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Gwyneth Lewis

Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis introduces her personal musical choices, including Poulenc, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, a French chanson and one haunting Welsh folk song.

As part of British music season on Radio 3, poets from across the country reveal the music which inspires them.
Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis has the unusual distinction of having written the largest poem in the world, and it's about music. The words are six feet tall, inscribed over the entrance to the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, the music venue designed by Zaha Hadid: 'In these stones horizons sing'. Gwyneth has a passion for opera and the human voice, a passion which began early when her father played his favourite operas on every car journey - the whole family would sing along. As a child she sang in her school choir, singing opera in Welsh. Gwyneth talks very movingly about the depression she has suffered throughout her life; it was music - and particularly a Brahms choral work (the Alto Rhapsody) which she says 'saved my life'. She reads a poem inspired by listening to opera singers, The Voice. And although she is Welsh through and through and she was for a time National Poet of Wales - she reveals that she doesn't have much time for Welsh music.
Choices include Verdi, Poulenc, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, a French chanson - and one haunting Welsh folk song.

Producer Elizabeth Burke
First broadcast 02/06/2013.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 1 Mar 2015 12:00

Music Played

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Bella Figlia d'amore, from Rigoletto

    Conductor: Georg Solti. Orchestra: Orchestra della RCA Italiana. Singer: Alfredo Kraus. Singer: Rosalind Elias. Singer: Robert Merrill. Singer: Anna Moffo.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Bella figlia dell'amore (Rigoletto)

  • Traditional Welsh

    Lisa Lân

    Ensemble: Carreg Lafar.
  • Traditional Welsh

    Lisa Lan

  • Béla Bartók

    Quartet No.1, III - Allegro vivace

    Ensemble: Takács Quartet.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet No.1 (3rd mvt: Allegro vivace)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Soave sia il vento, from Cosi fan Tutte

    Singer: Janet Baker. Conductor: Colin Davis. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Singer: Richard van Allan. Singer: Montserrat Caballé.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Soave sia il vento (Cosi fan tutte)

  • Charles Trenet

    La Mer

  • Charles Trenet

    La Mer

  • Johannes Brahms

    Alto Rhapsody, extract

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Choir: Ernst-Senff-Chor. Singer: Marjana Lipovšek. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Alto Rhapsody (excerpt)

  • Francis Poulenc

    Salve Regina, from Dialogues des Carmelites

    Conductor: Pierre Dervaux. Orchestra: Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris. Choir: Paris Opera Chorus.
  • Francis Poulenc

    Dialogues des Carmelites (Act 3, tableau 4: Salve Regina)

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Agnus Dei, from Mass in B Minor

    Orchestra: Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble. Singer: Nathalie Stutzmann. Conductor: Marc Minkowski.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Agnus Dei (Mass in B minor)

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