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Alison Goldfrapp

For Radio 3's Classical Voice season, Michael Berkeley is joined by singer Alison Goldfrapp. Her choices include Jessye Norman, the Bulgarian Women's Choir, Mahler and Reich.

As part of the BBC's Classical Voice season, Michael Berkeley's guest is singer Alison Goldfrapp.

Alison Goldfrapp burst onto the music scene fifteen years ago, as lead singer in the duo Goldfrapp with the debut album Felt Mountain. Rock critics reached for adjectives such as 'lush', 'symphonic', 'epic'. Since Felt Mountain there have been five more hit albums, moving across pop, dance, electronic music - but each featuring the same extraordinary voice. Alongside the six gold albums, Goldfrapp also composed the soundtrack for the John Lennon film, Nowhere Boy, and the music for the recent Medea, starring Helen McCrory, at the National Theatre.

In Private Passions, Alison Goldfrapp talks to Michael Berkeley about finding her voice, and about the childhood that inspired her. Her father ('a closet hippy') used to take all six children out into the Hampshire woods, and make them sit still and listen, for hours; when there was a full moon he would drive them to the sea, for a night swim. The first time Goldfrapp heard her own voice soar was as a schoolgirl at the Alton Convent School in Hampshire, and encouraged by the nuns, she sang higher and higher until she felt a kind of 'buzzing' in her head: an unforgettable experience.

Goldfrapp chooses music which features a choir of extraordinary women's voices, the Bulgarian State Radio female choir, and Jessye Norman singing Fruhling from Strauss's Four Last Songs. She also chooses Atmospheres by Gyorgy Ligeti - music she finds very frightening - and celebrates both Mahler, and Ennio Morricone's film music, especially his score to an erotic thriller from 1969, Dirty Angels. And she reveals the music her partner Lisa Gunning sends her to listen to when they're apart.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 3.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 21 Jun 2015 12:00


Music Played

  • Goldfrapp

    Utopia (Felt Mountain)

    Ensemble: Goldfrapp.
  • Trad.

    Pilentzee Pee

    Choir: Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Balda para mi muerte

    Performer: Amelita Baltar. Performer: Astor Piazzolla.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony no. 5 in C sharp minor (4th mvt)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
  • György Ligeti


    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
  • Richard Strauss

    Fruhling (4 Last Songs)

    Conductor: Kurt Masur. Singer: Jessye Norman. Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
  • Steve Reich

    Pulses (Music for 18 Musicians)

    Ensemble: Steve Reich and Musicians.
  • Ennio Morricone

    Un altro mare (Vergogna schifosi)

    Ensemble: Ensemble.


  • Sun 21 Jun 2015 12:00

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