Music Appreciation

Julian Williamson
Victoria Hall
Tuesday 10.30am - 12.30pm

Berlioz, 20th Century British composers; and a Brief History of Conducting

A course for anyone who enjoys music and would like to understand more about its development, composers and their social context. The lectures are accompanied throughout by audio excerpts from key works.

Autumn Term: 17 September - 10 December (Half term 22-26 Oct)
Spring Term: 07 January - 31 March (Half term 17 - 21 February)
Summer Term: 28 April - 19 May
£128 for a 12-week term
£34 for a 4-week summer term

Autumn Term

Hector Berlioz: Genius Extraordinary

Berlioz was one of the archetypal figures of the 19th century Romantic era, producing some of the most innovative and fascinating works the world has ever heard. This course will examine his roots, youthful influences, and his development from his early songs and his groundbreaking Symphonie Fantastique through a career which, though filled with music of historical importance, saw him increasingly frustrated and depressed at the reception of his works in his home country. After his death the world slowly came to realise the enormous contribution he had made to the development of music.

Spring Term

The Great British Resurgence

British music began to feel wind in its sails at the turn of the twentieth century. Two great works of Elgar showed the world that this was not ‘The land without music’. A succession of composers would make this possible, with the most famous (apart from Elgar) Vaughan Williams, Walton, Britten, and Tippett, but many others contributed to this renaissance, among them Bax, Holst, Delius, Finzi, Moeran, Bliss, Coleridge Taylor, and Havergal Brian. We will follow this renaissance and discover how the work of many brilliant musicians helped lift British music out of the gutter in which it had existed since the time of Purcell.

Summer Term

A Brief History of conducting

Conducting is an art which only emerged comparatively recently as part of music history. As music became more and more complex during the 19th Century it became vital to have someone in front to control the twists and turns of Wagner’s operas, Mahler’s symphonies etc. Hans Von Bülow was one of the first of these, followed by a whole string of famous names, including Bruno Walter, Henry Wood, Otto Klemperer, Arturo Toscanini, Herbert von Karajan, and Colin Davis. We will look at some of these and investigate their influence on the history of music.