Sunday, May 27, 2012 5:34:23 PM
I listen to a lot of radio plays, and many times music is used within them that intrigues me and makes me want to find out what it is. More often than not, I am unsuccessful in doing this despite diligent internet searches and browsing through the BBC Radio 4 comment boards.
One piece has been nagging at me ever since I first heard it used in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of John Le Carre's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". It was a haunting circular theme for string quartet and it was effectively used to crank up the tension at apt points in the excellent production.
If I had thought about it properly, I would have deduced the obvious answer months ago, but it was only last week when I decided to listen again to the complete string quartets of Shostakovich that the question was solved.
Here it is, the 'lento' from the 7th String Quartet. The theme used in the play opens this movement.
Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:21:31 PM
About this time last year, I wrote
about the actor Sam Dale who, at the time, seemed to be in almost every radio drama I was listening to.
Well, even though Sam Dale is still around (most recently heard in the "On Mardle Fen"
comedy dramas), his ubiquity has been supplanted by Carl Prekopp. Prekopp's in the classic serial, "Out Of the Hitler Time"
, that I'm listening to right now. Last week he was in was the moving "Pink Mist"
radio poem. Prekopp was also in the preceding classic serial, "The Cruel Sea" - Prekopp everywhere!
Just as Sam Dale had a defining role for me, Toby Esterhase in the adaptation of the John le Carré novels, so did Prekopp as the scheming Steerpike in the recent adaptation of the Gormenghast novels
Like Sam Dale, Carl Prekopp is an enormously talented and versatile actor. It's good to hear him.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:47:22 PM
As some of you may know, my disdain for TV is reciprocated by a love of radio drama, and one of my favorite characters has returned, Pilgrim.
Four new plays, and I loved the original four. What's it all about? A quote from the web page:
What if all the myths and folktales of these islands were true? And what if they were not only true but present now in our world? All the spirits, existing, as they have always existed, in the gaps between tower blocks, in the shadows under bridges, in the corner of our vision. An ancient and eternal world which has existed alongside ours since time immemorial and will exist long after we have gone.
Enter Pilgrim... In 1185 William Palmer was making pilgrimage to Canterbury. Unbeknownst to him his fellow pilgrim was the Lord of Faerie. When William claimed that the Church would wipe out the belief in the Faerie world, he was cursed by the Faerie Lord and condemned forever to the walk between our world and theirs.
Seven days, you have to listen.
Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:25:57 PM
A completely lazy morning mostly lying in bed or the bath, listening to BBC radio plays via the internet. There's cool breeze blowing in through the open window, and cloudy skies above. A good day for doing nothing.
Right now, I'm listening to a gritty drama
set in Liverpool and the old New Order
song Blue Monday
has just been featured. That brings back memories - one of the truly great 1980's songs. Around 1985 or so, I was playing it almost daily after picking up the 12" single in a second hand record store in St. Louis - a bit late for sure, but I was only really on top of the newest releases during the 1970s.
The music is acting a nostalgic thematic link in the radio drama and that reminds me of the similar role music has played in my life. More than anything else - places, photographs - music is my Proustian madeleine moment
But back to Liverpool. One the places I have never been to, and my impressions of the town were formed primarily by The Beatles (whose Nowhere Man
appears in the play) - a romantic, sanitized view of the place. Not the viewpoint of this play which concerns the displacement of the original working class residents out of the city by changing economic forces. A bleak vision full of loss and broken dreams. Hardly unique to Liverpool sadly.