In this major BBC Radio 4 series, James Naughtie uncovers the roots of our music and reveals the soundtrack to our own history.
The history of classical music is inextricably linked with the places it was written, its purpose and its patrons as well as with politics, war and social change. From the earliest music of the monasteries to the court and church music of the Renaissance and Reformation and beyond, composers have always changed with the times.
In these programmes James Naughtie reveals how the chance happenings of history built a classical tradition that tells a glittering and inspiring story. His journey takes him from early beginnings to the present day, where he examines the current state of classical music.
This epic and important series features extracts from the music itself as well as the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Alison Carney, Laurence Fox and Simon Russell Beale alongside James Naughtie's own.
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Simple, clear, and simply extraordinary
This is simply extraordinary for the simple, clear way that James Naughtie covers the history of music. He ties music to historical, social and political developments, as well as to musical personalities and other influences of each age. This is all done in about 15 minute segments, which makes sense since it was a BBC series originally. Highly recommended and it is something that may just live on my iPod for occasional listening.