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Playing: Wesendonck-Lieder for voice and orchestra by Richard Wagner
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Tailor-Made

Duration:
1 hour, 15 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 08 February 2009

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.

Music Played

29 items
  • Image for Cole Porter

    Cole Porter Anything Goes – Overture

    Performer: London Sinfonietta cond. John McGlinn

    Cole Porter: Overtures and Ballet Music, EMI CDC7543002, 16

  • Edward Lear

    The New Vestments read by Maxine Peake and Ralf Little (From Book: Out of Fashion)

  • Image for Cole Porter

    Cole Porter Anything Goes

    Performer: Ella Fitzgerald

    Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book, VERVE 5372572

  • Pablo Neruda

    Ode to a Pair of Socks read by Ralf Little (From Book: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, Translator: Mark Strand)

  • Image for Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini La Boheme – Si, Mi chiamano Mimi

    Performer: Mirella Freni as Mimi with Orchestra e Coro del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma cond. Thomas Schippers

    La Boheme, EMI CMS7696572

  • Sarah Maguire

    The Invisible Mender read by Maxine Peake (From Book: The Invisible Mender)

  • Image for John Dowland

    John Dowland Fine Knacks for Ladies

    Performers: John Potter, Stephen Stubbs, John Surman, Maya Homburger and Barry Guy.

    In Darkness Let Me Dwell, ECM 4652342, 9

  • Henry Shukman

    Thread read by Ralf Little (From Book: The Lost City)

  • Image for Erich Wolfgang Korngold

    Erich Wolfgang Korngold The Brave Little Tailor

    Performer: BBC Philharmonic cond. Matthias Bamert

    Marchenbilder, CHANDOS CHAN10434X, 7

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    Underwear read by Ralf Little (From Book: Starting from San Francisco)

  • Image for Juan Garcia Esquivel

    Juan Garcia Esquivel Miniskirt

    Performer: Kronos Quartet

    Nuevo, NONESUCH 7559796492, 3

  • Moniza Alvi

    The Sari read by Maxine Peake (From Book: Carrying My Wife)

  • Image for Charlie Parker's Reboppers

    Charlie Parker's Reboppers Black Satin

    Performer: Miles Davis

    On the Corner, Columbia 474371 2, 5

  • Tess Gallagher

    Black Silk read by Maxine Peake (From Book: New and Selected Poems)

  • Image for James Rhodes

    James Rhodes Estampes – La soiree dans Grenade

    Performer: Walter Gieseking

    Debussy Piano Works, VIDEOARTISTS INTERNATIONAL VAIA11172

  • Christopher Logue

    Pax read by Ralf Little (From Book: War Music)

  • Image for George Frideric Handel

    George Frideric Handel Ombra mai fu

    Performer: Andreas Scholl, Akademie fur Alte Musik, Berlin

    Ombra Mai fu, HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901685, 7

  • Raymond Chandler

    from opening chapter of Farewell My Lovely read by Ralf Little

  • Image for Harris

    Harris Shopping for Clothes

    Performers: The Coasters

    Yakety Yak: The Coasters Collection, WARNERPLATINUM 8122-73225-2, 16

  • Nikolai Gogol

    The Overcoat read by Maxine Peake (From Book: Diary of a Madman and other stories, Translator: Ronald Wilks)

  • Image for Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini Vecchia zimarra from La Boheme

    Performer: Ferrucio Mazzoli with Orchestra e Coro del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma cond. Thomas Schippers

    La Boheme, EMI CMS7696572

  • Carol Rumens

    The Scarf Exchange read by Maxine Peake (From Book: Thinking of Skins)

  • Image for Shusha

    Shusha The Silken Handkerchief

    Persian Love Songs, LYRICHORD LYRCD 7235, 6

  • Robert Herrick

    Delight in Disorder read by Ralf Little (From Book: Out of Fashion)

  • Image for Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan Leopard-skin Pill-box hat

    Performer: Bob Dylan

    Blonde on Blonde, COLUMBIA CGK841, 7

  • Jean Sprackland

    Dreaming of Rubber Gloves read by Maxine Peake (From Book: Out of Fashion)

  • Image for M Wilkin and D .Dill

    M Wilkin and D .Dill The Long Black Veil

    Performer: Johnny Cash

    Johnny Cash – The Legend, COLUMBIA 5174612

  • Nadeem Aslam

    The Wasted Vigil read by Ralf Little (From Book: The Wasted Vigil)

  • Image for John Tavener

    John Tavener The Protecting Veil

    Performer: Steven Isserlis and the London Symphony Orchestra cond. Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

    The Protecting Veil

  • Producer's Note

    Words and Music this week is an invitation to peer into the mirror. What do you see? Or more to the point – what are you wearing and what do you think your clothes say about you? Come to that – what would you say about them? Are they, as Coco Chanel, once remarked a reflection of the heart? Or, are they merely a kind of covering that’s contingent on the weather. Tailor-Made is the theme for tonight’s programme – a mischievous examination of what we wear…an adventure in the bespoke, if you like, from Achilles’ armour to Colline’s beloved overcoat in La Boheme. The actors Maxine Peake and Ralf Little chalk out the verbal outlines with the help of Robert Herrick, the Beat Generation’s Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gogol, Edward Lear, Carol Rumens and Pablo Neruda as well as the odd surprise and their tales of buttons and bows are sumptuously backed and pinned with some of the finest bolts produced by Handel, Puccini, Dowland, Korngold, Miles Davis and Cole Porter ..…never mind the width, feel the quality and welcome to the best dressed show in town!

    Producer: Zahid Warley

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