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Virginia Woolf: Impossible Music

Fiona Talkington explores the rooms and gardens of Monk's House in search of the musicality and sonic landscape of Virginia Woolf's world - with Tamsin Greig as Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf believed that "a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world". This radiophonic feature explores the musicality and sonic landscape of Virginia Woolf's world. It's written and presented by Fiona Talkington, with a soundscape composed by Nina Perry. Tamsin Greig performs the role of Virginia Woolf.

Connecting past and present, Fiona and Virginia duet through the rooms and gardens of Monk's House - the Woolfs' home in the village of Rodmell in the spectacular Sussex Downs. Here, Virginia's fascination with the relationships between music, words and narrative find a resonance in the sounds of nature in the garden - in the acoustics of the bathroom, in a well-loved chair by the fire, in a game of bowls, church bells, the sense of the ancient pathways of Mount Caburn in the distance, and in the gramophone records and radio broadcasts her husband Leonard Woolf would play in the evenings. Leonard kept meticulous notes of what he listened to in a small faded green notebook, listing each piece, composer and recording. Some of these same recordings have been found in the BBC archive and woven into this evocative dramatised soundscape.

Virginia Woolf played by Tamsin Greig
Written and presented by Fiona Talkington
Producer and composer: Nina Perry
Executive Producer: Iain Chambers
An Open Audio production for BBC Radio 4.

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28 minutes

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