzzling. You can enjoy your own company and yet dislike being abandoned to your own devices. You can argue that we're born alone, live alone and die alone and yet we live life navigating our relations with other people. Even when we are in splendid and palpable isolation at times it feels as if there is more than one of us in the room.

    The actor Toby Jones has plotted a course that takes in the words of John Clare, Ralph Ellison, Edward Thomas, John Williams and George Herbert amongst others; musical triangulation is provided by Elliott Carter, Mozart, John Coltrane, Hildegard von Bingen, Philip Glass, Billie Holiday, Gyorgy Ligeti, Puccini and Bach - masters of the ensemble but also of the solo.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    Song For Ireland2009062820100207

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music exploring the identity of the Irish through the landscape, with readings from Irish actors Lorcan Cranitch and Orla Charlton.

    Literature featured spans the 9th century to the present day and includes some of the best-loved Irish poets - WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, PJ Kavanagh, Derek Mahon and Paul Durcan.

    Music ranges from the pastoral idyll of Bax's Moy Mell and the chaotic Irish circus of John Cage's Roaratorio to the sound of Liam O' Flynn on Uillean pipes and young flute player Michael McGoldrick.

    Lorcan Cranitch and Orla Charlton with readings evoking the Irish landscape.

    Sons And Daughter Of The Soil20170115

    Emilia Fox and Alex Jennings with a selection of readings and music reflecting the lives of those who work the land, including poems by

    Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, Sasha Dugdale, Dylan Thomas and Virgil. Music of an agricultural nature comes from Benjamin Britten, Debussy, Duke Ellington, Scott Walker and Ivor Gurney among others.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

    Sons Of Russia2010012420110227
    20110227 (R3)

    Actors Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature.

    The tensions between generations and classes are revealed with readings from Gogol, Turgenev and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, whilst adulterous love infuses his short story The Lady with the Dog.

    Perhaps above all, why do these men have such an attachment to their Motherland? Why does the average Russian 'Ivan' place his country above everything else, even God? With music by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Schnittke.

    In the past decade, Mackenzie Crook has quickly established himself as a versatile character actor after appearing in the BBC TV comedy The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean films.

    Mackenzie reads from Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Gogol's The Government Inspector and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

    Jason Isaacs, introduced to a new generation of film lovers as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, reads passages from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and short story The Lady with the Dog, as well as extracts from Turgenev and Tolstoy.

    Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature.

    To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Anton Chekhov's birth, actors Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature.

    In early 2010 he returns to his role in the rival of acclaimed play Jerusalem in the West End.

    Actors Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature. The tensions between generations and classes are revealed with readings from Gogol, Turgenev and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, whilst adulterous love infuses his short story The Lady with the Dog. Perhaps above all, why do these men have such an attachment to their Motherland? Why does the average Russian 'Ivan' place his country above everything else, even God? With music by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Schnittke.

    In the past decade, Mackenzie Crook has quickly established himself as a versatile character actor after appearing in the BBC TV comedy The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean films. Mackenzie reads from Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Gogol's The Government Inspector and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

    Sound Frontiers: Rebirth20160925

    A live reading of poetry and prose by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister with music reflecting the renewal experienced in post war periods and the spirit of rebirth which accompanied the founding of the Third Programme and the building of the Festival Hall. The programme ranges across the centuries including poems from T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson and Ovid and music by Schubert, Benjamin Britten and Joni Mitchell on the theme of 'Rebirth'. We begin with Bach's Suite no 1 in G major with Yo-Yo Ma.

    Sound Frontiers: BBC Radio 3 live at Southbank Centre

    Celebrating 7 decades of pioneering music and culture

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Sound Frontiers: Turning Points20161002

    John Sessions and Juliet Stevenson are in Radio 3's pop-up studio at Southbank Centre to perform forward-looking prose and poetry accompanied by music to tie in with the theme of this year's London Literature Festival, which begins later this week. The selection includes Debussy, Chopin, Mozart, Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Parker, Charlie Parker, Charles Ives and PG Wodehouse.

    Sound Frontiers: BBC Radio 3 live at Southbank Centre

    Celebrating 7 decades of pioneering music and culture

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Sound Frontiers: Turning Points20171222

    John Sessions and Juliet Stevenson with forward-looking prose and poetry with music.

    John Sessions and Juliet Stevenson are in Radio 3's pop-up studio at Southbank Centre to perform forward-looking prose and poetry accompanied by music to tie in with the theme of this year's London Literature Festival, which begins later this week. The selection includes Debussy, Chopin, Mozart, Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Parker, Charlie Parker, Charles Ives and PG Wodehouse.

    Sound Frontiers: BBC Radio 3 live at Southbank Centre
    Celebrating 7 decades of pioneering music and culture

    Producer: Harry Parker.

    Sound Of Cinema: At The Movies2009122720130915

    A mixture of poetry, prose and music inspired by film.

    Space *20080511

    Miranda Richarson and Tim McMullan read works by Walt Whitman, Arthur C Clarke, Wordsworth and Craig Raine, as well as from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    With music evoking the sound of space, including Brian Eno's Apollo, Holst's The Planets and Frank Sinatra's Fly me to the Moon.

    Miranda Richarson and Tim Mcmullan read works by Walt Whitman, Arthur C Clarke, Wordsworth and Craig Raine, as well as from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Space

    Miranda Richarson and Tim McMullan read works by Walt Whitman, Arthur C Clarke, Wordsworth and Craig Raine, as well as from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. With music evoking the sound of space, including Brian Eno's Apollo, Holst's The Planets and Frank Sinatra's Fly me to the Moon.

    Speed20110904

    A hymn to speed: agitation and restlessness; frenzied, dynamic performances; and the feverish adrenaline of high-speed travel.

    'We declare,' wrote Marinetti in his Manifesto of Futurism, 'that the splendour of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.'

    With music by John Adams, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Bach; and words by Pablo Neruda, Wordsworth and Emily Dickinson, read by Maxine Peake and Andrew Scott.

    Texts and music on the theme of speed with readings by Maxine Peake and Andrew Scott.

    A hymn to speed: agitation and restlessness; frenzied, dynamic performances; and the feverish adrenaline of high-speed travel. 'We declare,' wrote Marinetti in his Manifesto of Futurism, 'that the splendour of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.'

    Sport2009031520101128

    A programme exploring the fascination for writers and composers of the world of sport, with readings by Ioan Meredith and Angela Wynter.

    Including writing on subjects from cricket and rugby to the more esoteric, such as hang-gliding and rock climbing.

    Featuring works from Ian Mcmillan to Jean Binta Breeze, interspersed with music from Henry VIII, Britten and Holst.

    Music and poems on the theme of sport read by Angela Wynter and Ioan Meredith

    Elgar loved football, Debussy composed a tennis match, and Honegger wrote a musical game of rugby.

    Poet Laureates from William Wordsworth to Wole Soyinka and Gwyneth Lewis have all turned their pen to sporting passions.

    Sports crowds in return use music and song to raise their hopes and cheer on their flagging sporting heroes, from Sunderland FC, who come out to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, to Liverpool FC's footballing anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

    Words and Music this week explores the world of sport.

    The original Greek Games had their origins in a poetic and musical tradition, and sport - the human endeavour, the triumphs and failures - continues to hold a fascination for writers and composers.

    From the obvious sporting worlds of cricket and rugby to the more esoteric, like hang gliding and rock climbing, Ioan Meredith and Angela Wynter read poetry from Ian Mcmillan to Jean Binta Breeze, with music from Ives, Ravel and Holst, the New Zealand All Blacks and Liverpool FC's triumphant Kop.

    Elgar loved football, Debussy composed a tennis match, and Honegger wrote a musical game of rugby. Poet Laureates from William Wordsworth to Wole Soyinka and Gwyneth Lewis have all turned their pen to sporting passions. Sports crowds in return use music and song to raise their hopes and cheer on their flagging sporting heroes, from Sunderland FC, who come out to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, to Liverpool FC's footballing anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

    Words and Music this week explores the world of sport. The original Greek Games had their origins in a poetic and musical tradition, and sport - the human endeavour, the triumphs and failures - continues to hold a fascination for writers and composers.

    St Cecilia20151122

    Behind today's feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, lies an extraordinary account of courage and faith. Her story is told through Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; commentary comes from Dryden, Pope, Auden and Blunden, while music is by Haydn, Finzi, Charpentier and Britten. Readers are Zoe Telford and Michael Maloney.

    Star Light, Star Bright20160731

    Texts and music on the theme of stars, with readers Lorelei King and John Paul Connolly.

    Lorelei King and John Paul Connolly are looking heavenwards, with poetry and music on the beauty, science and influence of the stars.

    Includes poetry by Keats, Whitman, Katherine Mansfield and Gerard Manley Hopkins, plus wise words from theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, and music from John Cage, Vaughan Williams, Kraftwerk and Britten, to name only a few.

    Producer Note

    This edition of Words and Music celebrates the ancient pastime, art and science of star-gazing, beginning and ending with whatever secret wish upon a star you need to make...

    The sheer vastness of the starry height is described for us by Katherine Mansfield and Gerard Manley Hopkins, accompanied by silvery starlit music from Eriks Esenvalds and a violin concerto by Oliver Davis that takes as its inspiration the NASA Voyager probe, speeding through the galaxies. And Jerry Goldsmith's expansive Star Trek theme morphs into Holst's "Venus" - we know now it's a planet, but it was known to ancient civilisations as both the morning and the evening star...

