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The Wedding

Texts and music related to weddings, with readings by Anna Maxwell Martin and Jamie Glover. With Shakespeare, Keats, Austen and Dickens, plus Wagner, Mendelssohn and Saint-Saens.

This week's Words and Music leads you up the aisle with a series of poetry, prose and music around the theme of the wedding. From the bridal marches of Wagner and Mendelssohn - the soundtracks to countless walks up the aisle - to Saint-Saëns' confection of piano and strings in the Wedding Cake Valse-Caprice, the joyful ritual of the wedding ceremony has inspired some timeless music. Anna Maxwell Martin and Jamie Glover read work which explores the enduring romance of wedded bliss and the darker moments of married life. Poetry by Shakespeare and Keats meditates on the nature of love and takes us to a sumptuous Grecian wedding feast; while Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice returns us to a time of marriage as an aid to social mobility and Dickens' Great Expectations introduces us to one of literature's most haunting brides: the jilted Miss Haversham, who resides in her faded wedding dress alongside the clock which stopped at twenty to nine on her wedding day, the moment she discovered her heart had been broken.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 17 Jul 2011 22:15

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Felix Mendelssohn

    Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Performer: Berlin Symphony Orchestra

    • Decca 440296-2.
  • Shakespeare

    Sonnet 116 read by Jamie Glover

  • 00:03

    Henry Purcell

    Sleep, Adam, Sleep, and take thy rest

    Performer: Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano), David Millar (lute)

    • Coro COR16081.
  • Milton

    Extract from Paradise Lost read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:06

    Dmitry Shostakovich

    The Gadfly, Romance

    Performer: Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano)

    • EMI 2642292.
  • T.S Eliot

    A Dedication to My Wife read by Jamie Glover

  • D.H Lawrence

    The Wedding Morn read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:11

    Edward Elgar


    Performer: Ashley Wass (piano)

    • Naxos 8.570166.
  • 00:15

    George Frideric Handel

    Overture, Belshazzar's Feast

    Performer: The English Concert, directed by Trevor Pinnock

    • Archiv 477037-2.
  • Keats

    Extract from Lamia read by Jamie Glover

  • 00:19

    Giacomo Puccini

    Ancora un passo from Madama Butterfly

    Performer: Renata Scotto (soprano), Placido Domingo (tenor), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel

    • CBS M2k35181.
  • Walt Whitman

    Extract from The Song of the Open Road read by Jamie Glover

  • 00:24

    Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Whiter must I wander? From Songs of Travel

    Performer: Martha Wainwright (vocals), Tom Mennier (piano), Erin Hill (harp)

    • Drowned in Sound DiS0011.
  • Jane Austen

    Extract from Pride and Prejudice read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:28

    Edvard Grieg

    Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Op. 65 no. 6

    Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)

    • EMI CLASSICS 5572962.
  • Gustav Flaubert

    Extract from Madame Bovary read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:36

    Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Wedding Cake Valse-Caprice for piano and strings

    Performer: Stephen Hough (piano), CBSO, conducted by Sakari Oramo

    • Hyperion CDA67331/2.
  • Thomas Hardy

    Extract from Far from the Madding Crowd read by Jamie Glover

  • 00:43

    Robert Schumann

    Quintet for piano, two violins and cello in E flat major, 2nd Mvt. In modo una Marcia.

    Performer: Hagen Quartet, Paul Gulda (piano)

    • DG 447111-2.
  • 00:49

    Claude Debussy

    Reflets dans l'eau from Images – Série 1

    Performer: Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)

    • Decca 460247-2.
  • Michael Longley

    Swans Mating read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • Edith Wharton

    Extract from The Age of Innocence read by Jamie Glover

  • 00:55

    George Frideric Handel

    March from Suite for trumpet and strings in D

    Performer: Maurice Andre (trumpet), Würtemburg Chamber Orchestra, directed by Jörg Faerber

    • EMI 2642292.
  • 00:55

    Richard Wagner - Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin

    Performer: Frederic Bayco (organ)

  • Denise Levertov

    Wedding Ring read by Anna Maxwell Martin

  • 00:58

    Leos Janáček

    Adagio from Kreutzer Sonata

    Performer: The Talich Quartet

    • Calliope CAL9699.
  • Dickens

    Extract from Great Expectations read by Jamie Glover

  • 01:04

    Charles‐Marie Widor

    Toccata from Symphonie no. 5

    Performer: Christopher Herrick (organ)

    • Meridian CDE84148.
  • Robert Graves

    A Slice of Wedding Cake read by Jamie Glover

  • 01:08

    The Dixie Cups

    Chapel of Love

    Performer: The Dixie Cups

    • Rhino R270588.
  • 01:11

    Felix Mendelssohn

    Song without Words, Op. 30 no. 3

    Performer: Daniel Barenboim (piano)

    • DG 453061-2.
  • Elizabeth Jennings

    One Flesh read by Anna Maxwell Martin


  • Sun 17 Jul 2011 22:15

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