Friday, August 20, 2010

21. Rabelais and Carroll

Broadcast: 2 February 2010
Hot off the press from France, 1534 by way of translation by Sir Thomas Urquart in 1653 we have some bawdy tales of filthy and bad behaviour with the longest list of alternative names for the male member known to humanity. Yes, François Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel read by Hilton Edwards.

Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais, read by Hilton Edwards and presented by Arthur Luce Klein.
Spoken Arts, 1962

Nonsense Verse of Carroll and Lear read by Beatrice Lillie, Cyril Ritchard and Stanley Holloway.
Caedmon, 1957
Two pieces both read by Stanley Holloway: The Pig-Tale and The Red Knight's Song. Marvelous stuff.

20. Hamlet with Desmond Leslie

Broadcast: 26 January 2010
Here's one of the many Living Shakespeare records doing the rounds from 1962 featuring " Musique Concrete and Sound Patterns composed and recorded by Desmond Leslie."
For those of you unfamiliar with Desmond's work check out Music Of The Future on Trunk Records website. Also have a look at Desmond confronting Bernard Levin:

Hamlet Living Shakespeare.
Oldham Books Ltd, 1962

19. Ireland part 3

Broadcast: 19 January 2010
The final part of our Ireland trilogy focuses entirely on James Joyce.

Expanding Cinema presents passages from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake
Grove Press Division, 1968

Speaking Personally... Aldous Huxley
Lansdowne, 1975

Huxley talks about meeting Joyce in Paris and what a strange man he was - no kidding! What is particularly interesting is Huxley's description of Joyce's magical interest in words.

Ulysses The Original Film Soundtrack of The Walter Reade Jr / Joseph Strick Production,
Caedmon, 1967

The Proteus episode, particularly suited to radio since it features Stephen Daedelus walking across the strand with his eyes closed.

Ulysses Soliloquies of Molly and Leopold Bloom, read by Siobhan McKenna and E.G. Marshall.
Caedmon, undated

This needed a bit of editing but hopefully you get some of the idea. The very sharp listener with the right associations may notice the sample used by Simon Posford in his tune Shamanix from about 15 years ago!

James Joyce ReadingUlysses and Finnegan's Wake
Caedmon, no date

What to say about this one? Well, there's a great story to the original recording of these passages on the sleeve notes but to cut a long story short the Ulysses was done in Paris in 192 by HMV, rather badly, and the Finnegan's Wake in Cambridge rather well by C.K.Ogden who had boasted to Sylvia Beach of having "the two biggest recording machines in the world at his Cambridge Studio." I love that. And what a cracking recording it is too with some wonderful resonance and tone.

Murder In The Cathedral TS Eliot
Caedmon, no date

The fourth and final installment. Incredibly detailed and subtle atmospheres and sound design in this great box-set.

18. Ireland part 2

Broadcast: 15 December 2009
The second in our Ireland trilogy starts with some Irish language and then settles down by the fireside to listen to the shanachees.

Gael Linn
Argo, 1966

Micháel MacLiammóir introducing Ireland's Poets, Wits and Revolutionaries in an entertainment I Must Be Talking to my Friends.
Argo, 1966

Irreverent stuff from MacLiammóir.

Stories From The Fireside told by Éamon Kelly
Argo, 1967

Two stories from this record with more to come in future episodes: The Gobaun Saor and The Long Night.

The Poems Of William Butler Yeats read by Williams Butler Yeats, Siobhan McKenna, and Micháel MacLiammóir.
Spoken Arts, undated

MacLiammóir reading Yeats' The Wild Swans At Coole.

Murder In The Cathedral TS Eliot
Caedmon, no date

The third of four installments. Incredibly detailed and subtle atmospheres and sound design in this great box-set.

17. Christmas Special

Broadcast: 22 December 2009
Featuring voices of the Kings and Queen of England throughout the 20th Century and probably the most momentous Christmas message ever transmitted.

