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The Call of the City

Mark Tully examines the call of the city and contrasts its potential for energy, creativity and community with its traditional reputation for harshness and venality.

Are cities paved with gold or sinks of iniquity? Mark Tully examines the call of the city and contrasts its potential for energy, creativity and community with its traditional reputation for harshness and venality.

Progressively, city populations are swelling as rural communities dwindle. What is the draw of the big city, how does it affect the way we live and think?

Perhaps there is sometimes a knee jerk reaction that the city is a harsh, destructive, soulless place. But what about the energy of the city, the sense of purpose that it gives, the opportunities, the vibrant sense of community, the colour, the variety, the excitement?

This celebration of the urban ranges in scope from William Blake to Suzanne Vega and from New Orleans jazz to William Wordsworth and an interview with historian and urbanist Leo Hollis.

The readers are Robert Glenister and Julie Covington.

Producer: Frank Stirling
A Unique production for BBC Radio 4

19 days left to listen

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 12 Jan 2020 23:30

Music Played

  • Gottfried Huppertz

    Metropolis: I. Auftakt: Metropolis Thema

    Performer: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Conductor Frank Strobel.
    • Metropolis - Original Motion Picture Score.
    • Digital Capriccio.
  • London by William Blake

    Poet William Blake presents a negative view of London life.

  • Chronicle of Richard of Devizes

    Richard of Devizes warns of the tempters who abounded in twelfth century London

  • Suzanne Vega

    New York is a Woman

    • Beauty and Crime.
    • EMI.
  • James Boswell's Diaries

    James Boswell recalls Dr. Samuel Johnson's thoughts on London

  • Orlando Gibbons

    Cries of London, Part II

    Performer: Fretwork with Red Byrd.
    • Fantasias & The Cries of London.
    • Virgin Veritas.
    • 7243 5 45144 2 5.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    String Quartet No.6 in F, Op. 96 "American"

    Performer: Quartetto Italiano.
    • Quartetto Italiano – Schubert, Dvorák, Borodin.
    • Philips Classics.
    • Philips 420 876-2.
  • Going Home : New Orleans by Sheryl St. Germain. From the collection of poems "Let It Be Dark Roux” Autumn House Press (2007)

    Poet Sheryl St Germain presents New Orleans as an urban idyll. Reprinted by permission.

  • Louis Alter / Edgar De Lange

    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

    Performer: Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
    • Our New Orleans 2005.
    • Nonesuch.
    • Nonesuch 7559 – 79934-2.
  • Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth

    William Wordsworth's sonnet describing London and the River Thames,

  • Eric Coates

    London Suite, Westminister

    Performer: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Sir Charles Groves.
    • Eric Coates – London Suites.
    • Arabesque Recordings.
    • Z8036 (1).

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