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Brave New Worlds

Poetry, prose and musicon the theme of the future. With words from Margaret Atwood, Tennyson and Shelley, as well as music from Tallis, Berlioz and Stockhausen.

Ideas of the future have provided artists with the freedom of imagination to envisage new worlds, drive through change and reinvent traditional art forms. These imagined worlds might be oddly familiar, but ones where robots shoulder the burden of manual labour or fear stalks the streets of a rain washed, sky-scraper city. In religious texts, the philosophical musings of the Metaphysical poets or in sci-fi and other genre fiction this imagination has given rise to both utopian and dystopian visions.

Obsession with the future has also inspired composers to drive through change and reinvent their own art form, pushing the boundaries of composition.

With words from Margaret Atwood, Tennyson and Shelley and music from Tallis, Berlioz and Stockhausen.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 15 May 2011 22:15

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Frédéric Chopin

    Nocturne No.5 in F sharp major, op.15 no.2

    Performer: Nelson Freire

    • DECCA 478 2182.
  • PB Shelley


  • 00:04

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Missa Solemnis

    Performer: Roger Norrington, Amanda Halgrimson, Cornelia Kallisch, John Aler, Alastair Miles

    • Harmonia Mundi HMC 901557.
  • HG Wells

    The Time Machine

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    My future will not copy fair my past

  • 00:14

    Igor Stravinsky

    Variation of the Firebird

    Performer: Sir Georg Solti, The London Philharmonic Orchestra

    • BBC LPO 0025.
  • George Orwell

    Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • 00:17

    Arnold Schoenberg

    String Quartet No.2 in F sharp Minor Op.10

    Performer: Prazak Quartet

    • Praga Digitals PRD 250112.
  • Matthew Sweeney

    Zero Hour

  • 00:20

    John Cage

    Sonata XIII

    Performer: Steffen Schleiermacher

    • MDG 613 0781-2.
  • WB Yeats

    Sailing to Byzantium

  • 00:25

    Hector Berlioz

    Symphonie Fantastique Op.14

    Performer: Mariss Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    • EMI Classics 724358504125.
  • Margaret Atwood

    The Handmaid’s Tale

  • 00:31

    Alexander Scriabin

    Preparation for the Final Mystery

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Alexei Lubimov, Alexander Ghindin, Thomas Trotter, Anna-Kristiina Kaappola, Ernst Senff Chor, St Petersburg Chamber Choir, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

    • DECCA 466329-2.
  • James Kirkup

    Love in a Space Suit

  • 00:37


    The Robots

    Performer: Kraftwerk

    • CAPITOL 077774603928.
  • Lavinia Greenlaw

    The Recital of Lost Cities

  • 00:41

    Thomas Tallis

    Spem in alium

    Performer: Jeremy Summerly, Oxford Camerata

    • NAXOS 8557770.
  • Philip Larkin

    Born Yesterday

  • 00:53

    John Dowland


    Performer: Jakob Lindberg

    • BIS CD824.
  • Louis MacNeice

    Prayer Before Birth

  • 00:58

    Frédéric Chopin

    Piano Sonata No.3 in B Minor

    Performer: Nikolai Demidenko

    • Hyperion CDA 66577.
  • The Bible

    Revelation 21

  • 01:04

    Olivier Messiaen

    Quatour pour la fin du Temps

    Performer: Yvonne Loriod, Christoph Poppen, Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, Wolfgang Meyer

    • EMI Classics CDC 7543952.


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