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Gretchen Gerzina

Michael Berkeley’s guest is the writer and historian Gretchen Gerzina. With Purcell, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the Beatles.

Gretchen Gerzina says that she’s drawn to writing about those who cross boundaries of time, place, and race. During a distinguished academic career, she’s explored the lives of black people in 18th- and 19th-century Britain and America, and she presented a ten-part series on Britain’s Black Past for Radio 4. She also has a passion for 19th-century children’s books and has written a biography of Secret Garden author Frances Hodgson Burnett - and a biography of Bloomsbury artist Dora Carrington.

Gerzina herself has spent a life moving back and forth between two cultures, Britain and the US. Currently Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, as well as teaching, she’s also now writing a memoir about growing up mixed-race in America; she says: “It’s time to put the past to bed.”

Her music choices reflect her interest in 18th- and 19th-century black composers and include Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Joseph Boulogne. She reveals, too, a passion for Early Music, with Corelli and Purcell, whose exuberant “Welcome, Welcome Glorious Morn” heads her playlist.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3

Available now

38 minutes

Last on

Sun 4 Oct 2020 12:00

Music Played

  • Henry Purcell

    Welcome, Glorious Morn, Z.338 (excerpt)

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Choir: The Choir of the Age of Enlightenment. Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no.9 in D minor (4th mvt: Presto)

    Orchestra: Wiener Symphoniker. Choir: Wiener Singverein. Conductor: Philippe Jordan.
  • Ignatius Sancho

    Minuet in F major

    Ensemble: Afro American Chamber Music Society. Conductor: Janise White.
  • Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

    Violin Concerto in A major (1st mvt: Allegro)

    Performer: Rachel Barton Pine. Orchestra: Encore Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Daniel Hege.
  • The Beatles


  • Arcangelo Corelli

    Concerto Grosso in D major Op.6 no.7 (1st mvt: Vivace)

    Orchestra: Tafelmusik. Conductor: Jeanne Lamon.
  • Léo Delibes

    Lakme (Flower Duet)

    Singer: Joan Sutherland. Singer: Jane Berbié. Orchestra: Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Bonynge.
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

    Hiawatha's Departure (The Song of Hiawatha)

    Orchestra: Welsh National Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Kenneth Alwyn.


  • Sun 4 Oct 2020 12:00

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