Episodes

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20050320

Is Modernism Now Dead?

With the generation of Boulez, Stockhausen and Ligeti approaching their 80s, have the atonalities and intellectualism of their music given way to less demanding minimalism?In other arts, gritty theories have been replaced by straightforward crowd pleasers - Jeff Koons in place of Jackson Pollock, Alan Bennett instead of Samuel Beckett.

Can we now write off half a century of modernism as an aberration and wallow in lukewarm 21st century waters? Was the modernist wave as destructive as conservatives made out? Or did some good come of it? And do audiences want it?

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20050424

Does Art Gain from War?

The Second World War produced a veritable explosion in cultural demand and a surge of important new works. In times of fear and bitter loss, people turned inward spiritually and sought the consolations of art. The same happened in the First World War and in many other conflicts, but since then has this changed?

Vietnam yielded a protest movement but no lasting works of art. Does war no longer move us the way it did? And have we become immune to mass feeling when violence is a factor of daily life?

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20050925

Norman Lebrecht debates another cultural issue with guests in the studio and around the world. This edition asks whether elitism should be regarded as a sin.

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20051030

Completism

Norman Lebrecht asks why are we being given the whole works of creative artists in a season, a week, or sometimes a day? Examples include the Royal Shakespeare Company putting on every scrap of Shakespeare, and the Salzburg Festival performing all of Mozart's stage works.

Do we get a better understanding of art from seeing and hearing everything an artist ever did?

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