It's been made in association with the Open University and is currently described on the Radio 3 website as 'a radical reappraisal of the history of the symphony in the modern world'. Perhaps this will be on the Sue Perkins-Tom Service programme rather than the TV series?
Last edited by BetweenTheStaves; 10-11-11 at 07:09.
Re my comment about the Sue Perkins-Tom Service series: the better bet would appear to be SRB's Saturday afternoon outing.
It was pretty enough to watch but it turned out to be rather better if you simply listened. As an introduction to symphonic form, it wasn't half as good as the Early Music Show today.
If the BBC4 offering was Open University Standard, it was much watered down for a general television audience.
Just what the point of SRB appearing in a hard hat atop a concrete roof in London? Yes, another set of expensive jollies for an over-rated presenter.
Perhaps they were going to do a featurette on Britten's 'The Building Of The House', then changed their minds but forgot to tell SRB? Alternatively: perhaps he wears a hard hat in his current onstage manifestation as Uncle Joe Stalin and forgot/refused to take it off when he popped out during the interval for a quick bit of BBC filming.
Originally Posted by Angle
Originally Posted by Angle
from what I remember about the programme he was talking about London in Haydns time and the concert hall being exactly in the same place and with the same footprint. Seems perfectly simple to me ? TV is an audio VISUAL medium, music on the other hand is a sonic phenomena, TV works using images , spoken text and sound to communicate.
If you want the hard facts buy a book , there are plenty about
If you just want the music buy a CD or go to a concert
I sometimes teach postgraduate music students and music colleges and universities, I would hardly expect television (or Radio 3 )to be using the same language. I didn't think this was a programme about "Symphonic Form" but rather contextualising the history of the symphony , which it did rather well IMV in "Locating" the music geographically and historically
I seem to remember recommending Dahlhaus to Mr G-rew ? "What is a fact of music history" being pertinent in this case as well !
People always seem to forget that not only is television a narrative medium, it is also poor at allowing any back reference, but goes from A toB, B to C and so on. If I read an argument in a book or an article, I can cast my eyes back easily if I have difficulty comprehending, what's more, written material can be shaped to facilitate this. Even though we now have the technical ability to record and spin back television material it is still a relatively clumsy process, and we are not expected to need to do so by the programme makers.
I used to dub programmes such as Horizon, which tried to explain difficult scientific concepts for a general audience. A person being interviewed might say " In these circumstances a certain reaction might occur, but if I change this function another reaction might or might not occur depending on X" On the printed page an equation might be printed with an explanatory text, but this is much more difficult on TV, so directors skipped that bit, or tried to convey it by awkward analogies. The first Open University TV programmes made a complete hash of this, having presenters with little experience of the medium using a blackboard and chalk,as this was in the days before video recorders it was a waste of time where students watching television were concerned, fortunately they were provided with written material for detailed study.
Of course, some types of TV get round the difficulty by having a studio discussion afterwards, so we have the odd spectacle of match analysis in football, which occupies almost as much time as the play itself.
Where classical music is concerned, after many years no adequate visual grammar has been developed for showing symphony concerts, in fact there has been no significant development since these programmes started. I was talking yesterday to a man who was researching how best to present material in 3 D. He was confident that this would open up entirely new ways of viewing and presentation, but I doubt it.
Interesting stuff and well put Ferret
I've heard others comment on the lack of visual grammar in the presentation of music on TV
its a bit like very early cinema simply mimicking theatre or early photography being like paintings of the time ......
should we see the musicians ? in close up ? or something to contextualise the music ?
its an interesting semiotic problem
Last edited by MrGongGong; 06-11-11 at 20:19.
Well, at the end of the day, it still sucked.
They could focus less on the lives, I think. There was a line in it about the role of the symphony and collective listening mixing with private, inner experience. I’m totally paraphrasing, but the line was there, as it is in easy-to-read books when they talk about the symphony. The idea of what the symphony is and why it differed from other types of music when it came about could’ve been a springboard for the main content of the show. Get actors to be people from the time, giving real quotes about it. Focus on the thing itself and strive to make it interesting.
Intersperse these scenes with a satire of an old Prof, standing at a blackboard and talking about sonata form. Could be like a Monty Python sketch. He could talk about key and harmony, and how themes develop, fight and reconcile, not just tell us in a matter of seconds that they develop and move on. Use the cooking analogy that they did, but take it further, so the Prof gets covered in food in the development. Pay the Jim Henson company to bring some muppets in and two muppets representing a theme each could dance and fight and the muppet band could play what he’s talking about to illustrate it and then the scene could dissolve into all having a culinary fight when the Prof is done talking. It doesn’t have to be that, but just make it witty and smart enough at the same time and it’d be satisfying on a deeper, more thoughtful level. These shows are too serious about what they’re doing, and at the same time, they ain’t serious enough.
Is this series available on TV only? Or is it on the radio as well? Reason I ask, is that living in France, I cannot get TV i-Player - only radio.