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Poetry and music on the theme of fame and celebrity, read by Imogen Stubbs and Michael Maloney. The programme includes works by Rita Dove, Boris Pasternak and Emily Dickinson.

Poetry and music on the theme of fame and celebrity, read by Imogen Stubbs and Michael Maloney.

This week's programme looks at the value - or cost - of fame. Can recognition itself bring happiness? What happens when the soft caress of the camera is replaced by the harsh gaze of the paparazzi? Why do so many yearn for their 'fifteen minutes of fame'? And how differently do we view those who have earned their celebrity status through great achievements in life rather than in the film studio?

Writing by Rita Dove, Boris Pasternak, John Clare, Geoffrey Hill, Charles Simic and Emily Dickinson is accompanied by the music of Handel, John Tavener, Stephen Sondheim and Michael Jackson.

20 days left to listen

1 hour, 14 minutes

Music Played

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

  • 00:00

    Hector Berlioz

    Harold in Italie

    Performer: Nobuko Imai, Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra.
    • PHILIPS 416 431-2.
    • Tr.
  • Emily Dickinson

    Fame is a Fickle Food, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • John Clare

    Idle Fame, read by Michael Maloney

  • Geoffrey Hill

    On Crowds and Power, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • 00:07

    Nicolò Paganini

    Caprices, Op. 1, No.16 in G minor

    Performer: Itzhak Perlman.
    • BMG CLASSICS.
    • Tr.
  • Thom Gunn

    Painkillers, read by Michael Maloney

  • 00:10

    Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard

    Man in the Mirror

    Performer: Michael Jackson.
    • EPIC 504423 2.
    • Tr.
  • Boris Pasternak

    It is not seemly to be famous, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • 00:14

    Abullah Ibrahim

    Nelson Mandela

    • Kaz Records KAZ CD 7.
    • Tr7.
  • 00:18

    The Philip Glass Ensemble, Michael Riesman (Conductor)

    Knee Play 1 - Chorus and electric organ

    • SONY CLASSICAL SM4K87970.
    • CD1 Tr1.
  • 00:22

    Scott Joplin

    Maple Leaf Rag

    Performer: Joshua Rifkin.
    • ELEKTRA NONESUCH 7559-79159-2.
    • Tr.
  • Rita Dove

    Hattie McDaniel Arrives at the Coconut Grove, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • 00:28

    Max Steiner

    Mammy (from Gone with the Wind)

    Performer: MGM Studio Orchestra, Max Steiner.
    • CBS AK 45438.
    • Tr.
  • Charles Simic

    Cameo Appearance, read by Michael Maloney

  • 00:31

    Tom Williams

    Cadillac of the Skies

    Performer: Warner Bros Studio Orchestra, John Williams.
    • WARNER BROS.
    • Tr.
  • Charles Simic

    Cameo Appearance, read by Michael Maloney

  • Edwin Morgan

    The Death of Marilyn Monroe, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • 00:37

    Henry Purcell

    Funeral March for Queen Mary

    Performer: Monteverdi Choir, Monteverdi Orchestra, Equale Brass Ensemble, John Eliot Gardiner.
    • ERATO 2292-45123-2.
    • Tr.
  • E. E. Cummings

    Fame Speaks, read by Michael Maloney

  • 00:40

    Sir Hamilton Harty

    Ode to a Nightingale

    Performer: Ulster Orchestra, Bryden Thomson.
    • CHANDOS 10194(3)X.
    • Tr.
  • John Keats

    On Fame, read by Michael Maloney

  • 00:43

    David Bowie

    Andy Warhol

    Performer: David Bowie.
    • EMI 7243 521899 0 8.
    • Tr8.
  • 00:47

    Everett Robbins, Porter Grainger

    T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do

    Performer: Billie Holiday.
    • MCA Records MCLD 19216.
    • Tr8.
  • 00:50

    Jules Massenet

    Cleopatre

    Performer: Jean-Luc Maurette, Didier Henry, Martine Olmeda, Choeurs du Festival, Nouvel Orchestre de Saint-Etienne, Patrick Fournillier.
    • KOCH SCWANN 3-1032-2.
    • Tr.
  • 00:53

    Stephen Sondheim

    Broadway Baby

    Performer: Elaine Stritch, New York Philharmonic, Paul Gemignani.
    • RCA VICTOR RED SEAL RD87128(2).
    • Tr.
  • Paul Groves

    Greta Garbo, read by Michael Maloney and by Imogen Stubbs

  • 00:59

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique

    Performer: Alfred Brendel.
    • PHILIPS 442 774-2 X.
    • Tr.
  • Richard Wilbur

    Icons, read by Imogen Stubbs

  • 01:06

    John Tavener

    Song for Athene

    Performer: Westminster Abbey Choir, Martin Neary.
    • SONY SK 66 613.
    • Tr.

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