From Classical to Romantic

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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