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Carnival

Poetry, prose and music evoking the spirit of carnival, with readings by actors Saskia Reeves and Tom Hiddleston. With music by Saint-Saens and Verdi, plus works by Poe and Byron.

Turn the world upside down, break all the rules and let the dead talk to the living and what have you got? Nothing less than the spirit of Carnival. This week Words and Music takes its cue from Rome's Saturnalia and the gris gris of New Orleans.
Carnival may be about laughter and licence but it also acknowledges darkness and unease. It's a kind of whistling in the dark and a kind of exorcism. It gives physical form to our fears and with its clowns, zombies and ritual helps us to reconcile ourselves to the obscene, the terrible and the outrageously wonderful in our lives. Most, if not all of us watch and all of us sometimes wear the mask and join the dance.
Musical intoxication is supplied by the likes of Saint Saens, Constant Lambert, Verdi and Berlioz and the verbal fireworks come courtesy of Edgar Allan Poe, Byron, Elizabeth Bishop, ee cummings, Malcolm Lowry and Goethe with the actors Saskia Reeves and Tom Hiddleston as the Lords of Misrule.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Thu 30 Dec 2010 17:00

Music Played

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

  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Introduction to the Carnival of the Animals and the Royal March of the Lion

    Performer: London Sinfonietta with Pascal Roge and Christina Ortiz conducted by Riccardo Muti

    • Carnaval des Animaux.
    • DECCA 4144602.
  • Lord Byron

    Beppo read by Tom Hiddleston

  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Kangaroos

    Performer: London Sinfonietta with Pascal Roge and Christina Ortiz conducted by Riccardo Muti

    • Carnaval des Animaux.
    • DECCA 4144602.
  • Lord Byron

    Beppo read by Tom Hiddleston

  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Persons with long ears

    Performer: London Sinfonietta with Pascal Roge and Christina Ortiz conducted by Riccardo Muti

    • Carnaval des Animaux.
    • DECCA 4144602.
  • Lord Byron

    Beppo read by Tom Hiddleston

  • Robert Schumann

    Pierrot

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenaszy

    • Piano Works.
    • DECCA 4210102.
  • ee cummings

    A Clown’s smirk in the skull of a baboon read by Saskia Reeves

  • Arnold Schoenberg

    Enthauptung

    Performer: Castellani, Marc and Staatskapelle Dresden.

    • Pierrot Lunaire Erwartung.
    • TELDEC 3984229012.
  • Angela Carter

    extract from Nights at the Circus read by Saskia Reeves

  • Mac Rebennack

    I walk on Gilded Splinters

    Performer: Dr John

    • The Very Best of Dr. John.
    • RHINO 9548335532.
  • Mighty Sparrow

    Sa Sa Yea

    Performer: Mighty Sparrow

    • 16 Carnival Hits Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener.
    • ICE 920902.
  • Malcolm Lowry

    Extract from Under the Volcano read by Saskia Reeves

  • Hector Berlioz

    Le Carnaval Romain

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis

    • Symphonie Fantastique.
    • PHILIPS 4222532.
  • Goethe

    Moccoli (Translator: W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer) read by Saskia Reeves

  • Hector Berlioz

    Le Carnaval Romain

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis

    • Symphonie Fantastique.
    • PHILIPS 4222532.
  • Elizabeth Bishop

    The Armadillo read by Saskia Reeves

  • Gene Moore

    Dark Footsteps

    Performer: Gene Moore

    • Carnival of Souls.
    • BIRDMAN BMR012.
  • Edgar Allan Poe

    from The Masque of the Red Death read by Tom Hiddleston

  • Gene Moore

    from Profane –Sacrilege and reprise of Dark Footsteps

    Performer: Gene Moore

    • Carnival of Souls.
    • BIRDMAN BMR012.
  • W.B. Yeats

    The Circus Animals’ Desertion read by Tom Hiddleston

  • Igor Stravinsky

    Si tum m'ami from Pulcinella

    Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    • Stravinsky: Pulcinella.
    • NAXOS 8557503.
  • Anna Akhmatova

    The Verdict (Translator: Max Hayward and Stanley Kunitz) read by Saskia Reeves

  • Constant Lambert

    Intrata from Summer's Last Will and Testament

    Performer: The Chorus of Opera North, The Leeds Festival Chorus, English Northern Philharmonia

    • Summer’s Last Will and Testament.
    • HYPERION CDA66565.
  • Dana Gioia

    Sunday Night in Santa Rosa read by Saskia Reeves

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Ella e pura aria

    Performer: Placido Domingo conducted by Riccardo Muti

    • Un Ballo in Maschera.
    • EMI CMS7695762.

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