Handel and his Contemporaries

Georg Frid­er­ic Han­del was one of the best-known com­posers of the Baroque era, and today we’ll be fea­tur­ing his music and those of some of his con­tem­po­raries.

We’ll be includ­ing the famous Water Music and Fire­works suites and the Mes­si­ah - along with the work of some care­ful­ly-cho­sen late Baroque con­tem­po­raries, such as Thomas Arne, John Blow, William Boyce, Anto­nio Vival­di, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Domeni­co Scar­lat­ti and Georg Philipp Tele­mann, and a touch of ear­li­er music of the Baroque from Pur­cell and Scar­lat­ti. J S Bach, born in the same year as Han­del, real­ly deserves his own pro­gramme — which he gets from time to time, so we trust his shade will not be par­tic­u­lar­ly upset by the fact that his work does not appear today.

Han­del was born in Ger­many and received a musi­cal train­ing in Italy before he moved to Lon­don and became a British sub­ject. He was influ­enced by the Ital­ian Baroque and Ger­man com­posers, but his own work was to impact many who came after him includ­ing Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. He died in 1759. His music has remained pop­u­lar until the present day, and par­tic­u­lar­ly so dur­ing the Vic­to­ri­an era, when reg­u­lar Han­del fes­ti­vals took place at the Crys­tal Palace in Syden­ham, South Lon­don.

You can read more about Han­del and his life in this Wikipedia arti­cle.

ZBS Radio Hour

Then join us at 11am or 7pm Pacif­ic Time (19:00 or 03:00 in the UK) for Week Two of our clas­sic and incred­i­bly atmos­pher­ic dra­ma Moon Over Moroc­co from ZBS Foun­da­tion in a spe­cial hour-long episode with music and sounds actu­al­ly record­ed in the Moroc­co of the 1970s.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme now at http://main.radioriel.org, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link: http://loudcity.com/stations/radio-riel/tune_in

Spe­cial High-Qual­i­ty Test Trans­mis­sion

We usu­al­ly broad­cast in the mp3 for­mat at 128 kilo­bits per sec­ond on our streams, as that is a good com­pro­mise between qual­i­ty, band­width and uni­ver­sal­i­ty — almost any­one can hear an mp3 stream and 128 kb/s does­n’t load your sys­tem much, so it won’t affect your activ­i­ties in-world, yet it sounds pret­ty good.

How­ev­er, mp3 is quite an elder­ly for­mat and it does com­pro­mise the qual­i­ty as the band­width drops. A much more recent, and more effi­cient sys­tem is AAC — that’s the one that iTunes uses, for exam­ple. It deliv­ers a supe­ri­or lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence with much less band­width, and this will be par­tic­u­lar­ly notice­able on high-qual­i­ty clas­si­cal and orches­tral record­ings among oth­er things, where you may notice improved fre­quen­cy response par­tic­u­lar­ly at the high end; a broad­er stereo and per­haps an added clar­i­ty and clean­ness.

We’re cur­rent­ly run­ning an exper­i­men­tal HE-AAC stream (only on Wednes­days and Sat­ur­days at present) and we would love your feed­back on the qual­i­ty. You can find it at http://minor.slserver.com:9012/live . It is a test trans­mis­sion and so you may find it go off the air from time to time; its bit-rate may change too — it will prob­a­bly be around 64 or 72 kb/s — and there isn’t any track infor­ma­tion at the moment: for details on the piece being played, check the web site Now Play­ing list.

You can play the AAC stream on most play­ers, like Winamp, VLC, iTunes and oth­ers, but note that you can’t play an AAC stream on a par­cel in-world. Tune in and tell us what you think — either here on on our Face­book Page.

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