Music for the Royal Fireworks

Today it’s Novem­ber 5th, and in the UK that means Bon­fire Night, when we cel­e­brate (I sup­pose that’s what we do) the failed Gun­pow­der Plot of 1605.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords dur­ing the State Open­ing of Eng­land’s Par­lia­ment on 5 Novem­ber 1605, as the pre­lude to a pop­u­lar revolt in the Mid­lands dur­ing which King James’s nine-year-old daugh­ter, Princess Eliz­a­beth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. These days, we might also recall the movie (and orig­i­nal graph­ic nov­el) V for Vendet­ta, from which the ‘anony­mous’ Guy Fawkes masks often seen on today’s streets orig­i­nate, and which depict­ed a mod­ern-day per­son­al revolt against oppres­sion.

Today, there­fore, we’re going to be play­ing some Music for Fire­works – but in the form of Han­del’s music for the occa­sion depict­ed above. The image is of a hand-coloured wood­cut, A Per­spec­tive View of the Mag­nif­i­cent Struc­ture Erect­ed in the Green Park for the Roy­al Fire Works exhib­it­ed the 27 of April 1749, on account of the Gen­er­al Peace. In addi­tion we’ll be play­ing a wide selec­tion of music from oth­er com­posers of the peri­od.

The ZBS Radio Hour

Then join us at 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic Time, that’s 18:00 and 02:00 GMT this week, for two more award-win­ning dra­ma install­ments from our friends at ZBS Foun­da­tion, in the ZBS Radio Hour. At the top of the hour, we con­tin­ue the adven­tures of Jack Flan­ders in Trav­el­ing Jack; then at the bot­tom of the hour it’s anoth­er series of short sto­ries from the lit­tle town of Sarato­ga Springs.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, 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:

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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