Main: Vocal Magic

in Daily Programme, The Black Mass

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 6 April, 2016

From the Library: Vocal Magic

In today’s programme, we present a selection of music for the human voice, from Mediæval times to the present.

Both secular and a little sacred music is included, so today’s show will be quite varied, ranging between troubadour songs, Renaissance choral works, traditional English folk-songs sung by artists like the King’s Singers and Coope Boyes & Simpson, and modern works such as those of Karl Jenkins, Libera, The Swingle Singers, The Carpenters, and Donna McKevitt’s haunting settings of Derek Jarman’s poetry.

We are also featuring the new album by Aled Jones, One Voice, which combines recent recordings with recordings of his childhood singing voice that have never been heard before, on an album featuring several folk songs that will be familiar to Radio Riel listeners.

The Black Mass: Diary of a Madman by Nicolai Gogol

Then tune in at 11am or 7pm Pacific time (19:00 or 03:00 in the UK) for a very special piece of radio drama: part of the landmark Black Mass series produced 50 years ago at KPFA in Berkeley, and broadcast today in memory of Erik Bauersfeld, the immense talent who brought the series to life and who sadly passed away on April 4th, 2016. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Thus today we present Erik Bauersfeld’s quite remarkable virtually solo realisation of Diary of a Madman by Nicolai Gogol, in which a madman saves himself from the mad world by becoming the King of Spain. But the castle is an insane asylum. He escapes in a flying horse carriage back to his mother and his lost childhood in Russia.

For more about The Black Mass and this episode in particular (which the author refers to as “what I still believe to be one of the best radio dramatic productions I’ve ever heard”), visit this page by John Whiting, who produced the series.


Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. To listen from outside North America, click here to start your player .

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