Just in time for the season change, enjoy four of our favorite programs on Great Performances!
Available through October 18
In the series premiere, of Great Performances: Now Hear This, host Scott Yoo crosses Northern Italy, chasing the story of one of the most recorded pieces of music in the world, Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and discovers how the composer merged religious melodies, opera and a new level of violin playing to launch a new era of music. On the journey, Yoo discovers a new Vivaldi work, his connection to Stradivarius, a trove of original manuscripts and how Vivaldi’s music was almost lost to history.
Available through October 25
In the second episode of Great Performances: Now Hear This, host Scott Yoo goes to Germany to learn Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas and partitas, widely considered among the greatest works ever written for solo violin. There, Yoo discovers a riddle Bach left behind in his portrait. In trying to solve it, Yoo and his wife, leading flutist Alice Dade, discover that Bach based his melodic style on Vivaldi and his rhythms on the music of the French court, which leads to a spectacular finale in Paris.
Available through October 31
Beloved by generations of audiences worldwide, The Sound of Music tells the inspiring true story of the von Trapp Family Singers and their escape from Austria during the rise of Nazism. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 hit stage musical garnered five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the blockbuster 1965 movie adaptation won five Oscars, including Best Picture.
Great Performances presents the 2015 live U.K. broadcast version starring Kara Tointon as Maria, Julian Ovenden as Captain von Trapp, Katherine Kelly as Baroness Schraeder, Alexander Armstrong as Max, and Maria Friedman as the Mother Abbess. Cinematically photographed on adjoining sound stages, the production offers a more naturalistic interpretation of this great classic of the American musical theater. Among the many classic songs featured in the score are “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and more.
Available through February 29, 2020
This Great Performances retrospective celebrates the extraordinary career of producer and director Harold Prince, whose seven decades in the theater spanned from Broadway’s “Golden Age” to the contemporary blockbusters of today.
Winner of 21 Tony Awards (the most of any individual), Prince’s peerless résumé includes such legendary shows as “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and many more. In addition to archival clips, this fascinating performance-documentary includes interviews with many of Prince’s renowned collaborators, including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, Angela Lansbury and others, all sharing their firsthand insights into his pioneering achievements in the theater.