Georgian Splendour — Music for Elegant Living


While the Inde­pen­dent State of Cale­don is a Victorian/Steampunk region, it has a deep inter­est in the past as well as the future, and no more is this true than the musi­cal tastes of its inhab­i­tants, which range far and wide from Ear­ly Music onwards, as we have been hear­ing these past two weeks on Radio Riel as we cel­e­brate Sec­ond Life’s fifth birth­day and Cale­don’s own exhib­it that is a part of it.

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, of course, and both his Water Music Suites.

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 – includ­ing a cou­ple of ‘cheats’: we might call them “old pieces in a mod­ern style”. Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin.

Music of the Baroque era is an ide­al accom­pa­ni­ment to the steampunk/Victorian world of the Inde­pen­dent State of Cale­don. Tune in as you explore the Cale­don SL5B exhib­it at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Second%20Life%20Birthday, sim­ply by press­ing Play on your embed­ded music play­er. The pro­gramme can also be heard by tun­ing in direct­ly to our Main Stream, http://music.radioriel.org/.

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