Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 2

With Napoleon's own musicianship and tastes in question, is there any place for him as an impresario? Composers' views were divided, as Donald Macleod finds.

With Napoleon's own musicianship and taste severely in question, could there be any rightful place for him as an impresario? Donald Macleod hunts out the composers who benefited from Napoleon's cultural largesse, including the Italian whose success in a competition to commemorate the life of a Republican military hero was to lead to great things. Plus, there's another glimpse into the world of Revolutionary singing, as Laura Mason explores the legends surrounding the creation of the piece destined to become France's national anthem.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Claude Balbastre

    Marche des Marseillais et 'Ca ira'

    Performer: André Isoir (organ)

    • Caliope: CAL9917.
    • 1.
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    Marche Funebre a l'occasion de la mort du General Hoche

    Performer: Toulouse Capitole Choir, Performer: Touse Capitole Orchestra, Performer: Michel Plasson (conductor)

    • EMI: CDC74470.
    • 15.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Alceste end of Act 2

    Performer: Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Performer: Monteverdi Choir, Performer: English Baroque Soloists, Performer: John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

    • Philips: 470293-2.
    • 5.
  • Étienne Méhul

    Overture La Chasse du Jeune Henri

    Performer: Orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation, Performer: Michel Swierczewski (conductor)

    • Nimbus: NI5184.
    • 1.
  • Jean-François Le Sueur

    Oratorios for the Coronations of the Sovereign Princess of Christendom - Opening March

    Performer: Das Neue Orchester, Performer: Christopher Spering (conductor)

    • Opus111: Ops3089.
    • 1.
  • Giovanni Mirabassi

    Ah! 'Ca ira'

    Performer: Giovanni Mirabassi (piano)

    • Sketch: SKE333015.
    • 3.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.