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Richard Holmes

Michael Berkeley's guest is biographer Richard Holmes. His musical choices include 13th-century Gregorian chant, French pastoral songs, plus Bernstein and William Herschel.

Biographer Richard Holmes shares his musical passions with Michael Berkeley, and his fascination with opium dreams, telescopes and balloons.

Best known for his biographies of the Romantics - most notably Shelley and Coleridge - Richard Holmes has won just about every literary prize going.

In recent years he has moved towards the history of science with his book The Age of Wonder, which was hailed widely as 'the non-fiction book of the year'.

And his most recent book, Falling Upwards, all about the daring and frequently terrifying adventures of the pioneers of hot air ballooning, is just coming out in paperback.

Richard's musical choices range from 13th century Gregorian chant and French pastoral songs to Bernstein by way of composer and astronomer William Herschel.

Producer: Jane Greenwood

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

1 hour


Music Played

  • Plainchant

    Dies Irae

    Choir: Monks of.
  • Joseph Canteloube

    La Pastoura als Camps (Chants d'Auvergne)

    Conductor: Jeffrey Tate. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Singer: Kiri Te Kanawa.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    America (West Side Story)

    Singer: Betty Wand.
  • Erik Satie

    Gymnopedie No.1

    Performer: Pascal Rogé.
  • Franz Schubert

    Der Erlkonig, D328

    Singer: Dietrich Fischer‚ÄźDieskau. Performer: Gerald Moore.
  • William Herschel

    Oboe Concerto in C (3rd mvt: Allegretto)

    Orchestra: Mozart Orchestra. Conductor: David Jerome. Performer: Richard Woodhams.
  • Bobbie Gentry

    Ode to Billie Joe

    Singer: Bobbie Gentry.
  • Jeremy Sams

    Balloon Music (Enduring Love)

    Conductor: Christopher Austin. Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


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