Lebrecht.live

Norman Lebrecht debates another cultural issue with guests in the studio and around the world. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]

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20010704

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum. This edition investigates how much of difference conductors make.

20010911
20011017

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

20011107

In the light of falling sales and closing labels, Norman Lebrecht asks if the era of the CD is coming to an end now that listeners can download their music from the internet.

20011205

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

20020306

Norman Lebrecht chairs a discussion with a panel of guests to explore equal opportunity in the arts.

20020501

Norman Lebrecht asks what the future holds for British orchestras.

20020703

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

20021002

Prompted by the observation that newspapers have reduced their serious coverage of the arts, Norman Lebrect asks: Do the arts get the press they deserve?

20030604

Has Anglo-French Culture Con'd Out? With the demise of Concorde, the great symbol of cross-channel co-operation, cultural relations between the great neighbours have reached an all-time low.

Where British theatre was once agog at the latest Anouilh and British bookshops stacked with the new Sagan or de Beauvoir, now there is hardly a French play to be seen here or book to be read.

On the other side, Lord Rogers' great Pompidou Centre of the 1970s appears to be the last British footprint in Paris.

With political relations in deep-freeze over the Iraq war and the prospects of Britain joining the Euro receding, it would seem that Britain and France are drifting apart - culturally, in more ways than most.

Why have we gone blind to French art and the French deaf to our music? Where are the new mediators of cultural dialogue? Can the entente ever be restored to its former cordiality?

20040125

Norman Lebrecht talks to Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, about the place of museums in society today, their obligations, and the issues concerning ownership of artefacts.

20040425
20040530
20040627
20050227

At a time when fiction is flourishing as never before more, more adults are turning to children's literature for relaxation and their commuter read.

So what's going on? Are we as readers retreating into childhood fantasy? Are we becoming willingly infantilised? Do children's books offer a purer form of escapism than adults'? Or are we so bored with repetitive descriptions of sexual calisthenics and relationship difficulties that we turn to children's writers for an honest, untainted view of the world?

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Morning

Afternoon.

20050320

Is Modernism Now Dead?

With the generation of Boulez, Stockhausen and Ligeti approaching their 80s, have the atonalities and intellectualism of their music given way to less demanding minimalism?In other arts, gritty theories have been replaced by straightforward crowd pleasers - Jeff Koons in place of Jackson Pollock, Alan Bennett instead of Samuel Beckett.

Can we now write off half a century of modernism as an aberration and wallow in lukewarm 21st century waters? Was the modernist wave as destructive as conservatives made out? Or did some good come of it? And do audiences want it?

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20050522

Does Art Gain from War?

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]

The Second World War, which ended 60 years ago, produced a veritable explosion in cultural demand and a surge of important new works.

In times of fear and bitter loss, people turned inward spiritually and sought the consolations of art.

The same happened in the First World War, and in many other conflicts.

But has this changed since then? Vietnam yielded a protest movement but no lasting works of art.

Does war not move artists the way it did? Have we become immune to mass feeling when violence is a factor of daily life?

Evening

Morning

Afternoon.

20050925

Norman Lebrecht debates another cultural issue with guests in the studio and around the world.

This edition asks whether elitism should be regarded as a sin.

Evening

Morning

Afternoon.

20051127

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]

Evening

Morning

Afternoon.

20060226

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]. We live in a world dominated by image, so are we being overwhelmed by what we see?
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Morning

Afternoon.

20060326

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum. He looks at the topic of women and creativity in the arts. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]
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Afternoon.

20060430

Must Genius be Mad?
It's 150 years since the death of Robert Schumann who died in an asylum after throwing himself into the Rhine. He shares a morbid anniversary with Heinrich Heine, whose late poetry was, by his own recognition, a last-ditch defence in his struggle with insanity. Along with other leading voices of the Romanticism - Byron, Shelley, Beethoven - Schumann and Heine were widely regarded as mad.
The stigma is not confined to their era. Mozart is alleged to have had tourette's syndrome, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Vincent Van Gogh suffered from a manic-depressive illness, now known as bipolar disorder, mainly painting in lucid breaks from his illness.
What is the link between genius and madness? Are people with an extraordinary talent so far beyond the pale that they are mentally abnormal? Or is madness a label we attach to people we cannot understand, people whose intensity inspires fear in the supposedly normal?
Leading players give their views on lebrecht.live. Send yours to lebrecht.live@bbc.co.uk and phone in during the programme on 08700 100 444 [national rates]
Evening
Morning

Afternoon.

