Georgian Splendour — Music for Elegant Living

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 1 July, 2008


While the Independent State of Caledon is a Victorian/Steampunk region, it has a deep interest in the past as well as the future, and no more is this true than the musical tastes of its inhabitants, which range far and wide from Early Music onwards, as we have been hearing these past two weeks on Radio Riel as we celebrate Second Life’s fifth birthday and Caledon’s own exhibit that is a part of it.

Today we explore another era in musical history: that of the Baroque, bringing to mind fine Georgian architecture, stately homes and elegance. We begin, as far as a timeline is concerned, with Antonio Vivaldi, and feature his most famous work The Four Seasons (how could we not) along with less well-known compositions. You will also hear contributions from some of England’s leading composers of the Georgian era, such as Georg Friderick Händel (German by birth, but English by residence for much of his life) – whose music was popular from its first performances until the present day. Indeed, Beethoven said of Handel, “He is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb.” Handel’s music was popular throughout the Victorian era and regular “Handel Festivals” were held at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham. We will hear his Musick for the Royal Fireworks, of course, and both his Water Music Suites.

We will also hear from Thomas Arne, best known for Rule Britannia but also for many other works in his time. We will play some of his Overtures and harpsichord works and an enigmatic piece that we know as Finale to ‘A Dance Suite’, which shares a theme with one of his harpsichord works. Also included in the programme is a selection of the works of Purcell, JS Bach and a great deal more – including a couple of ‘cheats’: we might call them “old pieces in a modern style”. Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

Music of the Baroque era is an ideal accompaniment to the steampunk/Victorian world of the Independent State of Caledon. Tune in as you explore the Caledon SL5B exhibit at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Second%20Life%20Birthday, simply by pressing Play on your embedded music player. The programme can also be heard by tuning in directly to our Main Stream, http://music.radioriel.org/.

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