More details to follow...

16. Ireland part 1

Broadcast: 15 December 2009
The first in our Ireland trilogy featuring WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney (it's the island of Ireland) and Sean O'Casey.

Yeats read by Chris Curran, Jim Morton, Arthur O'Sullivan and Sheila Manahan.
Argo, 1966

More importantly, this record has some great recordings of Yeats himself both speaking about his poems and reading them. These date from 1936 and 1937 and relate really well to what Eliot says about the value of hearing authors read their own works.

The Poems Of William Butler Yeats read by Williams Butler Yeats, Siobhan McKenna, and Micháel MacLiammóir.
Spoken Arts, undated

The Poet Speaks. Hugh MacDiarmid, Sydney Goodsir Smith, Norman MacCaig, Iain Crichton Smith, Austin Clarke, Louis MacNiece, Seamus Heaney
Argo, 1967

The Caedmon treasury of modern poets reading their own poetry
Caedmon, undated

This is in here for one reading by Robert Frost of After Apple Picking. Heaney mentions it in the excerpt so I found two different recordings of Frost reading the poem and played them side by side. See below for the other version.

Robert Frost Reading His Own Poems On long playing records, RECORD 2.
National Council Of The Teachers Of English, Illinois, 1944 (10")

Sean O'Casey volume 1, reading from Juno and The Paycock, Pictures In The Hallway, Inishfallen, Fare Thee Well.
Caedmon, 1952

On the label is printed: "Recorded at his home in Totnes, Devon on November 12, 1952" which is exactly the sort of information I love to find since it locates the act of recording and the events recorded specifically in time and space.
The excerpt played is "The Death of Mrs Casside" from Inishfallen, Fare Thee Well.
Murder In The Cathedral TS Eliot
Caedmon, no date

The second of four installments. Incredibly detailed and subtle atmospheres and sound design in this great box-set.

15. Smorgasbord

Broadcast: 8 December 2009
Bits and bobs that fell through the net, plus our inaugural competition to win a copy of Speaking Personally... Aldous Huxley. Listen to the show to find out the details and names will be drawn out of a hat before Christmas.

Willo The Wisp 12 Stories from the BBC TV Series, Narrated by Kenneth Williams.
BBC Records, 1981

Joyce Grenfell
EMI, 1964

The World Of Stanley Holloway
Argo, 1971

Watch Out For The Bits! The explosive exploits of Blaster Bates volume four.
Big Ben, 1971

Murder In The Cathedral TS Eliot
Caedmon, no date

14. Elephants and Heffalumps

Broadcast: 1 December 2009
Minimum/Maximum - i.e. a minimal number of records but which contain stories about large things, namely heffalumps and elephants. These two records are from two of my favourite labels, Argo and Caedmon, who together, have put out the most astonishing array of the highest quality material. I strongly urge you to go and seek out anything they have released and buy it!

Winnie The Pooh by AA Milne, read by Norman Shelley

Toomai Of The Elephants From Kipling's Jungle Books - Told By Boris Karloff
Caedmon, no date
 What a great voice, oh best beloved, and the story of Shiv and the Grasshopper just sneaked in at the end there too.

13. Yorkshire, with apologies

Broadcast: 24 November 2009
A complete survival guide to Yorkshire.

Teach Thissen Tyke (English Translation - Teach yourself Yorkshire), Austin Mitchell and others.
York Records, 1971

Sleeve notes advise the following: Handlin' Instructions. Pick up only with greasy chip paper as this record has been specially treated with best Wombwell Whippet Oil.

English WIth A Dialect
BBC Records, 1971

Once again, our old favourite.

The Lord's Taverners Best Of Test Match Special
Haven Records, 1984

Featuring the voices of Fred Trueman, Brian Johnston, Trevor Bailey, Christopher Martin-Jenkins and the most wonderful voice ever to have graced the airwaves, John Arlott.