20060528

Norman Lebrecht challenges leading figures in the arts and asks if it would be better to throw off the shackles imposed by state funding. With a panel including chief executive of the Arts Council England, Peter Hewitt; artistic director of National Theatre of Scotland, Vicky Featherstone; and impresario Raymond Gubbay.
Evening
Morning

Afternoon.

20060625

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum, asking whether sport is the new art form. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]. Guests include Skating champion Robin Cousins, football commentator Barry Davies and Justin Cartwright, novelist and sports columnist.

20060917

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]. The central question is: What's British about art?

20061029

Norman Lebrecht and guests examine the effect of marketing on the artistic world and how many of the world's most famous arts centres seem to be selling themselves on gimmickry rather than substance.

20061126

Norman Lebrecht debates another cultural issue with guests in the studio and around the world.
This edition asks whether Communism is bad for art. One of the dominant ideologies of the 20th century was inherently suppressive. It silenced, imprisoned and murdered millions of people, and in the few countries where it still prevails freedom of speech is under severe restraint.
Yet every Marxist regime has vaunted art as a token of its triumphs. Without Communism, there could have been no symphonies by Shostakovich, no films by Milos Forman, no Chinese ballet and no Carlos Acosta.

20070128

Norman Lebrecht debates another cultural issue with guests in the studio and around the world. This programme asks whether the blog is emerging as a new art form. In a media environment that is changing by the minute, news and comment about the arts are increasingly being driven by first-person websites. Is this the end of criticism as we know it, or the beginning of an interactive audience?

Are Musicals The Solution?20041128

Those who moan about the death of Broadway and the decline of London's West End are ignoring the facts: business is bigger than ever.
Over the past few years a healthy new strand of narrative musicals has developed beyond the works of Stephen Sondheim to form an important addition to the cultural economy.
So how can musicals get it right while other arts are struggling? Is it just a question of massive investment? Or mindless entertainment? Or is there some subtler change in public taste?
Evening
Morning

Afternoon.

Can Orchestras Clean Up Their Act?20050626

An explosive new book suggests that orchestral life in NEW YORK consists of sex, drugs and drudgery - and not much opportunity to make art.

Elsewhere, the notion of democracy in orchestras remains remote, the engagement with audiences is minute and the idea that permanent ensembles should embrace the modern age is seen as ridiculous and unnecessary.

What attempts have been made to drag the symphony orchestra into the 21st century? Have they worked? Which reform would you like to propose?

Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum.

Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]

Completism20051030

Norman Lebrecht asks why are we being given the whole works of creative artists in a season, a week, or sometimes a day? Examples include the Royal Shakespeare Company putting on every scrap of Shakespeare, and the Salzburg Festival performing all of Mozart's stage works.

Do we get a better understanding of art from seeing and hearing everything an artist ever did?

Does Art Gain From War?20050424

The Second World War produced a veritable explosion in cultural demand and a surge of important new works.

In times of fear and bitter loss, people turned inward spiritually and sought the consolations of art.

The same happened in the First World War and in many other conflicts, but since then has this changed?

Vietnam yielded a protest movement but no lasting works of art.

Does war no longer move us the way it did? And have we become immune to mass feeling when violence is a factor of daily life?

Evening

Morning

Afternoon.

Has Anglo-french Culture Con'd Out?20030608

With the demise of Concorde, the great symbol of cross-channel co-operation, cultural relations between the great neighbours have reached an all-time low. Where British theatre was once agog at the latest Anouilh and British bookshops stacked with the new Sagan or de Beauvoir, now there is hardly a French play to be seen here or book to be read. On the other side, Lord Rogers' great Pompidou Centre of the 1970s appears to be the last British footprint in Paris. With political relations in deep-freeze over the Iraq war and the prospects of Britain joining the Euro receding, it would seem that Britain and France are drifting apart - culturally, in more ways than most. Why have we gone blind to French art and the French deaf to our music? Where are the new mediators of cultural dialogue? Can the entente ever be restored to its former cordiality?

