Karajan on BBC Four, A Celebration of the Viola, George Frideric Handel - A Life with Friends

Tom Service reviews a new Handel biography with Robin Blaze & Tess Knighton, previews John Bridcut's TV documentary on the conductor Herbert von Karajan and celebrates the viola.

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45 minutes

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Sat 29 Nov 2014 12:15

“KARAJAN’S MAGIC AND MYTH” – A NEW FILM BY JOHN BRIDCUT

“KARAJAN’S MAGIC AND MYTH” – A NEW FILM BY JOHN BRIDCUT

The Austrian conductor Herbert Von Karajan, whilst one of the most prolific recording artists of the twentieth-century, remains an enigma, and there continues to be controversy over both his relationship with the Nazi party and his music-making. 25 years after Karajan’s death, the award-winning film-maker John Bridcut has produced a feature-length profile of the man for BBC Four, interviewing musicians who worked with him including Sir Neville Marriner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and James Galway, and using archive footage of the conductor at work. Tom asks John Bridcut what drew him to the controversial musician, and the writer and broadcaster Stephen Johnson previews the film.

More information:

BBC FOUR: Karajan’s Magic and Myth

THE VIOLA

THE VIOLA

On Saturday 29th November, London's Wigmore Hall celebrates the viola from the Baroque to the present day, Tom talks about the place of the instrument in classical music today with two of the players taking part, Tabea Zimmermann and Garth Knox, and with the violist and composer Brett Dean who has recently taken up the position of Artist-in-Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and will be performing his Viola Concerto in London in 2015. Music Matters also visits the workshop of Cremona-trained luthier Martin Sonnenberg to find out more about the peculiarities of this central member of the string family.

More information:

The Viola: A Survey from the Baroque to the present day at Wigmore Hall

Brett Dean

Tabea Zimmermann

Garth Knox

‘GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL: A LIFE WITH FRIENDS’ BY ELLEN T. HARRIS

‘GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL: A LIFE WITH FRIENDS’ BY ELLEN T. HARRIS

During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel’s music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals, and filled crowded taverns, but the man himself—known to most as the composer of Messiah—remains something of a mystery. Ellen T. Harris, Professor of Music at MIT and the author of a new book, speaks to Tom about exploring the life and music of Handel through the perspective of his friends and society around him in 18th century London – from his financial and legal affairs to religion and politics.

The countertenor Robin Blaze and musicologist Tess Knighton join Tom to review the book.

More information:

George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends by Ellen T. Harris

Robin Blaze

Radio 3 Sunday Feature - Liquid Assets: Tracing Handel's Thousands

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterTom Service
Interviewed GuestRobin Blaze
Interviewed GuestTess Knighton
Interviewed GuestJohn Bridcut
Interviewed GuestBrett Dean
Interviewed GuestTabea Zimmermann
Interviewed GuestGarth Knox

Knock on wood – six stunning wooden concert halls around the world

TSCH Mike Gutteridge rs

Steel and concrete can't beat good old wood to produce the best sounds for music.

The evolution of video game music

Man playing video games with headphones

Tom Service traces the rise of an exciting new genre, from bleeps to responsive scores.

Why music can literally make us lose track of time

Woman listening to music with big headphones

Try our psychoacoustic experiment to see how tempo can affect your timekeeping abilities.