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Ken Loach

Film director Ken Loach talks to Michael Berkeley about the classical music he's loved throughout his life and the dangerous power of music in film.

The film director Ken Loach talks to Michael Berkeley about the classical music he’s loved throughout his life and the dangerous power of music in film.

Ken Loach began his career directing Z Cars - but very soon entered the national consciousness in the late 1960s with films such as Cathy Come Home, Poor Cow and Kes. He’s kept up this prolific pace in the subsequent fifty years, making more than fifty award-winning films for cinema and television, and achieving a level of realism rarely captured by other directors. His latest film, Sorry We Missed You, is about the impact on families of the gig economy.

Ken talks to Michael about the music of his childhood growing up in Nuneaton after the war – he chooses Brahms's Academic Festival Overture to recall music lessons at school - and he we hear a piece by Schubert which reminds him of his own children growing up.

Ken picks recordings which bring back particular moments in his life: the sheer energy and excitement of Carlos Kleiber’s 1974 recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; the 1968 recording of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto by Mstislav Rostropovich and Herbert von Karajan, which brings back memories of making Kes; and Geza Anda’s recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number 21, which was used in the film Elvira Madigan.

Every one of Ken’s films has a cause at its heart such as homelessness, unemployment and civil rights. We hear the music of resistance that reflects the struggle of ordinary people for justice and dignity that has driven his career.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3

Available now

33 minutes

Last on

Sun 10 Nov 2019 12:00

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    Academic Festival Overture

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Marin Alsop.
  • Ewan MacColl

    Dirty Old Town

    Singer: Ewan MacColl. Singer: Peggy Seeger.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 (1st mvt: Allegro con brio)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Carlos Kleiber.
  • Trad.

    A Las Barricadas

    Music Arranger: George Fenton.
  • Tommy Makem

    Four Green Fields

    Performer: Jim McCann. Ensemble: The Dubliners.
  • Dick Gaughan

    Which Side are you On

    Performer: Dick Gaughan.
  • Pierre Degeyter

    La Internacional

    Music Arranger: George Fenton.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Concerto No.21 in C major (2nd mvt)

    Performer: Anda Géza. Orchestra: Camerata Salzburg.
  • Franz Schubert

    Impromptu in G flat major, D.899 no.3

    Performer: Mitsuko Uchida.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Cello Concerto in B minor (Finale: Allegro moderato)

    Performer: Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.

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