In 1990, Sir Georg Solti and Dudley Moore collaborated with Channel 4 to present an educational documentary series of programs entitled Orchestra! The programs were later released on video by London Records; an audio recording of excerpts—including works by Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Corelli, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, R. Strauss, Stravinsky, and Wagner, among others—also was released.
According to Jan Younghusband’s liner notes, “The series introduces the music and instruments of the orchestra by tracing its history through a selection of works by the great composers, from Bach in the early eighteenth century to Lutosławski in present times, and shows how instrumental music-making grew from a small group of players huddled round a keyboard instrument into the modern symphony orchestra of over a hundred musicians.
“Sir Georg Solti, probably the greatest living Maestro, and Dudley Moore, a star of worldwide appeal, were invited to take part in the series, as both combine great humor with a serious classical music background and virtuoso musicianship. Young musicians were drawn from all over the world to form the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra.”
Solti also added to the note: “It has always been my wish, my dream, to show people that good music is not difficult to understand, and to share with them this great marvel of human civilization, orchestral music. If anything can bring peace to this world it is music, and nothing is more beautiful than a good piece of music. All my life I have loved to make music with young people. I decided to work with a group of young musicians from all over the world, who come together for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, and seeing these young people making music together warms my heart.”
Selections from the first episode of the series—entitled “Introduction to Orchestra!”—can be viewed below:
The attached YouTube videos are not the property of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. We just thought they were interesting.