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Texts and music relating to self-improvement, with readings by Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen. Writing by Confucius, Kant, Tennyson, plus music by Elgar and Clementi.

Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen explore through poetry and prose a subject that has exercised some of the greatest minds of all time: self-improvement. What is the value of seeking out knowledge, physical improvement and enlightenment through self-teaching and motivation? With words of wisdom from a variety of sources across the ages including Confucius, Kant, Tennyson, Charlotte Bronte and Alan Bennett, together with music by Elgar, Clementi, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Bob Dylan.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 May 2011 22:15

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Michio Miyagi

    Haru no umi (excerpt)

    Kazue Frances Asawa (flute), Kazue Kudo (koto)

    • Crystal Records CD 316.
    • 10.
  • Confucius

    The expectations of life, reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • Paulo Coelho

    The Alchemist (excerpt), reader Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:03

    Mitch Leigh

    To Dream the Impossible Dream (Man of La Mancha)

    Simon Gilbert (tenor) (for Peter O’Toole), Studio Orchestra, Laurence Rosenthal (conductor)

    • Rykodisc RCD10730.
    • 9.
  • 00:05

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Flight of the Bumble Bee (Tsar Sultan)

    London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn (conductor)

    • RCA VD 60487.
    • 6.
  • Isaac Watts

    Against Idleness and Mischief, reader Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:06

    Joseph Haydn

    Symphony no.96 in D 'Miracle': 2nd movement (excerpt)

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)

    • Teldec 0630 10018 2.
    • 6.
  • Immanuel Kant

    What is Enlightenment? (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:09

    Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger: overture (excerpt)

    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt (conductor)

  • Elizabeth Thomas

    On Sir J-----S---- Saying in a Sarcastic Manner, My Books would Make me Mad (excerpt) reader Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:13

    Robert Schumann

    Piano Quintet: 1st movement

    Maria Joao Pires (piano), Augustin Dumay (violin), Renaud Capucon (violin), Gerard Causse (viola), Jian Wang (cello)

    • Deutsche Grammophon 463179 2.
    • 4.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Polyhymnia (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:22

    John Dowland

    Sir John Smith, his Almain

    Nigel North (lute)

    • Naxos 8 570449.
    • 3.
  • Sugawara no Michizane

    I give up trying to play the lute, reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • Samuel Butler

    Satire, in two parts, Upon the imperfection and abuse of human learning (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:25

    Aaron Copland

    Quiet City (excerpt)

    The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Hugh Wolff (conductor)

    • Teldec 3984 28169 2.
    • 9.
  • F Scott Fitzgerald

    The Great Gatsby (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:31

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no.3 'Eroica': 1st movement (excerpt)

    London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor)

    • LSO Live LSO 0080.
    • 1.
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Ulysses (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • Sir Edward Elgar

    Untitled, reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:41

    Edward Elgar

    O hearken thou

    Robert Quinney (organ), Choir of Westminster Abbey, James O’Donnell (conductor)

    • Hyperion CDA 67593.
    • 11.
  • 00:45

    Henry Purcell

    Rondeau from 'Abdelazer' (excerpt)

    Purcell Quartet

    • Chandos CHAN 0571.
    • 25.
  • Charles Dickens

    David Copperfield (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 00:47

    Gerald Finzi

    A Young Man's Exhortation

    Mark Padmore (tenor), Roger Vignoles (piano)

    • Hyperion CDA 67459.
    • 5.
  • 00:50

    Paul Dukas

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice (excerpt)

    New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (conductor)

    • Sony SMK 60695.
    • 1.
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

    The Rivals (excerpt), readers Matthew Macfadyen and Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:53

    Muzio Clementi

    Sonata in G, Op.1 no.2: 1st movement

    Howard Shelley (piano)

    • Hyperion CDA 67632.
    • 3.
  • Charlotte Bronte

    Jane Eyre (excerpt), reader Anna Maxwell Martin

  • Muriel Spark

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (excerpt), reader Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:59

    Richard Rodgers

    I have confidence in me (The Sound of Music)

    Julie Andrews (vocal), Studio orchestra, Irwin Kostal (conductor)

    • RCA BD82005.
    • 5.
  • 01:02

    Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in B flat RV.362 'La caccia': 1st movement

    Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi (director)

    • Virgin 561980 2.
  • Anonymous

    Athletic Employment, reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • Alan Bennett

    The History Boys (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen

  • 01:06

    Joe ‘Red’ Hayes/Jack Rhodes

    A satisfied mind

    Bob Dylan

    • Columbia CK 36553.
    • 1.
  • 01:08

    Jan Garbarek

    In praise of dreams

    Jan Garbarek (saxophone, synthesizers), Kim Kashkashian (viola)

    • ECM 9811068.
    • 2.
  • Naomi Shihab Nye

    Because of Libraries we can say these things, reader Anna Maxwell Martin


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