Last Watched

"Music"  Sort by

The Sound and the Fury: A Century of Modern Music. Wrecking Ball

   2013    Art
It begins by examining the shift in the language and sound of music from the melodies and harmonies of giants such as Mozart, Haydn and Brahms into the fragmented, abstract, discordant sound of the most radical composers of the new century - Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky and beyond. It examines how this new music was a response to the huge upheaval in the world at the start of the 20th century, with its developments in technology, science, modern art and the tumult of the First World War. Featuring performances of some of the key works of the period, performed by the London Sinfonietta, members of the Aurora Orchestra and composer and pianist Timothy Andres, the story of this episode in music history is brought to life through the contributions of the biggest names in modern classical music, among them Steve Reich, John Adams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin and Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker.
Series: The Sound and the Fury

Free for All

   2013    Art
Part 2 examines how the freewheeling modernism that had shocked audiences in the first two decades of the century came under state control. Initially, many practitioners thought the totalitarian regimes would be good for music and the arts. What followed in Germany was a ban on music written by Jews, African-Americans and communists, while in the Soviet Union there was a prohibition on music the workers were unable to hum. After the cataclysm of the 1940s, a new generation of composers - Boulez, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Nono, Ligeti - turned their back on what they saw as the discredited music of the past and tried to reinvent it from scratch. Or, at least, from serialism, which became as much of a straitjacket as totalitarianism's strictures had been. But from this period of avant-garde experimentation, which many listeners found baffling and terrifying, came some of the most influential and radical musical innovations of the century.
Series: The Sound and the Fury

Easy Listening

   2013    Art
Series concludes with the focus shifting to the United States in the post-war years of the 1950s and beyond. Beginning with arguably the most notorious work of 20th century classical music, John Cage's 'silent' composition 4'33", it looks at how a series of maverick Americans re-invented the sound of classical music into a more simple form, bringing back harmonies and rhythms that made it increasingly popular with audiences across the world. It also examines how this music found its way into a spiritual realm, with the strain of pared-down religious composition that came to be known as 'holy minimalism'. From the Maverick concert hall in Woodstock, New York to an Orthodox cathedral in Estonia to a car park in Peckham, south London, the story is told by a stellar line-up of contributors including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.
Series: The Sound and the Fury

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams

   2013    Technology
Professor Simon Schaffer presents the amazing and untold story of automata - extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life. The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess". All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today. As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made - the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that to us that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.

Downloaded

   2013    Technology
Alex Winter explores the downloading revolution; the kids that created it, the bands and the businesses that were affected by it, and its impact on the world at large. He focuses on the advent of digital media sharing, including the rise of game-changing company Napster and controversial pioneers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The digital revolution ultimately created a technology paradigm shift and upended the music industry. Audiences will hear insight from well known music artists and figures within the music industry including: The Beastie Boys' Mike D, Noel Gallagher, Henry Rollins, former Sony Music Chairman, Don Ienner, former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.
In Search of
In Search of

   2018    Technology
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1995    Nature
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
The Secrets of Quantum Physics

   2014    Science
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2013    Culture
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science
How the Universe Works Series 8
How the Universe Works Series 8

   2019    Science
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature