podcast cover

Soul Music

BBC Radio 4

Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact

27:30 | Dec 2nd, 2014

The Smiths' 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' is explored through personal stories. Released in 1986 on 'The Queen Is Dead' album, it has become an anthem of hope, loss and love. As a teenager, Andy listened to it with his father, as he drove hi...Show More

28:30 | Jul 31st

Personal stories about Farewell to Stromness, by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Written in 1980 as a protest against uranium mining in Orkney, the music has touched and changed people's lives. The Orkney landscape which inspired Max's music is describe...Show More

28:29 | Jul 24th

“I follow the Moskva, down to Gorky Park… listening to the wind of change.” The German rock band Scorpions’ lead singer Klaus Meine was inspired to write Wind of Change at a rock festival in Moscow in the summer of 1989. Politics were rapidly shifti...Show More

27:55 | Jul 17th

50 years after it was first recorded, Ralph McTell and others discuss a song that was written for a heroin addict, became an anthem against homelessness, and transcended the folk genre to become an enduring classic. Ralph McTell says he’s thought co...Show More

28:37 | Jul 10th

Amy Winehouse died in July 2011 aged just 27. Back to Black the title track of her second and final album is a torch song to tragic love, addiction and loss. People who loved her and her music talk about how she helped them cope with their own strugg...Show More

27:29 | Jan 23rd

The story of how a song from a classic 80’s movie became an inspirational anthem for a 21st Century generation. Carly Simon’s ‘Let the River Run’ was originally conceived as the title track for the 1988 movie ‘Working Girl. It went on to win the Aca...Show More

27:45 | Jan 17th

The music was written by Charlie Chaplin in 1935 for the film 'Modern Times', but the lyrics were only added thirty years later. Chris Philips tells the story of how his grandfather was inspired to write the words when he left his father at boarding ...Show More

27:31 | Jan 9th

The B-Flat Piano Sonata D960, which Schubert completed two months before his death, in 1828, is a vast and complex work. It’s the last of a triptych of piano sonatas that Schubert wrote, possibly in response to the death of his hero Beethoven the yea...Show More

27:49 | Dec 26th, 2018

Shine On You Crazy Diamond discussed by voices including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Understood to have been written about Syd Barrett, their former band member, it’s both a tribute, and a call for him to ‘shine on’ despite suffering serious mental...Show More

27:49 | Dec 19th, 2018

A new series of Soul Music begins with stories of Joni Mitchell's 'River', from her iconic 1971 album Blue. A song about the breakdown of a relationship and of a longing to be elsewhere that has become a melancholy Christmas anthem. It's coming on ...Show More

27:52 | May 2nd, 2018

"Your true colors...are beautiful, like a rainbow..." Billy Steinberg's lyrics were originally inspired by his mother but his song writing partner Tom Kelly recognised it's universal appeal and with a slight re-write, it became the song that Cyndi L...Show More

27:28 | Apr 25th, 2018

"God only knows what I'd be without you" For artist Kim Lynch God Only Knows is a song that she has carried with her from the moment her father played it to her mother back in their 1960's London home and it's the song that resonated throughout her ...Show More

27:33 | Apr 18th, 2018

Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun speaks to artists of different kinds. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson recalls hearing it through an open window in Kingston Jamaica and being mesmerised by its beauty, but not knowing what it was, s...Show More

27:44 | Apr 11th, 2018

A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum: Why has this surreal track remained enduringly popular for over 50 years? Soul Music hears the stories and memories of those who love it. Released in May 1967, A Whiter Shade of Pale was Procol Harum's first ...Show More

41:46 | Apr 4th, 2018

Actor Clarke Peters narrates a special edition of Soul Music marking fifty years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King on April 4th 1968. "If in doubt, pray and sing" an activist recalls how music was used as part of Dr King...Show More

1:04:53 | Feb 12th, 2018

Cerys Matthews delves into the archives to put together a specially curated mixtape of her favourite stories from across 25 series of the BBC Radio 4's Soul Music. Each episode of Soul Music takes a different piece of music - it might be a pop son...Show More

