Howard Goodall's 20th Century Greats
Howard Goodall's 20th Century Greats
DVDRip | 2004 | English | AVI | DivX 5 700x416 25.00fps | MPEG Audio Layer 3 48000Hz stereo 128kbps | 48 minutes(4 episodes) | 2.42 GB
Produced by David Jeffcock, directed by David Jeffcock and Francis Hanly. The series won a Royal Television Society Award for Education and was nominated for a BAFTA and an International Rose d'Or.
Howard.Goodalls: Twentieth Century Greats (1 of 4) The Beatles
Howard.Goodalls: Twentieth Century Greats (2 of 4) Bernard Herrmann
Howard.Goodalls: Twentieth Century Greats (3 of 4) Leonard Bernstein
Howard.Goodalls: Twentieth Century Greats (4 of 4) Cole Porter
In the 1960s EMI's famous Abbey Road Studios housed two distinct tribes of musicians - classical and pop. They wouldn't even share the canteen at the same time. On one occasion, Andre Previn (then a considerable figure in jazz as well as classical music) decided to visit the rockers' feeding trough in the basement, for a change. When he arrived with his tray at the till, he was sharply asked, was he a musician? George Harrison didn't even get that courtesy. Popping in to the control room of a classical orchestral session, he was firmly told to 'bugger off' before he could squeeze through the door.
From around the 1920s onwards, a musical apartheid between the classical and popular forms of music had grown up that was unprecedented in musical history, a split that by the 1960s had reached its nadir. So it is here, in the 1960s, that I begin my new four part series, HOWARD GOODALL'S TWENTIETH CENTURY GREATS. In it I hope to show the riches that came out of the dialogue - and the conflict -between those two musical worlds. The 'greats' in question are Lennon and McCartney, Cole Porter (perhaps the greatest composer-lyricist in the English language), Bernard Herrmann (peerless composer of Alfred Hitchcock's best film scores), and Leonard Bernstein (composer of the best musical ever - West Side Story.).
Each choice also represents one of the four dominant forms of 20th century popular music - the LP, the self-contained song, the film score and the musical. I don't say they are the only Twentieth Century Greats. I've spent much of my career as a broadcaster making the case for classical heavyweights like Stravinsky and Shostakovich. But for me the history of 20th century music is above all about the extraordinary rise and sophistication of popular music. That's what I believe will really intrigue historians and musicologists of the 22nd century: the fact that popular music began the 20th century as the poor relation and ended it as the monarch of all it surveyed.
The composers I feature in the new series had an influence way beyond simply writing nice music: all were involved in a virtuous circle where they might import musical techniques from outside western pop - whether classical song structure, avant-garde experimentation, operatic leitmotif or Indian ragas - integrate it into their own work, then find it reprocessed and reinterpreted elsewhere through the filter of mainstream culture.
The name in my list which may seem less familiar is Bernard Herrmann, though much of his iconic film music is indeed very familiar to the broad audience - Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Citizen Kane, Fahrenheit 451, Taxi Driver. Ask any living film or TV composer who they most admire and nine out of ten times you'll get Herrmann as your answer. He's that influential. But he also introduced to millions of filmgoers the dissonant, abrasive and powerful music of the classical cutting edge as it was in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Indeed, in every programme of the series the impact of classical music's avant-garde plays its part. Cole Porter's musical journey included a spell in Europe writing trendy classical ballet music in the 20s, soon abandoning it for Broadway popularity in the 30s - but his formal training fed into his unusually clever, richly-layered songs. Bernstein combined raucous modernism with Mahlerian lyricism, psychedelic rock and jazz. Lennon and McCartney were both fascinated by avant-garde experiments in sound and absorbed them into their key projects from Revolver onwards. The battle for and against modernism ravaged music as it did other art forms in the 20th century. How it was confronted, or absorbed, in popular, mainstream music is - for me - a compelling story. How elements of 1960s pop were reintegrated into contemporary classical music is equally compelling.
Today's new classical music, dominated as it is by a form of enriched minimalism, owes its rhythmic drive, its harmonic organisation, its audience appeal, its stylistic eclecticism and much if its sound texture to the best pop music of the 1960s. As a composer starting work in the late 1970s, the classical tradition I loved and had trained in seemed to have run aground. In film music, in the musical theatre, in the vibrancy and imagination of pop records, on the other hand, the western tradition continued to grow, mutate and prosper. I fo8nd it strange that so little of this revolution is included in 'serious' histories and commentaries about the 20th century. This series is an attempt to put the record straight, especially now that we live - at long last - in the One Canteen musical world.
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