Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy read poems and prose on the theme of giving and receiving gifts. Works include Herrick, Lear and Whitman; music by Wagner and Colleen's Music Boxes.

Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy read poems and prose on the festive theme of giving and receiving gifts. Through the words of writers from Robert Herrick to O. Henry, and from Edward Lear to Walt Whitman, Sheila Hancock and Scott Handy unwrap simple gifts of friendship and lavish gifts of love. They explore the desire of gifts and the rejection of friendships. Music includes Siegfried Idyll by Wagner, which was composed as a birthday present for his wife Cosima, and Colleen's musical boxes.

Producer: Elizabeth Arno.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Christmas Day 2015 17:00

Music Played

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

  • 00:00


    Charles's birthday card - Colleen et les boites a musique

    Performer: Colleen (Cecile Schott) (music boxes)

    • BAY 53CDP/LC 12877, T3.
  • 00:46


    Silent Night

    • Polyphon disc musical box (Victorian music box) SAYDISC CD SDL 327 T7.
  • Christina Georgina Rossetti

    My Gift, Sheila Hancock (singer)

  • 00:02

    Orlande de Lassus

    Sibylla Libyca (Prophetiae Sibyllarum)

    Performer: Kuss Quartet

    • SONY 88697092162 T2.
  • Samuel Longfellow

    Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, Scott Handy (reader)

  • 00:04

    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Kingdom of Sweets (The Nutcracker, Act 2)

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Simon Rattle (conductor)

    • EMI 31621-2 CD2 T1.
  • JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, trans. Edgar Alfred Bowring

    The Christmas-Box, Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • 00:08

    Richard Wagner - Siegfried Idyll

    Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim (conductor)

  • Robert Herrick

    A Ring Presented to Julia, Scott Handy (reader)

  • O Henry

    The Gift of the Magi (closing extract), Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • Andy Razaf

    I'd Give a Dollar for a Dime, Sheila Hancock & Scott Handy (readers)

  • 00:27

    John Openshaw & Leslie Cooke

    Love sends a little gift of roses (1919)

    Performer: Arthur Tracy (singer), Un-named orchestra

    • CDLK 4194 T9.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley

    To, Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • 00:30

    Sergei Prokofiev

    Andante cantabile (Sonata for 2 violins in C major, Op.56

    Performer: Eugene Druker & Philip Setzer (violins)

    • DG 431 772-2 T4.
  • 00:33


    Angel Polka, Polyphon musical box (6 and a half inch disc model – Victorian music box)

    • SAYDISC CD-SDL 359 T7a.
  • Edward Lear

    Limerick, Scott Handy (reader)

  • Robert Graves

    On Giving, Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • 00:34

    Pierre Boulez

    Memoriale (. . . explosante-fixe . . . original)

    Performer: Sophie Cherrier (flute), Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez (conductor)

    • ERATO 2292 45648-2 T5.
  • Sheldon Allan Silverstein

    The Giving Tree, Scott Handy (reader)

  • 00:39


    The Sad Panther. Colleen et les boites a musique

    Performer: Colleen (Cecile Schott) (music boxes)

    • BAY 53CDP/LC 12877 T5.
  • William Wordsworth

    With a Small Present, Scott Handy (reader)

  • Franz Grillparzer

    Sappho, Act 2 Scene 5, Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • Robert Browning

    Lines for a Gift, Scott Handy (reader)

  • 00:41

    Frédéric Chopin - Berceuse in D-flat major, Op.57

    Performer: Maurizio Pollini (piano)

  • Walt Whitman

    Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, Sheila Hancock & Scott Handy (readers)

  • 00:47

    Igor Stravinsky

    Fireworks – Fantasy for Orchestra

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati (conductor)

    • MERCURY 432 012-2 T1.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Motto to ‘Gifts’, Scott Handy (reader)

  • Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

    Broken Friendship, Sheila Hancock (reader)

  • 00:51

    Sylvius Leopold Weiss

    Fantasie in C minor (Prague, 1719)

    Performer: Nigel North (lute)

    • BGS119 T15.
  • William Butler Yeats

    Never Give All the Heart, Scott Handy (reader)

  • 00:55

    Edward Elgar

    Chanson de nuit, Op.15 No.1

    Performer: English Sinfonia, Charles Groves (conductor)

  • Thomas Grant Springer

    Giving and Forgiving, Sheila Hancock (reader)


The hidden history of plant-based diets

The hidden history of plant-based diets

Forget social media influencers - the meat-free movement started with the Victorians.

Books website

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles, quizzes and our picks from radio & TV.