57:34 | Feb 12th, 2018

Cerys Matthews delves into the archives to put together a specially curated mixtape of her favourite stories from across 25 series of the BBC Radio 4's Soul Music. Each episode of Soul Music takes a different piece of music - it might be a pop son...Show More

56:38 | Feb 12th, 2018

Cerys Matthews delves into the archives to put together a specially curated mixtape of her favourite stories from across 25 series of the BBC Radio 4's Soul Music. Each episode of Soul Music takes a different piece of music - it might be a pop son...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

27:42 | Jan 24th, 2018

How Kraftwerk's classic album Computer World has changed people's lives. On their first wedding anniversary, David Sanborn and Jennifer Huber remember their Kraftwerk themed celebrations. Ramona Gonzales from the band Nite Jewel recounts how a car cr...Show More

27:44 | Jan 24th, 2018

How Kraftwerk's classic album Computer World has changed people's lives. On their first wedding anniversary, David Sanborn and Jennifer Huber remember their Kraftwerk themed celebrations. Ramona Gonzales from the band Nite Jewel recounts how a car cr...Show More

27:52 | Jan 17th, 2018

Boys Don't Cry by The Cure is, on the surface, a tribute to teenage angst and a slice of pop perfection. Lol Tolhurst, the band's drummer, wrote the song with his band mates in Robert Smith's parents' house extension. Poorna Bell saw the song's lyric...Show More

27:32 | Jan 10th, 2018

J.S Bach wrote his cantata Ich Habe Genug for the Feast of the Purification of Mary to be performed in Leipzig on 2nd February 1727. The work is a retelling of the story of the old man Simeon who, waiting in the temple, was presented with the baby Je...Show More

27:44 | Dec 27th, 2017

"If you've never heard of Bob Marley then you must be living under a rock" - Neville Garrick, Bob Marley's Art Director and friend. At the time he wrote 'Redemption Song', circa 1979, Bob Marley had been diagnosed with the cancer in his toe that la...Show More

27:56 | Dec 20th, 2017

"O' Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining..." and so begins the gentle carol of reflection that has touched the lives of listeners around the world. For The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, it's the carol that lifted his spirits as he la...Show More

27:49 | Jun 14th, 2017

Sandy Denny was just 19 years old when she wrote 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes?', her much-loved song about the passing of time. Soul Music tells the story behind the song and speaks to people for whom it has special meaning. The record producer J...Show More

27:42 | Jun 7th, 2017

You Are My Sunshine was written in or around 1939 and was adopted by the then Governor of Louisiana, Jimmy Davies who recorded and used it as his campaign theme song. It has since been recorded by more than four hundred artists from Bob Dylan and Joh...Show More

27:36 | May 31st, 2017

Wagner's peaceful Siegfried Idyll was written to thank his wife after the birth of his son Siegfried. On her birthday, she awoke to find an orchestra on her staircase performing the music for the first time. It is music which celebrates family relati...Show More

27:20 | May 24th, 2017

"Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens"... In this week's Soul Music, guests from around the world share their special memories of The Sound of Music classic 'My Favourite Things'. Written by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1959 this deceptively sim...Show More

27:18 | May 17th, 2017

Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks was released in 1967. To mark its 50th anniversary, Soul Music hears the poignant, thoughtful and life-changing memories of those who love it. Childhood holidays were an escape from bullying for John Harvey. He describes...Show More

27:11 | Nov 1st, 2016

America's national anthem was written by a lawyer, Francis Scott Key, after watching the British navy bombing Fort McHenry in 1814. It was set to an English social men's club song and recognized as the national anthem in 1889. Notoriously difficult t...Show More

27:46 | Oct 25th, 2016

Memories of first love, first borns and loss are stirred by The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, the timeless love song written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, and made famous by Roberta Flack. The activist and folk musician Peggy Seeger tells th...Show More

27:27 | Oct 18th, 2016

"Jerusalem" has become a quintessentially middle-class and very English song, but it is held in the hearts and memories of people from different backgrounds and cultures. There is a bit of cricket - Aggers discusses England's stunning and unexpecte...Show More

27:54 | Oct 12th, 2016

Soul Music explores a song that has become synonymous with the American Civil Rights Movement, Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come released in December 1964 two weeks after he was shot dead in Los Angeles. Contributors include Sam Cooke's brother LC, ...Show More

28:15 | May 3rd, 2016

'Feed The Birds' was written for the film Mary Poppins by Richard and Robert Sherman.

27:36 | Apr 26th, 2016

How Mozart's Requiem, written when he was dying, has touched and changed people's lives. Crime writer Val McDermid recalls how this music helped her after the loss of her father. Hypnotist Athanasios Komianos recounts how the piece took him to the ...Show More

27:25 | Apr 19th, 2016

'The Way You Look Tonight' was written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for the 1936 film 'Swing Time'. Sung by Fred Astaire to Ginger Rodgers while she was washing her hair, the song won an Oscar. It's been recorded by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holi...Show More

27:31 | Apr 14th, 2016

Memories of a prison camp in the Arizona desert, a tsunami and a plane crash are stirred by the bittersweet Japanese song Sukiyaki, a huge global hit of the 1960s. Originally released in Japan with the title 'Ue o Muite Arukou' ('I Look Up As I Walk...Show More

27:27 | Apr 5th, 2016

Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables, is a beautiful and moving prayer-in-song that has developed meaning and identity outside the hit musical. Taking part in the programme: The celebrated tenor, Alfie Boe, has sung this many times in the West End ...Show More

27:22 | Dec 22nd, 2015

The tragi-comic tale of love gone sour and shattered dreams eloquently depicted in the Christmas classic Fairytale of New York is the focus of this edition of Soul Music. James Fearnley, pianist with The Pogues recounts how the song started off as a ...Show More

27:03 | Dec 15th, 2015

Edward Elgar's incomparable Nimrod, and the part it plays in people's lives, is explored this week: Composed as part of the Enigma Variations in the latter part of the 19th century, Nimrod was inspired by Elgar's friend and music editor, Augustus Ja...Show More

27:17 | Dec 8th, 2015

The Brecht/Weill song, 'Mack The Knife' first appeared in 'The Threepenny Opera' in Berlin in 1928. Sung about the criminal MacHeath, the 'play with music' is based on John Gay's 'The Beggar's Opera', who was inspired by the real-life English highway...Show More

27:40 | Dec 1st, 2015

Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica (Lord Bless Africa) is a song that runs through the very soul of South African life. It was originally composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Xhosa clergyman at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg who is said to have ...Show More

27:07 | Nov 24th, 2015

ELO's brilliantly off-beam classic, Mr Blue Sky, is explored in this week's Soul Music. It was released as a single in 1978, having first appeared on the ELO album 'Out of the Blue' in 1977. Written by Jeff Lynne, it was a no.6 hit in the UK, and ha...Show More

27:42 | May 12th, 2015

This much-loved hymn based on Psalm 23 has been set to music many times, including Brother James' Air and Crimond. The Queen requested the Crimond version at her wedding. Harriet Bowes Lyon's tells the story that her mother, Lady Margaret Colville, (...Show More

27:34 | May 5th, 2015

"Tomorrow we're going in search of a song and in search of a dream of England which has travelled right around the world" - Will Parsons No one can be sure of the true origins of the song Scarborough Fair. It's a melody of mystery, of voices of old,...Show More

27:41 | Apr 28th, 2015

Long before it was a worldwide hit for Rod Stewart, the Cat Stevens song 'First Cut is the Deepest' made a name for the former Ike and Tina Turner backing singer, PP Arnold. In an interview for Soul Music she describes the emotional connection she fe...Show More

27:29 | Apr 21st, 2015

Bach's Cello Suite No I in G major is one of the most frequently performed and recognisable solo compositions ever written for cello. Yet it was virtually unknown for almost two hundred years until the Catalan cellist, Pablo Casals discovered an edit...Show More

27:50 | Apr 18th, 2015

Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' took him years to write. It originally had as many as 80 verses. Recorded for his 'Various Positions' album, it was almost ignored when first released in 1984. Only Bob Dylan saw its true worth and would play it live. Joh...Show More

