Concerto! – tape 1569

Here’s some Concerto!, the programme in which Dudley Moore looks at some of the greatest musical works. A Concerto differs from a Symphony in that it showcases a particular instrument. the first episode looks at Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, instantly familiar to many because of its use in so many places, most famously in Noel Coward’s film Brief Encounter.

The first half of the programme sees presenter Dudley Moore, a highly accomplished pianist himself, talking to the soloist Barry Douglas, and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, about the music, their reactions to the music, the approaches you can take, along with discussion about Rachmaninov himself and how the piece is generally received. Strangely, it’s almost the kind of thing that might be done as a podcast or a YouTube series today.

The second half is a performance of the piece, shot in a specially designed studio with lots of pretty lighting and swooping cameras. But I have to admit, I didn’t really watch it, I just listened to the music, which is beautiful.

The next episode switches instrument and composer to look at Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, played by Richard Stoltzman. This programme spends a bit more time in the recording studio – the performances are traditionally recorded in a regular studio first, then the ‘filmed’ performance is presumably filmed simply for the picture, with the orchestra and soloist playing along to the pre-recorded track.

In The Studio

Before the next episode, a tiny bit of the end of Fear of Falling which looks like a documentary about climbers.

The last episode of Concerto! in the series features Bartok’s Violin Concerto No 2 performed by Kyoko Takezawa.

Kyoko Takezawa

After the programme, recording continues with the start of A Private Function. Bliss. The tape ends during the film.

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