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20 October 2007

Saturday 20 October 2007 12:15-13:00 (Radio 3)

Tom Service meets conductor John Eliot Gardiner to explore his reinterpretation of the music of Brahms, there's the latest from music's most talked about family with author Jonathan Carr on The Wagner Clan, and Vienna meets Hollywood with Erich Wolfgang Korngold at the movies.


45 minutes

In this programme

John Eliot Gardiner -  Brahms
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, courtesy of Albion Media
Conductor John Eliot Gardiner has gone back to basics on Brahms in his latest project with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique. Dissatisfied with the way Brahms is performed today, he has taken a look at Brahms' antecedents to understand the composer's influences: Schutz, Bach and Schumann., and place him in the context of the early music movement. Tom perused Brahms's scores with Gardiner and asked him about this ambitious two-year project with concerts all over Europe.
London concerts are on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th October at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Wagner Clan
Richard Wagner, courtesy of The Wagner MuseumThe saga of the Wagner family has been running ever since Richard Wagner died in 1883 and his widow, Cosima, took charge. In Bayreuth - the theatre that Wagner built for the performance of his own works - the battle for premiership continues today as Katharina Wagner, granddaughter of Richard, fights to take charge. In the 19th Century, Bayreuth was closely associated with Hitler and the Nazis. In the light of many books and articles written on the subject over the years, Tom asks Jonathan Carr about what's new in his book, reviews the book with stage director Mike Ashman, and writer and broadcaster Ivan Hewett and finds out from journalist Shirley Apthorp in Berlin where the story is today.
Jonathan Carr: The Wagner Clan. Pub. Faber, h/b £20.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Erich Wolfgang KorngoldAustrian composer, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, is famed for his ravishing film scores written in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. However, he started out as a child prodigy, hailed by Gustav Mahler as a genius - composer, pianist, conductor and arranger - his works were performed throughout Europe. Fifty years after his death, his music is being celebrated once again. Tom is joined by Korngold biographer, Brendan Carroll, and academic Erik Levi, to discuss Korngold's remarkable life. With contributions from his daughter-in-law, Helen Korngold, pianist, conductor and composer Andre Previn, and archive of his sons Ernst and George Korngold.
The Southbank Centre celebrates Korngold for a full day on 27th October in the QEH and 2nd, 14th and 21st November in concerts at the RFH.

Elizabeth Maconchy
Elizabth Maconchy, courtesy of Suzie E. MaederIn the centenary year of composer Elizabeth Maconchy, a chance to hear her daughter, composer Nicola Lefanu, explain the importance of her mother's unjustly neglected music. In particular, her string quartets; they're distinctive 20th century British music, more indebted to Bartok and Janacek than Vaughan Williams.
Machoncy's music is celebrated at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 22nd-25th October 2007, and in the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler's Wells on 13th November.

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