Age of Decoration & Decadence — Music of the Regency

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 1 October, 2011

Today’s programme takes us back to the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, with music from the period generally referred to as the Regency Era.

Strictly speaking, the British Regency was the period between 1811 and 1820, when King George III of England was regarded as incompetent to rule, and his son, the Prince of Wales, was given the position of Regent, ie king by proxy, until his father’s death.

However today we are going to be a little more liberal in our interpretation and spread the net a little further afield in time. The period between 1795 and 1837 (the latter part of the reign of George III and the reigns of his sons George IV, as Prince Regent and King, and William IV) was characterized by distinctive trends in British architecture, literature, fashions, politics, and culture — and that is the period we’ll be focusing on today.

However (writes Elrik Merlin), I have tried to keep away from the obvious choices from this period: there’s little J S Bach in the programme today for example, although there are some pieces from Johann Christian Bach, his youngest son; and I’ve omitted the more obvious works of Handel. There are works by Purcell, including the original piece that formed the inspiration for Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the Rondeau from Abdelazar (I’ve included Britten’s work as well); songs and concerti by Boyce and Arne; and some composers you may not have heard of, such as the younger and elder Linleys, Dibdin, and the Earl of Abingdon.

And of course, as it’s Saturday, please join us for the ZBS Radio Hour at 11am and again at 7pm Pacific Time, that’s 7pm and 3am in the UK. Today we start a new adventure with Jack Flanders, and we continue our tales from the little town of Saratoga Springs. Don’t miss it!

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with our friends at the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme in‐world now at, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link:

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in‐world.


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