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Mendelssohn - The Prophet

Conductor Charles Hazlewood looks at great composers. How the music of Mendelssohn embodies the Victorian age, and how he pioneered the conductor's baton.

Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the lives, times and music of great composers. In the final programme in the series, he looks at Mendelssohn, whose music embodies the sound of the Victorian age. A friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Mendelssohn made ten visits to Britain and his work appealed strongly to British tastes.

Mendelssohn's melodies such as O for the Wings of a Dove and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing became hugely popular and his astonishing overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream perfectly captured the Victorians' fondness for Shakespeare and fairy stories. He portrayed the grandeur of Scotland through a romanticism shared with poets such as Keats and Wordsworth, and captured the public imagination with his pioneering use of a new conductor's tool - the baton.

Charles's journey includes a stormy boat trip to Fingal's Cave and a visit to a chocolate factory, as well as a trip to the recently restored Birmingham Town Hall, where a massed choir comprising choral groups from across the West Midlands is brought together with the BBC Concert Orchestra and soloist Andrew Shore to perform extracts from Mendelssohn's iconic work Elijah.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 21 May 2017 19:00

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Role Contributor
Presenter Charles Hazlewood
Series Producer Helen Mansfield
Director Francesca Kemp


  • Sat 30 May 2009 19:30
  • Mon 1 Jun 2009 20:00
  • Sat 6 Jun 2009 18:45
  • Sat 6 Jun 2009 20:00
  • Sat 15 Aug 2009 22:15
  • Fri 16 Jul 2010 20:00
  • Sat 17 Jul 2010 01:50
  • Sat 11 Sep 2010 22:40
  • Sun 21 May 2017 19:00

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