- Radio Times
- Review by:
- Laurence Joyce
Often awestruck, though seldom dumbstruck, the actor Brian Blessed has spent a lifetime attempting to tame the universe. Or so it seems. Never one to shirk the larger challenges in life, he has climbed mountains and trained as a cosmonaut.
His musical choices reflect the vast themes that fascinate him: the apocalyptic finale of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, Ravel’s impressionistic sunrise from Daphnis and Chloë, Holst’s mysterious Neptune, played beautifully here by James Levine and the Chicago Symphony, and he tells presenter Michael Berkeley why the last movement of Sibelius’s Symphony No 2 always reminds him of the death of Bramwell Brontë.
About this programme
Michael Berkeley welcomes actor Brian Blessed, whose small-screen rôles include Caesar Augustus in I Claudius, Richard IV in The Black Adder and Spiro in the BBC adaptation of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. Blessed also played Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon, appeared as Old Deuteronomy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical Cats, and has starred as Henry VIII in a series of online videos for the BBC Comedy website. An active mountaineer, he has attempted Everest three times, as well as training as a cosmonaut. His musical choices include the fourth movement of Walton's First Symphony, the Lever du jour sequence from Ravel's ballet Daphnis et Chloé, an excerpt from Janácek's Sinfonietta, the end of Wagner's Götterdämmerung, part of Holst's Planets Suite, and the finale of Sibelius's Second Symphony.