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Howard Goodall's Great Dates

Premier :: 2002-09-15


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This four-part series, presented by composer Howard Goodall, shows that great pieces of music are not freak accidents of genius but the direct products of their time, place, culture and politics.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 4 - 1937 - Shostakovich, Stalin and Hitler
Aired - 06 October 2002

Episode summary:

In 1937, Fascism gripped Europe and Stalin's terror was at its height. There, composers had to square their consciences with the artistic requirements of totalitarian regimes. In Germany, the music of Kurt Weill was banned because he was Jewish, modern and left wing. While the Nazis were busy banning jazz, in the US, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Billie Holiday were showing it to be the undisputed sound of the moment. And Shostakovich's towering 'Fifth Symphony' was being written at the height of Stalinist oppression.

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