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Ioan Meredith and Angela Wynter read poetry on the theme of sport, with work by Wordsworth, Byron, UA Fanthorpe and Gwyneth Lewis. With music by Elgar, Debussy and Prokofiev.

Elgar loved football, Debussy composed a tennis match, and Honegger wrote a musical game of rugby. Poet Laureates from William Wordsworth to Wole Soyinka and Gwyneth Lewis have all turned their pen to sporting passions. Sports crowds in return use music and song to raise their hopes and cheer on their flagging sporting heroes, from Sunderland FC, who come out to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, to Liverpool FC's footballing anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

Words and Music this week explores the world of sport. The original Greek Games had their origins in a poetic and musical tradition, and sport - the human endeavour, the triumphs and failures - continues to hold a fascination for writers and composers.

From the obvious sporting worlds of cricket and rugby to the more esoteric, like hang gliding and rock climbing, Ioan Meredith and Angela Wynter read poetry from Ian McMillan to Jean Binta Breeze, with music from Ives, Ravel and Holst, the New Zealand All Blacks and Liverpool FC's triumphant Kop.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Nov 2010 22:15

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Lewis Carroll

    Alice in Wonderland extract read by Angela Wynter

  • Various Artists

    BBC theme tunes: Test Cricket, Ski Sunday, Grandstand

    • BBC Sporting Themes.
    • PWKS648.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Romeo & Juliet Montagues and Capulets

    Performer: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

    • Prokofiev/Romeo and Juliet.
    • SACD-1301.
  • Classified Football Results

    Reader: James Alexander Gordon (BBC sound archive)

  • Ian Mcmillan

    Home Support read by Ian McMillan

  • Charles Ives

    Yale-Princeton Football Game

    Performer: Orchestra New England

    • Ives: Three Places in New England.
    • KOCH 370252.
  • Simon Armitage

    The Catch 1992 read by Ioan Meredith

  • Gustav Holst


    Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ David Lloyd-Jones

    • NAXOS SVEN2002.
  • The Haka

    The New Zealand rugby team (BBC Sports Archive)

  • Gwyneth Lewis

    Reply to the Haka read by Ioan Meredith

  • John Hughes

    Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer (Cwm Rhondda)

    Performer: Bryn Terfel and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera/Gareth Jones

    • We’ll Keep a Welcome.
  • UA Fanthorpe

    Hang Gliders in January read by Angela Wynter

  • James Rhodes

    Jeux Poème dansé

    Performer: Orchestre National De L’O.R.T.F.

    • Debussy: Complete Orchestral Works II.
    • EMI CDM7695882.
  • Prageeta Sharma

    Ode to Badminton read by Angela Wynter

  • Fortran 5

    Heavy Clouds Gather

    Performer: Fortran 5

    • Bad Head Park.
    • CD STUMM 104.
  • SJ Litherland

    Bad Light read by Angela Wynter

  • Sir Henry Newbolt

    Vitai Lampada ("They Pass On The Torch of Life") read by Ioan Meredith

  • Edward Elgar


    Performer: English Northern Philharmonic/ David Lloyd-Jones

    • NAXOS SVEN2002.
  • Wole Soyinka

    Muhammad Ali at the Ringside, 1985 read by Wole Soyinka (Our Souls have Grown Deep Like Rivers) RHINO RHI780122, CD 2 Tr 1

  • Georges Bizet

    Les Voici! Les Voici!

    Performer: Franco Corelli and chorus

    • Bizet: Carmen.
    • RCA 74321252792.
  • Jean Binta Breeze

    On Cricket, Sex and Housework read by Angela Wynter

  • Arthur Honegger


    Performer: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit

    • Teldec CD 3984-21340-2.
  • Seamus Heaney

    The Salmon Fisher to the Salmon read by Ioan Meredith

  • Franz Schubert

    Piano Quintet in A D667 "The Trout" – II Andante

    Performer: Members of the Belcea Quartet

    • Piano Quintets.
    • EMI 5576642.
  • Ted Hughes

    Pike read by Ted Hughes (Hughes, Ted: Reading his Own Poetry) HARPER COLLINS HCCD 1165, Track: Tr 9

  • David Craig

    Into Rock read by Angela Wynter

  • Steve Reich

    Music for 18 Musicians

    • Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective.
    • NONESCH 79962.
  • William Wordsworth

    Ice-skating extract from The Prelude read by Ioan Meredith

  • Maurice Ravel


    Performer: Ochestre National De France/ Lorin Maazel

    • CBS MDK46501.
  • Douglas Dunn

    In Ten Seconds read by Ioan Meredith

  • Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II - You'll Never Walk Alone and Liverpool v Real Ma

    Performer: The Kop Choir and Peter Jones.


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