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EPISODE 2: MODERNISM AND MINIMALISM

  1962 to 1980
John Tavener

The revolutionary sixties saw the rise of a new generation of fiercely individual composers like Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, Cornelius Cardew and John Tavener. In their hands, British classical music changed almost beyond recognition, becoming as radical, provocative and political as British pop.

But by the 70s, with TV and the recording industry pushing the traditional classics like never before, new music needed to find new ways to survive.

"I just want you to listen to it and understand it for what it is. And either you find that interesting or you don't."
Harrison Birtwistle

Rare Archive:

  • THE BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP
  • PIERRE BOULEZ and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms
  • ANDRE PREVIN with MORECAMBE & WISE


Archive Interviews:

  • TRISTRAM CARY - Composer
  • DAPHNE ORAM & DELIA DERBYSHIRE - Composers, BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • ELISABETH LUTYENS - Composer
  • CORNELIUS CARDEW - Composer
  • JOHN TAVENER - Composer


Specially shot interviews:

  • GAVIN BRYARS - Composer and Founder, the Portsmouth Sinfonia
  • HOWARD SKEMPTON - Composer
  • PETER MAXWELL DAVIES - Composer
  • HARRISON BIRTWISTLE - Composer
  • OLIVER KNUSSEN - Composer
  • GILLIAN MOORE - Head of Contemporary Culture, South Bank Centre
  • MICHAEL NYMAN - Critic and Composer
  • TOM PHILLIPS - Painter and Composer
  • STEVE MARTLAND - Composer
  • ROBERT SAXTON - Composer
  • PHILIP SHEPPARD - Cellist and Composer
  • PIERRE BOULEZ - Composer and Conductor
  • JOHN TILBURY - Pianist
  • CHARLES HAZLEWOOD - Conductor


Other works featured:

  • TRAGOEDIA - Harrison Birtwistle
  • EIGHT SONGS FOR A MAD KING - Peter Maxwell Davies
  • AND SUDDENLY ITS EVENING - Elisabeth Lutyens
  • CELLO CONCERTO - Elgar perf. Jacqueline du Pre
  • THE VISION OF ST AUGUSTINE - Michael Tippett
  • THE WHALE - John Tavener
  • SILBURY AIR - Harrison Birtwistle
  • CELTIC REQUIEM - John Tavener
  • THE GREAT LEARNING - Cornelius Cardew
  • JESUS BLOOD - Gavin Bryars
  • SYMPHONY NO. 3 - Oliver Knussen


Narrator VERITY SHARP
Series Adviser BARRIE GAVIN
Film Editor JOYCE GENTLE
Executive Producer SUE JUDD
Produced & Directed by FRANCESCA KEMP



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