Tag Archives: Great Lives

Leonard Bernstein

A post of John Connell‘s some time ago about polymaths encouraged me to wonder if I regarded anyone in such a light. I immediately thought of pianist, conductor, composer, linguist, educator, broadcaster Leonard Bernstein. Imagine my surprise when I chanced upon his appearance in Radio 4’s biographical programme Great Lives. He’d been chosen as this week’s subject by Charles Hazlewood – in many ways a similar character – who, within a few moments, described Bernstein as a polymath!

If you are interested in connections between music and language, I can think of no better place to explore than Bernstein’s Norton Lectures.

You can hear the programme here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010626p.

Agustín Barrios Mangoré

On today’s edition of Radio 4’s Great Lives, the guitarist, John Williams chose, as his biographical subject, the Paraguyan guitarist/composer, Agustín Barrios Mangoré. He cited as specific qualities, impeccable technique, inventive use of harmony & romanticism.

Here is a recording of Barrios from 1928:

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The programme always features, in addition to the guest, an expert on the life of the chosen hero. This week’s expert was Paraguyan guitarist, Berta Rojas (whom I once saw play in the Dundee Guitar Festival). Here she is playing the final section of La Catedral:

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You can Listen Again to the programme here until next Tuesday.