Music of the Gilded Age

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 8 March, 2014

Gilded Age, La Belle Époque… both terms, one from the United States, the other from Europe, 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.

The term “Gilded Age” (allegedly coined by Mark Twain) is actually slightly pejorative. Gilding is a light covering of gold and it’s also ostentatious – but a “gilded age” is not a “golden age”. And the term La Belle Époque was coined after the period – looking back at the peaceful, prosperous past from the dark days of the Great War.

Today we’ll hear music of the Gilded Age 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,

In addition, in honour of International Women’s Day, we’re including a collection of pieces celebrating 150 years of women composers; and we will also feature music by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), whose birthday was yesterday.

ZBS Radio Hour

Then join us at 11am or 7pm Pacific Time, 19:00 or 03:00 GMT, for the latest installments of our classic radio dramas from ZBS Foundation. At the top of the hour we continue our Jack Flanders adventure The Incredible Adventures of Jack Flanders; followed by the continuation of our latest Ruby adventure, Ruby 3: The Underworld.

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