Howard Goodall's Story of Music

The Age of Rebellion

Series 1 - Episode 5 The Age of Rebellion



Musical revolution and the disassembly of the great composers’ models might sound like a forbidding episode of this superlative history. Not in Howard Goodall’s hands it isn’t, partly because he pretty openly derides atonal “serialism” and doesn’t linger on it, but more because the period between Wagner’s death and the First World War offers plenty of more measured pioneers. Mahler, Fauré and Strauss all feature on our way to the riotous shock of the new brought by Stravinsky. And there’s an assessment of the birth of the blues that will surprise you.


The composer examines the ways in which modernism and the birth of recorded sound in the late 19th century changed the way music was played, heard and distributed. He reveals how the works of Mussorgsky made a huge impression on European composers when aired at the 1889 Paris World Fair, and discusses how increasingly disparate musical influences were woven together to create groundbreaking new sounds.