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Happy Accidents

Irma Kurtz considers how serendipity influences and moulds our lives.

Irma Kurtz considers how serendipity influences and moulds our lives in 'Happy Accidents'.

This propensity for finding something unexpected and useful while searching for something else entirely can be related to science, geography and of course, love. Serendipity differs from mere coincidence - it doesn't knock at the door and you can't go out to look for it.

We know now that the early explorers who voyaged before there were maps and navigational equipment were masters of serendipity. We will hear a letter from Christopher Columbus which reveals very clearly that America was a serendipitous discovery which came about while the explorer was actually looking for a route to the Indies.

Presented by Irma Kurtz

Produced by Ronni Davis
An Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 20 Mar 2011 23:30

Music Played

  • Claude Debussy


    HOMMAGE A WERNER HAAS (lab: Dabringhaus und Grimm) MDG6421086-2

    • Estampes.
    • MDG6421086-2.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Allegro vivace

    From Symphony No. 2, op. 9, ‘Antar’. Conducted by Lorin Maazel / Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

    • Telarc.
    • 80131.
  • Deems Taylor


    • Through the Looking Glass.
    • Delos.
    • DE3099.
  • Frank Loesser

    Luck Be A Lady

    Lyrics and music by Frank Loesser, performed by Marlon Brando. Guys and Dolls [Original Music from the Movie Soundtrack].

    • Guys and Dolls.
    • Blue Moon.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Das Lied von der Erde

    ‘Von Der Schonheit’ (Of Beauty). Kathleen Ferrier/Julius Patzak/Bruno Walter.

    • DECCA.
    • 4141942.
  • William Walton

    Christopher Columbus, 'A Musical Journey'

    Part II: ‘Finale’

    • Chandos.
    • CHSA5034.
  • Nat King Cole

    Orange Coloured Sky

    Written by Milton Delugge and Willy Stein in 1950. The Stan Kenton Orchestra.

    • The world of Nat King Cole.
    • Capitol.
    • 724356068025.


  • Sun 20 Mar 2011 06:05
  • Sun 20 Mar 2011 23:30