27:39 | Dec 9th, 2014

"La Boheme is a work of genius, for me it's the perfect opera. There's not a bar or a word or anything you'd want to alter. It just gets to you" - Opera Director John Copley CBE. For the final programme in this series of Soul Music, we venture back ...Show More

27:45 | Nov 25th, 2014

Gracias A La Vida - thank you to life - is a song that means a lot to many people around the world. Recorded by artists as diverse as Joan Baez and the magnificent Mercedes Sosa, the song reflects the bittersweet nature of life's joys and sadnesses. ...Show More

27:42 | Nov 19th, 2014

In this week's Soul Music Marianne Faithfull recalls the French Love song which went on to inspire Elvis's 60's hit, 'I Can't Help Falling in Love with You'. 'Plaisir d'Amour' is the classical French love song which somehow found its way through 18t...Show More

27:40 | Nov 12th, 2014

"Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again." ...Show More

27:31 | Apr 29th, 2014

Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor, is one of the most popular and moving pieces of music but, as academic and composer Andrew Gant explains, it wasn't written by Albinoni and is now attributed to the twentieth century Italian composer, Giazotto. Award-wi...Show More

27:50 | Apr 22nd, 2014

The hauntingly beautiful Welsh song Myfanwy 'is in the air in Wales' according to singer Cerys Matthews. She along with others discuss what the melodic tale of unrequited love means to them. They include a Welsh woman living in Sicily for whom the so...Show More

27:31 | Apr 15th, 2014

Labi Siffre wrote Something Inside So Strong in 1984. Widely believed to have been inspired by seeing film footage from South Africa, of young blacks being shot at by white policeman, he now reveals that the lyrics were also informed by the oppressio...Show More

27:40 | Apr 8th, 2014

"It's the kind of music that makes you feel like you're just hurting so good" People of different ages reflect on why the pop country classic 'Crazy' made famous by Patsy Cline brings out such strong emotions in them, including a young woman mournin...Show More

27:33 | Apr 1st, 2014

"I'm convinced it's the best thing ever written and recorded in the history of things written and recorded" - Moby. Rhapsody in Blue was first heard exactly 90 years ago when it premiered on February 12, 1924, in New York's Aeolian Hall. Through its...Show More

27:29 | Dec 24th, 2013

Soul Music tells the story of the song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and talks to people for whom it has special meaning. 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', was first performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St ...Show More

27:37 | Dec 17th, 2013

How Brahms' German Requiem, written as a tribute to his mother and designed to comfort the grieving, has touched and changed peoples lives. Stuart Perkins describes how the piece arrived at the right time in his life, after the death of his aunt. A...Show More

27:35 | Dec 12th, 2013

Few songs can claim to be - quite literally - as far reaching as the 1967 classic 'Can't Take My Eyes off You'. In this edition of Radio 4's 'Soul Music', we hear from former astronaut Christopher Ferguson who heard this song as an early morning wake...Show More

27:23 | Dec 3rd, 2013

From the seat of a concert hall piano, Pascal Rogé, one of the world's greatest interpreters of French piano music, leads us through a personal and musical journey of Erik Satie's Gymnopédies. You may not immediately know the title but in hearing jus...Show More

27:42 | Nov 26th, 2013

"Southern trees bear a strange fruit, blood on the leaves and blood at the root..." Billie Holiday's famous song expresses the horror and anguish of those communities subjected to a campaign of lynching in the American South. Soul Music hears the sto...Show More

27:37 | Aug 2nd, 2013

How the choral work The Dream of Gerontius, by Elgar, has touched and changed people's lives. We hear from Terry Waite for whom it was the first piece of music he heard as a hostage in the Lebanon, after four years in solitary confinement. Music writ...Show More

27:24 | Jul 25th, 2013

Don't Leave Me This Way was written in the early 1970s by songwriters Huff, Gamble and Gilbert who were the composers behind the famous black American Philadelphia Sound. It was first performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pen...Show More

