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Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T.S. Eliot’s career as a poet. While containing some of the most musical and unforgettable passages in twentieth-century poetry, its four parts, ‘Burnt Norton’, ‘East Coker’, ‘The Dry Salvages’ and ‘Little Gidding’, present a rigorous meditation on the spiritual, philosophical and personal themes which preoccupied the author. It was the way in which a private voice was heard to speak for the concerns of an entire generation, in the midst of war and doubt, that confirmed it as an enduring masterpiece.
With an introduction by Michael Symmons Roberts, Lord David Alton and Gail McDonald.
Drawing on the tradition of great music-and-story works like Peter and the Wolf, Angel Heart is a music storybook in deluxe CD packaging, featuring best-selling young-adult author Cornelia Funke (Inkheart), and composer Luna Pearl Woolf (Après moi, le déluge) with an A-list cast of performers such as Jeremy Irons, Matt Haimovitz & Uccello, Frederica von Stade and more, with artwork by the award-winning Mirada.
The story: A girl whose heart has broken into a thousand pieces meets an angel. During their travels in the night, the angel enlists the help of spirits of the East, North, West, and South on his quest to mend her heart.
In addition to Angel Heart, (story by Cornelia Funke, music by Luna Pearl Woolf, narrated by Jeremy Irons); the work combines well known songs from The Beatles, classical music and folk music. The visual storytelling design is by Mirada, a multi-platform company that was founded by Mathew Cullen and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro.
Orchestra: Uccello, Childrens Choir of St. Martin de Porres School
Conductor: Michael Morgan
Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf (composer), Cornelia Funke (author)
Audio CD (September 24, 2013)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: OXINGALE RECORDS
In-Print Editions: MP3 Music
This Sahaya International documentary about the AIDS epidemic in rural India is narrated by Jeremy Irons and features music by Enya. Enjoy and please spread the word about Sahaya International. They are changing lives!
Combining gripping drama, spectacular CGI and compelling commentary, The British is an ambitious and unmissable new series which tells the history of Britain and Ireland from the Roman invasion to the birth of TV and the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.
Spanning two thousand years, the series uncovers the surprising stories of the unsung heroes as well as the well-known icons of history. Some of the UK’s most recognizable names from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sport, science and history – including Jeremy Irons, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Terry Wogan, Jessie J, Russell Brand, Colin Jackson, Frank Lampard, Lord Robert Winston and Prof. Jeremy Black – share their unique insights on how thousands of years of British history have shaped the people and nation we are today.
Essex-born actor, comedian and writer Russell Brand said: “It’s nice to be able to reach back into the past and feel that you have an identity that’s built on an oceanic, rolling history” while Oscar® winning actress Dame Helen Mirren said of her national identity: “If you wanted to teach someone who knew absolutely nothing about the British people, it would be very good to guide them to Shakespeare – you could see the foolishness, the humour, the brutality; it’s all in almost every play.”
Sky is also running an educational initiative to support the series. Aiming to give pupils an enthralling insight into 2,000 years of the history of Great Britain, the initiative will target pupils from ages 7 – 14 with an educational plan tailored to the series.
As part of this campaign, Sky has produced free, flexible teaching and learning resources for ages 7-11 and 11-14, which will be specifically tailored towards each episode of the seven-part series. Click here to find out more about the educational resources for The British.
Thank heavens for Ezra Pound! Without his artistic intervention TS Eliot’s modernist poetic masterpiece would have been called He Do the Police in Different Voices instead of The Waste Land. This we learn in the introductory contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Jackie Kay, Matthew Hollis and Sean O’Brien that set Eliot’s complex and multi-layered work in its literary and historical context.
But it is the reading of the text itself by Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins that is most enlightening for anyone who has ever struggled to catch Eliot’s drift. Their measured delivery, never overdone, captures the poem’s bleak emotional landscape, breathing life into its panoramic sweep and mundane detail, with Atkins chillingly perfect in Death by Water.
About this programme
Eileen Atkins and Jeremy Irons read the poem by TS Eliot, featuring an introduction by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Jackie Kay, Matthew Hollis and Sean O’Brien. The author’s seminal work is arguably one of the most influential of the 20th century, and is split into five parts – The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water and What the Thunder Said.
“We recorded his story in an audio suite at the BBC Borehamwood Studios. I directed the reading, as I had done for all of the stories included in the 4-CD box set of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde and Jeremy arrived on his enormous motorbike, in leathers, which worried me as I thought that he might ‘squeak’! He didn’t, however, and he was utterly professional and well-prepared, as usual, and we recorded the whole story in three takes. I was delighted that he had invented so many voices for all of the characters in the story and several of them made me laugh out loud! We then had lunch in the commissary and had a wander around the Eastenders permanent set before he roared off on his huge bike, while I waited for Joanna Lumley to arrive to record her story. He really is the most un-’star like’ actor I know – a real actor – and a wonderfully loyal and sweet friend.”
