Entente Cordiale

It’s Sat­ur­day 24 July, and today we are pleased to present a selec­tion of clas­si­cal music from Britain and France.

In fact the empha­sis is some­what more on the French, but we’ll be hear­ing from a num­ber of British com­posers such as Elgar, Vaugh­an Williams and of course Fred­er­ic Delius, who, while born in Eng­land, spent the lat­ter part of his life across the Channel.

From the French side we will be fea­tur­ing Poulenc, Fau­ré, Chopin (who was Pol­ish born but became a French cit­i­zen) Debussy, Rav­el and Berlioz, with per­for­mances both tra­di­tion­al and not so.

We also have a selec­tion of “cross-chan­nel” pieces in a some­what lighter vein.

Today you can also hear the lat­est edi­tion of “Where’ve You Been?” — details here — where we vis­it The Bor­der­less Project’s amaz­ing art instal­la­tion, at 12 noon or 4pm Pacif­ic / 8pm or mid­night in the UK — and don’t miss “Engines of Our Inge­nu­ity” — pre­sent­ed by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hous­ton: the series about the machines that make our civ­i­liza­tion run and the peo­ple whose inge­nu­ity cre­at­ed them. The pro­gramme is broad­cast every 4 hours from 4am Pacific.

Today, we think of the Entente Cor­diale (“Cor­dial Under­stand­ing”) as sim­ply some kind of vague “spe­cial rela­tion­ship” between Britain and France, but the term orig­i­nal­ly com­mem­o­rat­ed the recog­ni­tion of com­mon inter­ests between Britain and France in the mid-1840s and, in par­tic­u­lar, King Louis-Philippe’s efforts to build polit­i­cal bridges between France and oth­er Euro­pean pow­ers who had large­ly ostracised the French.

A meet­ing between the French and Eng­lish sov­er­eigns was organ­ised at the Château d’Eu in Sep­tem­ber 1843, with Louis-Philippe vis­it­ing Queen Vic­to­ria a year lat­er in Wind­sor Cas­tle. A third and last meet­ing was held in Eu in 1845. The pic­ture to the right is one of a series by Provost-Dumar­chais com­mem­o­rat­ing the event.

How­ev­er the usu­al mean­ing of the term refers to the sec­ond Entente — a series of Anglo-French agree­ments signed on 8 April 1904 and result­ing in the end of recur­ring con­flict between the two and the begin­ning of the peri­od of peace­ful co-exis­­tence that has last­ed to the present day.