This programme contains a representative collection of important works written between 1901 and 2000. This period is sometimes thought of as the era of ‘modern’ music, when composers sought to break free from the Romantic styles of the 19th century by experimenting with daring new harmonies and forms, but much of the music written after 1900 still harked back to the familiar style of the past. The first CD opens with composers who still wrote in the Romantic style, including Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Holst and Elgar, and we also hear part of the slow movement of the most successful concerto written during the 20th century, the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo. Then come the early innovators who broke new ground like the Second Viennese School of Webern, Berg and Schoenberg, as well as others who continued to use the more traditional methods of composition but who wrote in a more advanced style such as Stravinsky and Bartók. These are followed by later composers who wrote in a wide range of so-called ‘modern’ styles including Takemitsu, Tavener and Adès. The large and prolific school of American composers active during the 20th century is represented by some extremely popular pieces like Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as more adventurous works by Ives, Reich and Adams. The set also includes extracts from choral pieces by Boulez, Pärt, Tavener, Rutter and Jenkins, and ends with one of the 20th century’s most successful choral works, Orff’s Carmina Burana.