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To Infinity and Beyond

Sequence of texts and music exploring the idea of infinity, with readings by Saskia Reeves and David Annen. Includes Herrick and Browning, plus Beethoven and Dutilleux.

This Words and Music explores the idea of Infinity, from numbers to space, metaphysics to love, and time to artistic expressions of what is boundless.

Saskia Reeves and David Annen read poetry and prose from Herrick to Douglas Adams and Browning to the Zohar, with music by Beethoven, Dutilleux and Skempton.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 1 Mar 2015 21:50

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Philip Glass

    Knee Play 1 (Einstein on the Beach)

    Performer: The Philip Glass Ensemble

    • CBS M4K38875.
  • Infinite Numbers 1

    Pi, readers David Annen and Saskia Reeves

  • W. H. Auden

    Numbers and Faces, reader David Annen

  • 00:03

    Claude Debussy

    Reflets dans l'eau (Images – Premier Livre)

    Performer: Pascal Rogé (piano)

    • DECCA 443 021-2.
  • 00:08

    Charles Ives

    The Unanswered Question

    Performer: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

    • DG 439 869-2.
  • Roy Jacobstein

    Infinity Plus One, reader Saskia Reeves

  • The Zohar (cited by Daniel Matt)

    The Aroma of Infinity, reader David Annen

  • 00:15

    Henri Dutilleux

    VII Temps suspendu (Ainsi la Nuit)

    Performer: Arditti Quartet

    • WHLIVE 0003.
  • T. S. Eliot

    Burnt Norton (Four Quartets), reader Saskia Reeves

  • 00:20

    Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The Infinite Shining Heavens (Songs of Travel)

    Performer: Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), David Willison (piano)

  • Wallace Bruce

    The Infinite, reader Saskia Reeves

  • 00:23

    Olivier Messiaen

    Oraison (1937)

    Performer: Ensemble d’Ondes Martenot de Montréal

    • SUB ROSA SR250.
  • 00:31

    Conlon Nancarrow

    Prelude (Prelude and Blues)

    Performer: Cheryl Seltzer (piano)

    • MUSIC MASTERS 70682.
  • Infinite Numbers 2

    Fractions, readers Saskia Reeves and David Annen

  • Robert Herrick

    God, reader David Annen

  • 00:32

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ricercar (The Musical Offering, BWV.1079)

    Performer: Fretwork

    • HMU 907395.
  • Galileo Galilei

    The First Day (excerpt), readers Saskia Reeves and David Annen

  • 00:41

    Karlheinz Stockhausen


    Performer: Kathinka Pasveer (flute)

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    The Traveller through Infinity, reader Saskia Reeves

  • Douglas Adams

    The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (excerpt), reader David Annen

  • 00:46

    John Cage

    Sonata 5 (Sonatas and Preludes)

    Performer: Rolf Hind (piano)

    • WARP WARPCD144.
  • Infinite Numbers 3

    Decimals, readers Saskia Reeves and David Annen

  • 00:48

    Henry Purcell

    Hear my Prayer, O Lord

    Performer: Armonico Consort

    • SIGNUM SIGCD235.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

    The Bohemian Hymn, reader Saskia Reeves

  • The New English Bible (Genesis, 11)

    The Tower of Babel, reader David Annen

  • 00:52

    György Ligeti

    Coloana infinita (Etudes)

    Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)

    • SONY SK62308.
  • Lucretius (trans. R. E. Latham)

    Matter and Space (extract from The Nature of the Universe), reader David Annen

  • 00:55

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in F major, Op.135, 3mvt

    Performer: Takacs Quartet

    • DECCA 470 849-2.
  • 01:03

    Howard Skempton

    Even Tenor

    Performer: Joanna MacGregor (piano)

  • M. C. Escher

    The Graphic Work (excerpt), reader David Annen

  • Joan Miro

    Quotation, reader Saskia Reeves

  • Rabindranath Tagore

    What is Boundless and Endless, reader David Annen

  • 01:07

    Gustav Mahler

    Der Abschied (extract)

    Performer: Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano), Czech PO, Vaclav Neumann (conductor)

    • PRAGA PR254052.
  • 01:11

    Michael Vetter

    Breathing Wind (extract)

    Performer: Michael Vetter and The Overtone Choir

    • AMIATA ARNR0192.
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Finite and Infinite, reader Saskia Reeves

  • Giacomo Leopardi

    The Infinite, reader David Annen


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