January 1, 2019

22. Hansel and Gretel

Witches and breadcrumbs, giant ducks and gingerbread houses. This week we explore one of the most famous fairy tales of all time: Hansel and Gretel.

After our surprise Christmas episode, we thought why stop the fun there? We're kicking off 2019 with a bona fide classic!

We discover how this story was used in a U.S supreme court ruling, learn how it all started with a terrible famine, and we dissect various highfalutin analyses of this uber famous story. 

Happy new year everyone!

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Beethoven's Piano Trio No7 in B-flat Major Op97 / Chopin's Mazurka D major Op.33 no.2 performed by Lubka Kolessa / Hänsel and Gretel Opera: Evening Prayer performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers / Chopin's Liszt Zyczenie (The Maiden's Wish) performed by Brian Young

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December 25, 2018

2018 Christmas Special

Join us at Castle Grimm for our first ever Grimm Reading Christmas party! In this special festive episode we indulge in some yuletide treats including port, mince pies, and maybe even the odd Christmas fairy tale...

Thank you so much to everyone who's been listening to us, sending messages and writing kind reviews. We hope you enjoy this special episode!

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Tchaikovsky - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by Kevin Macleod // Holst - First Suite Intermezzo performed by the U.S. Marine Band

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December 9, 2018

21. The Singing Bone

A tale of familial betrayal, divine justice and rampaging boars. Thanks to a magical horn, a body has been discovered under the bridge (downtown), but what is the story behind this tragedy? And how will the truth ever come to light?

’The Singing Bone’ sees a forensic team, led by a maverick King, uncover the truth behind a brutal murder.

In this episode, the haunting, powerful story of justice and peace leads us on a journey across Europe and on to America where stories and ballads of singing body parts have become a staple of the folk and country tradition. In doing so we discover our new favourite folk sub-genre: the murder ballad.

This episode is Certified Grimm for ‘dark themes’ and ‘upsetting situations’ and may not be suitable for all listeners.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Brahms's 16 Waltzes, Op.39, #3 Performed by Martha Goldstein / Beethoven's Piano Trio B-Flat Major No.7 Op.97 / Chopin's Mazurka D-Maj Op.33 #2 performed by Lubka Kolessa

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November 28, 2018

20. The Three Snake-Leaves

Viking vampires, Cretan honey murderers and dyscalculic snakes - yes, Grimm Reading is back!

War, death and infidelity feature in a rollercoaster of an adventure this week, as a young hero fights for his life (and his wife) with the help of magical foliage in ‘The Three Snake-Leaves.’
 
We go deep into the history of this story type and have a few addendums to confess to as well. This leads us nicely onto discussing a debate raging at the heart of the study of folklore - are fairy tales the true voice of the people or just literary creations of the learned? 
 
Thanks for waiting patiently, we’re now once again firmly and happily planted by the Grimm castle fireside.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Brahms's 16 Waltzes, Op. 39, #4 performed by Martha Goldstein  / Brahms's 16 Waltzes, Op.39, #1 performed by Martha Goldstein

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October 14, 2018

19. The Pink

A magical gift destroys a family, but perhaps out of the ashes something beautiful will bloom. 

In this week's episode we read 'The Pink': a tale of deception, love, justice, health and safety breaches and fire-breathing poodles. 

There's also an extra special treat in the form of 'The Myrtle', a related story by the titanic Neapolitan fairy tale writer Giambattista Basile. Seduction, murder and high drama - it's quite the roller coaster.

And finally, we pick the next four stories we'll be giving the Grimm Reading treatment.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor I. Allegro and F Minor II. Adagio performed by David Ezra Okonsar / Brahms's 16 Waltzes, Op.39, #13 performed by Martha Goldstein

 

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September 30, 2018

18. The Fox And His Cousin

 

A kindly wolf invites cousin fox to be her child’s godfather to teach it some valuable foxy skills. But the dastardly fox has other intentions and leads the wolf through the worst day of her life…
 
In part 3 of The Fox Quadrilogy - the epic story of the rise and fall of the Reynard the fox- discover how peasants wash and why you should never get a barn and stable confused. 
 
We reflect on some shocking fox behaviour and trace the idea of the trickster fox from Aesop through to medieval France and Geoffrey Chaucer, where along the way he picks up the name Raynard. 

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101 - IV performed by Daniel Veesey

 

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September 16, 2018

17. The White Snake

Sneakily gorging on some delectable white snake gives one servant extraordinary powers and sets him on the journey of a lifetime.

With the help of new faunistic friends, the servant tackles a series of perilous challenges to win the heart of a fair princess.

We hunt down other stories featuring white snakes in Europe to try to discover what it all means and why everyone is chowing down on yummy albino serpents.

Over in Botswanna, Matt outlines his outlandish pagan snake theory and in China we learn why you should never go into business with an immortal snake women.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Beethoven's Piano Trio No7 in B-flat Major Op97

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September 3, 2018

16. The Robber Bridegroom

Shakespeare, Dickens, cannabalistic serial killers and talking birds all make an appearance in this week's twisted episode 'The Robber Bridegroom' as voted for by our wonderful listeners!

Yet another miller has promised his daughter away to a mysterious, handsome suitor. But our bride is filled with horror at the thought of him and only after much cajoling does she reluctantly agrees to visit his house in the deep dark woods.

Standing on the threshold of the forest, a trail of ash leads the way to the lonely house and our heroine begins a terrifying escapade in what uncannily resembles a modern horror movie.

This week's story introduces many new fairy tale tropes as well as a brand new colour of deadly wine. We also explore other stories from the ATU type 955 including the fantastic English story, Mr. Fox.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted, we're very excited to present the listener poll's winning story this week and hope you enjoy! 

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: 

Ludwig Van Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major performed by Paul Rosenthal and Edward Auer

Ludwig Van Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9 — 3rd Movement performed by Paul Rosenthal and Edward Auer

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A triple whammy of Grimm fun this week as we reveal the results of our listener poll, dip our toes in the academic world of folklore and perhaps even read a couple of stories...

You've been voting and we've been counting; It's been a head to head between Elves & the Shoemaker, Rapunzel and The Robber Bridegroom - but which will emege victorious?

After revealing the results, we then dive into the Aarne Thompson Uther Classification of Folktales, exploring how folktales are categorised and the hidden history of folklore from across the world.

And finally a hungry wolf and speedy pancake make an unexpected appearance.

Music:
Intro sonata by Robert Schumann / Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 8 in Gmajor performed by Paul_Rosenthal & Edward Auer

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Three poor brothers hit the forest to seek their fortune, but can earthly riches mend a broken heart?
 
A magical wishing cloth gives one brother the power to offer a selection of meats which help him rob his way to power and world domination. But his ascension is threatened when a beautiful, brave and judgemental Princess discovers his secret. 
 
We go on an adventure filled with magic, war, love, loss and dirty charcoal burners.
 
We also recount a bizarre Danish version of the tale and finally we choose the next three stories we’ll be exploring on Grimm Reading. 
 

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Johannes Brahms's Hungarian Dance No. 5 performed by the Fulda Symphonic Orchestra

Ludwig Van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101, Movement II: Lebhaft, marschmäßig (Vivace alla marcia) performed by Daniel Veesey

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony no. 8 in f major, op. 93 - iv. allegro vivace performed by the Bucharest College Orchestra

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August 12, 2018

14. Godfather Death

An unusual choice for Godfather changes the fate of one man's life forever, or does it? Things get fatalistic, subversive and skeletal in this week's episode: 'Godfather Death'.

We explore the meaning of the story, alternative versions, folk medicine recipies and briefly examine the history of the personification of death in western culture.

And of course we finally meet Death himself, the latest and most withered character in the franchise. And just maybe, we have our first big scoring divergence...

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Robert Schumann's Fantasiestucke Op 88 / Chopin's Bercuse performed by Veronica Van Der Knaap

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“If I could but shudder!”

With nothing more than his good looks and a fifty dollar donation, a banished youth goes on an adventure to learn the art of fear in ‘The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was'.

Facing demonic cats, maniacal old men and an evening of bowling with skeletons, can our hero survive three nights in a haunted castle and win the princess?

We explore what it means to feel fear and uncover a bad case of ichthyophobia, in undoubtedly the most gruesome and also most fun episode we’ve made yet!

This episode is ‘Certified Grimm’ for dark themes and potentially upsetting situations and may not be suitable for all listeners.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major (Op. 58) 2nd & 3rd movements performed by Debbie Hu

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July 22, 2018

12. Rumpelstiltskin

This week on Grimm Reading we read, review and explore one of the best known Brothers Grimm stories: Rumpelstiltskin.
 
Yet another miller has accidentally promised his daughter away. This time to a greedy king who mistakenly believes she can spin straw into gold. Can our maiden find a way to achieve the impossible? And will... Ah, you know the story.
 
We explore the origins of the famous little man, assess popular interpretations, make a few of our own and take a look at other versions of the tale from across the world. Well, Britain mostly.
 
And finally, we choose the next three stories we'll be giving the Grimm Reading treatment. 
 
 
 
Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko
 
Other music: Johannes Brahms's Waltz Op 39 No 15 performed by Paul Cantrell / Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No.8 in G major performed by Paul Rosenthal & Edward Auer / Fréderic Chopin’s Prelude Op 28 No 9 performed by Paul Cantrell
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July 15, 2018

11. Clever Elsie

Eat, sleep or work?

A simple deliberation leaves Elsie in the throes of a physco-philosophical breakdown on this week's episode 'Clever Elsie'.

Hans needs a wife and goes a-wooing, but there's one condition - she's got to be clever. Will Elsie be enough? And just what exactly is a fowler's net?

On Grimm Reading this week, we learn all this and more as we explore one of the least known tales and discover our new favourite American golfer.

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Johannes Brahms's 16 Waltzes, Op.39, #8 (b-flat major), performed by Martha Goldstein

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In 'Cat and Mouse in Partnership', sheer force of love sees a cat and mouse overcome their natural differences and set up house together.

But winter is coming, and the mouse is growing suspicious at the unreasonable amount of christening invitations the cat's receiving...

Learn why all people are innately greedy, selfish and just nasty. Or perhaps maybe it's just a few cats.

We also explore other tales of the (spoiler) 'partner steals keg of butter' narrative type from Norway, Scotland and America. The latter of which explains, most importantly of all, why foxes have a white tail end...

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Theme music: Bicycle Waltz by Goodbye Kumiko

Other music: Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major ("Kreutzer", Op. 47), 1st movement and 2nd movement, performed by Paul Rosenthal and Edward Auer

Schumann's Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15, No. 1 "Of Foreign Lands and Peoples" performed and recorded by Leonard Vertighel

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