Sunday, 1 January 2017

"Is it perfume from a dress/That makes me so digress?"

One thing that's striking about the New Year's Day schedules of BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 is how highbrow they've gone today (except for Tim Vine). 

BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting all the English language poems of that modernist giant T.S. Eliot (best known for 'Cats') and BBC Radio 3 is focusing on the music of those other modernist giants Schoenberg, Berg and Webern (best known for putting millions of people off modern classical music). 

That's admirably ambitious, and just what the BBC should be doing. 

Happy New Year! 

Update (evening): If Twitter is anything to go by (and it rarely is), TS Eliot Day on Radio 4 has had the majority of Tweeters swooning with gratitude with a fairly small but vocal minority are bored out of their minds by all of this"depressing" poetry and Jeremy Irons's "poetry" voice. (I've only dipped in so far but am in the former camp). 
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.


  1. Eliot yes, Schoenberg...untouchable!

    I've only recently discovered Sibelius in full. I think the BBC are particularly sniffy about 20th century composers like Sibelius and Holst who didn't abandon melody.

    1. Sibelius is my favourite composer. As for Holst, I'm a fan too - as you might guess from this (from a former life!):