Composers of the Middle Romantic

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

Today, we continue our occasional series featuring composers from different parts of the Romantic Era.

That means, essentially, composers born around the first half of the 19th Century, give or take a few decades — this musical eras business is not an exact science).

In this programme, we are looking 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 (but as I say, don’t hold me to that).

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” 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”. Can’t be bad.

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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