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Episode 4: The death of Peter Warlock

  • Broadcast in Entertainment
Classic FM

Classic FM


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In the early 20th century a craze for the occult swept the country. It was the era of Aleister Crowley and a new-found fascination with black magic. And no-one embraced this world more fully than Philip Heseltine. This hard-living, heavy-drinking composer delved into the art of black magic, experimented with spells and even changed his name to ‘Peter Warlock’. In 1930 he died suddenly, at the age of just 36. Had he been interfering with forces beyond his control? This episode tackles subjects that some listeners might find upsetting.

Original music was written by Thomas Hewitt Jones (@thewittjones).

Tim Lihoreau can be found on Twitter (@TimLihoreau) and the Classic FM team can be found @ClassicFM. You can get in touch about the show at and find out more about this episode at

The recordings featured in this episode are:

Warlock: Bethlehem Down – The Rodolfus Choir, directed by Ralph Allwood (Signum Classics)

Warlock: Capriol Suite – Nicholas Kraemer (harpsichord), Neville Marriner, Academy of St Martin in the Fields (Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon)

Warlock: The Fox – John Mark Ainsley, Roger Vignoles (Helios/Hyperion)

Warlock: Take, O Take Those Lips Away – Tim Travers-Brown and Jeremy Filsell (Signum Classics)

Warlock: Captain Stratton’s Fancy – Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone), Michael Martineau (piano) (Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon)