Words and Music: Self-Improvement

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Words and Music: Self-Improvement

Message  Matthieu le Dim 1 Mai 2011 - 21:26

L'émission radiophonique a été diffusée sur BBC Radio 3, le 1er mai 2011.
A sequence of music mixed with well-loved and less familiar poems and prose.
Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Macfadyen explore through poetry and prose a subject that has exercised some of the greatest minds of all time: self-improvement. What is the value of seeking out knowledge, physical improvement and enlightenment through self-teaching and motivation? With words of wisdom from a variety of sources across the ages including Confucius, Kant, Tennyson, Charlotte Bronte and Alan Bennett, together with music by Elgar, Clementi, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Bob Dylan.
Producer's note

Words and Music: Self Improvement

What makes us get up in the morning? Is it obligation, or is there a more intrinsic reason? And why do we have the urge to make plans, however grand or mundane, even if they are not always followed through?

Motivations vary greatly, but since the time of Confucius the idea of looking to one’s inner self for encouragement and improvement has been under consideration. For the Chinese master himself, study was of the utmost importance, and he wanted his disciples to think for themselves. Today’s Confucian equivalent is the row of bookstore shelves devoted to self-help books. It was on considering the mountain of self-help literature which exists today and its often variable quality that prompted me to pursue this topic, to see what some of the greatest thinkers of all time have to say on the subject.

The Brazilian author Paolo Coelho exhorts us to follow our dreams, while Isaac Watts champions hard work. Centuries after Confucius, the philosopher Immanuel Kant added his own thoughts – ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’ Goethe, on the other hand, cautions us not to be always too eager for improvements, and to appreciate what we have. Similarly, the Japanese follower of Confucius, Sugawara no Michizane, finds he has no talent in a particular field, and recognises when to give up trying.

Female writers throughout history often speak of their frustration at their exclusion from the lofty world of learning. The first of these we hear from in tonight’s programme is the 17th century write Elizabeth Thomas, whose poems were once described by Dryden as ‘too good to be a Woman’s’. This continuing frustration at the position of women is taken up again by Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre.

In his famous poem Ulysses, Tennyson urges us to take on the struggle of life. Life’s struggle does not go according to plan, however, for Jay Gatsby in F Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel.

When it comes to teachers as mentors, it is often the unconventional ones that remain in our minds, and Alan Bennett’s and Muriel Spark’s teachers have rather unorthodox methods of imparting knowledge. To end, the Palestinian-American author Naomi Shihab Nye evokes a world filled with possibilities for the future: a life as an open book.

The accompanying music includes works by Elgar, who was largely self-taught, Schumann, Dowland and Clementi, and inspirational songs: ‘To Dream the Impossible Dream’, from The Man of La Mancha, and Julie Andrews with ‘I have confidence in me’ from The Sound of Music.

Who needs more motivation than that?

Producer: Janet Tuppen
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Matthieu
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Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

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Reader Matthew Macfadyen

Message  Matthieu le Dim 1 Mai 2011 - 22:00

Music and featured items

Timings are shown as 24hr time of the day.
22:15 * Confucius * The expectations of life, reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:22 * Kant * What is Enlightenment? (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:29 * Goethe * Polyhymnia (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:37 * Sugawara no Michizane * I give up trying to play the lute, reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:39 * Samuel Butler * Satire, in two parts, Upon the imperfection and abuse of human learning (excerpt) reader MM
22:41 * F Scott Fitzgerald * The Great Gatsby (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:47 * Alfred, Lord Tennyson * Ulysses (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
22:56 * Elgar * Untitled, reader Matthew Macfadyen
23:01 * Dickens * David Copperfield (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
23:06 * Sheridan * The Rivals (excerpt), readers Matthew Macfadyen and Anna Maxwell Martin
23:18 * Anonymous * Athletic Employment, reader Matthew Macfadyen
23:20 * Alan Bennett * The History Boys (excerpt), reader Matthew Macfadyen
Broadcast: Sun 1 May 2011 at 22:15 on BBC Radio 3
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Matthieu
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Nombre de messages : 6858
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Localisation : Lorraine
Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

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Re: Words and Music: Self-Improvement

Message  Matthieu le Dim 1 Mai 2011 - 22:36

Emission enregistrée pour la postérité. Wink
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Matthieu
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Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

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Re: Words and Music: Self-Improvement

Message  Matthieu le Mar 3 Mai 2011 - 16:41

Et envoyée à Hong Kong pour la communauté. Wink
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Matthieu
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Localisation : Lorraine
Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

http://www.matthew-macfadyen.org/

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