Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
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Beethoven: The Eroica Symphony20170109

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Beethoven's Eroica Symphony to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by Beethoven expert John Suchet and writer and historian Professor Andrew Roberts who has special interest in Napoleon.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Beethoven's Eroica Chord of 1804 is the climax of the composer's attempt to capture the fervour of revolution. Strident trumpets scream out above the orchestra, forming a clash of harmony that no-one could mistake as anything but a great musical rallying cry for freedom.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Beethoven: The Eroica Symphony20170726

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Beethoven's Eroica Symphony to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by Beethoven expert John Suchet and writer and historian Professor Andrew Roberts who has special interest in Napoleon.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Beethoven's Eroica Chord of 1804 is the climax of the composer's attempt to capture the fervour of revolution. Strident trumpets scream out above the orchestra, forming a clash of harmony that no-one could mistake as anything but a great musical rallying cry for freedom.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Mahler: Symphony No. 1020170111

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Mahler's 10th Symphony to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by composer David Matthews and psychoanalyst Anthony Cantle.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

In 1910, the first movement of Mahler's 10th Symphony finally lands on a chord of terrifying dissonance, as he surveyed the wreckage of his personal life. Mahler had discovered his wife was having an affair with the architect Walter Gropius - a discovery which left him distraught. He was in the middle of composing his 10th Symphony and suddenly this cry of anguish appears seemingly out of nowhere in the music. Mahler made a famous visit to see Freud which resulted in a 6 hour walk during which they discussed all of these matters in the context of the newly "discovered" unconscious.

The chord in question can't be found anywhere in else music. Perhaps it's just too much to bear. However, what follows this chord is music which suggests resolution, acceptance and great peace.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Mahler: Symphony No. 1020170823

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Mahler's 10th Symphony.

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Mahler's 10th Symphony to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by composer David Matthews and psychoanalyst Anthony Cantle.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

In 1910, the first movement of Mahler's 10th Symphony finally lands on a chord of terrifying dissonance, as he surveyed the wreckage of his personal life. Mahler had discovered his wife was having an affair with the architect Walter Gropius - a discovery which left him distraught. He was in the middle of composing his 10th Symphony and suddenly this cry of anguish appears seemingly out of nowhere in the music. Mahler made a famous visit to see Freud which resulted in a 6 hour walk during which they discussed all of these matters in the context of the newly "discovered" unconscious.

The chord in question can't be found anywhere in else music. Perhaps it's just too much to bear. However, what follows this chord is music which suggests resolution, acceptance and great peace.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring20170112

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by musicologist Gerard McBurney and Professor Valentine Cunningham.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Stravinsky wrote his ballet The Rite of Spring for the 1913 Paris season of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company with choreography by Nijinsky. The ballet famously caused a riot at its premiere, largely because of the dance and the music - but partly also because the sense of clash that we hear in this famous chord was, in some senses, a reflection of tensions in the air.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring20170830

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

Ivan Hewett examines a chord from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by musicologist Gerard McBurney and Professor Valentine Cunningham.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Stravinsky wrote his ballet The Rite of Spring for the 1913 Paris season of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company with choreography by Nijinsky. The ballet famously caused a riot at its premiere, largely because of the dance and the music - but partly also because the sense of clash that we hear in this famous chord was, in some senses, a reflection of tensions in the air.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Terry Riley: In C2017011320170906

Ivan Hewett examines the chord of C major as found in Terry Riley's In C.

Ivan Hewett examines the chord of C major as found in Terry Riley's In C to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by musicologist Pwyll ap Sion and pianist Joanna MacGregor.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

In 1964, the Californian composer Terry Riley wrote a piece which changed the face of classical music - and it was entirely based on the chord of C major. The piece is called In C and its composition is said to mark the beginning of the Minimalist movement in music. After the complexity of the other chords in this series, this final episode explores how In C reflects the era in which it was written and, in particular, how employing the seemingly simple chord of C major was so appropriate for its time.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Ivan Hewett examines the chord of C major as found in Terry Riley's In C to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by musicologist Pwyll ap Sion and pianist Joanna MacGregor.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

In 1964, the Californian composer Terry Riley wrote a piece which changed the face of classical music - and it was entirely based on the chord of C major. The piece is called In C and its composition is said to mark the beginning of the Minimalist movement in music. After the complexity of the other chords in this series, this final episode explores how In C reflects the era in which it was written and, in particular, how employing the seemingly simple chord of C major was so appropriate for its time.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde20170110

Ivan Hewett examines Wagner's Tristan Chord to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by Professor John Deathridge and Professor Tim Blanning.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Wagner's Tristan Chord is called the most significant chord in Western music as it is said to mark the beginning of the breakdown of tonality. Within itself, it contains not one but two dissonances, so creating a double desire, agonising in its intensity for resolution. The chord to which it then moves resolves one of these dissonances but not the other, so providing resolution - but not resolution. Written in 1859, the same year as Origin of the Species and around the same time as Madame Bovary, Wagner's Tristan Chord reflects a time when the anchor was being pulled up many old certainties.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde20170816

Ivan Hewett examines Wagner's Tristan Chord.

Ivan Hewett examines Wagner's Tristan Chord to test the idea that harmony is a reflection of history. He's joined by Professor John Deathridge and Professor Tim Blanning.

Music is never created in isolation - it's conceived in relation to what's going on around a composer in terms of personal and historical events, new technologies, new ideas and artistic endeavours in other fields. In this series, Ivan Hewett is looking at five very different chords which amply demonstrate the concept that harmony is a reflection of history.

Each programme is a bite size portion of rich musical and historical investigation - and each chord has had far reaching influence on other music and is emblematic of its era.

Wagner's Tristan Chord is called the most significant chord in Western music as it is said to mark the beginning of the breakdown of tonality. Within itself, it contains not one but two dissonances, so creating a double desire, agonising in its intensity for resolution. The chord to which it then moves resolves one of these dissonances but not the other, so providing resolution - but not resolution. Written in 1859, the same year as Origin of the Species and around the same time as Madame Bovary, Wagner's Tristan Chord reflects a time when the anchor was being pulled up many old certainties.

Ivan Hewett is a writer on music for the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and teacher at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.