27:29 | Jul 16th, 2013

The hymn 'Make Me a Channel of Your Peace' found its way into weddings, funerals and school assemblies and in this week's 'Soul Music' we hear how it has also embedded itself into the hearts of peace campaigners, charity workers and reformed alcoholi...Show More

27:34 | Jul 9th, 2013

Written by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939, the Concierto de Aranjuez is a guitar classic. It was written amid the chaos of the Spanish Civil War, and in circumstances of poverty and personal tragedy. This programme explores how the piece touches and changes...Show More

27:39 | Jul 3rd, 2013

A new series of SOUL MUSIC begins with stories of love, loss and friendship through the WWII favourite Lili Marlene, made famous by Marlene Dietrich and sung by soldiers on both sides. Producer: Maggie Ayre.

27:33 | Mar 8th, 2013

The song from 1982 was written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer for Robert Wyatt and has been recorded in several versions by Elvis Costello himself, Suede, June Tabor, Hue and Cry, Tamsin Archer and The Unthanks. The blend of subtle lyrics and ex...Show More

27:34 | Feb 26th, 2013

The Stabat Mater's imagines the sufferings of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross, and Pergolesi's eighteen-century setting remains a choral favourite. Pam Self tells the moving story of how this piece unites her and her friend Helen Vaughan, b...Show More

27:54 | Feb 19th, 2013

The Irish traditional song She Moved Through The Fair is well loved and well recorded by many. To some it is a ghost story that tells of unfulfilled longings and of hopes and aspirations cut short. Sinead O' Connor and others talk about the haunting ...Show More

27:34 | Feb 12th, 2013

More than just 'da da da dum': Beethoven's 5th Symphony is this week's Soul Music. It accompanied Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on the regular Bombay to Basra route he sailed during his early days in the Merchant Navy. Archaeologist and crime novelist, ...Show More

27:41 | Feb 8th, 2013

Is That All There Is, the Leiber and Stoller song made famous by Peggy Lee, is based upon a short story by Thomas Mann called 'Disillusionment', but those who know and love it feel it's inspirational rather than a cynical, world weary musical take on...Show More

27:41 | Oct 9th, 2012

Bach's St Matthew Passion was written in 1727 and was probably first performed as part of the Good Friday Service at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. This programme explores ways in which Bach's St Mattew Passion touches and changes people's lives. Guitarist...Show More

27:51 | Oct 8th, 2012

An exploration into the enduring appeal of the Dire Straits classic, Brothers in Arms. Although thought to have been written by Mark Knopfler in response to the Falklands war in the mid 80's, it's a piece that people now associate with many other con...Show More

27:43 | Oct 8th, 2012

For many hearing The Skye Boat Song brings back a wealth of childhood memories, as the words "Speed Bonnie Boat Like a Bird on the Wing" tell the story of the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie, dressed as a maid to the Isle of Skye, after this defeat a...Show More

27:51 | Oct 8th, 2012

Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61 was written in 1806, but was not a success at its premiere. 200 years on and this Concerto is regarded as one of the greatest pieces ever written for the violin. This programme explores ways in which the...Show More

27:35 | Aug 28th, 2012

While for many, it will be always associated with brown bread, the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony is an enduring a piece that never fails to move and inspire. We hear from the anti- apartheid campaigner Albie Sachs, who explains that through ...Show More

27:25 | Feb 28th, 2012

Stirring, emotional and unmistakable: The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah is the subject of this week's Soul Music. The Alzheimer's Society runs a group called 'Singing for the Brain'. It's for people with dementia or Alzheimers and their c...Show More

27:18 | Feb 21st, 2012

The powerful song, Non, je ne regrette rien, made famous by Edith Piaf, is this week's Soul Music. Written in 1960 by Charles Dumont, in a fit of despair, he gave the music to lyricist Michel Vaucaire, but was surprised by the words he wrote. Dumont...Show More

27:33 | Feb 14th, 2012

Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, which was famously featured in David Lean's film "Brief Encounter", is one of the world's most popular pieces of classical. In this programme people describe the way in which Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto has touc...Show More