    Poetry from Louise Gluck and prose from Thomas Hardy express the feeling of human insignificance when set against the rolling night sky, as Jennifer Higdon's piano quintet "Scenes from the Poet's Dreams" races through stars, and as Robert Frost, underdog, leaps and barks with the great overdog - Canis Major.

    Walt Whitman's poetic impatience with the learned astronomer's facts and figures is understandable perhaps, but those astronomers of old, the Magi, embraced both science and theology in their quest for the Star of Bethlehem. And staying with the theology for a while, Mary was commonly known as Our Lady, Star of the Sea in medieval times - a symbol of hope and guidance.

    But back to the science - Philip Glass wrote his piece "Orion" as an evening-long piece for the 2004 Athens Olympics, as the constellation is visible from both hemispheres. We hear part of "Australia", complete with didgeridoo, accompanying Sir Patrick Moore with a brief excerpt from "The Sky at Night" in which he runs through part of his own "Caldwell Catalogue" of star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman has no objection, as you might expect, to speaking of the wondrous science of astronomy, and we have an... unexpected contribution from Professor Stephen Hawking as well. The words in the electro-pop offering from Kraftwerk tell us that "From the deeps of space radio stars are transmitting pulsars and quasars". Christine Paice's poem "A star against the eye" was written for National Science Week 2010 - "Science Made Marvellous".

    A change of pace next with music by William Herschel, who not only was a composer of numerous symphonies, sonatas and concertos but was also Court Astronomer to George III and the discoverer of the planet Uranus. I have also included part of "Atlas eclipticalis" by John Cage, a piece of music that is made by superimposing musical staves over star charts, He writes that the piece is "a heavenly illustration of nirvana," and a performance "should be like looking into the sky on a clear night and seeing the stars."

    We can't ignore the effects of stars on lovers, courtesy of Shakespeare, Keats and Puccini's aria from Tosca, whereas the hope or perhaps fear that the movements of the stars affects human fate is expressed by Siegfried Sassoon, Peter Grimes in Britten's opera, and in a catalogue of the stars in the zodiac in Vaughan Williams "Sons of Light".

    The programme draws towards a close with hymns to the stars of evening, and finally, against a backdrop of Terry Riley's quirky "Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector", Louis MacNeice wrestles with the mind-blowing concept that the light from the stars began its journey millennia before we were born, and that we will never see the light that is setting out on that journey right now. Easier perhaps, to wish upon a star than to comprehend one.

    Strauss 150: Strauss's Library20140608

    In this special edition of Words and Music, Charles Edwards and Pooky Quesnel delve into Richard Strauss's library and imagination. Strauss was an avid reader and, like many of his contemporaries, was extremely well versed in the writings of Goethe. He was also fascinated by the literature of Ancient Greece, modelling his operas on works by Sophocles, as in the example of Elektra.

    This edition of Words and Music weaves a Goethe strand - texts by Goethe or inspired by Goethe - with a strand on texts that Strauss used in his operatic works. There are also letters from his correspondence with his librettist Hoffmannsthal and modern poems on subjects that inspired Strauss, from the stories of Salome to Ariadne.

    Strauss loved Mozart, Wagner and Couperin. The music of these composers features alongside that of Strauss himself.

    Strauss 150: Strauss's Library

    Streetlife20140420

    Toby Jones and Mariah Gale read literature about life on the streets by Charles Dickens, James Joyce and Baudelaire, with music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Janacek and Bernstein.

    Suburbs2013071420170226 (R3)

    Emily Joyce and Philip Franks take a literary walk through the suburbs, to music by JS Bach, Philip Glass, Kaikhosru Sorabji and others.

    Suburbs sprung up in the 19th century along the rail routes that led out of rapidly growing cities like London and the major industrial centres. Suburbs now cover large swathes of our post-industrial landscape and have led to a particular culture which has evolved from the daily commute to work.

    This edition of Words and Music wanders through suburbs, from those dark industrial places of Dickens's times to the uniform towns experienced by Hanif Kureishi and Adrian Henri. Suburbs provide a peaceful haven at the end of the working day, a near-rural setting, a nice place in which to grow up, in which to learn certain morals, but also a place of ennui, monotony and rebellion. The programme includes texts from Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop, Hanif Kureishi's Buddha of Suburbia, and poems by John Betjeman, DH Lawrence, William Cowper, Emerson, Tennyson, Arthur Guiterman, Gwen Harwood, Aesop, Margaret Atwood, Hardy, Kipling, TS Eliot, John Davidson, EE Cummings and Adrian Henri.

    Such Sweet Sadness20170618

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music, with readings by Siobhan Redmond and Harry Anton.

    With readings from the actors Siobhan Redmond and Harry Anton - today's programme features the music of Schumann, Strauss, Brahms and Stozel, Paul Clayton and the Modern Jazz Quartet plus prose from A A Milne to Henry James, from Shakespeare to Guy de Maupassant, plus Robert Burns, Oscar Wilde, James Thompson and Charlotte Smith.

    The voice of the nightingale and the lonely impulse of delight, embroidered with the sentimental and sublime, for lovers young and lovers old and those who sigh as they smile and look to die upon a kiss.

    Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

    Summer Nights20160814

    Poetry, prose and music exploring summer nights including work by Shakespeare, Carol Ann Duffy, John Clare, Delius, Prokofiev and Elvis Costello.

    Summer Sports20150628

    Words and Music enjoys the British summer sporting calendar from the optimism of April and the Grand National through the three-jerseyed days of the early cricket season into the warmth of Wimbledon, the heat of the British Open Golf and the elegance of Henley to the first rough encounters of the Rugby season. The readers are Robert Powell and Pippa Bennett-Warner

    Music from Warlock, Weber, Carl Davis and William Alwyn blends with the sometimes surprising words of Shakespeare, Milton and the many writers on sport from the heyday of Edwardian endeavour to the 20th-century frivolity of PG Wodehouse and John Betjeman and on to the enthusiasms of Alison Uttley and the beautiful reflections of the very best cricket writers like Neville Cardus and all-rounder Simon Barnes, with poetry from Roger McGough and John Arlott.

    Producer: Tom Alban.

    Tailor-made2009020820101212

    What do our clothes say about us and what do we say about them? Are they, as Coco Chanel once said, a reflection of the heart or something merely contingent on the weather? This week's Words and Music, with poems and prose read by Maxine Peake and Ralf Little, is a mischievous examination of our attitudes to what we wear.

    Its an adventure in the bespoke - from Achilles' armour to Colline's overcoat with, as you might expect, the odd plunge into the mysteries of underwear and the seductions of the veil.

    There'll be compositioins by John Tavener as well as Puccini, Miles Davis and The Coasters, and the lyric poet Robert Herrick will find himself hanging snugly next to the Beat generation's Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

    Texts and music about clothing and what it means.

    Readings by Maxine Peake, Ralf Little.

    A selection of poetry, prose and music examining our attitudes to what we wear.

    Including compositions by John Tavener as well as Puccini, Miles Davis and The Coasters, as well as works from lyric poet Robert Herrick and Beat writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

    Poetry, prose and music examining our attitudes to what we wear.

    Tailor-made20101212

    What do our clothes say about us and what do we say about them? Are they, as Coco Chanel once said, a reflection of the heart or something merely contingent on the weather? This week's Words and Music, with poems and prose read by Maxine Peake and Ralf Little, is a mischievous examination of our attitudes to what we wear. Its an adventure in the bespoke - from Achilles' armour to Colline's overcoat with, as you might expect, the odd plunge into the mysteries of underwear and the seductions of the veil. There'll be compositioins by John Tavener as well as Puccini, Miles Davis and The Coasters, and the lyric poet Robert Herrick will find himself hanging snugly next to the Beat generation's Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

    Texts and music about clothing and what it means. Readings by Maxine Peake, Ralf Little.

    Take Me To The River2010050920101205

    Every Sunday evening Radio 3 brings you a sequence of music, poetry and prose on a theme, this week inspired by rivers.

    Tonight, Juliet Stevenson and Jamie Glover read poetry and prose by Wordsworth, U.A.

    Fanthorpe, Ezra Pound, John Clare and Elizabeth Jennings with music by Tippett, Delius, Duke Ellington, Gorecki and Talking Heads.

    Texts and music inspired by rivers, with readings by Juliet Stevenson and Jamie Glover

    Tonight, Juliet Stevenson and Jamie Glover read poetry and prose by Wordsworth, U.A. Fanthorpe, Ezra Pound, John Clare and Elizabeth Jennings with music by Tippett, Delius, Duke Ellington, Gorecki and Talking Heads.

    Tanglewood Jungles20160110

    From the forests of Olde England to the Tropics via good, evil and the affairs of the human heart, Anna Chancellor and Julian Rhind-Tutt read prose and poetry raised by the idea of Tanglewood Jungles

    Producer: Jacqueline Smith

    Scroll down the webpage for more information about the music used, and the Producer's Notes.

    Tears, Idle Tears20130331

    This words and music is about tears and weeping.

    Music is, famously, the art form most likely to make people cry. Tolstoy is said to have wept at Tchaikovsky's String Quartet Number 1 and Mozart himself, on his death bed, broke off writing his Requiem at the Lacrimosa to weep. That is, at least according to one source.

    Tales of great weeping are the stuff of legend. Sorrowful Niobe is so drained by her lamentations and grieving that she is transformed into a great, dry mountain and Lamia, here in Keat's version, is made monstrous by grief. Like Medea in the Greek and La Llorona, the child-eating weeping woman of Mexico, the figure of the woman so bereft she becomes terrible and terrifying is common to many stories and cultures.

