Music of La Belle Époque

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 25 January, 2012

La Belle Époque… The Gilded Age… both terms, one from France, the other from the USA, refer to essentially the same period, corresponding to the late Victorian and the Edwardian periods in the UK. The period is bounded by the First World War at the end, and somewhere around the mid-1870s for the start.

Today we’ll hear music of La Belle Époque from both sides of the Atlantic, including ballads (I have included some of Stephen Foster’s wonderful songs, which were well known during the period – and indeed still are today), dance music and some light classical pieces including items from Gottschalk in the US and Satie in France; and you’ll hear the first-ever film score, composed by Saint-Saëns. I’ve also included some mechanical instrumentation of the period.

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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