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Stephen Hugh-Jones

Michael Berkeley's guest is anthropologist Stephen Hugh-Jones. He introduces recordings of music from the Amazonian rainforest, as well as Purcell, Schubert and Beethoven.

Stephen Hugh-Jones is a fellow of King's College Cambridge and has spent 45 years researching - and living among - the Amazonian Indians who live on the Equator, in South-Eastern Colombia. They are still one of the most remote peoples on earth, and when Dr Hugh-Jones and his wife Christine first went to live there, in the late 1960s, this was a people, and a culture, completely untouched by modern life. This was partly because people were afraid of them; they had a reputation for being dangerous and cannibalistic.

In fact, Dr Hugh-Jones discovered that really they were a pacific people, with a very sophisticated set of religious beliefs. And music is a key part of their religious ceremonies. For Private Passions, Stephen Hugh-Jones brings along musical instruments that he has brought back from Colombia, and recordings he has made of music there.

He chooses, too, music which he took with him to listen to when he was living so far from home, particularly Bach - who caused a surprising reaction in the Amazon. Other choices include Purcell, Alfred Brendel playing Schubert, Beethoven's String Quartet No 15 in A minor, and Cuban music played by an African band.

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

Available now

33 minutes

Last on

Sun 14 Aug 2016 12:00

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Schlummert ein (Cantata No.82: Ich habe genug)

    Orchestra: Kammerorchester Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Singer: Barbara Hendricks. Singer: Peter Schreier.
  • Franz Schubert

    Piano Sonata in A, D.959 (4th mvt: Rondo)

    Performer: Alfred Brendel.
  • Rafael Escalona

    El arco iris

    Performer: Carlos Vives.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in A minor, Op.132 (2nd mvt: Allegro ma non tanto)

    Ensemble: Alban Berg Quartett.
  • Henry Purcell

    Come ye Sons of Art

    Performer: David Hansen. Performer: Timothy Mead. Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Conductor: Stephen Cleobury. Choir: King's College Cambridge Choir.
  • Rudy Gomis


    Ensemble: Orchestra Baobab.


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