    For Elizabeth Barrett Browning grief is passionless: only those with hope can weep. The melancholic protagonist in Schubert's Winterreise finds his tears are frozen despite the burning passion in his heart and Mary Barnard's cool princesses adorn themselves with reasonable tears like bright ice jewels.

    Lovers' tears lace the centuries: Desdemona remembers and sings a sad song of Willow, F Scott Fitzgerald's partygoer sails her sobs on a sea of champagne, the Anglo Saxon voice wails for her Wulf, and Julie London conjures a salt river of loss.

    The tears of children and about children can seem puzzling. Gerard Manley Hopkins and Walt Whitman imagine the crying children of their poems to be somehow unsure of the source of their tears. Whitman offers reassurance in the nightly rebirth of the planets and stars whilst Hopkins gives a glimpse of the child's future and her understanding that to be human is to weep.

    Producer: Natalie Steed.

    Temptation20130623

    Emma Fielding and Tom Goodman-Hill read poetry and prose on the theme of Temptation including Marlowe, Christina Rossetti, Yeats, Tony Harrison and Margaret Atwood, with music by Gounod, Penderecki, William Bolcom, Humperdinck and Stravinsky.

    Emma Fielding and Tom Goodman-Hill read poetry and prose on the theme of Temptation including Marlowe, Christina Rossetti, Yeats, Tony Harrison and Margaret Atwood, with music by Gounod, Penderecki, Humperdinck and Birtwistle.

    Tendrilled Avenues2011121120141231 (R3)

    "Tendrilled Avenues": poetry and prose from Pliny to Proulx celebrating and cautioning, lamenting and laughing, about humanity's complex relationship with alcohol, read by Sally Dexter and Jon Strickland.

    Pliny the Elder gives a sober judgement of wine's effects. Dickens and Lowry describe in poetic detail, the interior of two drinking establishments; Colette's heroine Claudine becomes light-headed on sparkling wine and new love. Shakespeare's Falstaff is unequivocal in his praise for "good sherris sack", while Martin Amis's John Self discovers the embarrassment of over-indulgence at a dinner party. Whalers on shore-leave caper wildly in Moby Dick; Proulx's fishing community party takes a violent turn. And DH Lawrence meditates on humanity's ancient and mysterious relationship with the "tendrilled avenues of wine and the otherworld".

    With drinking songs from Verdi, Warlock and Tom Waits, and orchestral interludes ranging from reflective to euphoric, by Ravel, Copland and Milhaud.

    A sequence of texts and music about our complex relationship with alcohol.

    Pliny the Elder gives a sober judgement of wine's effects.

    Dickens and Lowry describe in poetic detail, the interior of two drinking establishments; Colette's heroine Claudine becomes light-headed on sparkling wine and new love.

    Shakespeare's Falstaff is unequivocal in his praise for "good sherris sack", while Martin Amis's John Self discovers the embarrassment of over-indulgence at a dinner party.

    Whalers on shore-leave caper wildly in Moby Dick; Proulx's fishing community party takes a violent turn.

    And DH Lawrence meditates on humanity's ancient and mysterious relationship with the "tendrilled avenues of wine and the otherworld".

    "Tendrilled Avenues": poetry and prose from Pliny to Proulx celebrating and cautioning, lamenting and laughing, about humanity's complex relationship with alcohol, read by Sally Dexter and Jon Strickland.

    Pliny the Elder gives a sober judgement of wine's effects. Dickens and Lowry describe in poetic detail, the interior of two drinking establishments; Colette's heroine Claudine becomes light-headed on sparkling wine and new love. Shakespeare's Falstaff is unequivocal in his praise for "good sherris sack", while Martin Amis's John Self discovers the embarrassment of over-indulgence at a dinner party. Whalers on shore-leave caper wildly in Moby Dick; Proulx's fishing community party takes a violent turn. And DH Lawrence meditates on humanity's ancient and mysterious relationship with the "tendrilled avenues of wine and the otherworld".

    The 1940s20110403

    David Haig and Deborah Findlay read poetry and prose inspired by the 1940s, including work by C Day Lewis, John Betjeman, W H Auden, Dannie Abse, Simone de Beauvoir, Louis Aragon and Freya Stark, with music by Prokofiev, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Django Reinhardt and Peggy Lee.

    Producer: Lisa Davis.

    Texts and music inspired by the 1940s, with readings by David Haig and Deborah Findlay.

    The Afterlife20100829

    Sophie Okonedo and Paul Copley read poetry and prose on the theme of the Afterlife, from heaven and hell to paradise and purgatory.

    Ultimately the question of what lies beyond the grave impacts us all.shall we be reunited with lost loved ones or be able to return to those we've left behind in some ghostly form? Shall we find peace at last, eternal damnation, or worse, oblivion?

    Hamlet faces his father's ghost, Wilfred Owen's Strange Meeting tells of an encounter between two dead soldiers, and in Paradise Lost Satan considers the advantages of ruling in Hell.

    Whilst contemporary novelists Julian Barnes and Alice Seebold place their protagonists in very different versions of Heaven.

    With a mixture of accompanying music by John Mccabe, Charles Ives, Britten, Liszt, Schumann, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Gluck, Keith Jarrett and Johnny Cash.

    Texts and music on the theme of the afterlife.

    Readings by Sophie Okonedo and Paul Copley

    Sophie Okonedo and Paul Copley read poetry and prose on the theme of the Afterlife, from heaven and hell to paradise and purgatory. Ultimately the question of what lies beyond the grave impacts us all.shall we be reunited with lost loved ones or be able to return to those we've left behind in some ghostly form? Shall we find peace at last, eternal damnation, or worse, oblivion?

    Hamlet faces his father's ghost, Wilfred Owen's Strange Meeting tells of an encounter between two dead soldiers, and in Paradise Lost Satan considers the advantages of ruling in Hell. Whilst contemporary novelists Julian Barnes and Alice Seebold place their protagonists in very different versions of Heaven.

    Texts and music on the theme of the afterlife. Readings by Sophie Okonedo and Paul Copley.

    The Anatomy Of Melancholy20070930

    Janet Suzman and Heathcote Williams read poems and prose by Robert Burton, Keats, Gray, Tennyson, Owen, Plath, Dickinson and Auden on various aspects of melancholy.

    With music by Dowland, Purcell, Schubert, Schumann, Prokofiev and Britten.

    The Anatomy of Melancholy

    Janet Suzman and Heathcote Williams read poems and prose by Robert Burton, Keats, Gray, Tennyson, Owen, Plath, Dickinson and Auden on various aspects of melancholy. With music by Dowland, Purcell, Schubert, Schumann, Prokofiev and Britten.

    The Ark20090920

    The Ark *20090920

    What does the story of The Ark mean to us today? Is it a Darwinian fable about survival? Is it a prophecy of impending ecological disaster? Or is it a blunt cautionary tale for an ungodly age?However you choose to read it, the tale of Noah and his Ark has proved perennially fascinating.

    Blake and Milton jostle for space in the hold of our virtual ark with comic turns from Chaucer, Julian Barnes and Stanley Holloway amongst others, while actors Claire Skinner and Andrew Scott keep things shipshape.

    The musical animals are of the highest pedigree too - so count on hearing from Britten, Saint Saens, Bruch and Rossini.

    As a concession to modernity, you can listen to the programme on your own if you insist but if you're really going to enter into the spirit of the enterprise, you should pair off with someone else - 'two by two' was, after all, the traditional arrangement.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music focusing on the story of Noah and the Ark.

    The Art Of Forgetting20171015

    Claire Benedict and David Neilson read literary musings on forgetting and forgetfulness.

    As part of Radio 3's Why Music? The Key to Memory weekend in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection this week's Words and Music is called "The Art of Forgetting", Actors Claire Benedict (The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency) and David Neilson (Coronation Street) read literary musings on forgetting and forgetfulness. With prose and poetry from Ogden Nash, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip K Dick, Milan Kundera and others. Music includes Debussy, Purcell, Philip Glass, Villa-Lobos and Jacques Brel. The programme starts with humour and gravitates to more serious matters, exploring what an essential human quality it is to forget. The Art of Forgetting embraces the story of "S", the Russian mnemonist whose memory demonstrated no distinct limits, a lost soul who was simply unable to forget.

    The Art Of Friendship2010051620110320

    Readers Robert Lindsay and Diana Quick.

    An exploration of the art of friendship as celebrated through the ages in poetry, prose and music.

    For all the thousands of poems on love, there are distinctly fewer on what could be seen as love's neglected cousin, friendship.

    And yet friendship is as common to the human experience as love, and probably just as necessary.

    How should we make friends, keep friends, lose them...? What happens to friendships as we get older? Do men and women see friendship in the same way? What is the true nature of friendship - and is it all it's sometimes cracked up to be?

    Words from Plutarch, Sir Francis Bacon, Ogden Nash, Auden, T.S.Eliot, Dorothy L.

    Sayers, Edward Thomas and others, with music to complement the readings.

    Texts and music about the art of friendship.

    Readers are Robert Lindsay and Diana Quick.

    For all the thousands of poems on love, there are distincly fewer on what could be seen as love's neglected cousin, friendship.

    An exploration of the art of friendship as celebrated through the ages in poetry, prose and music. For all the thousands of poems on love, there are distinctly fewer on what could be seen as love's neglected cousin, friendship. And yet friendship is as common to the human experience as love, and probably just as necessary.

    Words from Plutarch, Sir Francis Bacon, Ogden Nash, Auden, T.S.Eliot, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edward Thomas and others, with music to complement the readings.

    Texts and music about the art of friendship. Readers are Robert Lindsay and Diana Quick.

