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Amanda Foreman

Michael Berkeley talks to historian Amanda Foreman. Her musical choices include Tallis, John Bull, Purcell, Henry Bishop, Handel, Vivaldi, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and John Field.

In a special edition of Private Passions recorded at the 2011 Hay-on-Wye Literary festival, Michael Berkeley talks to the award-winning historian Amanda Foreman. The daughter of the Oscar-winning screenwriter Carl Foreman and an English mother, Amanda was born in London, brought up in Los Angeles and educated in England and New York. In 1998 she received her doctorate in 18th-century British history from Oxford University, and the following year she published her first book, 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire'. It became a huge international bestseller, won the 1999 Whitbread Prize for Best Biography, and has inspired a TV documentary, a radio play starring Dame Judi Dench, and a movie, 'The Duchess', starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.

Amanda Foreman has just published her second book, 'A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided', in which she traces turbulent Anglo-American relations during the American Civil War. She has compared the task with writing a symphony.

Her musical passions, as revealed to Michael Berkeley during this special programme recorded in front of an audience at Hay-on-Wye, focus very much on English music, as befits a historian of the period. They include an anthem by Thomas Tallis, a keyboard piece by John Bull, songs by Purcell and Henry Bishop, and a chorus from Handel's oratorio 'Israel in Egypt', as well as music by Vivaldi, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, John Field, Vaughan Williams and Flanders and Swann.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 12 Jun 2011 12:00

Music Played

  • Thomas Tallis

    If ye love me

    Performers: The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips

    • Tudor Collection.
    • GIMELL CDGIMB 450.
  • John Bull

    Galliard (Britannica Musica no. 78)

    Performers: Pierre Hantaï (harpsichord)

    • Doctor Bull’s Good Night.
    • ASTREE E8543.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Amor, hai vinto

    Performers: Emma Kirkby (soprano), Mark Caudle (cello), Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord)

    • Marcello Oboe Concerto.
    • OISEAU LYRE 421 655-2.
  • Henry Purcell

    Drunk as I live, boys… (The Fairy Queen, Act I)

    Performers: David Thomas (The Drunken Poet), The Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    • The Fairy Queen.
    • ARCHIV 419 221-2.
  • George Frideric Handel

    The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance (Israel in Egypt)

    Performers: The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    • Handel Israel in Egypt.
    • ERATO 4509-99758-2.
  • John Field

    Piano Concerto in A flat major, Op. 31 (part of the 1st movement)

    Performers: Míceál O’Rourke (piano), London Mozart Players/Matthias Bamert

    • John Field.
    • CHANDOS CHAN 9368.
  • Henry Bishop

    Lo! Here the Gentle Lark

    Performers: Kathleen Battle (soprano), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Margo Garrett (piano)

    • Kathleen Battle - Jean-Pierre Rampal – In Concert.
    • SONY SK 53106 Tr19.
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

    Deep River

    Performers: Virgina Eskin (piano)

    • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
    • KOCH 7056.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Ill Wind

    Arranger: Flanders and Swann

    • At the drop of another hat.
    • EMI CDP 7974662.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis (the opening)

    Performers: RPO/André Previn

    • Vaughan-Williams.
    • TELARC CD-80158.


Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Michael Berkeley introduces memorable interviews from Private Passions' archives.