Most helpful positive review
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One of the best things the BBC has made in years
on 18 February 2010
These shows were aired in the autumn of 2009 in the afternoon and was perfect viewing before catching the football scores. Here we have all four programmes with extras on two DVDs. Simon Russell Beale takes us through four periods: the Gothic Revolution, Palestrina, Tallis and Byrd, and finally J. S. Bach. The fact the series ends here might suggest that there might be another series (please!) looking at maybe Handel, Henry Francis Lyte and others.
Beale is excellent as a presenter. He has secure knowledege without sounding pompous and arrogant and he also does not try to be "a nice guy" like many others these days. He gets on with the programme without dumbing down leaving others to be anaytical, chiefly Harry Christophers, the conductor of The Sixteen who provide most of the excellent music.
Choral music of this kind rarely gets any attention and to hear it played in these magnificent cathedrals remind us of why they were written. The show also does not force religion onto the viewer and the show can be throughly enjoyed by all. I seriously did not think you could enjoy an hour of Gregorian chant but with the visuals, interviews and performances you can.