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Bettany Hughes

Michael Berkeley's guest is historian Bettany Hughes. She selects gypsy music from Istanbul, a work by a 9th-century female Byzantine composer, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

Bettany Hughes talks to Michael Berkeley about the music that's shaped her family life, and the music she's come to love during her travels as a historian.

Bettany has more than 50 radio and television documentaries to her name, many about ancient history and she's also a prolific writer, a Research Fellow at King's College London and has been honoured with numerous awards including the Norton Medlicott Medal for History and the Fem 21 International Journalism Award for her 'exceptional contribution to the international coverage of the place of women in societies past and present'.

She's the author of three bestselling books, the latest of which is 'Istanbul', a decade in the making and over 800 pages long, which brings to life 3000 years of action-packed history in that great city.

She talks to Michael about the importance of visiting the places she writes about and the joy of discovering music such as shepherds' calls in Greece and gypsy music in Istanbul. Bettany's interest in women's history is reflected in music by a 9th-century female Byzantine composer, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. And she tells a touching musical story which shaped the history of her own family.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Sun 21 May 2017 12:00

Music Played

  • Trad.

    Bu Yil Bekar Kalahm

    Performer: Kemani Cemal. Performer: Bigah Ahmet.
  • William Lloyd Webber

    Nocturne

    Performer: Julian Lloyd Webber. Performer: Skaila Kanga.
  • Flanders and Swann

    The Hippopotamus Song

    Singer: Ian Wallace. Performer: Donald Swann.
  • Henry Purcell

    When I am Laid in Earth (Dido and Aeneas)

    Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Singer: Janet Baker.
  • Kassiano

    Troparion for Holy Wednesday

    Choir: Cappella Romana. Conductor: alexander lingas.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Symphony No.5 (1st mvt: Moderato)

    Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Andris Nelsons.
  • Trad.

    Skaros (Shepherd's Song of Epiros)

    Performer: Elias Litos. Performer: Lazaros Rouvas.

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