    The Ascent Of Man2009021520101220

    The idea of the ‘Ascent of Man’, triggered by the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, became for me a thrilling passageway to a vast and multi-layered territory.

    After reading excerpts from his Journals and Autobiography, in particular those relating to his trip to South America –where my own roots are- a clear idea came to mind: to portray in ‘Words and Music’ the many different types of journeys he made throughout his life.

    I mean not only the voyage on board the Beagle, of course, but his other two parallel journeys: the intellectual and spiritual transformations Darwin so bravely went through as he travelled, in body, mind and spirit, in search of the origins of nature.

    The texts I’ve selected here to illustrate this three-fold journey, read by actors Henry Goodman and Jemima Rooper, include excerpts from Darwin himself, but also from some Victorian poets, contemporary of the scientist, eager to reflect the influence his innovative vision brought to their craft.

    A crucial and modern contribution to the mix though, comes in the shape of readings by Ruth Padel, a prize-winning poet and herself direct descendant of Darwin, who’s written about nature and who contributes here –the way I see it- by putting some of his famous ancestor’s concerns into today’s context.

    Her readings include excerpts from her latest book, ‘Darwin: A Life in Poems’, just published to coincide with the famous scientist’s anniversary.

    Now, music becomes another voice in this journey: the taped songs of the biggest sea mammals in Hovahaness ‘And God Created Great Whales’, or the ritual dance for the killing of a snake in Revueltas’ ‘Sensemayá’, or the subliminal message of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ -‘world out of balance’-, Philip Glass’ soundtrack inspired in the language of a native American tribe.

    They all represent nature and the world that so much excited Darwin.

    Juan Carlos Jaramillo (producer)

    Ruth Padel and Henry Goodman read prose and verse exploring the idea of the Ascent of Man.

    To mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, Ruth Padel, a poet as well as his descendant, and Henry Goodman read prose and verse exploring the idea of the Ascent of Man, based on the naturalist's work and travels around the globe.

    Padel reads her own verses recreating her ancestor's life and works, while Goodman portrays Darwin, reading texts from the scientist's journals.

    This is complemented by other poetry read by Jemima Rooper, inspired by the power of nature, including works by Victorian writers and thinkers influenced by the great naturalist.

    The idea of the ‘Ascent of Man’, triggered by the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, became for me a thrilling passageway to a vast and multi-layered territory. After reading excerpts from his Journals and Autobiography, in particular those relating to his trip to South America –where my own roots are- a clear idea came to mind: to portray in ‘Words and Music’ the many different types of journeys he made throughout his life. I mean not only the voyage on board the Beagle, of course, but his other two parallel journeys: the intellectual and spiritual transformations Darwin so bravely went through as he travelled, in body, mind and spirit, in search of the origins of nature.

    A crucial and modern contribution to the mix though, comes in the shape of readings by Ruth Padel, a prize-winning poet and herself direct descendant of Darwin, who’s written about nature and who contributes here –the way I see it- by putting some of his famous ancestor’s concerns into today’s context. Her readings include excerpts from her latest book, ‘Darwin: A Life in Poems’, just published to coincide with the famous scientist’s anniversary.

    Now, music becomes another voice in this journey: the taped songs of the biggest sea mammals in Hovahaness ‘And God Created Great Whales’, or the ritual dance for the killing of a snake in Revueltas’ ‘Sensemayá’, or the subliminal message of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ -‘world out of balance’-, Philip Glass’ soundtrack inspired in the language of a native American tribe. They all represent nature and the world that so much excited Darwin.

    The Beast Within *20070729

    Actress Fiona Shaw introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of animals, including work by Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, William Golding, Les Murray, Lewis Carroll and Paul Durcan.

    With music by Sibelius, Schumann, Schubert, John Tavener and Poulenc.

    The Beast Within

    Actress Fiona Shaw introduces a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of animals, including work by Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, William Golding, Les Murray, Lewis Carroll and Paul Durcan. With music by Sibelius, Schumann, Schubert, John Tavener and Poulenc.

    The Best Days Of Our Lives2009061420100117

    Sarah Lancashire and Paul Copley read poetry and prose about the experience of going to school. Including writings by Laurie Lee, DH Lawrence, Muriel Spark, Roger McGough and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as music by Malcolm Arnold, Frank Loesser and Alice Cooper.

    Words and Music: The Best Days of Our Lives

    Sarah Lancashire and Paul Copley read poetry and prose about the experience of going to school, including works by Laurie Lee, D.H.

    Lawrence, Muriel Spark, Roger McGough and the newly appointed Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

    There's music by Malcolm Arnold, Frank Loesser and Alice Cooper.

    Producer Helen Garrison

    Promo note

    Going to school is a rite of passage we have all shared, but the likelihood is that no two people's experiences are the same.

    For some it really was the best days of their lives, for others, just something to get through on the way to independence, and for others it is a time of real fear and physical pain.

    Many authors have written on this subject, and this week's Words and Music dips a toe into the ocean of literature available.

    Laurie Lee, Roger McGough, John Peel and the new Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy reflect on their school days, whilst D.H.

    Lawrence, Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby and Muriel Spark's Miss Jean Brodie portray life from the front of the classroom.

    Paul Copley is a familiar face to TV and a well loved voice on radio.

    Originally a trained teacher, he starred in the long running 1990s Radio 4 comedy series about a school King Street Junior".

    He and the popular TV actress

    Sarah Lancashire provide the readings, and there is music by Malcolm Arnold, Frank Loesser and Alice Cooper.

    A sequence of poetry and music focusing on the experience of going to school.

    Sarah Lancashire and Paul Copley read poetry and prose about the experience of going to school.

    Including writings by Laurie Lee, DH Lawrence, Muriel Spark, Roger Mcgough and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as music by Malcolm Arnold, Frank Loesser and Alice Cooper.

    Sarah Lancashire and Paul Copley read works about the experience of going to school."

    The Best Days Of Our Lives20100117
    The Bridge20170122

    - both an exhilarating leap in the dark and a feat of engineering. Bridges shape our world whether they're constructions thrown across a raging torrent or synaptic sparks that convert incomprehension into meaning. The latest RSC Hamlet, Paapa Essiedu and Alice St Clair, the star of William and Catherine: A Royal Romance, take us from West to East on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul; we join them on the fateful Tallahatchie Bridge; and brood on the rainbow bridge that inspired Wagner ; there's time too to peer into the Thames with Wordsworth or wonder at the spectres crossing it with T S Eliot. The path leads between light and dark, gravity and weightlessness and despair and hope.... a hair-raising but all-too-familiar balancing act!

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    The Detectives20150419

    Readings and pieces inspired by some of fiction's greatest detectives, including Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Inspector Morse

    Music includes works by Wagner, Janacek and Rimsky-Korsakov, with songs from Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan and Charles Mingus

    Extracts - from noir classics, Charles Dickens and Sara Paretsky - read by Hayley Atwell and Mark Strong.

    The Detectives20171229

    Readings and music inspired by some of fiction's greatest detectives.

    Readings and pieces inspired by some of fiction's greatest detectives, including Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Inspector Morse

    Music includes works by Wagner, Janacek and Rimsky-Korsakov, with songs from Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan and Charles Mingus

    Extracts - from noir classics, Charles Dickens and Sara Paretsky - read by Hayley Atwell and Mark Strong.

    The Doors Of Perception2010040420101222

    The unifying idea behind this edition of Words and Music is that reality is variable and personal.

    The texts, read by Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson, cover the best part of 2000 years from the Bible's Book of Revelation, to last year's "Late" by Christopher Reid.

    It's striking that, despite the various ways of coming to that reality (religion, a refined sensibility, illness, mind-altering drugs), these visions share many similarities.

    The weird animal hell-on-earth of Revelation is echoed in Thomas De Quincey's opium nightmares; Baudelaire's bedroom (while he's on a high, at least) is as perfect and intoxicating as the heavenly paradise described by the fourth-Century St Ephrem.

    Coleridge's trippy "Kubla Khan" features another Oriental paradise with hints of something disturbing but distant; Alice's mushroom has very peculiar effects.

    The experience of Julian of Norwich, alternating between ecstasy and pain, and the fevered ravings of Sylvia Plath are strangely similar; Blake sees the infinite in the small and apparently insignificant, and after a long marriage Christopher Reid still feels the presence of his dead wife.

    Funnily enough, it's Aldous Huxley with his rather too well organised mescalin experiment who stays earthbound.

    The music ranges from Bach to Zappa, by way of (among others) Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Messiaen, Crumb and Cage.

    Producer: David Papp.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music centring on altered states and visions.

    Words and Music: The Doors of Perception.

    The texts, read by Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson, cover the best part of 2000 years from the Bible's Book of Revelation, to last year's Late" by Christopher Reid.

    Coleridge's trippy "Kubla Khan" features another Oriental paradise with hints of something disturbing but distant; Alice's mushroom has very peculiar effects.

    The unifying idea behind this edition of Words and Music is that reality is variable and personal. The texts, read by Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson, cover the best part of 2000 years from the Bible's Book of Revelation, to last year's "Late" by Christopher Reid.

    It's striking that, despite the various ways of coming to that reality (religion, a refined sensibility, illness, mind-altering drugs), these visions share many similarities. The weird animal hell-on-earth of Revelation is echoed in Thomas De Quincey's opium nightmares; Baudelaire's bedroom (while he's on a high, at least) is as perfect and intoxicating as the heavenly paradise described by the fourth-Century St Ephrem. Coleridge's trippy "Kubla Khan" features another Oriental paradise with hints of something disturbing but distant; Alice's mushroom has very peculiar effects. The experience of Julian of Norwich, alternating between ecstasy and pain, and the fevered ravings of Sylvia Plath are strangely similar; Blake sees the infinite in the small and apparently insignificant, and after a long marriage Christopher Reid still feels the presence of his dead wife. Funnily enough, it's Aldous Huxley with his rather too well organised mescalin experiment who stays earthbound. The music ranges from Bach to Zappa, by way of (among others) Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Messiaen, Crumb and Cage.

