Written and presented by Sir Simon Rattle, the foremost British conductor of our day, this series forms a fascinating introduction to, and overview of, the music of the 20th century. Each of the seven programmes features over thirty minutes of specially-shot music in performance, with Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Simon Rattle leads viewers on an exhilarating journey through the music of our time, explaining the chief musical developments from Mahler to the present day. Each programme is illustrated with evocative imagery, archive film and photographs and the featured music is set within the broader context of artistic and social change. The story of twentieth-century music is one of leave-takings in many ways. As a wealth of talented composers searched for new creative responses to the world around them, many made departures from the solid 'home' foundations of 18th- and 19th-century music - tonal harmony, melody, regular rhythm and metre. A remarkable diversity of expression developed - not all of the difficult or discordant variety commonly associated with modern music. The range is wide and this series samples the work of over thirty composers, discovering new and challenging sounds as well as some unexpectedly familiar music. Painting and poetry developed a more abstract style during the latter part of the 19th century, and music was quick to follow. In Colour, Sir Simon Rattle looks at the shift away from melody towards an emphasis on tone colour or 'timbre'.
Biographies of the Composers
Bonus audio track Jeux
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