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David Starkey , Peter Sweasey , Christopher Walker  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Starkey
  • Directors: Peter Sweasey, Christopher Walker
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 234 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DW5IKQ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,413 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

• Nine performance pieces (29 min.)
• 16-page booklet with articles on the monarchy’s musical history, the musical accomplishments of Henry VIII, and the life of George Handel as well as a list of songs featured in the program
• Biographies of David Starkey and select composers

SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

British royal history as told by its music

How England’s royals have shaped the nation’s music

From Henry V through Elizabeth II, Britain’s monarchs have molded the story of British music as patrons, tastemakers, and even composers. Hosted by eminent historian David Starkey (Monarchy, The Six Wives of Henry VIII), this series explores British music through the lens of its most prominent and powerful supporters.

Each episode is lavishly scored, from famous melodies to forgotten treasures and works of public pageantry to songs composed for private enjoyment. Over 40 live recordings include music by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, and William Walton. All are performed in the spectacular locations where the monarchs first heard them: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the chapel of King’s College at Cambridge, and more. Starkey puts each into historical and political context, telling their stories and revealing how the royal passion for music created a soundtrack for a nation.

An honorary fellow at Cambridge University and a member of London’s Society of Royal Antiquaries, David Starkey (CBE) has taught history at the London School of Economics, written more than a dozen books, and presented many acclaimed television documentaries.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
6 centuries of music shaped by the monarchy are BBC decoded. Discover composers, music, & performance locations of Britain and how they correlate with Kings & Queens. It is a fascinating look at music influence on early politics, war, and architecture. Beautiful views of associated British locations: landscapes, artifacts, interior & exterior architecture.
David Starkey plays an important role in the understandability of this documentary for those of us who are not experts. He makes it enjoyable educational viewing for the commoner who is not completely versed in the monarchy. I experienced his expert narrative qualities in two other documentaries: The The Wives of Henry VIII and Monarchy Complete Collection. Both are recommended.

SDH SUBTITLES for all 4 episodes, each nearly an hour.
Henry V, himself a composer, with his choir, traveled for God's favors. Henry VIII's (another King composer) own Protestant reformations threaten beloved music. Son, Edward VI, hacks at music while his Elizabeth comes to the rescue.

17th century changes resulting from conflicts in religion, a driving force for much of Britain's arts. Organ wars, chamber concerts, & Baroque orchestra all find monarchy beginnings. Britain's greatest native composer, Henry Purcell, is biographed.

18th century and "God Save the King" is triumphant for Britain Music and would become the world's first national anthem. German imports, like Handel, makes Britain's music as dominant as its political power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant combination of music and royalty February 23, 2014
By popcult
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of those rare documentaries that keeps on giving. This is only way to make a documentary: amazing quality of material
(visuals, sounds) a passionate, knowledgeable presenter and thorough research.
If you are interested in British culture-this program covers much more than "just" royalty-and happened to like music, you will cherish this DVD.
Whenever I pop in this DVD my house transforms into a palatial concert hall filled with top notch performers, glorious music, and breathtaking images.
This DVD is truly an "EVENT"!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight and delightful Music March 19, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was afraid that it would be over my head as I am far from a music expert but thought I would give it a go as David Starkey explained things so well in his Monarchy series. He did it again! Amazing the whole family was fixated by the series of episodes linking royalty to music with fascinating looks at wonderful churches, chapels and historical artefacts. A DVD to treasure, especially if you like church music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful 4 hours! February 21, 2014
By Monica
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic documentary, filled with amazing music and the dry but interesting wit of David Starkey. Loved every minute!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Professor Excessively Predominant April 1, 2014
Delightful music and often revealing commentary. But Prof. Starkey repeatedly interrupts the music historians and musicians. From the positions he takes in palaces and cathedrals, he appears to imagine himself as a composer or monarchy.
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