Today, we are featuring composers from the Romantic Era (an era that encompasses composers born around the first half of the 19th Century, give or take a few decades).
In this programme, we are looking specifically at music from around the middle of the period, with a few minor exceptions to include some Good Stuff: in other words, we’re featuring composers born between around 1820 and 1840.
Thus in today’s programme you can enjoy the likes of Brahms, Bruckner, Franck, Saint-Saens, Wagner, Mussorgsky and others, plus a few lesser-known personal favourites, like American composer and virtuoso pianist, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829–69) — whom I tend to think of (completely erroneously I suspect) as “America’s Satie”, not least because of his refreshing ability to have a bit of fun.
Mind you, there is quite a bit of fun in the rest of today’s show, including Johannes Brahms’ rousing romp, the Academic Festival Overture (in a marvellous performance by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter). You don’t think of Brahms as particularly light-hearted, but this piece is extremely lively; and towards the end, the score urges the violins to “Play as loud as possible” — and you can hear them whizzing up and down. Can’t be bad.
The picture is Around the Piano (Autour du piano), an 1885 painting by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour.
Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. To listen from outside North America, click here to start your player . You can also listen via TuneIn.