27:46 | Feb 7th, 2012

The haunting melancholy of Gresford, the Miners' Hymn, is the music explored in this week's programme. Written by a former miner, Robert Saint, to commemorate the Gresford pit disaster in 1934 it has been played at mining events ever since; most no...Show More

28:00 | Jan 31st, 2012

Gerry Rafferty's glorious and instantly recognisable hit, Baker Street is the subject of this week's Soul Music. Rafferty died last year (on January 4th 2011) at the age of 63, leaving behind a widely respected musical legacy. The most popular of hi...Show More

27:44 | Sep 13th, 2011

The enduring Irving Berlin classic, Let's Face the Music and Dance is celebrated by those for whom it has a special significance. Written in 1932 as one of the dance numbers for Follow The Fleet, a movie starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, it's ...Show More

27:48 | Sep 6th, 2011

The words of one of our most loved hymns, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, were taken from the last six verses of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, The Brewing of Soma, an attack on ostentatious and overt religious practise. But it wasn't until over fi...Show More

27:41 | Aug 30th, 2011

Exploring the impact that Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's piece for piano and violin Spiegel im Spiegel has had on people's lives. Written in 1978, just prior to his departure from Estonia, Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel is musically minimal, yet pro...Show More

27:44 | Aug 23rd, 2011

Wichita Lineman, the ultimate country/pop crossover track, is the subject of this week's Soul Music. David Crary is a lineman from Oklahoma. He describes his job - storm-chasing to mend fallen power-lines; travelling on 'dirt roads, gravel roads, p...Show More

27:46 | Aug 16th, 2011

This exploration of the impact that Mendelssohn's Octet has had on different people's lives, demonstrates the healing power of music in a variety of situations around the world. Mendelssohn wrote his Octet for double string quartet in 1825 when he ...Show More

27:41 | Mar 29th, 2011

Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony Mahler wrote his 5th Symphony during the summers of 1901 and 1902. The Adagietto is the 4th movement which is thought to have been inspired by falling in love with Alma who he married around this time. This singl...Show More

27:37 | Mar 22nd, 2011

Schubert's Winterreise Written the year before Schubert's death aged just 31, these 24 songs based on poems by Wilhelm Müller describe a journey that takes us ever deeper into the frozen landscape of the soul. Singers Thomas Hampson, Mark Padmore, A...Show More

28:01 | Mar 15th, 2011

In this series that explores those pieces of music that never fail to move us, this week we feature, 'The Impossible Dream', a song that talks of the resilience of the human spirit. It tells the story of a quest and it's had a surprising journey of i...Show More

27:56 | Mar 8th, 2011

Simple Gifts started life as a Shaker Hymn and became incorporated into the hymn Lord of the Dance and Aaron Copland's ballet suite Appalachian Spring. In this programme, Nora Guthrie describes the central place this tune has played throughout her li...Show More

27:47 | Mar 1st, 2011

Mozart's Clarinet Quintet Written in 1789, two years before Mozart's death, this first ever work for string quartet plus clarinet remains a firm favourite for music lovers around the world. In this programme Professor Paul Robertson describes how hi...Show More

27:51 | Oct 5th, 2010

Majestic and moving in equal measure, Beethoven's fifth and final piano concerto, The Emperor, is this week's Soul Music. Richard McMahon (concert pianist, and teacher at the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama) plays extracts and discusses the vi...Show More

27:37 | Sep 28th, 2010

The enduring popularity of the hymn, How Great Thou Art is explored in this series that examines those pieces of music that never fail to move us. Based on a Swedish poem by Carl Gustav Boberg, the hymn was written by the British missionary Stuart Hi...Show More

27:52 | Sep 21st, 2010

"He wanted it to be something that's consoling and helpful. It's the end of their lives where they can rest in peace". World renowned choral conductor Sir David Willcocks, shares his personal reflections on the Faure Requiem alongside those for whom ...Show More

27:47 | Sep 14th, 2010

At the core of Czech cultural identity is this week's piece - Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana. Written in the late 19th century, it's a series of six symphonic poems. For a western audience the most popular and best loved is Vltava, a soundscape which c...Show More

