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Genesis

Anton Lesser and Stella Gonet with poems and prose inspired by Bible stories from Genesis including Adam and Eve to Joseph and music ranging from Strauss to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Anton Lesser and Stella Gonet with readings from Genesis and poems that cast a sideways glance at these well-known myths.

The first book of the Bible is a wellspring of potent stories that contain deep truths and powerful archetypes. The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden shows how we learn to label things as Good or Evil in our search for knowledge; and how this comes at a terrible price. The fratricidal brothers, Cain and Abel, demonstrate the malevolent force of resentment and revenge.

Stella Gonet reads from the classic King James Version of the Bible, a translation whose cadences run through Shakespeare, Milton and all of English literature.

As well as the tales of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, Anton Lesser explores the untold stories of the women in Genesis: Eve thrown out of paradise and yearning to lie naked in the grass of Eden once more; a middle-aged and plump Mrs Noah looking back at her passionate youth when she was locked up in an ark full of frisky animals; and Potiphar’s wife, the prototype of a whole line of femmes fatales looking for a “rough and ready man.”

As well as containing great wisdom, these deep-rooted myths can tap into more dangerous aspects of the human psyche, if taken too literally. One of the best-known parts of Genesis is the story of Noah’s flood. The notion of a universal flood sent by God to purify a world that has supposedly fallen into sin is a common theme in many religions. It has allowed the idea that any major flood or catastrophe expresses God’s displeasure. In 2014 it was claimed by some that the UK floods were divine retribution for the British government's introduction of gay marriage. It prompted a Facebook campaign to get the song “It’s raining men” to UK number one. This iconic 80s gay anthem was written for the duo Two Tons o Fun, later known as The Weather Girls.

Also includes music by Messiaen, Dowland, Cole Porter, Berg, Stravinsky, Rossini, Bach, Martin Georgiev, Ligeti, Mozart, Richard Strauss and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Readings:
Extracts from Genesis in the King James Bible translation of 1611
Paradise Lost Book 4 - Milton
Eve - Ella Higginson
Cain and Abel – Kipling
Noah – Siegfried Sassoon
Mrs Noah: Taken After the Flood - Jo Shapcott
Babel - Sir Osbert Sitwell
The Parable of the Old Man and the Young - Wilfred Owen
Joseph's Dreams and Reuben's Brethren - Henry Lawson
Potiphar's Wife - Sir Edwin Arnold

Producer: Clive Portbury

20 days left to listen

1 hour, 14 minutes

Last on

Sun 7 Jul 2019 17:30

Music Played

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

  • Bible

    Genesis 1: 1-3, read by Bill Anders, crew member of Apollo 8, on Dec 24 1968)

  • 00:00

    Olivier Messiaen

    Joie du sang des etoiles from Turangalila

    Performer: LSO, Andre Previn.
    • Warner Classics 0190295886707.
    • Tr5.
  • Bible

    Genesis 2: 6-9 read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:03

    John Dowland

    A fancy for lute

    Performer: Jakob Lindberg.
    • BIS BIS-2055.
    • Tr1.
  • Bible

    Genesis 2: 21-25 read by Stella Gonet

  • Milton

    Paradise Lost Book 4:25-61 read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:08

    Cole Porter

    Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

    Performer: Ella Fitzgerald.
    • Verve 523 990-2.
    • Tr9.
  • Bible

    Genesis 3: 1-5 read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:12

    Berg

    Lulu Suite (extract)

    Performer: CBSO, Simon Rattle.
    • EMI 9072112.
    • Tr3.
  • Ella Higginson

    Eve read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:15

    Igor Stravinsky

    Rite of Spring (extract)

    Performer: Cleveland Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly.
    • Decca 473731.
    • Tr16.
  • Bible

    Genesis 4: 1-8 read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:18

    Igor Stravinsky

    Rite of Spring (extract)

    Performer: Cleveland Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly.
    • Decca 473731.
    • Tr17.
  • Kipling

    Cain and Abel read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:22

    Gioachino Rossini

    William Tell Overture (extract)

    Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner.
    • Philips 412893-2.
    • Tr2.
  • Bible

    Genesis 6-7 (extract) read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:25

    Gioachino Rossini

    William Tell Overture (extract)

    Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner.
    • Philips 412893-2.
    • Tr2.
  • Siegfried Sassoon

    Noah read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:28

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Gigue from Partita No 1 in Bb

    Performer: Igor Levitt.
    • Sony 88843036822.
    • Tr1.
  • Bible

    Genesis 8: 6-11 read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:31

    Gioachino Rossini

    William Tell Overture (extract)

    Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner.
    • Philips 412893-2.
    • Tr2.
  • Jo Shapcott

    Mrs Noah read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:35

    Paul Jabara, Cameron Hunt, and Paul Shaffer

    It’s raining men

    Performer: The Weather Girls.
    • Sony Music Media ?SMM 515229 2.
    • Tr1.
  • Bible

    Genesis 11 (extract) read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:39

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Quodlibet from The Goldberg Variations

    Performer: Trio Zimmermann.
    • BIS 2347.
    • Tr31.
  • Osbert Sitwell

    Babel read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:42

    Georgiev

    Genesis (extract)

    Performer: Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Martin Georgiev.
    • ISCM Records 010.
    • Tr4.
  • Bible

    Genesis 22:1-2 read by Stella Gonet

  • Wilfred Owen

    The Parable of the Old Man and the Young read by Anton Lesser

  • 00:47

    György Ligeti

    Atmospheres

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic, Jonathan Nott.
    • Warner 2564602858.
    • Tr2.
  • Bible

    Genesis 28: 10-18 read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:50

    Mozart

    Adagio from the Gran Partitita

    Performer: Linos Ensemble.
    • Capriccio 10472.
    • Tr3.
  • Bible

    Genesis 37 (extract) read by Stella Gonet

  • 00:56

    Richard Strauss

    Dance of the 7 Veils from Salome

    Performer: Chicago SO.
    • RCA GD60874.
    • Tr4.
  • Bible

    Genesis 39: 1, 4 read by Stella Gonet

  • Henry Lawson

    Joseph’s Dreams (extract) read by Anton Lesser

  • 01:03

    Lloyd Webber

    Potiphar’s Wife from Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat

    Performer: Maria Friedman, Ian McNeice, Joan Collins.
    • Universal ?– 061 683-3 18.
    • Tr1.
  • Edwin Arnold

    Potiphar’s Wife (extract) read by Anton Lesser

  • 01:08

    Freda Payne

    Rough and Ready Man

    Performer: Debby Bishop and musicians.
    • First Night Records CD9.
    • Tr13.

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