The Rhyming and the Chiming
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.