From the Library: English Music for St George’s Day

Today in our series From the Library, we’re play­ing a wide selec­tion of the music of Eng­land, broad­ly speak­ing from the Baroque era (with Thomas Arne, com­pos­er of Rule Bri­tan­nia) to the end of the Sec­ond World War, fea­tur­ing com­posers from Noël Cow­ard to Delius, Vaugh­an Williams and Sir Arthur Bliss, in cel­e­bra­tion of St George’s Day, 23 April (yes­ter­day).

Now most peo­ple know, of course, that the his­tor­i­cal St George has noth­ing much to do with Eng­land. He was born in Nico­me­dia, now part of Turkey, between about 275 and 285 AD and died on 23 April 303 AD. He is the patron saint of a good many places besides Eng­land, too, includ­ing Aragon, Cat­alo­nia, Ethiopia, Geor­gia, Greece, Lithua­nia, Pales­tine, Por­tu­gal and Rus­sia. The tra­di­tion­al leg­end tells of his encounter with a drag­on (as shown here in Gus­tave More­au’s paint­ing). You can read about many aspects of St George in this Wikipedia arti­cle.

St George’s asso­ci­a­tion with Eng­land goes back to the ninth cen­tu­ry and dur­ing the reign of King Edward III (1327–1377), he became patron saint of the Eng­lish monar­chy (sup­plant­i­ng St Edmund) and asso­ci­at­ed with the val­ues of chival­ry and knight­hood. Shake­speare con­tributed to embed­ding St George in the Eng­lish psy­che with the ral­ly­ing cry in Hen­ry V: “God for Har­ry, Eng­land and St George!” – and we will hear that today, along with a great deal more.

In addi­tion, start­ing at 11am and 7pm Sec­ond Life Time, we’ll be bring­ing you the fifth parts of our two thrilling ZBS radio seri­als, The Fourth Tow­er of Inver­ness and Ruby. You can either lis­ten to these on the stream at home or come and enjoy a cup of tea as we lis­ten in the Claren­don Con­ser­va­to­ry in New Bab­bage. (

From the Library is pro­duced in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life, and today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten now at (To lis­ten off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and if the above address does­n’t work for you, click here.)

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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2 Responses to “From the Library: English Music for St George’s Day”

  1. Wildstar says:

    won­der­ful pro­gram !
    IO even went to buy some of the pieces I heard ! 🙂

  2. Elrik Merlin says:

    Thank you! Always great to hear com­ments on the pro­gram­ming (espe­cial­ly if you enjoyed it 🙂 )

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