    The Double2009050320090802

    The Double *2009050320090802

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music exploring the disturbing world of shadows and ghostly doubles, with readings by Janie Dee and Nicholas Farrell.

    With works by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dostoevsky, Heine, Wilde, Robert Lowell and Khalil Ghibran, interspersed with music by Bach, Boulez, Schubert and Steve Reich

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music exploring the world of ghostly doubles.

    The Ear's Delight20150926

    Tamsin Greig and Alex Jennings read texts on the power of music, from Shakespeare to PG Wodehouse, St Augustine to Proust, and Baudelaire to Nick Hornby, including music spanning ten centuries, from Hildegard of Bingen to Beethoven and beyond.

    David Papp (producer).

    The Eternal City2011082120141230 (R3)

    Sian Phillips and Peter Marinker with words and music about everyday life in Ancient Rome including texts by Pliny, Juvenal, Dickens, Henry James, Mark Twain, W.H Auden and Kipling.

    And music by Wagner, Carl Orff, Nino Rota, Stephen Sondheim, John Williams, Respighi, Allegri, Berlioz, Britten and Puccini.

    Texts and music about life in ancient Rome.

    Readers: Sian Phillips and Peter Marinker.

    Sian Phillips and Peter Marinker with words and music about everyday life in Ancient Rome including texts by Pliny, Juvenal, Dickens, Henry James, Mark Twain, W.H Auden and Kipling. And music by Wagner, Carl Orff, Nino Rota, Stephen Sondheim, John Williams, Respighi, Allegri, Berlioz, Britten and Puccini.

    Texts and music about life in ancient Rome. Readers: Sian Phillips and Peter Marinker.

    The Exotic20110828

    Words and Music on the theme of The Exotic.

    Readings by Greta Scacchi and Simon Woods.

    Distant lands full of heat, opulence and mysterious inhabitants; lost civilisations full of entrancing women and god-like warriors have provided vivid inspiration to authors and composers across the centuries.

    The Exotic has meant different things to different generations: from Shakespeare's visions of a savage island full of unnerving sights and sounds, informed by the era of exploration and brutal empire building in which he lived; to the rich visions of the romantics: Coleridge's Xanadu and Byron's Childe Harolde who wonders in landscapes described with the linguistic lushness of love poetry.

    Musical and literary experiences of exoticism are often about western artists seduced by a vision of otherness which is little more than a mirage: from Mozart's typically eighteenth century take on a Turkish harem to Kipling's colonial representations of India.

    Yet from the excitement of imagined faraway lands and people comes the lush beauty of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and the delicate orientalism of Debussy's Pagodes.

    Gustave Flaubert's entrancing Salammbô and Shakespeare's glittering Cleopatra offer visions of exotic womanhood; the goddess who commands adulation and fear in equal measure - like the distant corners of the earth from which she comes.

    Producer: Georgia Mann.

    Texts and music on the theme of the exotic.

    Words and Music on the theme of The Exotic. Readings by Greta Scacchi and Simon Woods.

    Distant lands full of heat, opulence and mysterious inhabitants; lost civilisations full of entrancing women and god-like warriors have provided vivid inspiration to authors and composers across the centuries. The Exotic has meant different things to different generations: from Shakespeare's visions of a savage island full of unnerving sights and sounds, informed by the era of exploration and brutal empire building in which he lived; to the rich visions of the romantics: Coleridge's Xanadu and Byron's Childe Harolde who wonders in landscapes described with the linguistic lushness of love poetry. Musical and literary experiences of exoticism are often about western artists seduced by a vision of otherness which is little more than a mirage: from Mozart's typically eighteenth century take on a Turkish harem to Kipling's colonial representations of India. Yet from the excitement of imagined faraway lands and people comes the lush beauty of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and the delicate orientalism of Debussy's Pagodes. Gustave Flaubert's entrancing Salammbô and Shakespeare's glittering Cleopatra offer visions of exotic womanhood; the goddess who commands adulation and fear in equal measure - like the distant corners of the earth from which she comes.

    Texts and music on the theme of the exotic. Readings by Greta Scacchi and Simon Woods.

    The Exotic20120708

    Words and Music on the theme of The Exotic. Readings by Greta Scacchi and Simon Woods.

    Distant lands full of heat, opulence and mysterious inhabitants; lost civilisations full of entrancing women and god-like warriors have provided vivid inspiration to authors and composers across the centuries. The Exotic has meant different things to different generations: from Shakespeare's visions of a savage island full of unnerving sights and sounds, informed by the era of exploration and brutal empire building in which he lived; to the rich visions of the romantics: Coleridge's Xanadu and Byron's Childe Harolde who wonders in landscapes described with the linguistic lushness of love poetry. Musical and literary experiences of exoticism are often about western artists seduced by a vision of otherness which is little more than a mirage: from Mozart's typically eighteenth century take on a Turkish harem to Kipling's colonial representations of India. Yet from the excitement of imagined faraway lands and people comes the lush beauty of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and the delicate orientalism of Debussy's Pagodes. Gustave Flaubert's entrancing Salammbô and Shakespeare's glittering Cleopatra offer visions of exotic womanhood; the goddess who commands adulation and fear in equal measure - like the distant corners of the earth from which she comes.

    Producer: Georgia Mann.

    The Faerie World2009051020091224

    A selection of poetry, prose and music on the theme of the fairy tradition, with readings by Stella Gonet and Robert Glenister.

    With works by Keats, Shelley, Charlotte Bronte, Christina Rossetti and Yeats interspersed with music by Stravinsky, Judith Weir, Schubert, Purcell and Kathryn Tickell.

    Poetry and music in the fairy tradition.

    Readings are by Stella Gonet and Robert Glenister

    Including works by Keats, Shelley, Charlotte Bronte, Christina Rossetti and Yeats interspersed with music by Stravinsky, Judith Weir, Schubert, Purcell and Kathryn Tickell.

    Readings from Stella Gonet and Robert Glenister

    The Four Temperaments2011120420140316

    Actors Joe Dunlop and Joanna Tope read a selection of poetry and prose about the four temperaments by Wordsworth, John Donne, Dylan Thomas, Milton and Chaucer with music by Dowland, Holst, Britten and Bruckner.

    Texts and music about the Four Temperaments.

    Texts and music about the Four Temperaments. Readings by Joe Dunlop and Joanna Tope.

    The Full Montaigne2012061020141019

    Jim Broadbent plays Michel de Montaigne, whose 'Essays' entertainingly ponder sex, marriage, animals, memory, and cruelty in an attempt to answer one question: 'How to live?' With music including Bach, Ligeti, Mendelssohn and Randy Newman.

    Montaigne drew on a lifetime of experience and observation, but far from inscrutable musings, the Essays are often earthy and direct - at once scatological and astute, philosophical and witty, playful and profound.

    The Essays were first published in 1580 and are positively Shakespearian, both in their range and in their humanism. Montaigne speaks as himself, directly and in clear prose, and says the most extraordinarily heretical things. Some of his arguments include the notion that human beings are on a par with the animals and that they are just a tiny part of Nature, all of which deserves equally to be respected and that death is just the end of life and it is life which is the important thing.

    In 1676 the Vatican caught up with Montaigne the best part of a century after his death when the Essays were put on its index of prohibited books, where they stayed until 1854. The Essays have been continuously available for the last four and a half centuries not only because they are engaging and entertaining but also because of the spark of self-revelation they so often generate.

    In this programme, seasoned Montaignistes will find themselves recognising an old friend, and those coming to the Essays for the first time will find a new one.

    David Papp, producer

    First broadcast June 2012.

    The Geography Of A Home2008040620090815

    Belinda Lang and David Bamber read poems on the theme of houses and homes.

    Celebrating the idea of the physical building of a home, and the lives that change within it, poetry comes from W H Auden, Philip Larkin, Robert Service and Ivor Gurney.

    Music by Sibelius, Chopin, Holst, Copland, Chris Rea and The Beatles.

    With poetry by W H Auden, Philip Larkin and Ivor Gurney interspersed with music by Sibelius, Chopin and The Beatles.

    The Geography of a Home

    Belinda Lang and David Bamber read poems on the theme of houses and homes. With poetry by WH Auden, Philip Larkin and Ivor Gurney interspersed with music by Sibelius, Chopin and The Beatles.

    The Glory Of The Garden20080831

    Anton Lesser and Frances Barber read a selection of prose and poetry, including Milton, W H Auden, excerpts from Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and Tennyson's Maud.

    The music includes Delius's In a Summer Garden, Debussy's Jardins sous la pluie and Messiaen's Jardin du sommeil d'amour from the Turangalila symphony.

    The Glory of the Garden

    Anton Lesser and Frances Barber read a selection of prose and poetry, including Milton, WH Auden, excerpts from Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and Tennyson's Maud. The music includes Delius's In a Summer Garden, Debussy's Jardins sous la pluie and Messiaen's Jardin du sommeil d'amour from the Turangalila symphony.

