In a special edition, Michael Berkeley takes a backstage tour of the National Gallery with its director, Nicholas Penny. With music by Rossini, Strauss, Handel, Britten and Walton.
For this special Easter edition of Private Passions, Michael Berkeley is given a backstage tour of the National Gallery by its Director, the distinguished art historian Nicholas Penny. For this programme he selects paintings on an Easter theme of death and rebirth, with music which accompanies and illuminates them. The painters include his great passion, Titian, with a visit to the Gallery's Restoration Lab, where a painting of the Resurrection is being brought back to life. Nicholas Penny talks about the way in which such paintings change their meaning over time, and about what to look for when we try to read 14th-century depictions of the Crucifixion. His musical choices include Rossini's Stabat Mater, Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Handel's Messiah, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Walton's Façade, a reading of James Joyce's story 'The Dead' - and the sound of English blackbirds singing in spring.