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Raymond Tallis

Michael Berkeley's guest is scientist, doctor, philosopher, writer and critic Raymond Tallis. His musical choices include Beethoven, The Beatles, Wagner, Thomas Tallis and Bach.

Michael Berkeley's guest today is one of the most remarkable men of our time. Dr Raymond Tallis has recently been acclaimed as one of the world's leading polymaths. He trained as a doctor and went on to become Professor of Geratric Medicine at the University of Manchester and a consultant physician in the Care of the Elderly at Salford. In 2006 he retired from medicine to become a full-time writer. Over the past 20 years he has published fiction, poetry, and 23 books on the philosophy of the mind, philosophical anthropology, literary theory, the nature of art, and cultural criticism, offering a critique of current predominant intellectual trends and an alternative understanding of human consciousness. His most recent books are 'The Kingdom of Infinite Space', reflecting on the mystery of embodiment, 'Hunger', exploring the basic drives behind humanity, and 'Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity', a critique which exposes the exaggerated claims made forr the ability of neuroscience and evolutionary theory to explain human behaviour, culture and society.

Music is deeply important to Raymond Tallis. He has chosen the last movement of Beethoven's Quartet Op.135, which asks the existential question 'Must it be?', to which he thinks we may find an answer in the Beatles' classic 'Let it Be'. Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder explore the celebration of death and sex, while Tallis's great motet 'Spem in alium' creates an awesome wall of sound. FInally,the opening aria of Bach's cantata BWV 82 (Es ist genug) is related to Raymond Tallis's own views on assisted dying when an individual feels that 'it is enough'.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 12 Feb 2012 12:00

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in F, Op 135 (last movement)

    Performers: Medici String Quartet

    • NIMBUS NI 5285.
  • Lennon-McCartney

    Let It Be

    Performers: The Beatles

    • PARLOPHONE CDP 7 46447-2.
  • Richard Wagner - Träume (from the Wesendonck Lieder)

    Performers: Jane Eaglen (soprano), London SO/Donald Runnicles

  • Mikis Theodorakis

    Sto Perigalo to krifo

    Performers: Giorgis Hidirakis (vocals)

    • AERAKES SA435.
  • Thomas Tallis

    Spem in alium

    Performers: The Tallis Scholars/Peter Philips

    • GIMELL CDGIM 006.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ich habe genug (opening aria from the Cantata 'Ich habe genug', BWV 82)

    Performers: Hans Hotter (baritone), Philharmonia Orchestra/Anthony Bernard, Sidney Sutcliffe (oboe)

    • EMI CDH 763198-2.

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