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The Gift

Readers Kenneth Cranham and Nadine Marshall explore the excitement (and occasional disappointment) of giving and receiving presents.

Readers Kenneth Cranham and Nadine Marshall explore the excitement (and occasional disappointment) of giving and receiving. From the beleaguered sisters in Little Women, contemplating Christmas without presents, to the court of the Ottoman Emperor in the 16th century, where Elizabeth I's envoys are presenting an extravagant musical gift. The gift of love and sex is explored by Shakespeare, John Donne and Andrew McMillan, and Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole reminds us how important totally useless gifts can be at Christmas time. The mildly festive musical gift wrap for this edition ranges from Nina Simone's Little Girl Blue to Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and Poveri fiori from Francesco Cilèa's opera Adriana Lecouvreur, where the tragic Adriana has just opened a mysterious birthday present containing the wilted remains of the violets she once gave her beloved Maurizio.
Producer: Georgia Mann-Smith

1 hour, 14 minutes

Last on

Sun 2 Dec 2018 17:30

Music Played

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

  • 00:01

    Nina Simone

    Little Girl Blue

    Performer: Nina Simone.
    • From Desktop Jukebox.
  • Louisa M. Allcott

    Extract from Little Women read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:06

    Grace Williams

    Extract from Fantasia on Welsh nursery tunes

    Performer: Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Andrew Penny.
    • MARCO POLO 8225048.
  • Robert Frost

    The Gift Outright read by Robert Frost

  • 00:09

    Aaron Copland

    Appalachian spring - Thema and variations ('The Gift to be Simple')

    Performer: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra / Hugh Wolff.
    • Teldec 398428169-2.
  • 00:13

    Johnny Cash

    Christmas As I Knew It

    Performer: Johnny Cash.
    • From Desktop Jukeox.
  • Harper Lee

    Extract from To Kill A Mockingbird read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:18

    Claude Debussy

    Children's corner for piano, Serenade for the doll

    Performer: Noriko Ogawa.
    • BIS CD1205.
  • Sue Townsend

    Extract from The Diary of Adrian Mole read by Kenneth Cranham

  • 00:22

    Michael Carr, Tommie Connor and Jimmy Leach

    The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot

    Performer: Nat King Cole.
    • From Desktop Jukebox.
  • 00:24

    Terje Isungset and Sidsel Endresen

    Igloo - extract

    Performer: Terje Isungset and.
    • All Ice Records ?– All Ice 0601.
    • 1.
  • Simon Armitage

    The Present read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:26

    Max Richter arrangement of Vivaldi

    Vivaldi Recomposed: Winter 1 

    Performer: Daniel Hope (violin), Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin / Andre de Ridder.
    • DG 4810044.
  • 00:29

    John Dowland

    Queene Elizabeth, her galliard (K Darcies galliard) P.41 for lute

    Performer: Ian Watt (lute).
    • NIMBUS NI6226.
  • Shakespeare

    Sonnet 122 read by Kenneth Cranham

  • 00:32

    Orlando Gibbons

    Fantasia a 4

    Performer: Parley of Instruments.
    • HYPERION CDA66395.
  • Andrew McMillan

    A Gift read by Kenneth Cranham

  • Amy Lowell

    A Gift read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:38


    Adriana Lecouvreur, Act 4: "Poveri fiori" (Adriana Lecouvreur)

    Performer: Maria Callas (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin.
    • Warner from Callas sings Operatic Arias - Callas Remastered.
  • Hillaire Belloc

    On the Gift of a Book to a Child read by Kenneth Cranham

  • 00:43


    Ma mere l'oye - suite vers. for orchestra, Le Jardin feerique

    Performer: Los Angeles Philharmonic / Carlo Maria Giulini.
    • DG 4778840.
  • 00:45


    Raag Pahadi

    Performer: Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (sitar), Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute), Brij Bhushan Kabra (guitar), Manikrao Popatkar (table).
  • Rabindranath Tagore

    The Gift read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:49

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Sleeping beauty - suite (Op.66a), Introduction (The lilac fairy)

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic / Mstislav Rostropovich.
    • DG 4779191.
  • Alexandre Perrault translated by

    Extract from The Sleeping Beauty read by Kenneth Cranham

  • Helen Fielding

    Extract from Bridget Jones’ Diary read by Nadine Marshall

  • 00:56

    Vince Guaraldi Trio

    O Tannenbaum

    Performer: Vince Guaraldi Trio.
    • From Desktop Jukebox.
  • Thomas Dallam

    Extract from the Diaries of Thomas Dallam read by Kenneth Cranham

  • 01:03


    A Solis Ortus, Verse IV

    Performer: Carl Smith (organ).
    • NAXOS, 8.570142.
  • 01:04

    Leopold Mozart

    Symphony in C major "Toy": 1st movement; Allegro

    Performer: Orchestra of St John's / John Lubbock.
    • Sanctuary CD RSN3072.
  • Carol Ann Duffy

    December read by Nadine Marshall

  • 01:09

    Leigh Harline

    When You Wish Upon a Star

    Performer: The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
    • From Desktop Jukebox.


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