We’re off to France for the seventh installment of Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey. In Revolution-era France, music supported the modern notion of government by, for, and of the people. Composer Hector Berlioz provided a stirring soundtrack for the Les Miz-type struggles of the people of 19th-century France — to whom all free people owe a mighty debt of gratitude.
This clip comes from our new one-hour public television special, a “greatest hits” panoply of Romantic and nationalistic music from seven different European nations. My role in the concert: tour guide — I had to provide a background of historical and cultural context to each composition. This is what I did for 25 years while leading our bus tours, and it shows the spirit of teaching that all our guides embrace as we prepare our tour members to find both meaning and joy in new cultural experiences.
If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.