    The Gothic2011052220120122

    This week Words and Music takes you into the darkened, turreted recesses of The Gothic. From the surreal, macabre beginnings of the genre in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto to the tortured wanderings of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; the gothic literary world is one of dark passions and ominous thrills. Work by Coleridge and Keats shows the romantic impulse which was extended and darkened by later gothic writing, arriving in the late nineteenth century at Oscar Wilde's haunting Picture of Dorian Gray. Musically, we venture back to the 12th century with the work of Protin who composed amidst the gothic splendour of Notre Dame cathedral, as well as pieces by Bach, Berlioz, Paganini and Rachmaninov.

    A sequence of poetry, prose and music on the theme of the gothic.

    This week Words and Music takes you into the darkened, turreted recesses of The Gothic.

    From the surreal, macabre beginnings of the genre in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto to the tortured wanderings of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; the gothic literary world is one of dark passions and ominous thrills.

    Work by Coleridge and Keats shows the romantic impulse which was extended and darkened by later gothic writing, arriving in the late nineteenth century at Oscar Wilde's haunting Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Musically, we venture back to the 12th century with the work of Protin who composed amidst the gothic splendour of Notre Dame cathedral, as well as pieces by Bach, Berlioz, Paganini and Rachmaninov.

    The Great Escape20170910

    Exploring the theme of The Great Escape with Adrian Dunbar and Jade Anouka.

    Words and Music on the theme of The Great Escape with readers Adrian Dunbar and Jade Anouka. The idea of escape is explored in poetry and prose, from the terror of a monstrous battle in Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, to the thrilling Prisoner of War break-out in Paul Brickhill's novel The Great Escape. But there's also the more existential desire to escape one's gender or relationship, dealt with by the likes of Christina Rossetti, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Then there's the escape we find in sleep and eventually death, explored by Shakespeare and Yeats. Mirroring the mood of our escapees is a soundtrack which features everything from Dowland to Ligeti, Elena Kaats-Chernin to Vaughan Williams.

    The Great God Pan20150503

    An invitation to Arcadia to celebrate the god Pan in poetry and music. Haydn Gwynne and Anton Lesser read work by Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, Kenneth Grahame and Sylvia Plath. Purcell, Debussy, Delibes, Dvorak, Carl Nielsen, Lionel Monkton and Pink Floyd provide music.

    Producer: Philippa Ritchie.

    The Haunting2012031120120825

    Texts and music on the theme of haunting, with readings by Emilia Fox and Jamie Glover.

    Emilia Fox and Jamie Glover read a selection of poetry and prose exploring some of literature's most chilling supernatural hauntings - but also the idea of being haunted by a lover, the past or a place. Berlioz's 'Dies irae' from his 'Symphonie Fantastique' opens the programme - a piece haunted by the composer's vision of female perfection - followed by arguably the most famous haunted character in literary history, Shakespeare's Hamlet, reflecting on the appearance of his father's spirit. Thomas Hardy's 'The Haunter' and D.H Lawrence's 'Silence' capture the melancholy of being haunted by the memory of a loved one, while Shirley Jackson's 'The Haunting of Hill House' and Edgar Allan's Poe's 'The Haunted Palace' provide unsettling examples of haunted house literature. In Thomas Mann's 'Death in Venice', his anti-hero Aschenbach wanders the labyrinthine Venetian streets, haunted by an obsessive sexual impulse; we hear Benjamin Britten's otherworldly musical imagining of the tale. And in Tennyson's poem 'A Spirit Haunts the Year's Last Hours' and Sir Arnold Bax's 'Into the Twilight', we glimpse nature in its haunted state: with the fading autumnal moments of the year, the spectral approach of winter and the growing shadows of the evening.

    First broadcast in March 2012.

    This week's Words and Music takes the theme of The Haunting, with Emilia Fox and Jamie Glover reading a selection of poetry and prose exploring some of literature's most chilling supernatural hauntings - but also the idea of being haunted by a lover, the past or a place. Berlioz's 'Dies irae' from his 'Symphonie Fantastique' opens the programme - a piece haunted by the composer's vision of female perfection - followed by arguably the most famous haunted character in literary history, Shakespeare's Hamlet, reflecting on the appearance of his father's spirit. Thomas Hardy's 'The Haunter' and D.H Lawrence's 'Silence' capture the melancholy of being haunted by the memory of a loved one, while Shirley Jackson's 'The Haunting of Hill House' and Edgar Allan's Poe's 'The Haunted Palace' provide unsettling examples of haunted house literature. In Thomas Mann's 'Death in Venice', his anti-hero Aschenbach wanders the labyrinthine Venetian streets, haunted by an obsessive sexual impulse; we hear Benjamin Britten's otherworldly musical imagining of the tale. And in Tennyson's poem 'A Spirit Haunts the Year's Last Hours' and Sir Arnold Bax's 'Into the Twilight', we glimpse nature in its haunted state: with the fading autumnal moments of the year, the spectral approach of winter and the growing shadows of the evening.

    The Idea Of West20120212

    Olivia Williams and Sean Arnold with poetry, prose and music on the idea of west, and the West - powerful concepts in many cultures.

    In English and Irish thought the west is associated with happiness, the 'land of lost content', the Celtic land of eternal youth. The sun sets in the west, and our western edge is a seemingly endless ocean.

    But what if we follow the sun? In America the west was certainly still the promised land for several centuries, though today the mythology is (to say the least) questioned.

    From Russia and the Middle East, the West - and Western attitudes - look rather different.

    And there's another recurring association of the west in Western thought... death. But a fascinatingly positive view of death.

    Texts, music on the idea of west and the West. Readers: Olivia Williams and Sean Arnold.

    The Kiss2014072020151224 (R3)

    Pippa Nixon and Jonathan Cullen read poems and prose about kisses, from Shakespeare's famous scene in Romeo and Juliet to Fleur Adcock's poem on 'Kissing', and from Herrick's romantic kisses to Sylvia Plath's warning, 'Never try to trick me with a kiss'. There are many types of kisses: the innocent first kisses of a baby, kisses of affection, the first romantic kiss, ritual kisses and the kisses of betrayal.

    Music includes Stravinsky's 'The Fairy's Kiss' and Irving Berlin's 'Kiss me Honey'.

    Pippa Nixon and Jonathan Cullen read poems and prose about kisses, from Shakespeare's famous scene in Romeo and Juliet to Fleur Adcock's poem on 'Kissing', and from Herrick's romantic kisses to Slyvia Plath's warning, 'Never try to trick me with a kiss'. There are many types of kisses: the innocent first kisses of a baby, kisses of affection, the first romantic kiss, ritual kisses and the kisses of betrayal.

    The Low Countries2013092220150712 (R3)

    Maxine Peake and Samuel West embark on a journey through dream and nightmare in the Low Countries. Treading the shifting boundary between land and sea, between memory and experience they navigate a course through a landscape which accommodates Erasmus as well as Louis Aragon, Louis Andriessen as well as Cesar Franck; a terrain that's home to nameless beasts as well as Flanders lilacs and a place where, though the light of reason shines brightly, the shadows cast are long and dark.

    Producer: Zahid Warley.

    The Messenger20170312

    Music from Gustav Holst and Carl Orff to John Adams, and poems and prose from Robert Browning and Anne Bronte to Vera Brittain. The readers are Ewan Bailey and Clare Perkins.

    Producer: Robyn Read.

    The Metaphysical Soul2009112920100717

    Anna Massey and Derek Jacobi read selections of poems by Metaphysical Poets, John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Carew and Andrew Marvell interspersed with the five sections of Burnt Norton, the first of the Four Quartets by Ts Eliot.

    Including music by Mahler, Takemitsu, Britten, Byrd and Beethoven.

    A selection of poems by metaphysical poets including Donne, George Herbert and Marvell.

    Anna Massey and Derek Jacobi read a selection of poems by metaphysical poets John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Carew and Andrew Marvell.

    These are interspersed with the five sections of Burnt Norton, the first of the four Quartets by Ts Eliot

    The Metaphysicals20150809

    Works by 'metaphysical' poets, such as John Donne, George Herbert and Anne Bradstreet, read by Greta Scacchi and Christopher Eccleston. Music is by composers including Walton, Bernstein and Tavener

    Some of the finest, most searching poetry of the seventeenth century came from a group of writers loosely known as 'the metaphysical poets'. Seeking to go beyond the literal meaning of words, to evoke feelings and conjure images hitherto unexplored, be they expressions of romantic love, religious devotion or awe of beauty.

    The Moon20171231

    - the silvery goddess loved by poets and composers in all her refulgent glory.

    What would Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata sound like if it was played by the Moon? Tune in to this evening's edition of Words and Music and you can hear for yourself thanks to a piece conceived by the sound artist, Katie Paterson. Katie's piece - Earth-Moon-Earth is part of a celebration of The Moon whether metaphorical green cheese, or cruel, silvery goddess.
    The Moon has always dazzled and puzzled us. Composers such as Beethoven, Chopin and Schoenberg and writers such as Larkin, Auden and Emily Dickinson have all fallen under her spell - and tonight's programme, featuring the actors, Fenella Woolgar and Patrick O'Kane, is an invitation to succumb once more to her enchantment.

    Producer: Zahid Warley

    The Old Refrain20100808

    This edition of Words and Music is all about refrain.

    Whether it appears in a poem such as Easter, 1916 by Yeats or in the ide fixe of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique; whether its anguished as in Villanelle by William Empson or wonderfully ingenious as in Dana Gioia's double triolet - The Country Wife.

    Why are we fascinated by the idea of repetition? Rhythm is meaningless without it.

    It gives shape and subtlety to music and poetry and by its modulated insistence often unlocks the door to our most complex feelings and thoughts.

    We use past experience as a tool to understand what's happening to us in the present and what might happen to us in the future.

