The Symphony: Revolution and Rebirth
Simon Russell Beale concludes his exploration of the symphony in the 20th century
By the final episode of his journey through the history of the symphony, Simon Russell Beale has entered the 20th century. He explores the extraordinary symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich – a composer who staked a place in producing art for the communist Soviet Union – as well as the works of Ives and Copland over in the US.
This era saw empires diminish, global conflicts brew and technological advancement change the world faster than ever before.
The development of the gramophone and radio broadcasting afforded musical sound immortality, a phenomenon that undoubtedly influenced approaches to composing symphonic works.
Each of the symphonies featured in the programme are performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder.