Two composers, William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, turned the end of the 16th century into a golden age for English music, despite being on the wrong side of the political and religious divide.
At the turn of the century, Vienna was one of the most exciting cities in the world. Alongside the ideas of Freud and the paintings of Klimt, composer Schoenberg was exploring new musical forms that he would eventually make his own. Music includes his Transfigured Night.
|42||The Path To War||20070925|
Many composers' lives were shaped by the horrors of World War I. Some, like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Arnold Schoenberg, were drafted themselves. Including music by Gurney, Debussy and Berg.
|43||Out Of Fashion||20070926|
After World War I, some composers were looking for a radical shift in classical music, while others, such as Strauss and Rachmaninov, carried on writing in old 19th century styles and went out of fashion. Music includes excerpts from Strauss's Elektra, songs by Rachmaninov, and The Tempest by Sibelius.
|44||Revolution In Russia||20070927|
The Russian Revolution had a huge impact on music. For some composers, it symbolised freedom, but for many others it meant being under suspicion. Including music by Roslavets, Miaskovsky and Prokofiev.
|46||Into The Past||20071001|
In the 1920s, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Prokofiev looked to the past to give a new dimension to their music, and neo-classicism became the vogue. Music includes Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Prokofiev's Classical Symphony.
When Stalin came to power, he wanted music that expressed socialist realism. How did composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev fare under the Stalinist regime?
|52||Those Who Got Away||20071009|
The story of what happened to the musicians who were exiles from Hitler's Europe. Bartok and Schoenberg fled to America, while others, like Goldschmidt, came to England.
British composers responded to the war and its aftermath. Britten's Peter Grimes, first performed in June 1945, spoke to an audience that had been shaped by the experience of war.
A new generation of post-war composers, John Cage, Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez, wanted to sweep away the past and make music speak for a new world.
Bernstein embraced the classical and the popular and pulled them together. His West Side Story in 1957 filled concert halls and theatres the world over.
Modern composers were trying to make their voices heard above the noise of pop culture. What were Stockhausen, John Tavener and Peter Maxwell Davies writing in the 1960s?
How did music in the 1960s and 70s express political dissent? Hans Werner Henze used his music to communicate his loathing of Fascism and Henryk Gorecki found a musical voice to fire up a spiritual renewal in Eastern Europe.
|58||The Impact Of Technology||20071017|
How have composers experimented with electronic technology to push the boundaries of what sounds are possible? And how have they used music to create the sounds of machines?
|59||A Time Of Plenty||20071018|
John Tavener's Song for Athene was played at Princess Diana's funeral.
But what is the importance and impact of modern British composers?
|60 LAST||The Making Of Music||20071019|
Looking back at a journey from the early monasteries through the Renaissance, to the present day. Where have we come to and what is the current state of classical music?