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Sound Frontiers: Rebirth

Live from Southbank Centre, a reading of poetry and prose by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister, with music, reflecting the spirit of rebirth in postwar periods.

A live reading of poetry and prose by Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister with music reflecting the renewal experienced in post war periods and the spirit of rebirth which accompanied the founding of the Third Programme and the building of the Festival Hall. The programme ranges across the centuries including poems from T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson and Ovid and music by Schubert, Benjamin Britten and Joni Mitchell on the theme of 'Rebirth'. We begin with Bach's Suite no 1 in G major with Yo-Yo Ma.

Sound Frontiers: BBC Radio 3 live at Southbank Centre
Celebrating 7 decades of pioneering music and culture

Producer: Fiona McLean.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Sep 2016 17:30

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: Prélude

    Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
    • Sony S2K 63203.
    • CD1 Tr1.
  • T.S. Eliot

    The Four Quartets: East Coker, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:03

    Nicola LeFanu


    Performer: The Schubert Ensemble.
    • NMC NMCD080.
    • Tr2.
  • Kathleen Raine

    Into what pattern?, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 00:06

    Eric Satie arranged by Toru Takemitsu

    Les Fils des Etoiles for flute and harp

    Performer: Aureole Trio, Laura Gilbert (flute).
    • Koch 374492.
    • Tr6.
  • Edward Thomas

    The Trumpet, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:12

    Sergei Prokofiev

    Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major, op.53 - Vivace

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, Andre Prévin (Conductor).
    • Decca 452882.
    • CD1 Tr4.
  • Louis MacNeice

    The Truisms, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 00:18

    George Butterworth

    Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad - Loveliest of Trees

    Performer: Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside.
    • NAXOS 8572426.
    • Tr1.
  • Philip Larkin

    The Trees, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:21

    Irving Berlin

    Blue Skies

    Performer: Benny Goodman and His Orchestra.
    • Conifer TQ131.
    • Tr3.
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins

    The Windhover, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 00:26

    Gerald Finzi

    Concerto for Small Orchestra and Solo Violin

    Performer: Tamsin Little (violin), City of London Sinfonia, Nick Ward (Leader), Richard Hickox (Conductor).
    • CHANDOS CHAN10425X.
    • Tr6.
  • Cecil Day Lewis

    Do not expect again a phoenix hour, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:33

    Franz Schubert


    Performer: Nicola Benedetti, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, James MacMillan (Conductor).
    • UCJ ?476 3159.
    • Tr6.
  • Emily Dickinson

    Hope is the Thing, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 00:38

    Joni Mitchell


    Performer: Joni Mitchell.
    • Reprise K244085.
    • Tr11.
  • John Clare

    The Instinct of Hope, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:44

    Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Symphony No. 3 'A Pastoral Symphony' – Molto Moderato

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn (Conductor).
    • RCA GD90503.
    • Tr1.
  • Siegfried Sassoon

    Everyone Sang, read by Robert Glenister

  • 00:55

    Judith Weir

    Now is a ship

    Performer: Jude Carlton (Marimba), Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Geoffrey Webber (Director).
    • DELPHIAN DCD34095.
    • Tr9.
  • 00:57

    John Surman


    Performer: John Surman.
    • ECM 1418 843 849-2.
    • Tr7.
  • Moniza Alvi

    How the stone found its voice, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 00:59

    Benjamin Britten

    String Quartet No.3, Op.94 (1975) – II. Ostinato: Very fast

    Performer: Vermeer Quartet, Alex Klein (oboe).
    • Cedille Records CDR 90000 093.
    • Tr6.
  • Ovid translated by A. D. Melville

    Metamorphosis, read by Robert Glenister

  • T.S. Eliot

    The Four Quartets: East Coker, read by Fiona Shaw

  • 01:05

    Thomas Adès

    ...but all shall be well, Op.10

    Performer: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Adès (Conductor).
    • EMI CDC5568182.
    • Tr13.

Producer's Notes: Sound Frontiers: 'Rebirth'

This week’s Words and Music, live from the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, is on the theme of rebirth and regeneration to mark the 70th anniversary of the Third Programme, the predecessor to Radio 3.  The actors Robert Glenister and Fiona Shaw will be performing in our pop-up glass studio at the RFH as part of Radio 3’s Sound Frontiers.

In September 1946 as the network went on air William Haley, the Director General of the BBC, said: ‘The Third Programme is a pioneer effort, something new and ambitious. That it should have been decided on in the heat of a most devastating war will, we hope, be seen abroad as but one example of British imagination, that it should be inaugurated within 14 months of the end of hostilities – as an evidence of national vigour’.

Fiona Shaw and Robert Glenister read poems including T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’, Kathleen Raine’s ‘Into What Pattern…’, and Philip Larkin’s ‘The Trees’ with music including Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no. 4, Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet no. 3 and Judith Weir’s song setting of E. E. Cummings' ‘Now is a ship’.  We go back in time to Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’, Gerard Manley Hopkins' ‘The Windhover’ and John Clare’s ‘The Instinct of Hope’ and forward in time with Nicola LeFanu’s ‘Miniature’ and Benny Goodman’s interpretation of Irving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies’.

During the programme you’ll hear the complex feelings of optimism and uncertainty which permeates society in the post-war period heard in Louis MacNeice’s ‘The Truisms’ and Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Everyone Sang’ and in George Butterworth’s setting of A. E. Housman’s ‘Loveliest of Trees’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’ which was, in part, inspired by emotions evoked by the Vietnam War.

We end as we begin with T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Four Quartets’ and Thomas Adès’ ‘…but all shall be well’, his first composition for large orchestra which was inspired by the closing words of Eliot’s ‘Little Gidding’.

Producer: Fiona McLean


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