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Christopher Reid

Michael Berkeley's guest is poet Christopher Reid. His choices include music from Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, Maddy Prior, Tobias Hume, Berio, Louis Armstrong and Jerome Kern.

Michael Berkeley's guest this week is the poet Christopher Reid. 'A Scattering', a moving series of elegiac poems for his late wife, the actress Lucinda Gane, who died of cancer in 2005, won the Costa Book of the Year - the first book of poetry to win since Seamus Heaney's 'Beowulf' in 1999. 'A Scattering' was also shortlisted for the 2009 Forward Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize, and at the same time, his long poem 'The Song of Lunch', about two former lovers meeting at an old Soho haunt, was made into a BBC film starring Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman. A fomer poetry editor at Faber & Faber (a position once occupied by T.S. Eliot), he is often described as co-founder with Craig Raine of the so-called 'Martian' school of poetry, which applies exotic and humorous metaphors to everyday situations. He runs his own independent publishing house, Ondt & Gracehoper, and is also an illustrator. His Collected Poems have just been published by Faber & Faber.

Christopher Reid's musical tastes extend from a Bach partita for solo keyboard and Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata for violin and piano, both of which he loves for their improvisatory qualities, to a movement from Bartok's Fifth String Quartet, which appeals to him for his folk-based character. He has also chosen Maddy Prior singing a traditional folk song, a piece for bass viol by Tobias Hume, Berio's Agnus, and music by Louis Armstrong and Jerome Kern.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 15 Jan 2012 12:00

Music Played

  • Louis Armstrong

    Weather Bird

    Performers: Louis Armstrong (trumpet) and Earl Hines (piano)

    • CBS 466308-2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in A, Op 47 (The Kreutzer) (3rd movement, Presto)

    Performers: Patricia Kopatchinskaya (violin) and Fazil Say (piano)

    • NAÏVE 5146.
  • Trad.

    The Blacksmith

    Performers: Maddy Prior (vocals) with Steeleye Span (live)

    • MUSIC CLUB MCCD 370.
  • Christopher Reid

    READING of 'Songbook' (from A Scattering)

    Performers: Christopher Reid

    • Areté Press.
  • Berio

    Agnus

    Performers: Elise Ross and Mary Thomas (sopranos), The London Sinfonietta/Lucian Berio

    • LP: RCA ARLI 0037.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Partita no 3 in A Minor (4th movement, Sarabande)

    Performers: Rosalyn Tureck (piano)

    • PHILIPS 456 976-2.
  • Jerome Kern

    Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    Performers: Thelonious Monk (piano)

    • VOGUE 600101.
  • Tobias Hume

    Loves Farewell

    Performers: Jordi Savall (bass viol)

    • ASTREE E7723.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet no 5 (3rd Movement, Scherzo alla bulgarese and Trio)

    Performers: The Belcea Quartet

    • EMI 394400-2.
  • Hellman/Gay

    Four or Five Times

    Performers: Sidney Bechet (soprano saxophone), Muggsy Spanier (cornet), Carmen Mastren (guitar), Wellman Braud (bass)

    • ASV CD AJA 5107.

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