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Fairy Tale

Duration:
1 hour, 15 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 01 December 2013

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, 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.

Music Played

19 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Robert Schumann
    00:00

    Robert Schumann Marchenbilder

    Performer: Gyorgy Kurtag.

    ECM, Tr22

  • 00:03

    Carol Ann Duffy

    Sheherazade, reader Hayley Atwell

  • Image for Syzmanowski
    00:05

    Syzmanowski Fairy Tale – The Lonely Moon

    Performer: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

    EMI Classics, Tr1

  • 00:10

    Philip Pullman

    The Frog King Part 1, Grimm Tales reader Tim Pigott-Smith

  • Image for Ελένη Καραΐνδρου
    00:12

    Ελένη Καραΐνδρου Journey to Cythera

    Performer: George Dalaras.

    EMI, Tr6

  • 00:14

    Philip Pullman

    The Frog King Part 2, Grimm Tales reader Hayley Atwell

  • Image for Humperdinck
    00:16

    Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel

    Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra, choirs of Loughton High School for Girls and Bancroft’s School.

    EMI

  • 00:25

    Hans Christian Andersen

    The Princess and the Pea reader Tim Pigott-Smith

  • Image for Maurice Ravel
    00:28

    Maurice Ravel Pavane de la belle au bois dormant( Ma mere l’oye)

    Performer: Brodsky Quartet.

    Teldec, Tr13

  • 00:29

    Sylvia Townsend Warner

    Lolly Willowes reader Hayley Atwell

  • Image for Gioachino Rossini
    00:32

    Gioachino Rossini La Cenerentola

    Performer: The orchestra of the Royal Opera House with the Covent Garden Opera Chorus.

    Teldec, Tr19

  • 00:36

    Angela Carter

    The Erl King reader Hayley Atwell

  • Image for Franz Schubert
    00:37

    Franz Schubert Erlkonig

    Performer: Dietrich Fischer Dieskau Gerald Moore.

    EMI, Tr21

  • 00:41

    John Keats

    La Belle Dame Sans Merci reader Tim Pigott-Smith

  • Image for Béla Bartók
    00:44

    Béla Bartók Door 7 from Bluebeard’s Castle

    Performer: Berliner Philharmoniker with John Tomlinson, Anne Sofie von Otter and Sandor Eles.

    EMI Classics, Tr8

  • 00:54

    David Morley

    From Invisible Kings reader Tim Pigott-Smith

  • Image for Medtner
    00:57

    Medtner Skazki – Tales of Elves

    Performer: Hamish Milne.

    Hyperion, Tr5

  • 01:01

    Margaret Atwood

    Girl with no hands reader Hayley Atwell

  • Image for Antonin Dvorak
    01:02

    Antonin Dvorak Rusalka

    Tr8

  • Producer's Note

    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, if you like,  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. To one side of the twisting path lie the Schumann of Marchenbilder,  Medtner’s elfin Skazki, the lunar beauty of Syzmanowski’s Fairy Tale, Dvorak’s Rusalka and  Hansel and Gretel; while on the other lurk Carol Ann Duffy’s Sheherazade, Philip Pullman’s  Grimm Tales and Sylvia Townsend Warner’s small feline familiar as well, of course,  as Hans Christian Andersen and a palely loitering Keats…in fact, a whole world of enchantment.

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