The Story Of The American Folk Revival
BBC Four puts science at the heart of its Autumn/Winter schedule
Prog Rock Britannia – An Observation In Three Movements
Prog Rock Britannia is a comprehensive, feature-length documentary about progressive music and the generation of bands that made it - from the international success stories of Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson and Jethro Tull, to the trials and tribulations of the lesser-known bands such as Caravan and Egg.
The film is structured in three parts, charting the birth, rise and decline of a
movement famed for complex musical structures, weird time signatures,
technical virtuosity and strange – quintessentially English – literary
It looks at the psychedelic pop scene that gave birth to
progressive rock in the late Sixties, the golden age of progressive music in
the early Seventies – complete with drum solos and gatefold record sleeves
– and the over-ambition, commercialisation and eventual fall from grace of
this rarefied musical experiment at the hands of punk in 1977.
The documentary is a provocative, humorous but affectionate re-appraisal
of a music that was the value system of an all-too-brief period in British
Contributors include Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Pete
Sinfield, Rick Wakeman, Phil Collins, Arthur Brown, Carl Palmer and
The Story Of The American Folk Revival
A three-part series that tells one of the key stories of 20th century America.
The opening film features the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Robert
Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt and other blues
and hillbilly singers who were discovered by record companies and
folklorists in the Twenties and Thirties.
The second film enters the "dream life
of the American left" with "hobo" Woody Guthrie and "jailbird" Leadbelly.
In the final film, the earlier singers are rediscovered and celebrated by a new
generation of Americans, who tell their own stories about how they used the
idea of a purer, simpler past to create something quite new – the exciting
sounds of Sixties folk.
Featuring a stunning soundtrack, the series also includes rare archive and
contributions from Joan Baez, Judy Collins, The Band, The Byrds, Odetta,
Harry Belafonte, The Kingston Trio and The Weavers, as well as survivors
and their families from the first wave of recorded folk.
To accompany the
films there will be a screening of a concert from London's Barbican
celebrating music from the series.
The Swing Thing
The Swing Thing is a 90-minute film tracing the story of swing music, from the jazz clubs of the Twenties, through the heady days of the Rat Pack and Sinatra to modern stars such as Harry Connick Jr and Michael Buble.
Swing sparked a youthful cultural revolution in Thirties America and went on
to produce some of the most iconic stars of the 20th century: Louis
Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
Today, it is still topping the charts and remains one of the longest-lived and
most successful forms of popular music.
Narrated by Kenneth Cranham, The Swing Thing features archive footage of
some of the finest swing performers and performances of all time, and
examines the impact swing music has had on American society: as a youth
movement, a force for sexual liberation and a challenge to the country's
Gergiev Conducts Mahler
Valery Gergiev's cycle of Mahler symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra has been packing concert halls in London in recent months.
Two of these much talked about performances will be broadcast this autumn.
Mahler's Second Symphony, about death and resurrection, calls for a
gigantic orchestra requiring "the largest possible string contingent",
20 horns and trumpets, seven percussionists and organ, as well as
soloists and chorus.
It opens with a monumental funeral march, and
culminates in a blazing affirmation of poet Friedrich Gottlieb
Klopstock's words: "Rise again!"
When Mahler wrote his Sixth Symphony, things were going well for
him. Yet the work’s implacable undercurrent of tragedy climaxes
devastatingly in the famous hammer blows of the finale, soon to be
echoed by real events in his life.
"Not one of his works came so
directly from his inmost heart," his wife later recalled.
The performances are introduced by Sarah Mohr-Pietsch.
Christopher Nupen's intimate and pioneering portraits of such legendary musicians as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jacqueline du Pré, Evgeny Kissin, Nathan Milstein, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman are among the most celebrated classical music films ever made.
Eight of these films are to be shown this autumn.
Each of the films presents a different young musician, full of youth
and exuberant talent, before the weight of worldwide fame
descended on their shoulders.
Starting with the brilliant and tragic British cellist Jacqueline du Pré,
the series culminates in the debut screening of Nupen’s most recent
film, Karim's Journey, which follows the extraordinary story of an
Amman-born pianist and conductor, Karim Said (a protégé of Daniel
Barenboim), from the age of 11, for seven years, to the brink of his
|Neil Young - Don't Be Denied
Neil Young – Don't Be Denied
A resolutely private artist who rarely looks back, Neil Young has never discussed his career on camera before.
Gaining unprecedented access to one of the world's great artists, this BBC
film is Neil Young's musical journey in his own words.
For five decades,
Young's unbending dedication to the muse has created an awe-inspiring
body of work – and bloodied a few noses along the way.
The film forms the
centrepiece of a weekend of Neil Young programming, including the recent
CSNY – Déjà Vu and a classic BBC In Concert from 1971.
BBC FOUR AUTUMN/WINTER 2008 PRESS PACK:
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