Music from the Time of Austen & Gainsborough

Illustration from Pride & Prejudice

Today’s pro­gramme takes us back to the the 18th and the begin­ning of the 19th cen­turies, with music from the time of nov­el­ist Jane Austen (1775–1817) and the painter (Thomas) Gains­bor­ough (1728–1788) — in oth­er words, music that takes us from the late Baroque to the ear­ly Clas­si­cal peri­od.

How­ev­er we have tried to keep away from the obvi­ous choic­es from this peri­od: there’s lit­tle J S Bach in the pro­gramme today for exam­ple, although there are some pieces from Johann Chris­t­ian Bach, his youngest son; and we’ve omit­ted the more obvi­ous works of Han­del. There are works by Pur­cell, includ­ing the orig­i­nal piece that formed the inspi­ra­tion for Brit­ten’s Young Per­son­’s Guide to the Orches­tra, the Ron­deau from Abde­lazar; songs and con­cer­ti by Boyce and Arne; and some com­posers you may not have heard of, such as the younger and elder Lin­leys, Dib­din, and the Earl of Abing­don, the works of whom were includ­ed in Jane Austen’s per­son­al music col­lec­tion, and in some cas­es were friends, acquain­tances and sub­jects of Gains­bor­ough’s paint­ings.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States or Cana­da, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. 

To lis­ten from out­side North Amer­i­ca, click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App.

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