O Albion  18617

Thomas Adès
O Albion from Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994)

Performer: Endellion Quartet.
EMI CDZ 5722712.

A. E. Housman
Blue Remembered Hills, read by Philip Franks

William Byrd
Mass For Five Voices I. Kyrie

Performer: The Hilliard Ensemble.
EMI CDS7492058.
CD2 Tr1.

George Orwell
From England your England, read by Philip Franks

Edward Elgar
Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85, I. Adagio

Performer: Jacqueline du Pré (cello), London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli (Conductor).
EMI CDC7473292.

Daljit Nagra
Look we have coming to Dover, read by Meera Syal

Linton Kwesi Johnson
It Dread Inna Inglan (For George Lindo)

Performer: Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Virgin ?CDFL 12.

Edward Litvinoff
A Long Look Back, read by Meera Syal

Charles Hubert Parry, Herbert (arr.)

Performer: Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
RCA 75605513552.

Basil Bunting
Excerpt from Briggflatts, read by Meera Syal

Lennon/ McCartney
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

Performer: Cornershop.
Wiiija Records ?WIJCD 1065.

Thomas Hardy
Under the Waterfall, read by Philip Franks

Traditional, Fairport Convention (arr.)
Matty Groves

Performer: Fairport Convention.
Island Records 586 9292.

Liz Berry
Birmingham Roller, read by Meera Syal

Benjamin Britten
A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 – A Cradle Song. Allegretto tranquillo

Performer: Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner (Conductor).
Chandos CHAN 10671.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Excerpt from Frost at Midnight, read by Philip Franks

John Dowland
Flow, my tears

Performer: Andreas Scholl (contre-ténor) and Andreas Martin (Luth).
Harmonia Mundi HMC901603.

Philip Larkin
Aubade, read by Philip Franks

Frederick Delius, Beecham (arr.)
Summer Evening

Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham (Conductor).
EMI CDS7475098.
CD2 Tr2.

John Clare
The thunder mutters, read by Meera Syal

Eric Maschwitz, Manning Sherman
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

Performer: Mike Westbrook.
ASC Records ? ASCCD166.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
God’s Grandeur, read by Philip Franks

The Theatre Workshop, Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gassed last night

Performer: Original London Cast.
That’s Entertainment TER 1043.

Keith Douglas
How to Kill, read by Philip Franks

Simon Holt
St Vitus in the kettle

Performer: Hallé Orchestra, Nicholas Collon (Conductor).
NMC D218.

Part of John of Gaunt’s speech – This sceptre isle from Richard II, read by Meera Syal

Henry Purcell
Hear My Prayer, O Lord (Z 15)

Performer: Oxford Camerata, Laurence Cummings (organ), Jeremy Summerly (Conductor).
Naxos 8 553129.

Producer’s Note: O Albion
Whether it’s the green and pleasant land; the sight of old maids biking to Holy Communion through the autumn mists; or the transition from boy to man prompted by war and what the poet Keith Douglas called “the mosquito death” – England is a place of visions.  Some are dreams; others nightmares.  Some like Housman’s “blue remembered hills” are a yearning for something lost; others like the deathbed speech given to John of Gaunt by Shakespeare in Richard II are a fervent prayer for a return to a world of decency and principle.  England shimmers in the minds of those who are born here as vividly as it does in the minds of those who make their lives here.  It’s a place of hope and tolerance as well as of anger and dismay.  In this evening’s programme the actors, Meera Syal and Philip Franks, give voice to some of the attitudes and feelings that shape our notion of England and Englishness.  From pigeon fanciers to courtiers, O Albion, is coloured by class and race just like England itself. The words of Daljit Nagra, Philip Larkin, Liz Berry and Basil Bunting amongst others jostle up against the music of Cornershop, Delius, Elgar and Simon Holt in a way that I hope prompts recognition but also surprise.

Producer: Zahid Warley


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