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Playing: A London symphony (Symphony no.2) by Ralph Vaughan Williams
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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.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 13 Oct 2013 17:30

Producer's Note

The rain braids its way through this edition Words and Music. 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, like Mrs Bennett an opportunity for consolidation of strategic matchmaking and for others a reminder of the power of nature or God and the impotence of man.

 

We begin with a gathering of clouds and a celebration of their names. There follows a sketch of a haymaking downpour and a setting by Finzi of Hardy’s strange invocation of the magic and impermanence of creation: Proud Songsters.

 

A Monsoon raga performed by the Sabri family and the insistence of Ray Bradbury’s description of The Long Rain leads us to the destruction of the Flood a hint of which mythical terror is drummed by even the gentlest of showers.

 

Then a series of lovers “caught” by rain consider intense moments out of time with Chopin’s “raindrop” prelude and a lighter moment from Irving Berlin and Fred Astaire.

 

Don Patterson and Langston Hughes offer a more positive take on precipitation and Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Spell leads us into a celebration of the sounds of rain and their replication. Seamus Heaney delights in the rain stick and the edition finishes with the optimism of the extraordinary choral Cloudburst by Eric Whitacre.

 

Producer: Natalie Steed

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