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The Making of Music: v. 2 [Audio]

James Naughtie, in this major Radio 4 series, uncovers the roots of our music, revealing the soundtrack to our history. Volume 2 opens with the modernism of Wagner and Liszt. On the eve of a century of cataclysmic political and social upheaval, music reflected the spirit of the age. To contemporary ears Wagner's music was revolutionary and shocking, his lifestyle seen as a threat to moral traditions. The Paris Exhibition in 1889 brought the gamelan music of the distant Far East to Europe, fascinating composers like Debussy, whilst Verdi and Smetana were giving voice to the nationalist movements rising up in their countries. But as Europe moved towards the First World War and the Russian Revolution, the contrast between Elgar's nostalgic, elegiac style and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was telling. With Schoenberg and Bartok rejecting the classical style and writing intellectual, almost scientifically-based music, and with jazz and film scores emerging as new art forms, the question of the purpose of music became more relevant than ever before. Music for the elite - or music for the masses? Nowhere was this debate more intimately connected with politics than in Stalin's Russia. As composers and musicians fled Europe for America or remained to suffer the consequences of war in the 1940s, new styles emerged, and with rapid technological change the musical landscape broadened as never before. And in the Britain of the Beatles, the classical giants Britten and Tippett gave way to Tavener, Birtwistle and Maxwell Davies, arguably a generation of composers who combined tradition, modernity and accessibility. This title is winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. '"The Making of Music" proves both entertaining and informative' - "Daily Telegraph". '...presented with such reverence and commitment that it even surpasses the audiobook's exquisite musical excerpts...A superlative listen!' - "AudioFile".
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