The recording is now available from audible.com, on CD and from iTunes. Click on the link above to listen to a preview and to order.
The hard copies of the 4x CDs of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde read by various stars (Dame Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Joanna Lumley, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sinead Cusack, Robert Harris, Samantha Bond, Geoffrey Palmer, Sir Donald Sinden) and sold in aid of the Royal Theatrical Fund, are now available!
Jeremy’s second appearance on BBC Radio 4′s “Desert Island Discs” from Sunday 5 February 2006 is now available on iTunes for FREE!
Click on the image below to download on iTunes:
[The iTunes version just plays clips of the songs Jeremy has chosen, due to licensing issues. That is the reason that the iTunes broadcast is slightly shorter than the version on the BBC website. The interview portion with Jeremy is unedited.]
Introduction from the BBC website:
Sue Lawley’s castaway this week is the actor Jeremy Irons.
He made his name playing Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited in 1981 and became known for his quintessentially English roles. It was an image he later sought to discard and he certainly did so in the film Lolita, where his portrayal of Humbert Humbert reopened the controversy about the desires of a middle-aged man for a 14-year old girl. In the film The Mission he played a gentle Jesuit missionary and went on to act as his own stuntman, climbing a perilous waterfall. It was his performance in Reversal of Fortune that won him an Oscar for Best Actor as the real-life character Claus Von Bulow, accused and acquitted of the attempted murder of his wife. Later this month, he returns to the West End stage after almost 20 years to star in the play Embers, a story of friendship and betrayal.
The full, unedited version of Jeremy’s “Desert Island Discs” episode is also available to listen to or to download to keep from the BBC 4 Website. There you can also read the details of his first appearance on “Desert Island Discs” on Sunday 2 November 1986, but it is not available to listen to.
Jeremy’s song choices:
Favourite track: “One step at a Time” by Clifton Chenier
Book: Ashley Books of Knots by Clifford Ashley
Luxury: Rizla liquorice papers
Sinead Cusack’s appearance from Sunday 15 December 2002 on “Desert Island Discs” is also available through iTunes and the BBC website. Her first appearance, from Saturday 28 May 1983 is also detailed on the BBC website, but is not available to listen to.
Audio recorded from a 31 May 2011 performance of John Milton – Simply Sublime at Donmar Warehouse in London, as part of Poetry Week.
Jeremy Irons (Satan), Emilia Fox (Eve), Felicity Kendal (Narrator) and Dan Stevens (Adam) perform excerpts from Paradise Lost. The event was sponsored by Josephine Hart.
[No copyright infringement intended.]
As the audio quality is low, this is best listened to through headphones with the volume turned up high……Click on the play arrow below to listen. Click on the volume/speaker icon at the left of the audio player to increase the volume in the audio player module. The recording is approximately 1 hour in length.
A first-hand account from an attendee:
“The Donmar Warehouse is quite a small theater.The five actors were sitting on chairs in a row. They read excerpts from Milton’s Paradise Lost, Books 1 and 9. Jeremy read the part of Satan. The other parts were of Adam and Eve and a Narrator. The fifth woman talked about Milton at the beginning (a bit more than 17 minutes).
Jeremy wore his usual kind of clothes: white shirt, grey vest, reddish scarf, grey trousers and boots (not his riding boots, shorter ones), no glasses.
At the evening performance, the theater was nearly full. The evening performance was video-recorded for Josephine Hart, who was not there. The lady who recorded it said that Hart might share it on her homepage, but there is no guarantee.”
A photo of Jeremy in Covent Garden on Tuesday 31 May 2011 – the day of his Poetry Week performance. [Photo petra eujane ]
Sadly, on Thursday 2 June 2011, Josephine Hart lost her battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 67. Read more in the London Evening Standard.
As part of the CD compilation “Words That Burn” by Josephine Hart, there is a recording of Jeremy Irons, Felicity Kendal, Emilia Fox and Greg Wise reading extracts of John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, similar to what was performed at Donmar Warehouse.
Jeremy also read the part of Satan in ‘Paradise Lost’ for a BBC Radio 4 production of the Josephine Hart Poetry Programme on 20 April 2008. In that performance, extracts from John Milton’s great Christian epic ‘Paradise Lost’ are read by Jeremy Irons (Satan), Felicity Kendal (narrator), Greg Wise (Adam) and Emilia Fox (Eve).