Music to Murder By,
by David Pownall

Broadcast: Sunday 7th November 1976, BBC R3.

In "Music to Murder By", two ghosts are conjured up before Helen Euterpe, a Californian musicologist, to demonstrate creativity and violence. The first is Philip Heseltine (alias the English composer Peter Warlock).

Warlock is an interesting twentieth-century British composer. He was a sensitive songwriter, a witty and caustic critic, a scholar of early music, and a friend of some of the leading figures of the day - including William Walton, Jacob Epstein, and D. H. Lawrence.

Warlock then summons up the 16th century madrigal composer and wife-killer, Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza. Gesualdo was an exact contemperary of Shakespeare He murdered his unfaithful wife and her lover in 1590.He composed motets, madrigals, and religious music from 1590 until his own death in 1613, aged 47.

Both Warlock and Gesualdo try to persuade Helen that all must be sacrificed to music.

With Mary Ellen Ray [Helen Euterpe], Edward Adams [ Federico Carafa, the Duke of Andria], Stephen Boxer [Philip Hesseltine], Eric Richard [Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa], and Fiona Victory [ Maria d'Avalos, Carlo's Wife].

Music composed by Carlo Gesualdo and Peter Warlock

Music sung by Stephen Boxer (tenor); Fiona Victory and Diana Kyle (sopranos)

A Paynes Plough Production.

Produced and directed by Guy Vaesen.

Re-broadcast on Suday 14th August 1977, 7:30 p.m. on BBC Radio 3.

90 minutes.

When the public lost interest in his music at the end of the 1920s, Warlock ended his life by his own hand in a gas-filled London flat on a cold winter's morning in December 1930, aged 36.


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