Robert Winston's Musical Analysis

Episodes

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0101Schumann2009020320090207

Professor Robert Winston explores the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Robert investigates Robert Schumann, who died in 1856 aged 46 in Endenich Sanatorium in Bonn, following a series of mental breakdowns and suicide attempts.

He hears a convincing case from fellow sufferers Kay Redfield Jamison and Stephen Johnson that Schumann suffered from bipolar disorder, and not syphillis, as has been claimed previously.

He also meets pianist Lucy Parham, who introduces him to the music of Schumann's imaginary friends.

Robert hears how Schumann may have suffered from bipolar disorder.

0102Mahler2009021020090214

Professor Robert Winston explores the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Robert investigates Gustav Mahler, and the crisis in his marriage that drove him to consult Sigmund Freud in the final year of his life.

Psychotherapist Dr Emanuel Garcia tells Robert that the meeting with Freud, while curing Mahler of his impotence, robbed him of his creativity.

How Gustav Mahler's marital problems led to a consultation with Freud.

0103Ravel20090217

Professor Robert Winston explores the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Robert investigates Maurice Ravel, who died in 1937 after suffering for a number of years from a form of dementia, now thought to be Pick's disease.

The effect of the disease was that while his creativity stayed alive, the music that was still being created in his brain remained trapped there.

Robert discusses Ravel's condition with neurologists Jason Warren and Eric Baek, Ravel expert Deborah Mawer and composer Matthew King.

How Maurice Ravel's dementia trapped the music he created in his head.

0104 LASTIvor Gurney2009022420090228

The tragic case of English composer and poet Ivor Gurney, who died of TB in 1937.

Series in which Professor Robert Winston explores the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Robert investigates the tragic case of English composer and poet Ivor Gurney, who died of tuberculosis in the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford, in 1937.

For many years he was thought to have been the victim of shell-shock as a result of his service in the trenches of the First World War, but that diagnosis is now discounted and there is even evidence in his letters to suggest that the physical activity and comradeship of military service may have been a saviour to his mental health.

Robert hears from Gurney biographer Pamela Blevins, chairman of the Ivor Gurney Society Anthony Boden and singer and Royal Academy of Music researcher April Frederick.

0201Sergei Rachmaninoff2010072720100731

Professor Robert Winston brings together his expertise and experience in science and medicine with his overriding passion for music, to explore the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Rachmaninoff's second Piano Concerto has become one of classical music's most enduring hits, but it was almost never composed at all.

The composer suffered an extreme creative block following the catastrophic premiere of his first symphony.

After three years of silence, a hypnotherapist, Dr.

Dahl, effected a cure and rescued his career.

Prof.

Winston also investigates evidence that a medical condition was responsible for Rachmaninoff's famously large hand-span, with pianist Peter Donohoe demonstrating the difficulty this presents for would-be performers of his music.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

Prof Robert Winston investigates how Rachmaninov's career was saved by hypnotherapy.

0202Ludwig Van Beethoven2010080320100807

Professor Robert Winston continues his exploration into the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Beethoven famously lost his hearing while still a young man, becoming profoundly deaf by the time he composed his late masterpieces.

However, he was also plagued by a catalogue of other chronic illnesses.

Stomach problems, asthma and pancreatitis made his life a misery.

Prof.

Winston investigates with John Suchet, Stephen Johnson and Dr Francois Mai how these daily torments may have been key to the transcendent spirit of Beethoven's music.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

How Beethoven's music was affected by a lifetime of serious illness.

0203Franz Schubert2010081020100814

Robert Winston looks at the evidence that Schubert contracted syphilis.

Professor Robert Winston continues his exploration into the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Franz Schubert was often uncomfortable in the polite circles of middle-class Viennese society.

Was he hiding a secret? Prof.

Winston looks at the evidence that Schubert was lured into an unsavoury clandestine lifestyle and contracted syphilis, which many writers have assumed cast a shadow over both his remaining life and his music.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

0204 LASTPeter Warlock2010081720100821

Was Peter Warlock's 'dual nature' in his life and music evidence of a mental illness?

Professor Robert Winston continues his exploration into the relationship between the music and the medical conditions of composers who suffered mental and physical illness.

Peter Warlock was the pseudonym of Philip Heseltine, a troubled British composer who died of apparent suicide in 1930.

Prof.

Winston wades through the many colourful and outrageous episodes in his life to investigate if the apparent 'Jekyll and Hyde' quality in his character and in his music was the result of a serious psychological condition.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

0301Tchaikovsky20120320

Professor Robert Winston brings a scientist's ear to his passion for music, exploring the medical histories of great composers and how illness affected the music they wrote.

The romantic sweep of Tchaikovsky's music has made him a favourite with audiences for over a century. But is it possible that the extremes of emotion expressed in his best loved symphonies, ballets and operas were the product of a man tormented? Professor Winston examines Tchaikovsky's experience of living as a gay man in 19th century Russia, where homosexuality was illegal, and puts under the microscope the theory that Tchaikovsky's music reveals a man who was psychologically damaged by the conflict between his nature and society's expectations.

Prof Winston explores if Tchaikovsky's music reveals a psychologically-damaged man.

0302Chopin2012032720120331

Prof Winston examines the curious theory that TB stimulated creativity in great artists.

Professor Robert Winston brings a scientist's ear to his passion for music, exploring the medical histories of great composers and how illness affected the music they wrote.

Tuberculosis remains one of the world's most devastating diseases but in the 19th century, TB or consumption as it was known, gained a curious reputation for stimulating creativity in great artists. Professor Robert Winston looks at the story of Chopin, whose struggle with chronic lung disease has become the archetypal version of that myth, and looks for evidence to reveal the true connection between Chopin's health and his music.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

0303Shostakovich20120403

Professor Robert Winston brings a scientist's ear to his passion for music, exploring the medical histories of great composers and how illness affected the music they wrote.

Shostakovich was the most celebrated musical icon of the Russian Soviet state. But he had an uneasy relationship with the political authorities. He was officially denounced several times, once by Stalin himself, friends and colleagues were arrested, and it's claimed that his works often betray a hidden, subversive political message. Professor Robert Winston examines the psychological damage that could have been caused by a composer trying to serve both Stalin's brutal, totalitarian regime and his own creative muse.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

Prof Winston examines the composer's uneasy relationship with the political authorities.

0304 LASTMozart2012041020120414

Professor Robert Winston brings a scientist's ear to his passion for music, exploring the medical histories of great composers and how illness affected the music they wrote.

Mozart's health has fascinated observers for over two hundred years. The documents have examined to reveal every available medical detail. Any mention of a cough or an ache has been minutely analysed for evidence about the diseases he suffered and the mystery illness that killed him at the tender age of 35. But is this intense scrutiny is obscuring our picture of Mozart? Over 160 different causes of death, alone, have now been suggested. Professor Winston sifts through the morass of information and speculation to discover what Mozart's health can really tell us about the man and his music.

Producer: Chris Taylor.

Prof Winston sifts through the morass of information and speculation about Mozart's health