Laura Mvula uncovers the influence of Nina Simone’s classical training in her version of Love Me or Leave Me. Laura Mvula illustrates the contrapuntal classical piano technique that Nina Simone puts to good use in her version of Love Me or Leave Me.
Professor Sir Roger Penrose is more than just a fan of MC Escher's mind-bending art. During the course of a long creative collaboration, the British mathematician and the Dutch artist exchanged ideas and inspirations. Some of Escher's most iconic images have their origin in Penrose's mathematical sketches - while the artist's work has served as a starting point for the professor's own explorations of new scientific ideas. To coincide with the first ever Escher retrospective in the UK, Penrose takes us on a personal journey through Escher's greatest masterpieces - marvelling at his intuitive brilliance and the penetrating light it still sheds on complex mathematical concepts.
The name of 17th-century violin maker Antonio Stradivari - or Stradivarius as he is usually known - is one that sends shivers down the spine of music lovers the world over. During his lifetime Stradivari made over 1,000 instruments, about 650 of which still survive. Their sound is legendary and for any violinist the opportunity to play one is a great privilege. Clemency Burton-Hill indulges in her lifelong passion for the instrument as she explores the mysterious life and lasting influence of Stradivari - through four special violins on display at this summer's Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She is joined by 2002 Young Musician of the Year winner Jennifer Pike to put some of the violins in the exhibition through their paces.
Lucy Worsley tells the story of Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Built in the early 17th century, Bolsover Castle became the pleasure palace of playboy Cavalier and ambitious courtier William Cavendish. Guiding us on a tour of the castle and its remarkable collection of artworks, Lucy brings to life the spectacular masque held by Cavendish to win the favour of King Charles I. And from within the walls of this eccentric architectural gem emerges a colourful tale, capturing the tensions of early 17th century England that would eventually lead the nation to civil war.
Lauren Child, author, illustrator and creator of Charlie and Lola, has a secret passion - dolls' houses. She's been working on her own dolls' house for the past 30 years and her lifelong obsession continues to inspire her ideas and shape her work. But why do these interior worlds have the power to cast a spell beyond childhood? Lauren explores the history of dolls' houses from some of the earliest examples to their modern incarnations, speaks to craftspeople who create perfect miniatures and meets ardent collectors willing to pay big money for tiny objects of desire.
A forgotten literary masterpiece celebrating the majesty of the Cairngorm mountains is the subject of this documentary presented by travel writer Robert MacFarlane. The Living Mountain, written by Scottish poet and novelist Nan Shepherd in the 1940s, recounts her experience of walking in the Cairngorms during the early years of the Second World War. When Robert MacFarlane first discovered it he found it to be one of the finest books ever written on nature and landscape in Britain. This love letter to the Cairngorms instantly challenged his preconceptions about nature writing. Unlike other mountaineering literature that focused on a quest to reach the summit, this remarkable book described a poetic and philosophical journey into the mountain.
As the popularity of collecting fairs and Pinterest would attest, we are a nation of magpie obsessions. Renaissance expert Professor Nandini Das reveals the story behind the Cabinet of Curiosities - the original collecting craze that began in Renaissance Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, and which is experiencing a surprising revival in the work of contemporary artists today.