27:54 | Sep 7th, 2010

Stephen Sondheim's song, Send In the Clowns, from the musical 'A Little Night Music' was written late in rehearsals for the actress Glynis Johns, playing the part of Desiree. A song of regret and anger, the part has famously been played by Judi Dench...Show More

27:40 | Mar 23rd, 2010

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Bach wrote his Goldberg Variations for harpsichord in the 1740s, but today it's performed by pianists all over the world. People describe the place these pieces have in their lives,...Show More

27:28 | Mar 16th, 2010

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands is a spiritual song originating in the United States, but it first caught the public's attention when Laurie London took it to the top of the c...Show More

27:48 | Mar 9th, 2010

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Dido's Lament is a popular name for a famous aria, 'When I am laid in earth', from the opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, with the libretto by Nahum Tate. Mezzo soprano Sarah C...Show More

27:57 | Mar 2nd, 2010

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. When Mendelssohn wrote his Violin Concerto in 1844 he could hardly have imagined how famous and well loved it would become. In this programme, people tell how it has played an impor...Show More

27:42 | Feb 23rd, 2010

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Based on Psalm 103, this hymn was written by Henry Francis Lyte, who also penned Abide With Me, and is most asssociated with the tune by John Goss - even though the two men never me...Show More

27:32 | Sep 29th, 2009

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Richard Strauss was 84 when he completed his last work. It was the Four Last Songs, which, although about death, convey a sense of calm acceptance. It was written of its time in 1...Show More

27:25 | Sep 22nd, 2009

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Written by Carole King and made famous by James Taylor, You've Got a Friend won a Grammy Award in 1971. In this programme people tell how this song has affected their life.

27:35 | Sep 15th, 2009

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. When Vaughan Williams wrote his Tallis Fantasia in 1910, he changed the course of British music. Here at last was a piece of music which was no longer under the Teutonic influence,...Show More

27:57 | Sep 8th, 2009

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Hal David discusses writing The Look of Love with Burt Bacharach, for the soundtrack of the spoof 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale. This classic track, sung by Dusty Springfield,...Show More

27:28 | Sep 1st, 2009

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Allegri wrote the chord sequence for his Miserere in the 1630s for use in the Sistine Chapel during Holy Week. It then went through the hands of a 12-year-old Mozart, Mendelssohn a...Show More

27:36 | Oct 14th, 2008

Louis Armstrong recorded this classic in 1967, amidst civil rights demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War. Was it naïve or a powerful anthem for peace?

27:36 | Oct 7th, 2008

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Pianist Peter Donohoe is one of many people whose lives have been shaped and changed by hearing and playing this technically demanding, emotionally turbulent piece of music.

27:39 | Sep 30th, 2008

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. Telling the stories of some of the people whose lives have been affected by So What, the opening track on Miles Davis' seminal 1959 album Kind of Blue.

27:13 | Sep 23rd, 2008

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal. 1/4. Swan Lake The story behind Tchaikovsky's ballet and the impact it has had on those who have heard and danced to it.

27:48 | Jan 29th, 2008

Thomas Tallis's work is one of the most elaborate and spectacular pieces of choral music ever written. Scored for 40 voices, the piece is best sung and heard in the round in order to appreciate an extraordinary sonic experience. Choral conductor Simo...Show More

27:46 | Jan 22nd, 2008

Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact. 3/4. Tainted Love Originally a Motown song written by Ed Cobb and recorded by Gloria Jones, Tainted Love became famous on the Northern Soul scene in the late 1970s. A classic version wa...Show More

27:25 | Jan 15th, 2008

Sibelius's glorious orchestral work was adopted by the Finnish people as a symbol of its fight for independence from Russia, and over 100 years later it is still regarded as Finland's second national anthem. Its popularity is international, both in o...Show More

27:36 | Jan 8th, 2008

John Kander presents the story behind the classic song New York, New York. Songwriting duo Kander and Ebb wrote the title song for the film. Unfortunately, the star Robert de Niro didn't like it, so they furiously wrote another one.