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A sequence of texts and music produced under the shadow of war, with readings by Anna Chancellor and Malcolm Storry. Including Kipling, Wharton, Kafka, Lawrence and Wodehouse.

Anna Chancellor and Malcolm Storry read from literary names including Edith Wharton, Franz Kafka, D. H. Lawrence, P. G. Wodehouse and John Buchan who all published in 1915. For some the war is a vital subject, for others, it's a background presence - and for many, their work shows no hint of the conflict unfolding in Europe and beyond. The music includes Delius, Barber, Bessie Smith and an archive recording of Elgar conducting his own work Polonia Op 76.

Producer Mohini Patel.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 Feb 2015 17:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    Edward Elgar

    Polonia, Op.76

    Performer: The Royal Albert Hall Orchestra and soloists, Sir Edward Elgar (Conductor).
    • Music and Arts Programs of America CD12574 (4).
    • 9.
  • DH Lawrence

    Excerpt from The Rainbow by read by Anna Chancellor

  • 00:05

    Frederick Delius

    North Country Sketches: Dance

    Performer: Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras (Conductor).
    • ARGO 4302022.
    • 6.
  • Ford Madox Ford

    Excerpt from The Good Soldier read by Malcolm Storry

  • 00:12

    Samuel Barber

    Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24

    Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano) Thomas Trotter (Organ). Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop (conductor).
    • Naxos 8559143 (1).
    • 1.
  • Virginia Woolf

    Excerpt from The Voyage Out read by Anna Chancellor

  • 00:21

    Heitor Villa‐Lobos

    Premiere Sonate-Fantaisie (Desesperanca)

    Performer: Paul Klinck (violin), Claude Coppens (piano).
    • CYPRES CYP2619 (1).
    • 1.
  • P. G. Wodehouse

    Excerpt from Young Gussie read by Anna Chancellor and Malcolm Storry

  • 00:27

    Bessie Smith

    I Ain’t Got Nobody

    • Jazz Archives 157902 (1).
    • 2.
  • Edith Wharton

    Excerpt from In Argonne read by Anna Chancellor

  • 00:31


    Valse Triste, Op.44/3

    Performer: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Okko Kamu (conductor).
    • Finlandia 4509958442 (1).
    • 5.
  • John Buchan

    Excerpt from 39 Steps read by Malcolm Storry

  • 00:37

    Hamish MacCunn

    Land of the Mountain and the Flood

    Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor).
    • Hyperion CDA66815 (1).
    • 1.
  • Katherine Mansfield

    Excerpt from Spring Pictures read by Anna Chancellor

  • 00:43

    Claude Debussy

    Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp. First Movement

    Performer: Prometheus Ensemble.
    • ASV CDDCA664 (1).
    • 3.
  • Franz Kafka

    Excerpt from The Metamorphosis read by Malcolm Storry

  • 00:49

    Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No. 7 in E minor. Nachmusik (allegro moderato)

    Performer: Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Bernard Haitink (conductor).
    • Phillips 4103982 (2).
    • 2.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Excerpt from The Valley of Fear read by Malcolm Storry

  • 00:56

    Modest Mussorgsky

    Night on the Bare Mountain (Rimsky-Korsakov version)

    Performer: National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Theodore Kuchar (conductor).
    • Naxos 8555924.
    • 1.
  • Edith Sitwell

    Excerpt from The Mother read by Anna Chancellor

  • 01:04

    Frank Bridge


    Performer: English string Orchestra, William Boughton, (conductor).
    • Nimbus NI5366 (1).
    • 15.
  • DH Lawrence

    Excerpt from The Rainbow read by Anna Chancellor

  • 01:10

    Sergey Rachmaninov


    Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.
    • EMI CDC5567522 (1).
    • 15.

Producer note

The year was of course dominated by the events of World War I but it

was also a remarkable year for literature and music. It was the year

D.H. Lawrence gave us The Rainbow; the year of Ford Madox Ford's The

Good Soldier; Kafka's Metamorphosis; Virginia Woolf's first novel The

Voyage Out; the year Jeeves and Wooster made their first appearance in

print; and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the fourth and final Sherlock

Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear.

During this year American novelist Edith Wharton was granted unique

access to life along the Western Front and produced an extraordinary

chronicle on the ravages of war in rural France a small collection of


And much-loved music of that year included the works of Elgar, Delius,

Mahler, Sibelius, Debussy, Mussorgsky, Hamish MacCunn, Frank Bridge,

Samuel Barber and the powerful voice blues singer Bessie Smith.

Producer - Mohini Patel


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