    The actors Samuel West and Nancy Carroll read the poems and count on a supporting musical cast that includes Brahms, Tavener and Ravel.

    Poems and music about refrain and repetition.

    Rreadings by Samuel West and Nancy Carroll.

    This edition of Words and Music is all about refrain. Whether it appears in a poem such as Easter, 1916 by Yeats or in the ide fixe of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique; whether its anguished as in Villanelle by William Empson or wonderfully ingenious as in Dana Gioia's double triolet - The Country Wife.

    Why are we fascinated by the idea of repetition? Rhythm is meaningless without it. It gives shape and subtlety to music and poetry and by its modulated insistence often unlocks the door to our most complex feelings and thoughts. We use past experience as a tool to understand what's happening to us in the present and what might happen to us in the future.

    Poems and music about refrain and repetition. Rreadings by Samuel West and Nancy Carroll.

    The Opium Of The People2011021320120415

    John Sessions and Claire Harry read texts on the subject of Faith and Atheism by Nietzsche, Philip Larkin, Lucretius, Karl Marx and Charles Darwin with music by Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Janacek, Byrd and Mahler.

    Texts and music about faith and atheism, with readings by John Sessions and Claire Harry.

    The Outsider20120129

    Lesley Manville and Tom Goodman-Hill read poetry and prose on the theme of outsiders, from those who seek to escape society's constraints, to those who long to conform. With words by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Clare, Mary Shelley, Albert Camus, George Orwell, Maya Angelou and Jeanette Winterson, and music by Gesualdo, Strauss, Ligeti and Berg.

    Texts and music about oustsiders, with readings by Lesley Manville and Tom Goodman-Hill.

    The Parish Priest2011101620120728

    Music, poetry and prose about the day to day life of the parish priest, with actors Celia Imrie and Michael Kitchen. Priests appear in major and minor roles in literature from Biblical times to the present day and frequently play a pivotal or catalyst part in the dramatic plot twists. Think of Mr Collins in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, or Obadiah Slope in Trollope's Barchester novels. Many priests have themselves been poets, such as R.S. Thomas and John Donne, whose work is featured along with the view points of long suffering vicars' wives, often the power behind the parish throne. Priests are often portrayed in novels and poetry as distinctive characters who are either malevolent, self absorbed, objects of desire or saintly. Rarely are they ordinary, frequently they are comical. Music surrounds the life of the church and the programme features works by Handel, J.S. Bach, William Harris, James MacMillan and Saint-Saens , and includes poetry and prose by, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, John Pritchard (Bishop of Oxford) and Thomas Hardy.

    Producer Helen Garrison.

    Music and readings on the life of the parish priest, with Celia Imrie and Michael Kitchen.

    Music, poetry and prose about the day to day life of the parish priest, with actors Celia Imrie and Michael Kitchen. Priests appear in major and minor roles in literature from Biblical times to the present day and frequently play a pivotal or catalyst part in the dramatic plot twists. Think of Mr Collins in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, or Obadiah Slope in Trollope's Barchester novels. Many priests have themselves been poets, such as R.S. Thomas and John Donne, whose work is featured along with the view points of long suffering vicar's wives, often the power behind the parish throne. Priests are often portrayed in novels and poetry as distinctive characters who are either malevolent, self absorbed, objects of desire or saintly. Rarely are they ordinary, frequently they are comical. Music surrounds the life of the church and the programme features works by Wagner, J.S. Bach, William Harris and Elgar, and includes poetry and prose by Chaucer, Charlotte Bronte and Thomas Hardy.

    The Photograph2011081420140119

    Geraldine James and Robert Powell read poetry and prose inspired by photographs and photography - real and imagined - from the time of the earliest Victorian pioneers to the photojournalists and artists of today. Texts include extracts from the writings of British pioneer Fox Talbot and American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, the novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Paul Auster, and poetry spanning 150 years from Thomas Hardy and Walt Whitman to Leonard Cohen and Carol Ann Duffy. Music includes orchestral works by Charles Ives and Leos Janacek, an electronic fragment from Tod Dockstader and a pictorial song from Tom Waits, plus environmental sound recordings by Chris Watson and Peter Cusack.

    Geraldine James and Robert Powell read poetry and prose inspired by photographs and photography - real and imagined - from the time of the earliest Victorian pioneers to the photojournalists and artists of today.

    Texts include extracts from the writings of British pioneer Fox Talbot and American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, the novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Paul Auster, and poetry spanning 150 years from Thomas Hardy and Walt Whitman to Leonard Cohen and Carol Ann Duffy.

    Music includes orchestral works by Charles Ives and Leos Janacek, an electronic fragment from Tod Dockstader and a pictorial song from Tom Waits, plus environmental sound recordings by Chris Watson and Peter Cusack.

    Sequence of texts and music inspired by photographs and photography.

    The Play's The Thing20160424

    'The Play's the thing': actors Rory Kinnear and Adjoa Andoh join baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Iain Burnside and lute player Elizabeth Kenny with poems, songs, readings and music, celebrating Shakespeare's legacy in theatre and the art of acting. Live from the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of Radio 3's Sounds of Shakespeare weekend.

    BBC Radio 3 is marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a season celebrating the four centuries of music and performance that his plays and sonnets have inspired. Over the anniversary weekend, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, Radio 3 will broadcast live from a pop-up studio at the RSC's The Other Place Theatre and other historic venues across Stratford-upon-Avon.

    The Power Of Alchemy2014051820161223 (R3)

    , a journey through the physical and spiritual dimensions of this legendary and mysterious practice, with texts by both ancient and modern writers including WB Yeats, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Paulo Coelho and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, read by Siân Phillips and Donald Sumpter.

    The Power of Alchemy, a journey through the physical and spiritual dimensions of this legendary and mysterious practice, with texts by both ancient and modern writers including WB Yeats, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Paulo Coelho and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, read by Siân Phillips and Donald Sumpter.

    The Prodigy20100801

    A selection of poems and music by prodigies, read by actors Jack Laskey and Ellie Kendrick, including the early, sometimes very early work of great artists.

    All the music is composed by or performed by teenagers, from Purcell and Mozart to Benjamin Britten and Thomas Ades.There are early recordings of pianists Daniel Barenboim and Evgeny Kissin made when they were twelve, and ten year old violin prodigy Sarah Chang dazzles with a Paganini Caprice.

    Rimbaud, Byron, Robert Graves and Paul Muldoon all published poetry in their teens.

    Daisy Ashford was barely nine when she wrote her satirical novella The Young Visiters.

    Anne Frank wrote the final entry to her remarkable diary on this day, 1 August, in 1944, age fifteen.

    Poetry also comes from a young Keats, who dedicated Endymion to another teenage poet Thomas Chatterton, whose early death was immortalised in pre-Raphaelite art.

    Plus contemporary poets Sarah Howe, Liz Berry, and Matthew Gregory, and Adam O'Riordan.

    The relevant ages of the composers, performers and poets are given on the running order below.

    Producer: Tim Prosser.

    Poems and music by prodigies and the early work of great artists.

    Rimbaud, Byron, Robert Graves and Paul Muldoon all published poetry in their teens. Daisy Ashford was barely nine when she wrote her satirical novella The Young Visiters. Anne Frank wrote the final entry to her remarkable diary on this day, 1 August, in 1944, age fifteen.

    Poetry also comes from a young Keats, who dedicated Endymion to another teenage poet Thomas Chatterton, whose early death was immortalised in pre-Raphaelite art. Plus contemporary poets Sarah Howe, Liz Berry, and Matthew Gregory, and Adam O'Riordan.

    The Quest20130414

    Poetry and prose on the theme of The Quest ranging from Homer, Mallory and Tennyson to Tolkien, T.H. White and U.A. Fanthorpe, together with music by Monteverdi, Wagner, Debussy, John Tavener and Benjamin Britten.

    The Rebel20100425

    David Bamber and Gillian Bevan (readers)

    Every Sunday evening Radio 3 brings you a sequence of music, poetry and prose: this week's theme is the Rebel.

    From the Paris Commune to the American Deep South, from home life to public life, David Bamber and Gillian Bevan explore the defiance of rebellion in a series of readings, including work by William Blake, WB Yeats, Maya Angelou and Albert Camus; and music by Mahler, Chopin, Arnold Bax, Leonard Cohen and Anna Marly.

    Words and music about rebels, featuring readings by David Bamber and Gillian Bevan.

    The Rhyming And The Chiming2011122520141225 (R3)

    Words and Music on the theme of bells. Readers Sylvestra Le Touzel and David Troughton.

    This is the season for bells, joyful Christmas bells and clamorous New Year peals - and they will feature in this edition of the programme. But there will also be rhyming and chiming from other seasons of life, taking Edgar Allan Poe's onomatopoeic poem as its centrepiece. There are bells from childhood, from marriage, from the ordinary round of life as nostalgically remembered in both city and countryside by Betjeman. The sinister side of the sound of bells is brought to life by Dickens in his atmospheric story "The Chimes", and in the famous scene from "The Nine Tailors" by Dorothy L. Sayers in which Lord Peter Wimsey finds himself in the belltower as the cacophony carries on about him. There are alarums from the battlefield and the gallows humour of the bells of hell going ting-a-ling-a-ling... But this is Christmas and so Longfellow and Tennyson's "Wild Bells" will see us out on a note of celebration and hope for the future.

    Music from Liszt, Henze, Loesser, Philip Feeney, Grieg and Elizabeth Poston among others.

    Texts and music on the theme of bells. Reading by Sylvestra Le Touzel and David Troughton.

