Easy Listening?

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Episode 3 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

The series concludes with the focus shifting to the United States in the post-war years of the 1950s and beyond. Beginning with arguably the most notorious work of 20th century classical music, John Cage's 'silent' composition 4'33", it looks at how a series of maverick Americans re-invented the sound of classical music into a more simple form, bringing back harmonies and rhythms that made it increasingly popular with audiences across the world. It also examines how this music found its way into a spiritual realm, with the strain of pared-down religious composition that came to be known as 'holy minimalism'.

From the Maverick concert hall in Woodstock, New York to an Orthodox cathedral in Estonia to a car park in Peckham, south London, the story is told by a stellar line-up of contributors including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.

Credits

Director
Ian MacMillan
Series Producer
Ian MacMillan
Executive Producer
Roy Ackerman

Broadcasts

Featured in...

  • Modern Classical Music

    A collection of programmes featuring trailblazing 20th Century classical music composers.

Celebrate 20th Century music with The Open University

OU on the BBC - The Sound and the Fury

20th Century composers – making the connections – try the OU’s interactive tool

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