Composers of the Middle Romantic

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.

Zee­ber Gold: Yoko Ono

Then join us lat­er at 11am or 7pm Pacif­ic (19:00 or 03:00 in the UK) for the lat­est in our series of peri­od ZBS Foun­da­tion  inter­views with the movers and shak­ers of the 1960s and ’70s: Zee­ber Gold.

This week the sub­ject is none oth­er than Yoko Ono, avant garde artist and wife of John Lennon. The pro­gramme, record­ed in 1966, con­tains a series of the­atre pieces per­formed in Lon­don, record­ed and mixed with the awestruck, bewil­dered and out­raged com­ments of peo­ple in the audi­ence as well as Miss Ono’s gen­tle expla­na­tions. No, Lennon was not there.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. 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:

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