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Monty Don

Michael Berkeley talks to horticulturalist and TV presenter Monty Don. His choices include Bach's St Matthew Passion, plus music by Beethoven, Haydn, Purcell and Tom Waits.

This week on Private Passions, Michael Berkeley is invited to the Herefordshire home of horticulturalist and Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don. He and his wife Sarah bought their farmhouse in the early 1990s after their jewellery business collapsed. They set about creating a spectacular garden out of a field, while Monty carved out a new career as an amateur gardener and professional writer and broadcaster. In 2003 he became the first self-taught horticulturalist to present BBC2's Gardeners' World. He stepped down after a minor stroke in 2008, but returned to the series in 2011.

A passionate proponent of organic gardening and farming techniques, Monty Don is now President of the Soil Association and he has co-authored several books on food and cookery with his wife Sarah. A four-part BBC TV series based on his book 'The Italian Garden' aired in 2011.

Monty Don is passionate about music, and the works which move him emotionally include Bach's St Matthew Passion, the slow movement from Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony, Haydn's Symphony no.22 'The Philosopher', and the lament from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. He talks frankly to Michael Berkeley about his long struggle against depression, and the effect that music has on him. A livelier note is struck with the opening movement of Bach's First Brandenburg Concerto, and his choices end appropriately with Green Grass by Tom Waits.

First broadcast in March 2011.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 20 Jan 2013 12:00

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen (Opening chorus of the St Matthew Passion)

    Performers: London Oratory Junior Choir, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner

    • Bach St Matthew Passion.
    • ARCHIV 469 769-2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 3 in E flat, Eroica (excerpt from 2nd movt Funeral march)

    Performers: Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer

    • Beethoven Symphony No 3.
    • EMI 567740-2.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Brandenburg Concerto No 1 in F, BWV1046

    Performers: The English Concert/Trevor Pinnock

    • Bach Brandenberg Concertos.
    • ARCHIV 423 492-2.
  • Henry Purcell

    Drum Processional (Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary)

    Performers: The King’s Consort/Robert King

    • Hyperion CDA 66677.
  • Henry Purcell

    When I am laid in earth (Dido & Aeneas, Act III)

    Performers: Anne Sofie von Otter (Dido), The English Concert/Trevor Pinnock

    • Purcell Dido & Aeneas.
    • ARKIV 427 624-2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (3rd movt, Molto Adagio, Heilige Dankgesang)

    Performers: The Guarneri Quartet

    • Beethoven String Quartets.
    • 82876-55704-2.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony no 22 in E flat, The Philosopher (1st movement, Adagio)

    Performers: Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra/Adam Fischer

    • Haydn Symphonies.
    • BRILLIANT 99925/6.
  • Tom Waits

    Green Grass

    • Real Gone.
    • ANTI 66782.

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