Genesis and Genius

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Episode 1 of 4

Duration: 1 hour

Simon Russell Beale presents a radical reappraisal of the place of the symphony in the modern world and explores the surprising way in which it has shaped our history and identity.

The first episode begins amidst the turmoil of the French Revolution with the arrival in England of Joseph Haydn, dubbed the 'Father of the Symphony'. It continues with Mozart, the genius who wrote his first symphony at the age of eight, and Beethoven, the revolutionary who created the idea of the artist as hero and whose Eroica Symphony changed music for ever.

The music is performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

More episodes

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Music Played

35 items
  • Learn more with The Open University

    Learn more with The Open University

    Go deeper into the music and unravel the secrets of the Symphony with The Open University.

    Go to The Open University's Symphony site
  • Symphony on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3

    Symphony on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3

    BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 have joined forces to present a month-long celebration of this great giant of the orchestral repertoire - the symphony.

    Go to BBC Radio 3's Symphony site
  • Andy King-Dabbs on Symphony: The fireworks of Johann Stamitz

    Find out why composer Johann Stamitz and the Mannheim Palace were revelations to the maker of classical music documentary Symphony.

    Read and comment on Andy's post on the BBC TV blog

Credits

Presenter
Simon Russell Beale
Presenter
Simon Russell Beale
Producer
Andy King-Dabbs
Director
Andy King-Dabbs
Series Producer
Helen Mansfield
Conductor
Mark Elder
Conductor
Mark Elder
Orchestra
OAE
Orchestra
OAE

Broadcasts

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