Jane Glover discusses her new book about Mozart's women - the mother, sister, friends and lovers who featured so significantly in his life.
Harpsichord legend Gustav Leonhardt talks about the keyboard music of Tallis and Byrd. And Tom Service looks at how composers have been portrayed in the movies.
In this programme
Conductor Jane Glover has always had a special passion for Mozart's music. Her new book tells the story of his relationships with the women in his life: his mother, Maria Anna, sister Nannerl and his wife Constanze. Travelling the courts of Europe in his childhood Mozart developed a special closeness with his sister. Then, his marriage to Constanze provided an intimate outlet for his emotions. The importance of these relationships is reflected in Mozart's music. Mozart wrote all of the great female roles in his late operas for specific singers, demonstrating a close understanding of the female psyche. Tom talks to Jane Glover about her new biography, revealing Mozart's story from the perspective of the women closest to him.
Jane Glover: Mozart's Women . Pub. Pan MacMillan. £20 (hardback).
Composers in the Movies
Milos Forman's Amadeus is just one of a huge range of composer biopics made for the big screen. From a silent movie depiction of Schubert, to the celluloid tales of Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Chopin and Mahler - film-makers can't resist the myth of the great composer. But how can the act of composing be successfully translated to the silver screen? It's a challenge which has been met by many directors and is discussed in a new book by John Tibbetts. He explains the diversity of approaches to telling a composer's life story, the power of film to promote music and the conceits used to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
John Tibbetts: Composers in the Movies . Pub. Yale University Press. £12.50 (hardback).
One of the fathers of the early music movement, the Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt made his name in Bach and Handel as harpsichordist and conductor. Now in his 70s, he continues to perform and has a special appreciation for the keyboard works of early English composers, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and John Bull. According to Leonhardt, this English music presents the performer with music of a depth and complexity unparalleled elsewhere on the continent in the late 16 th century. Leonhardt explains his passion for English music.
Leonhardt's recordings of Bull and Byrd are available on the Alpha label.
Listening in Paris
Modern audiences in concert halls and opera houses take it for granted that they should remain silent during the performance. However, this has not always been the case. In early 18 th century Paris , the music was a mere accompaniment to the elaborate social rituals of the opera house. The intrigue of the venue was not on the stage but in the audience and a hotbed of dangerous liaisons and aristocratic intrigues. Late arrivals, chattering and joking were all a normal part of an evening's entertainment, with the music providing a pleasant backdrop. So, what made this disinterested crowd sit up and listen? The change is recreated in a current series of concerts with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Tom asks James Johnson, author of Listening in Paris , to explain the phenomenon.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment : Listening in Paris , 5 th October to 24 th November 2005 at the QEH. Conductors include Jean Féry Rebel, Frans Brüggen and Vladimir Jurowski