From Classical to Romantic

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 18 May, 2019

From Classical to Romantic

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818, Oil on canvas, Kunsthalle Hamburg

Today we explore a little of the music written at the borders of the Classical and Romantic eras, focusing on the work of some well‐known composers born in the last 30 years of the 18th Century.

This is not as limiting a classification as it might sound:  Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in 1770 and is widely regarded as the first Romantic composer.

Romanticism was a movement that swept through the arts as a whole during this period, largely as a reaction to the perceived materialism of the Enlightenment and the march of the Industrial Revolution. With its opposition to aristocratic society it took inspiration from the French Revolution and valued emotion, naturalism, folk art and wilder experience. Think of Lord Byron and his life and work and you have it.

Today we will hear some of the music that ushered in the Romantic era — and some of the composers it influenced. In addition to quite a library of Beethoven, you’ll hear Donizetti, Rossini, Schubert and Paganini. You’ll also hear the work of modern composers inspired by their works, from Britten and Rachmaninov to Andrew Lloyd Webber. There’s also a marvellous piece by Eric Fenby, amanuensis to Frederic Delius, inspired by Rossini and entitled Rossini on Ilkley Moor.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

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