The Rest is Noise.

Louise Fryer presents a week of programmes with the BBC Concert Orchestra performances from the Rest is Noise Festival - a year long survey of the twentieth century in music held at the the South Bank Centre in London.

Today's concert is titled the Death of Nostalgia, and includes both music and poetry from World War 1. Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra and introduces the poetry, read by Laurence Fox, from the stage. Plus complementary music from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The title The Rest is Noise is taken from a blog and book of the same name by American Alex Ross, in which he surveys the Twentieth Century - its themes and events through music.


Gustav Holst A Somerset Rhapsody

George Butterworth A Shropshire Lad

Julius Harrison Worcestershire Suite

Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No.3 (Pastoral)


Rupert Brooke The Great Lover

Thomas Hardy The Man He Killed

Ivor Gurney To The Poet Before Battle

Wilfred Owen Dulce et Decorum Est & The Letter

Siegfried Sassoon Died of Wounds & Trench Duty

A. E. Housman A Shropshire Lad

BBC Concert Orchestra

Rebecca Evans soprano

Charles Hazlewood conductor

Laurence Fox reader


Thea Musgrave: Songs for a Winter's Evening

Lisa Milne (soprano)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Martin Andre (conductor)


Elgar: Cello Concerto

Peter Wispelwey (cello)

Ilan Volkov (conductor)

The BBC Concert Orchestra is a partner in the festival along with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, the Royal College of Music and others. This week in the afternoons we've a chance to hear their contributions so far, covering roughly the first part of the twentieth century. The concerts range from this one looking at the First World War, to the rise of Hitler and Nazism in 1930's Berlin called Seven Deadly Sins (Tuesday), and on Wednesday we cross the Atlantic to New York to discover Hidden Voices - featuring music by African American composers of the time, from Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club in the roaring 20's to a Symphony by William Grant Still.

Friday brings the themes together: Kurt Weill - Berlin to Broadway. Part of the Berlin music scene up to the early 30's, Weill kept one step ahead of the Nazis and arrived - via Paris and London - in New York in 1935. The concert includes Weill's 2nd symphony, the only music he rescued from Berlin in 1933 and includes a set of Weill's broadway music under the title A Stranger here myself - a song from the musical One Touch of Venus which opened in New York in 1943.


The Rest is Noise. With Louise Fryer. A week with the BBC Concert Orchestra from the year-long festival on London's South Bank.

Today The Seven Deadly Sins - Berlin in the 1930s and the rise of Nazism.

The BBC Concert Orchestra and André de Ridder perform works by three composers labelled as degenerate by the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins was his last pre-war collaboration with Berthold Brecht after the successes of the Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which the Nazis defined as degenerate art. Weill escaped Germany in 1933, settling for a while in Paris, where the Seven Deadly Sins had its premiere; then Weill moved westward, first to London and later New York.

With the label degenerate around his neck, Hindemith knew his opera Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Painter) was not going to be performed in pre-war Germany, but he'd synthesised some of the musical ideas into a symphony, which was peformed in Berlin in 1934. Still, he was never accepted by the Nazis and fled west, becoming a US citizen in 1948.

Schoenberg didn't need an official denouncement for him to be sure he wasn't going to be welcome at home once Hitler came to power, and by 1941 he too, was a US citizen, based on the West Coast.

Plus complementary music from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins

Shara Worden (vocalist)

Synergy Vocals

BBC Concert Orchestra

André de Ridder (conductor)


Hindemith: Symphony Mathis der Maler


Schoenberg: Accompaniment to a Film Scene, Op. 34


Busoni: Turandot (1917)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Gourlay (conductor)


Bartok: Divertimento for strings

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Douglas Boyd (conductor).


The Rest is Noise. With Louise Fryer. A week with the BBC Concert Orchestra from the year-long festival on London's South Bank. Today, Hidden Voices - African-American inspired music from the first part of the twentieth century

Henry F. Gilbert drew on folk music in America in his own music and his most enduring work begins the programme today. The work draws on Creole themes, and was reinvented as a dance piece which was successfully performed in Frankfurt at a contemporary music festival in the 1920's.

William Grant Still was an African American composer, who grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1900s and ended up arranging band music after the first World War. He studied for a while with Edgar Varese, but continued to compose and arrange film music, taking him to Los Angeles in the 1930s.

The great Duke Ellington was a band leader at the Cotton Club and others in New York in the roaring 20's and later on in the 1950's revisited his spiritual home of Harlem in New York for his Harlem Suite.

Keith Lockhart conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra, and they're joined by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra for a Duke Ellington celebration - including hits from the Cotton Club days - in the second half of the concert.

Henry Gilbert: The Dance in Place Congo


William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1 Afro-American


Duke Ellington: A tone parallel to Harlem (Harlem Suite); medley of Cotton Club numbers

Nu Civilisation Orchestra

BBC Concert Orchestra

Keith Lockhart, conductor.

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The Rest is Noise. With Louise Fryer. The BBC Concert Orchestra: Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, from the year-long festival on London's South Bank.

Kurt Weill escaped from Berlin and the Nazis in 1933 and the only music he took with him was a draft of his 2nd Symphony. Like so many musicians and composers out of favour with the new regime in Germany, Weill headed west and made his way to New York and Broadway in particular.

In the second half of the concert we celebrate Kurt Weill's enduring legacy to music theatre in New York with songs from many of his Broadway successes.

Plus another Exile in New York. Bartok's 3rd Piano Concerto - harking back to a prewar Europe.

Weill: The New Orpheus; Symphony No. 2

Weill, arr. Kim H. Kowalke: song selection under the title A Stranger Here Myself

Charles Mutter (violin)

Ilona Domnich (soprano)

Susanna Hurrell (soprano)

Kathryn Martin (mezzo-soprano)

Paul Curievici (tenor)

Justin Hopkins (bass)

BBC Concert Orchestra

Keith Lockhart (conductor)


Bartok: Piano Concerto no. 3

Shai Wosner (piano)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Jiri Belohlavek (cond).