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The Sound and the Fury: Easy Listening?

Updated Monday, 25th February 2013

Episode three reveals how post-war composers began to bring back elements of rhythm, metre and harmony.

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So percussion Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC So Percussion, an American quartet The series concludes with the focus shifting to the United States in the post-war years of the 1950s and beyond.

Beginning with arguably the most notorious work of 20th century classical music, John Cage's 'silent' composition 4'33", it looks at how a series of maverick Americans re-invented the sound of classical music into a more simple form, bringing back harmonies and rhythms that made it increasingly popular with audiences across the world.

It also examines how this music found its way into a spiritual realm, with the strain of pared-down religious composition that came to be known as 'holy minimalism'.

From the Maverick concert hall in Woodstock, New York to an Orthodox cathedral in Estonia to a car park in Peckham, south London, the story is told by a stellar line-up of contributors including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.

Watch The Sound and the Fury

You can watch this episode of The Sound and the Fury on Tuesday 26 February at 21:00 on BBC Four.

See The Sound and Fury pages on the BBC website for information on repeat transmissions and iPlayer coverage.

 

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