The World Of Stanley Holloway
Argo, 1971

This is new to me, and hearing Brahn Boots for the first time was a very moving experience. The icing on this particular cake is the piano accompaniment by Michael Garrick.

Children Talking from the famous BBC TV series.
Music For Pleasure, 1968

Monty Python Live At Drury Lane
The Famous Charisma Label, 1974

Can't really argue with this one.

12. The Voice in Musique Concrete and Electronic Music

Broadcast: 17 November 2009
A history of the use of the human voice in tape and other electronic composition.

Rotatey Diskers With Unwin Stanley Unwin.
Marble Arch, 1961

Featuring Hi-De-Fido, The Pidey Pipeload Of Hamling, Goldyloppers And The Three Bearloaders and more.

Electronic Music / Musique Concrete. A Panorama Of Experimental Music Vol.1
Mercury, 1960/1?

Fantastic selection of work by Xenakis, Boucourechliev, Ferrari, Kagel, Ligeti etc.

Extended Voices New pieces for chorus and for voices altered electronically by sound synthesizer and vocoder
Odyssey, 1967+

Electronic Music
Vox/Turnabout, 1967

Killer album of three seminal early electronic pieces: Mimaroglu's Agony, Cage's Fontana Mix and Berio's Visage with the awesome Cathy Berberian.

Le Crabe Qui Jouait Avec La Mer by Rudyard Kipling, with Musique Concrete by Philippe Arthuys.
BAM, 1955

10" vinyl considered by many as the very first record of Musique Concrete, certainly the first issue from the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrete de la R.T.F. which later became the Group Recherche Musicale, or GRM in Paris.

Magic Egg Barrow Poets
Argo, 1972

I really should know more about the Barrow Poets, but for now, this is the record with the wonderful recital by Edwin Morgan of his poem The Loch Ness Monster's Song.

11. Children's Records

Broadcast: 10 November 2009
Records for kids but also for adults really.

Willo The Wisp 12 Stories from the BBC TV Series, Narrated by Kenneth Williams.
BBC Records, 1981

You don't want to use the word "genius" too often, so I won't, but Kenneth Williams is absolutely marvelous in general, but especially on this record.

All your friends from THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT present Dougal and the Blue Cat. Original Soundtrack of the film
Music For Pleasure, 1972

My first record really, and nice and worn and scratched it is too!

Winnie The Pooh By A.A. Milne, read by Alan Bennett
BBC Records, 1984

Nobody does Eeyore quite like Alan Bennett, and this version brings tears to the eyes.

Camberwick Green
BBC Records, 1972

Just So Stories Vol.2 by Rudyard Kipling, read by Michael Hordern, Barbara Jefford and Richard Johnson.
Argo, 1973

The Saga Of Noggin The Nog - Noggin and the Birds
EMI, 1963

Read by Oliver Postgate and available as a red vinyl 7" 45rpm!

And finally, here's one I couldn't play since I don't have a 78 machine: The Story Of Sleeping Beauty.
Just imagine what a tricky job it would have been to have kept this record out of kids mouths and away from sticky fingers! It's a wonder it's still in one piece.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10. Wildlife Recordings and Recordists

Broadcast: 3 November 2009
Some of the key figures in the pioneering of early wildlife and field recordings.

A Salute To Ludwig Koch and a selection of some of his finest recordings.
BBC Wildlife Series, no date

Wildlife Of Wales
BBC Wildlife Series, 1971

Bird Song On record with pictures and text By Ludwig Koch, illustrator Richard Taylor.
Talking Book Company Ltd., no date

Dawn Chorus and Nightingale A Shell Nature Record, British Bird Series
Discourses, 1969

GRAHAME DANGERFIELD brings you Sounds Of The Serengeti Incredible live recordings of wildlife from the heart of Africa. Narration by Peter Scott.
Music For Pleasure, 1970

Jammy Smears Ivor Cutler
Virgin, 1974