This documentary series explores the fact that from Google, and Facebook and Wikipedia to the systems of democracy, finance, manufacture and the law; many aspects of modern life owe their existence to a single defining period: the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century. Filmed in locations across Britain, France, Germany, Portugal and America, this illuminating series brings to life some of the key characters of the era - Newton, Erasmus, Darwin, Voltaire, Diderot, Condorcet, Frederick the Great and Thomas Jefferson - and the ideas that shaped the world we live in today.
The unprecedented expansion of music in the age of enlightenment
The eighteenth century is probably the most extraordinary period of transformation Europe has known since antiquity. Political upheavals kept pace with the innumerable inventions and discoveries of the age; every sector of the arts and of intellectual and material life was turned upside down.
The works in this programme demonstrate Philip Glass’s perpetual goal of connecting with his audience. Taking shape as something like a hidden sonata form, Mad Rush contrasts peaceful atmosphere with tempestuousness and mesmerizing beauty. The last of its kind in Glass’s oeuvre, 600 Lines, here receiving its première recording on solo piano, is an obsessive and hypnotically restless toccata that represents the zenith of his experiences while working with Ravi Shankar. These two monumental works are joined by première recordings of the subtly transformed Metamorphosis 2, and Glass’s only transcription in the form of Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence.