Glorious John [documentary]

A four-part portrait in words and music of conductor John Barbirolli in his centenary year. Andrew Green samples Barbirolli's rich legacy of recordings and explores his life and times. With contributions from Evelyn Barbirolli, his friend and biographer Michael Kennedy, and from others who met or worked with Barbirolli.


01The Early Years: London, New York And Manchester19990404

Recordings from the 1930s and 40s, when Barbirolli became established, first as a concerto accompanist and then, controversially, as conductor of the New York Philharmonic in succession to Toscanini. With music by Beethoven, Respighi and Vaughan Williams.

02Building A Sound: Manchester, London And Rome19990411

Andrew Green remembers Barbirolli's appointment as conductor and artistic director of the ailing Halle Orchestra, with music by Verdi and Puccini.

03The International Maestro19990418

A look at Barbirolli's new direction in the 60s, with the resumption of his international career. Music includes the Brahms Tragic Overture played by the Vienna Philharmonic, the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No 5 played by the New Philharmonia, and one of the Ruckert-Lieder sung by Janet Baker, who talks affectionately about her work and friendship with Barbirolli.

04 LASTBarbirolli And English Music19990425

A 1950s performance of Delius's `A Song of Summer', the closing moments of Elgar's `Dream of Gerontius', Barbirolli's final recording of Elgar's `Introduction and Allegro', and part of Vaughan Williams's Eighth Symphony.