The Old Refrain
Poems and music on the theme of refrain and repetition, with readings by Samuel West and Nancy Carroll. Works by Yeats and Hopkins, plus music by Berlioz, Brahms, Tavener and Ravel.
This edition of Words and Music is all about refrain. Whether it appears in a poem such as Easter, 1916 by Yeats or in the idÃ©e fixe of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique; whether its anguished as in Villanelle by William Empson or wonderfully ingenious as in Dana Gioia's double triolet - The Country Wife.
Why are we fascinated by the idea of repetition? Rhythm is meaningless without it. It gives shape and subtlety to music and poetry and by its modulated insistence often unlocks the door to our most complex feelings and thoughts. We use past experience as a tool to understand what's happening to us in the present and what might happen to us in the future.
The actors Samuel West and Nancy Carroll read the poems and count on a supporting musical cast that includes Brahms, Tavener and Ravel.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Hymn to God the Father read by Samuel West
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Notice of Loss read by Nancy Carroll
Do not go gentle into that good night read by Samuel West
Easter, 1916 read by Samuel West
To whom it may concern read by Nancy Carroll
Bagpipe Music read by Samuel West
Villanelle read by Nancy Carroll