    This is the season for bells, joyful Christmas bells and clamorous New Year peals - and they will feature in this edition of the programme. But there will also be rhyming and chiming from other seasons of life, taking Edgar Allan Poe's onomatopoeic poem as its centrepiece. There are bells from childhood, from marriage, from the ordinary round of life as nostalgically remembered in both city and countryside by Betjeman. The sinister side of the sound of bells is brought to life by Dickens in his atmospheric story "The Chimes", and in the famous scene from "The Nine Tailors" by Dorothy L. Sayers in which Lord Peter Wimsey finds himself in the belltower as the cacophony carries on about him. There are alarums from the battlefield and the gallows humour of the bells of hell going ting-a-ling-a-ling... But this is Christmas and so Longfellow and Tennyson's "Wild Bells" will see us out on a note of celebration and hope for the future.

    The Ring Cycle20080824

    A selection of poetry, prose and music on the theme of marriage, with readings by actors Jane Lapotaire and Ralf Little

    The Ring Cycle: A selection of poetry, prose and music on the theme of marriage, with readings by actors Jane Lapotaire and Ralf Little.

    The Ring Cycle *20080824

    A selection of poetry, prose and music on the theme of marriage, with readings by actors Jane Lapotaire and Ralf Little

    The Ringing Grooves Of Change2007123020081012

    A selection of poetry and prose on the theme of revolution and change with poetry by Blake, Shelley, Clough and Yeats, and music by Shostakovich, Paul Robeson, Mosolov and Berlioz.

    Penny Downie and Adrian Lukis read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of revolution and change, with poetry by William Blake and Yeats and music by Shostakovich and Paul Robeson.

    The Ringing Grooves of Change

    The Ringing Grooves Of Change * *2007123020081012

    A selection of poetry and prose on the theme of revolution and change with poetry by Blake, Shelley, Clough and Yeats, and music by Shostakovich, Paul Robeson, Mosolov and Berlioz.

    Penny Downie and Adrian Lukis read a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of revolution and change, with poetry by William Blake and Yeats and music by Shostakovich and Paul Robeson.

    The Rose2012011520120617

    Poems, prose and music on the theme of the Rose. Ruby petals, emerald stems: the rose speaks love. Its language is beauty, tenderness and eternity; its colour is passion. But the rose also speaks a less familiar language, that of peace, nationalism and revolution, the strangeness of mysticism and the finality of death. This hymn plucks rare and wild roses for its verses with music by Britten, Delius and Wagner and words by Charles Tomlinson, Dorothy Parker and HD, read by Lindsay Duncan and Iwan Rheon.

    Texts and music on the theme of roses with readings by Lindsay Duncan and Iwan Rheon.

    Poems, prose and music on the theme of the Rose. Ruby petals, emerald stems: the rose speaks love. Its language is beauty, tenderness and eternity; its colour is passion. But the rose also speaks a less familiar language, that of peace, nationalism and revolution, the strangeness of mysticism and the finality of death. This hymn plucks rare and wild roses for its verses with music by Britten, Delius and Bridge and words by Charles Tomlinson, Dorothy Parker and WB Yeates, read by Lindsay Duncan and Iwan Rheon.

    The Servant Problem2014030220151223 (R3)

    Adrian Scarborough and Sophie Thompson read prose and poetry on the often uneasy relationship between domestic servants and their employers. From St Zita, patron saint of servants, to Mrs Danvers and Jeeves, the put-upon "odd man", the awkwardly placed governess, and the exhausted servants to the Bennets at Longbourn, it's a story of hard work, a battle of wills, and a striving to make sense of status. Music includes Haydn's "Farewell Symphony", written to make a point to his employer, Richard Strauss's affectionate portrayal of knight and servant in Don Quixote, and Johnny Mercer's party with The Waiter and the Porter and the Upstairs Maid.

    Producer: Elizabeth Funning.

    The Seven Deadly Sins20171210

    Adjoa Andoh and Rory Kinnear with poetry and music exploring human sins.

    Adjoa Andoh and Rory Kinnear explore the sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth with poetry and prose by Milton, Spenser, Shakespeare, Stevie Smith , Emily Dickinson and Christopher Marlowe and music by Kurt Weill, Mahler and Sondheim.

    Producer: Fiona McLean.

    Image: Sloth, detail from the Seven Deadly Sins, 1485, by Hieronymus Bosch (ca 1450-1516), oil on canvas, 120x150 cm. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Madrid, Museo Del Prado.

    The Silver Swan20170205

    Graceful swans, magical swans, migrating swans; swans loyal and, on occasion, cynical; swans living and dying. A miscellany of poetry and prose by WB Yeats, Hans Christian Andersen, Louise Glück, Gillian Clarke, Rilke, Tennyson and "Banjo" Paterson floats above music that includes works by Saint-Saëns, Villa-Lobos, Tchaikovsky, Rautavaara (complete with the sounds of arctic swans) and Sibelius, whose 5th Symphony was inspired by the sight of sixteen swans - "One of the great experiences of my life!" he wrote, " God, how beautiful."

    Readers are Anthony Calf and Louise Jameson.

    The Singer And The Song20160313

    Jessie Buckley and Julian Ovenden, both actors who sing themselves, with words and music on the theme of singing.

    The multi-talented Jessie Buckley was recently seen on televisions's War and Peace as Princess Marya, and performs in Kenneth Branagh's Theatre Company. She also sings in musical theatre and jazz.

    Julian Ovenden has starred on Broadway and in the West End, and at the Proms.

    This edition of Words and Music celebrates the very act of singing, from Charlotte Bronte's Shirley, to the arrogant opera singer in Flaubert's "Madame Bovary", and from wartime concert parties to an amateur choral society's rendition of "Messiah". With an accompanying cornucopia of vocal music.

    Producer : Elizabeth Funning.

    The Sky Smiles Down2008060820100911

    A sequence of poems, prose and music on the theme of summer, with readings by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister.

    The programme includes poems by John Clare, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy interspersed with music by Gershwin, Delius, Sondheim, Jean Redpath, Suk and Messiaen.

    Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister read poetry and prose on the theme of summer - from John Clare's 'Shepherd's Calendar', the misery of having to go to school on a Scottish summer morning, Walt Whitman's 'mad, naked summer night' and Jay Gatsby's party with music from George Gershwin, Dvorak, Joan Baez, Mendelssohn and Toru Takemitsu.

    Poems and music with a summer theme, with readings by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister.

    The Sky Smiles Down

    A sequence of poems, prose and music on the theme of summer, with readings by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister. The programme includes poems by John Clare, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy interspersed with music by Gershwin, Delius, Sondheim, Jean Redpath, Suk and Messiaen.

    The Soft Machine2008060120090712

    A sequence of poems read by Anna Maxwell Martin and John Rowe interspersed with music, all on the theme of the body.

    The programme features writings by Whitman, Homer and Auden along with music from Tchaikovsky, Monteverdi and Charles Mingus.

    Poems read by Anna Maxwell Martin and John Rowe plus music, all on the theme of the body.

    The Soft Machine

    A sequence of poems read by Anna Maxwell Martin and John Rowe interspersed with music, all on the theme of the body. The programme features writings by Whitman, Homer and Auden along with music from Tchaikovsky, Monteverdi and Charles Mingus.

    The Soft Machine *2008060120090712

    A sequence of poems read by Anna Maxwell Martin and John Rowe interspersed with music, all on the theme of the body.

    The programme features writings by Whitman, Homer and Auden along with music from Tchaikovsky, Monteverdi and Charles Mingus.

    Poems read by Anna Maxwell Martin and John Rowe plus music, all on the theme of the body.

    The South Country2010032820110703

    Inspired by the recent republication of Edward Thomas's essay collection The South Country, the weekly sequence of music, poetry and prose celebrates the landscape of southern England, in particular three counties in which the poet loved to walk: Sussex, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

    Tamsin Greig and Neil Pearson read prose by fellow observer-wanderers Gilbert White, William Cobbett and Richard Jefferies, and poetry by such lovers of the south as Flora Thompson, Andrew Young, Hilaire Belloc, Molly Holden and, of course, Edward Thomas himself.

    The music includes orchestral music and songs by John Ireland, Michael Tippett, The Copper Family and the English Acoustic Collective among others.

    A sequence of music, poetry and prose celebrating the landscape of southern England.

    Tamsin Greig and Neil Pearson read prose by fellow observer-wanderers Gilbert White, William Cobbett and Richard Jefferies, and poetry by such lovers of the south as Flora Thompson, Andrew Young, Hilaire Belloc, Molly Holden and, of course, Edward Thomas himself. The music includes orchestral music and songs by John Ireland, Michael Tippett, The Copper Family and the English Acoustic Collective among others.

    The Spirit Of Schubert, Schubert And Friends20120325

    Schubert - In Words and Music

    Continuing BBC Radio 3's celebration of The Spirit of Schubert, the words in this special edition of Words and Music come from letters by Schubert himself, read by Russell Tovey, and from letters, diaries and remininscences from his wide circle of friends, read by Anthony Calf. There are also extracts from fascinating contemporary documents including the composer's school reports, the dismissive official view of his suitability for conscription, and the poignant inventory of his paltry possessions, listed after his death.

    The music is, of course, all by Schubert, a soundtrack to the life and death of this short-lived genius.

    Russell Tovey and Anthony Calf read letters and reminiscences by Schubert and his friends.

    The Spirit World20080427

    Dominic West and Samantha Morton read poetry on the theme of the spirit world, with verse by Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, Robert Graves and Emily Dickinson alongside a selection of music inspired by ghostly apparitions.

    The Spirit Wor