Baroque hour on Radio 3 as Dominic West takes to the airwaves to read poetry


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The Independent Culture

Heartthrob actor Dominic West is to go from The Hour to turning back the clock by reading a daily poem from the Baroque era for Radio 3.

The star will present a different verse each weekday for a fortnight for the station's Baroque Spring season which begins in March.

The month-long series of programmes and concerts will celebrate the period from 1600 to 1750 when composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi composed many of their most striking works.

Radio 3's seasons will also include a Baroque Remixed concert by the BBC Concert Orchestra featuring compositions by artists such as Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and finalists from a talent search.

It will be presented from the Roundhouse in London by 6 Music host Lauren Laverne.

The idea is to provoke discussion and interest in one of the most important periods of classical music's development.

West - known for his role in cult US series The Wire, as well as BBC drama The Hour - will appear each day on the afternoon programme In Tune reading a poem from the period from March 18 to 29.

The show will also feature Baroque masterclasses from the likes of Alison Balsom and Daniel Hope.

Other elements on the station will include Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues on the Breakfast show, while Katie Derham will host a number of concerts from historic homes owned by the National Trust including Ham House in south west London.

As part of the season, Sir John Eliot Gardiner will present a 90-minute documentary, Genius of Bach, on BBC2.

Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3, said: "Baroque Spring allows audiences the opportunity to immerse themselves in an era of immense musical creativity, through live performances, interviews and drama - all designed to shed light on the Baroque."