The Radio 3 Documentary

The Radio 3 Documentary

United Kingdom

Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.

Episodes

Sunday Feature: Whatcha Doin' Marshall McLuhan  

Writer Ken Hollings reassesses the life and work of 1960s public intellectual and mass media guru Marshall McLuhan and examines his relevance in today's digital world.

Opera Across the Waves  

How did opera become an art form consumed today by millions of people globally on computer screens, in cinemas and on the radio? And how, in particular, did New York's Metropolitan Opera become one of the most iconic and powerful producers of this Old World export? Flora Willson traces the roots of today's phenomenon of opera in cinemas to the years 1890-1930, when New York emerged as a global operatic centre. The programme shows how the Met took the initiative in those decades, exploiting new developments in transatlantic travel, the recording industry and radio broadcasting. And Flora considers how today opera is bursting out of the plush velvet curtains and tapping into mass audiences everywhere by embracing the potential of new technologies. Today you can have the thrill of this extraordinary and overwhelming experience in the home, on the move and at the local cinema. This is a hefty counterpunch to the clichéd view that opera is a dead art form only consumed by the cultural elite. With contributions from Peter Gelb (General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera), Kasper Holten (outgoing Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House), Mark Schubin (Engineer-in-Charge at the Metropolitan Opera), Barrie Kosky (opera director), Stuart Skelton (tenor), Gundula Kreuzer (musicologist, Yale) and Ben Walton (musicologist, Cambridge).

Alice Coltrane: Her Sound and Spirit  

Kevin Le Gendre presents a portrait of musician and spiritual leader, Alice Coltrane

Sunday Feature: John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls  

Perhaps you did music and movement at school. There was a time girls across the country learnt to dance as if they were flowers. At the start of the 20th century, Jacques-Dalcroze developed Eurythmics to teach the rhythm and structure of music through physical activity. But the idea had earlier roots, including an unlikely champion of women's liberation. John Ruskin - now derided by feminist critics as a woman-fearing medievalist - was at the centre of a 19th-century education movement that challenged the conventional female role in society. Amid concerns about the health of the British empire he looked back to the muscular figures in medieval painting and the sculpture of the ancient Greeks, in their loose-fitting clothes. Perhaps the Victorians needed to shed their corsets and free their minds for learning. In Of Queens' Gardens he set out a radical, influential model for girls' education. Samira Ahmed argues that Ruskin was an accidental feminist. To understand where his ideas came from, how they were enacted and what survives in the way girls are taught today, she ventures into one of the schools set up on Ruskinian principles, tries on the corsetry that restricted Victorian women's lives, and gets the insight of Victorian scholars. Contributors: Matthew Sweet (author of Inventing the Victorians); Dr Debbie Challis (Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL); Louise Scholz-Conway (Angels Costumes); Dr Fern Riddell (author of A Victorian Guide to Sex); Dr Amara Thornton (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) and Isobel Beynon, Dr Wendy Bird, Annette Haynes, Dr Jean Horton, Diane Maclean, Aoife Morgan Jones and Natasha Rajan at Queenswood School. Readings by Toby Hadoke. Presenter Samira Ahmed Producers Simon and Thomas Guerrier A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

Sunday Feature: King Kong – the Township Jazz Musical  

Saxophonist Soweto Kinch uncovers the extraordinary story of ‘King Kong', the township jazz musical, which began with tragedy in 1956 and ended in triumph in 1959.

Sunday feature: The Experimenters  

Kwame Kwei-Armah explores the artistic and educational experiments at Black Mountain College where American artists like John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg collaborated and taught.

Sunday Feature: Boulez and His Rumble in the Jungle  

The controversial French composer Boulez made three life-changing trips to South America.

Sunday Feature: Savage Pilgrims  

Sara Mohr Pietsch heads to New Mexico to discover why so many prominent artists, writers and composers have moved to the state over the last 100 years.

Music on the Brink of Destruction  

In the Nazi camps and ghettos a vast range of music was created

Apocalypse How  

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough on how different cultures have viewed the end of the world

Sunday Feature:Kandinsky - A Story of Revolution  

Christian Weikop, examines Kandinsky's Russian roots.

Breaking Free: Freud versus Music  

Listen in pop-out player Did Freud really dislike music as much as he professed? Stephen Johnson explores Sigmund Freud's enigmatic relationship with music. He talks to the American cultural analyst Michelle Duncan, pscyho-analysts and writers Darian Leader and Julie Jaffee Nagel, the music critic David Nice, whose first job it was to take tours around the Freud Museum in Hampstead, and the Barcelona-based neurologist Josep Marco Pallares who is studying amusia and music-specific anhedonia, which he proposes might have been the root cause of Freud's problem with music. Plus extracts from Freud's writings read by the actor Nicholas Murchie. Producer, Elizabeth Arno Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

Breaking Free: Freud versus Music  

Did Freud really dislike music as much as he professed? Stephen Johnson explores Sigmund Freud's enigmatic relationship with music. He talks to the American cultural analyst Michelle Duncan, pscyho-analysts and writers Darian Leader and Julie Jaffee Nagel, the music critic David Nice, whose first job it was to take tours around the Freud Museum in Hampstead, and the Barcelona-based neurologist Josep Marco Pallares who is studying amusia and music-specific anhedonia, which he proposes might have been the root cause of Freud's problem with music. Plus extracts from Freud's writings read by the actor Nicholas Murchie. Producer, Elizabeth Arno Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

David Attenborough - World Music Collector  

David Attenborough recalls collecting music from around the world, and listens once again

Sunday Feature: Whatever Happened to the Avant-Garde?  

Is the avant-garde dead? Paul Morley conducts an autopsy, but detects signs of life ...

Langston Hughes at the Third  

How an unlikely friendship led to the epic 1964 radio series The Negro in America

SUNDAY FEATURE: NEW GENERATION THINKERS  

Sandeep Parmar retraces the steps of "Paris", a lost Modernist masterpiece by poet Hope Mirlees, and Daniel Lee explores the fate of North Africa's Jewish communities during WW2.

New Generation Thinkers  

1. Euphemism and Eroticism in Scottish Gaelic Songs. 2.Reappraising Nollekens.

The secrets of the Music Reading Panel  

What was the BBC's panel for new scores for broadcast?Charlotte Higgins finds out.

Sunday Feature: Philip French and the Critical Ear  

Laurence Scott on the radio producer and esteemed film critic Philip French

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