Hoje é dia: 13/05/2021
These are truly outstanding programmes. They offer not just outline biographies but interesting comment and insight on the composers' lives and achievements, and their importance in the development of the art of music, from an impressive team of experts: biographers and musicologists, and conductors and artists that are associated with their music. Of course, within the limited space of an hour, the coverage cannot claim to be comprehensive; but it is a miracle how much material is crammed into each programme. Indeed, all seven programmes demand repeated viewing for full appreciation of all their riches. All include excerpts from major works played by renowned international artists. And all are filmed in the locales associated with the composers' lives and works adding an aura of immediacy and authenticity. All the programmes are narrated by Kenneth Branagh.
The film on Tchaikovsky raises some intriguing points about the man and his music. Of the music, its emotional charge is recognised and the striking rhythms and constantly changing accents. Above all, Tchaikovsky is recognised as a supreme writer of memorable melodies mainly based on clever usage of sequences. Tchaikovsky's homosexuality is discussed particularly in the context of his alleged suicide. Ballet excerpts are included besides the purely orchestral ones that include the B flat minor Piano Concerto and the Violin Concerto. Artists included in this programme are: Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov and Yuri Temirkanov. David Brown provides the expert's commentary. A Russian lady tram driver says, "His music heals people; it helps me better than any medicine."