The Radio 3 Documentary
Summary: In-depth documentaries which each week explore a different aspect of history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature. The Sunday Feature is broadcast every Sunday at 7.45pm on BBC Radio 3. Each episode lasts 45 minutes. We aim to include as many episodes of The Sunday Feature in the podcast as we can but you'll find that some aren't included for rights reasons.
Style, flair, individuality, ideas... and stars. The filmic output of the remarkable three-person association of creative talents that is collectively known as 'Merchant Ivory' has endured since the early 1960s.
Norman Lebrecht presents the last of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history. Taking as his starting point the moment at which the Jews were finally able to enter the Western classical music tradition in a professional capacity, in today's programme Norman investigates the idea of a "Jewish thumbprint" in the music of Mendelssohn and others. Leading Israeli composer Noam Sheriff and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas talk about why Mahler's Jewishness speaks so strongly to them through his symphonies, and Michael Grade explains how the Jewish art of being one step ahead impacted so strongly on the entertainment industry in the twentieth century.
Norman Lebrecht presents the second of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Women, in the Jewish religion, are not meant to sing, and yet Jewish women have shrugged off that inhibition to become some of the most powerful figures in the popular imagination. We hear from some of the most successful women singing in Israel and indeed on the world stage today, including the eighth-generation Yiddish singer Myriam Fuks and Achinoam Nini, the latest in a long line of iconic Jewish women of Yemenite origin. Michael Grade remembers his grandmother's passion for Sophie Tucker, and the promoter Harvey Goldsmith explains why Jewish women have had such a huge impact on music over the past half century. We also hear from Dr Tova Gamliel about the extraordinarily powerful role of women in the religious practices of Yemen.
Norman Lebrecht presents the first programme in a three-part series examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity. Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history. Today, the acclaimed Ladino singer Yasmin Levy explains why music and memory became so intertwined when the Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century, rabbi Shlomo Levin tells the amazing story of how a marching tune sung by Napoleon and his troops in 1812 became an integral part of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, and the musicologist Gila Flam has some surprising revelations about the music sung by the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps.
Rana Mitter reveals how Shanghai today is forging its identity as an ultramodern city – by rediscovering its glamorous 1920s past, when 'Shanghai' meant movies, neon and jazz.
Anne McElvoy finds out how those active in Germany's cultural world see the identity of Europe's largest and most powerful nation evolving.
Tom Service and others explore the history of the festival theatre in Bayreuth that Wagner built for the staging of his music dramas.
Matthew Sweet meets Ken Adam, the 92-year-old designer of iconic sets from Dr No and Goldfinger to Doctor Strangelove and the Ipcress File.
Professor Hussey celebrates the life, work and tragic death of literature's enigmatic Outsider Albert Camus, one hundred years on from his birth, and asks if the fatal car crash may have been a KGB inspired execution.
How has the factory production line changed us? AL Kennedy finds out.
Once upon a time Hollywood composers were classically schooled European maestros. Today many of the most successful ones are drawn from the world of pop and rock. In this documentary journalist Jonathan Coffey is in Los Angeles to meet some of the biggest names in the industry to assess the business of writing for the movies.
The thousand-year-old story of the Jewish presence in Poland was all but ended by the Nazis. But now a new Poland is experiencing an unexpected return of history and memory. Presented by author Eva Hoffman
The story of the Jewish presence in Poland
Author and journalist Tarek Osman returns to the Middle East to explore how the apparently unassuming establishment of the Café has served as a vibrant hub of change in the political tsunamis that have swept - and are still sweeping - through the region.
As part of Wagner 200, Stephen Johnson explores the worlds of Wagner's heroes, from Norse myths to his own Tannhauser, Siegfried and Parsifal. He charts how Wagner himself became a national hero.