The Bell Telephone Hour

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NBC (ended 1968)

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Episode Guide

  • Season 10
    • Jazz -- The Intimate Art
      4/26/68
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      Hosted by Donald Voorhees, this episode spotlights the divergent jazz styles of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, and Charles Lloyd as they perform, rehearse and spend time at home. Armstrong talks about growing up in New Orleans and joining a band in Chicago and is seen at a recording session and performance. At the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, Gillespie reveals his mercurial personality. As one of the founders of bop, he helped to introduce not only a new approach to jazz but also the bop vocabulary and way of dressing. Continued: The pianist-conductor-composer Dave Brubeck is shown at the final concert of the Brubeck Quartet in December 1967 in Pittsburgh and at another performance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Charles Lloyd, one of the jazz world's newest stars, puts into his music all of the personal rapport he feels with today's younger generation. At Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Lloyd and his Lloyd Quartet communicate with his youthful following with his music and words.

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    • Going to Bethlehem
      4/14/68
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      Hosted by Donald Voorhees with performances by soprano Judith Raskin and basso Cesare Siepi and the Moravian Church Choir.

      Highlights:
      Opening scenes of smoke belching steel works and street scenes of a small Pennsylvania community.
      The people come from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Sixty-eight years ago they instituted a Bach Music Festial which today draws people from all over the world.
      Judith Raskin and Cesare Siepi with the town's Moravian Church Choir perform.

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    • Opera: Two to Six
      3/22/68
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      Hosted by Donald Voorhees, with performances by coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland, baritone Tito Gobbi, tenor Nicolai Gedda, bass Jerome Hines, mezzo-soprano Mildred Miller, tenor Charles Anthony and soprano Phyllis Curtin.

      Highlights:
      Joan Sutherland and Tito Gobbi perform a section of Act 2 of Tosca.
      Charles Gounod - Faust Selections.
      Giuseppe Verdi - Rigoletto Selections.
      Richard Wagner - Meistersinger von Nurnberg.
      Gaetano Donizetti - Lucia de Lammermoor Selections.

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    • The Man Who Dances: Edward Villella

      Narrated by Don Morrow with performances by Edward Villella and Patricia McBride.

      Highlights:
      Excerpts of ballet performances showing Villella and Patricia McBride dancing "Tarantella," "Jewels," and "Harlequinade," choreographed by George Balanchine.
      Interview with Villella as he decides whether to dance at a sold-out performance of Balanchine's "Rubies" after suffering a collapse on stage during a matinee performance on November 19 attended by nearly three thousand people.
      Scenes leading up to this incident follow, with Villella at home; working in the studio; preparing for guest appearances; performing one of his own works with Patricia McBride; giving a lecture and demonstration at his alma mater; working in class; rehearsing "Rubies"; performing "Glinkiana"; and relaxing backstage afterward.
      On the evening after his collapse, Villella's wife, Janet, is shown trying to dissuade him from giving his third performance of the day. The program cuts to Villella's performance of "Rubies" that night.

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    • Casals at Marlboro
      12/29/67
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      Narrated by Fritz Weaver with performances by conductor Pablo Casals, pianist Rudolf Serkin, violinist Alexander Schneider and Jaime Laredo.

      Highlights:
      Pablo Casals conducts the festival orchestra with Mozart's "Haffner" Symphony and the Marlboro Music Fesitval.
      Rudolf Serkin performs "The Trout" piano quintet by Franz Schubert.
      Alexander Schneider plays Brahms' Sextet in B flat.
      Casals coaches a student cellist in Beethoven's A Major Sonata and playing Schubert's C Major Quintet.

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    • Benjamin Britten and His Aldeburgh Festival

      Performances by Benjamin Britten, guitarist Julian Bream, pianist Sviatoslav Richter and The Vienna Boys' Choir.

      Highlights:
      Composer-conductor-pianist Benjamin Britten and an international group of world renonwned musical figures gather at the small British seacoast village for the annual festival.
      The Vienna Boys' Choir performs "The Golden Vanity".
      Julian Bream plays "Nocturne".
      Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter joins Britten in Mozart's "Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos".
      Britten conducts the English Chamber Orchestra in "The Building of the House" and the vocalization of his "Spring Symphony" by Peter Pears, Heather Harper, The English Opera Company and the King's College Chapel Choir.

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    • The Virtuoso Teacher
      11/24/67
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      "The Virtuoso Teacher" presents a portrait of violinist and teacher Joseph Fuchs as he prepares two young students, Takako Nishizaki and Christiane Edinger, for their concert careers. The intense weeks of lessons, the anxieties, disappointments, and the hopes of the students and Fuchs are shown as they participate in music competitions. They compete in the Leventritt Music Competition in Carnegie Hall and no winners are declared. They practice for next year. They and other competitors, Pinchas Zukerman, Kyung-Wha Chung, Serge Lucca, and Donald Wylerstein, are seen performing. Nishizaki and Edinger advance to the semi-finals but are then eliminated. Fuchs talks about teaching and playing the violin.

      Highlights:
      Yehudi Menuhim performs Bach's Double Concerto.
      Performances of Brahms' Violin Concerto to Saint-Saens' Rondo Capriccioso.

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    • On The Road With Duke Ellington
      10/18/67
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      Narrated by Don Morrow with performances by Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges and Mercer Ellington.

      Highlights:
      Duke Ellington at 68 full of vitality continues his vigorous schedule traveling thru the country from a concert of sacred music in Ohio, to a recording session in New York to a series of Midwestern one-night stands. He stops long enough to give his impressions of life, his own living legend and the futility of retirement.
      Duke and the band are seen performing "Satin Doll", "Sophisticated Lady" and "Mood Indigo".
      Between performances Duke composes a piece entitled "Salute to Morgan State" as he prepares to receive another honorary degree from Morgan State University.
      Explores the music and personality of musician, Duke Ellington. The camera follows as he moves from town to town, from recording studios to hotels and concert halls, always concerned with reaching people with his art.
      The program winds up with a performance of "Take the A Train".

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    • The Many Faces of Romeo and Juliet

      Performances by actress Claire Bloom, actor Jason Robards, singer-dancer-actress Carol Lawrence, singer-dancer-actor Larry Kert, ballet dancers Erik Bruhn and Carla Fracci, Opera singer Anna Moffo and tenor Sandor Kenya.

      Highlights:
      Jason Robards and Claire Bloom perform scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" that serve as introductions to their counterparts in music and dance.
      Erik Bruhn and Carla Fracci dance the pas de deux balcony scene from Prokofiev's ballet.
      Soprano Anna Moffo and tenor Sandor Kenya perform the balcony scene from Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette".
      In a recreation of their Broadway roles in "West Side Story," Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence sing "Maria" and "Tonight."

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  • Season 9
  • Season 8
  • Season 7
  • Season 6
  • Season 5
  • Season 4
  • Season 3
  • Season 2
  • Season 1
  • Specials
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