Is Classical Music Good For You?20021204

Is the evidence credible that classical music, rather than rock or rap, enhances our abilities?

Is God In Art?20040328

The origin of western art is man's wonderment at the glory of God. Many of the great masterpieces were commissioned by the church or, in the case of Bach's cantatas, by a local authority as an expression of its piety. Even in a secular age, painters depict the Gospel, composers write requiems and novelists wrestle with agonies of faith. But is God in art the God of faith? Is secular art weakened or fortified by its scepticism? Does art promote religious belief or undermine it with false images? In which circumstances, if any, is it permissible to mention Mohammed in a novel - or even on the radio?

Is Technology On Our Side?20050130

Ten years into the internet age, the arts are undecided.

Must Artists Suffer?20030625

It is popularly assumed that all great art arises from anguish. Beethoven composed better when deaf, Van Gogh improved with self-mutilation and almost every poet worth mentioning was bloodied and battered by the torments of love. War yields greater art than peace, poverty is more creative than prosperity and without natural disasters we would never have the epic novel and film. But is that really the case? Can't fine art arise from contentment? Is there no creative dividend in world peace? Or is peace and quiet antithetical to the progress of human civilisation? Why do we never celebrate happiness? Norman Lebrecht chairs an interactive cultural forum. Call in on 08700 100444 [national rates]

Orchestras - Who Needs Them?20041031

The symphony orchestra is facing its greatest crisis.
Ageing audiences, misplaced accusations of elitism and a false perception of monoculturalism have pushed the orchestra to the margins of society. American orchestras are running deficits and facing wage strikes. In Europe, the radio orchestra is on the brink of extinction. In Britain, in exchange for modest state subsidy, orchestras are required to to be social workers, prison visitors, remedial teachers.
So whither the orchestra? Can a romantic anachronism adapt to a bottom-line political mentality? Should we scrap some orchestras to save others? If so, which? Is there a moral case to be made for sustaining the orchestra, beyond that of procuring employment for fine musicians? How can we defend hand-made culture in a mass-production century?
Evening
Morning

Afternoon

Orchestras - Who Needs Them?
Morning.

So Was It A Golden Age?20020605

Norman Lebrecht asks whether the first 50 years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign have lived up to their promise as a second Elizabethan era.

So What Is Great?2003012920030202

Norman Lebrecht discusses this overworked epithet and asks who, if anyone, today truly deserves to be called great.

What20020102

Norman Lebrecht chairs a discussion entitled `What's new about the New Year?'.

What Are We Competing For?20020206

`What Are We Competing For?' Norman Lebrecht chairs a discussion and phone-in about the impact that competitions have on the profile and standards of classical music performance.

Who Needs Two?20040222

As English National Opera reopens, London will again have two full time opera houses - and soon three with Raymond Gubbay's new company at the Savoy. The Royal Shakespeare Company is about to announce its return to the capital, joining the National. London has five big symphony orchestras and several chamber ensembles. Is such fertility beneficial, or does it dilute excellence? Are we living beyond our means and diffusing our culture? Or should we be building even greater diversity for the new leisure-rich age?

Who's Got The Power?20040926

It used to be the record industry and a few mega-agents who controlled the classical music we heard and who shaped the destiny of most artists.

No longer. The major labels have opted out of classical music and the two biggest artist agencies are losing money. A huge power vacuum has opened at the heart of the musical process, just as new means of dissemination are becoming available.

So who's taking charge? Is it government, which is increasingly demanding social bang for its subsidy bucks? Is it wealthy sponsors and corporations? Is it media players like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch - or, indeed, the BBC which is flexing cultural influence once again?

Nature abhors a vacuum and music needs new leadership. Where should it come from? Will the internet create diversity or merely follow mass taste? Who has got the new ideas? Will there ever be new money?

Why Are We Scared Of New Music?2003043020030504

We rush out to see the latest films, snap up new novels, swarm to contemporary art. But mention new music and most people stay away. Why the fear? It cannot only be the legacy of atonality. Much new music nowadays is tuneful. Yet audiences remain unconvinced. Is there something deeper within us that reinforces the fear, condemning music to live in its past?