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An anthology for January highlighting some of the month's events in music, books, theatre, film and the visual arts.
Introduced by Melvyn Bragg from Morley College in South London
A studio performance of Mike Oldfield's rock music composition which has been acclaimed in the musical press as a unique achievement in popular music.
"Without borrowing anything from established classics, or descending to the discords, squeals and burps of the determinedly avant-garde, Mike Oldfield has produced music which combines logic with surprise, sunshine with rain" (The Listener)
"One of the most mature, vital, rich and humorous pieces of music to emerge from the pop idiom" (Musical Express)
"A rock masterpiece" (The Guardian)
In the 2nd House studio, Mike Oldfield leads a band which brings together some of the country's leading rock musicians, including Mick Taylor, Steve Hillage, Fred Frith and Ted Speight (guitars); Mike Ratledge, John Greaves and Tim Hodgkinson (keyboards); with Pierre de Strasbourg (percussion).
Visually, the music is complemented by images from the tubular steel sculptures of William Pye, and sequences from his film Reflections.
A film profile of the poet and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, whose latest book "Epistles to Several Persons" is published this week by Seeker and Warburg. The book is a series of verse-letters to John Fuller's friends: a poet and member of International Socialism, a fellow don, another poet celebrated but feared for his criticism, and a Marxist novelist.
Thirty years ago Gustav Mahler was a musical joke - writing symphonies that needed an army to perform and lasted until the small hours. A cult figure in the 50s, now he's big box-office, due in no small measure to the movies. "Death in Venice" brought the 5th Symphony to a public unfamiliar with Mahler, and this spring Ken Russell's new film biography of the composer opens in the West End.
Tonight 2nd House examines the impact of Mahler's work, with excerpts from Russell's film, and in conversation with the director. We also hear Mahler's personal testament, the Ruckert songs, performed by Yvonne Minton, considered to be among the world's great lieder artists.
The Eye of the Storm
An award-winning film from America which documents a young teacher's attempt to explain the meaning of prejudice and discrimination to her eight-year-old pupils - by experience.
On the first day of the experiment the blue-eyed children were designated as the 'privileged class' and the brown-eyed children were treated as inferiors. On the second day, the roles were reversed. The children's reactions to this experience provide a unique insight into the nature of discrimination, and its effects.
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