David Starkey's Music and Monarchy
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British royal history as told by its music How England�s royals shaped the nation�s music From Henry V through Elizabeth II, Britain�s monarchs have molded the story of British music as patrons, tastemakers, and even composers. Hosted by eminent historian David Starkey (Monarchy, The Six Wives of Henry VIII), this series explores British music through the lens of its most prominent and powerful supporters. Each episode is lavishly scored, from famous melodies to forgotten treasures and works of public pageantry to songs composed for private enjoyment. Over 40 live recordings include music by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, and William Walton. All are performed in the spectacular locations where the monarchs first heard them: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the chapel of King�s College at Cambridge, and more. Starkey puts each into historical and political context, telling their stories and revealing how the royal passion for music created a soundtrack for a nation. An honorary fellow at Cambridge University and a member of London�s Society of Royal Antiquaries, David Starkey (CBE) has taught history at the London School of Economics, written more than a dozen books, and presented many acclaimed television documentaries.
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David Starkey plays an important role in the understandability of this documentary for those of us who are not experts. He makes it enjoyable educational viewing for the commoner who is not completely versed in the monarchy. I experienced his expert narrative qualities in two other documentaries: The The Wives of Henry VIII and Monarchy Complete Collection. Both are recommended.
SDH SUBTITLES for all 4 episodes, each nearly an hour.
1 CROWN AND CHOIR
Henry V, himself a composer, with his choir, traveled for God's favors. Henry VIII's (another King composer) own Protestant reformations threaten beloved music. Son, Edward VI, hacks at music while his Elizabeth comes to the rescue.
17th century changes resulting from conflicts in religion, a driving force for much of Britain's arts. Organ wars, chamber concerts, & Baroque orchestra all find monarchy beginnings. Britain's greatest native composer, Henry Purcell, is biographed.
3 GREAT BRITISH MUSIC
18th century and "God Save the King" is triumphant for Britain Music and would become the world's first national anthem. German imports, like Handel, makes Britain's music as dominant as its political power.
Monarchy respect reigns through Victoria & Albert. The Prince is a composer and both royal heads are singers often doing duets. Renaissance in British music is complete with pomp & pageantry...and coronations.
Constant musical excerpts and background period music enhances the audio. A bonus booklet lists all the musical segments by name, composer, and presenter.
Bonus also offers 9 performance pieces, a half hour concert for the viewer's own "home throne and court" listening.
This DVD deserves a timpani roll.
(visuals, sounds) a passionate, knowledgeable presenter and thorough research.
If you are interested in British culture-this program covers much more than "just" royalty-and happened to like music, you will cherish this DVD.
Whenever I pop in this DVD my house transforms into a palatial concert hall filled with top notch performers, glorious music, and breathtaking images.
This DVD is truly an "EVENT"!