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The Great Composers

The Great Composers is a BBC documentary series narrated by Kenneth Branagh, presenting the lives and works of some of important figures in Western music, with outstanding performances, dramatizations, and insightful interviews with respected artists and scholars. The series consists of seven episodes, each of which explores the life and works of one of 7 pivotal figures in Western music - Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, and Giacomo Puccini. The series features excerpts from major works played by renowned international artists and insightful interviews with respected artists and scholars.

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Johann Sebastian Bach
J. S. Bach occupies a pivotal place in the history of music. His compositions represent both the height of the Baroque and the beginning of the Modern Age of music.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the most respected composers of all time. He wrote hundreds of pieces, full of melody and beauty.

Ludwig van Beethoven
For many people, musicians and laymen alike, Beethoven is the most admired composer in the history of Western classical music - not only because of the intellectual rigour of his music, but also its expressive power.

Richard Wagner
Musical genius, political hero and racist demon, the life of Richard Wagner reads like the ultimate Boys-own story. The Ring cycle is regarded as one of the finest achievements of the human soul.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky's musical scores are lyrical, romantic and deeply emotional. His life is scoured to reveal an abortive marriage, his true feelings about homosexuality and how this may have been expressed in his music.

Gustav Mahler
Mahler was scarcely recognised as a great composer until the middle of the 1960s, when his music started to make a massive impact. In 1991, thirty recordings of his symphonies were released in one month.

Giacomo Puccini
From humble origins in the town of Lucca in Tuscany, Puccini rose from the Milan conservatoire to compose some of the greatest Italian operas.


Related Links
List of classical music composers by era - wikipedia
Medieval era (476-1400). Renaissance era (1400-1600). Baroque era (1600-1760). Classical era (1730-1820). Romantic era (1815-1910). 20th century (1900-2000).
Howard Goodall's Story of Music
This is a BBC documentary presented by Howard Goodall, tracing the story of music from the ancient world to the modern day.
Listening to Music
Instructor: Professor Craig Wright. This course fosters the development of aural skills that lead to an understanding of Western music.
Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century
This is a three-part BBC documentary series hosted by Suzy Klein, exploring the transformation of music in the 19th century.