The Radio 3 Documentary

The Radio 3 Documentary

In-depth documentaries which each week explore a different aspect of history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature. The Sunday Feature is broadcast every Sunday at 7.45pm on BBC Radio 3. Each episode lasts 45 minutes. We aim to include as many episodes of The Sunday Feature in the podcast as we can but you'll find that some aren't included for rights reasons.

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  • Episodes available:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Sunday Feature:Merchant Ivory 06 APR 14

    Sun, 6 Apr 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Style, flair, individuality, ideas... and stars. The filmic output of the remarkable three-person association of creative talents that is collectively known as 'Merchant Ivory' has endured since the early 1960s.

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

    Sun, 23 Mar 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

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

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  • Music and the Jews (2/3)

    Thu, 20 Mar 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

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

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  • Music and the Jews (1/3)

    Wed, 19 Mar 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

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

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  • Shanghai World City Redux 26 JAN 14

    Sun, 26 Jan 14

    Duration:
    47 mins

    Rana Mitter reveals how Shanghai today is forging its identity as an ultramodern city – by rediscovering its glamorous 1920s past, when 'Shanghai' meant movies, neon and jazz.

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  • 05 Jan 14 - Somme

    Sun, 5 Jan 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Paul Farley journeys down France's sleepiest river whose character belies its violent history, a history intertwined with the English since medieval times.

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  • Anything But Banal - the Fascination of the Villain

    Fri, 3 Jan 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Paul Allen explores the allure of evil through great villains, from Hollywood baddies to Shakespearean antiheroes and real people, with great British actors, directors and writers.

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  • 15th December: Ideas of Germany

    Sun, 15 Dec 13

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Anne McElvoy finds out how those active in Germany's cultural world see the identity of Europe's largest and most powerful nation evolving.

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  • The Invisible Theatre 08 DEC 13

    Sun, 8 Dec 13

    Duration:
    47 mins

    Tom Service and others explore the history of the festival theatre in Bayreuth that Wagner built for the staging of his music dramas.

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  • Sunday Feature: 1 December 2013 - Ken Adam Profile

    Tue, 3 Dec 13

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Matthew Sweet meets Ken Adam, the 92-year-old designer of iconic sets from Dr No and Goldfinger to Doctor Strangelove and the Ipcress File.

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