From the Library: Georgian Splendour

Today we explore anoth­er era in musi­cal his­to­ry: that of the Baroque, bring­ing to mind fine Geor­gian archi­tec­ture, state­ly homes and ele­gance. We begin, as far as a time­line is con­cerned, with Anto­nio Vival­di, and fea­ture his most famous work The Four Sea­sons (how could we not) along with less well-known com­po­si­tions. You will also hear con­tri­bu­tions from some of Eng­land’s lead­ing com­posers of the Geor­gian era, such as Georg Frid­er­ick Hän­del (Ger­man by birth, but Eng­lish by res­i­dence for much of his life) – whose music was pop­u­lar from its first per­for­mances until the present day. Indeed, Beethoven said of Han­del, “He is the great­est com­pos­er that ever lived. I would uncov­er my head and kneel before his tomb.” Han­del’s music was pop­u­lar through­out the Vic­to­ri­an era and reg­u­lar “Han­del Fes­ti­vals” were held at the Crys­tal Palace in Syden­ham. We will hear his Musick for the Roy­al Fire­works, and both his Water Music Suites, and some excerpts from The Mes­si­ah which is of course par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar at this time of year.

We will also hear from Thomas Arne, best known for Rule Bri­tan­nia but also for many oth­er works in his time. We will play some of his Over­tures and harp­si­chord works and an enig­mat­ic piece that we know as Finale to ‘A Dance Suite’, which shares a theme with one of his harp­si­chord works. Also includ­ed in the pro­gramme is a selec­tion of the works of Pur­cell, JS Bach and a great deal more.

From the Library is pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme now at — or click here to link straight to your play­er if your brows­er is set up to do so. Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin.

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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