Retreat from the bustle of traffic and shoppers on London’s fashionable Bond Street, and step into the world of the great Baroque composer George Frideric Handel with a visit to the delightful and evocative museum in his house in Mayfair. Handel made London his home in 1712, and was the first resident of the newly-built 25 Brook Street W1 in 1723 until his death there in 1759. It is here that he wrote some of his most famous works, including ‘Messiah’ and the coronation anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’. Read my review here
Hang on… it wasn’t here. It was Frances Wilson’s blog! I walked into a room at Wordsworth’s House in Cockermouth where there was a harpsichord. You were allowed to play it so I had a go. I played some Handel. Then I read a note on the instrument that said it was a replica of an instrument that had belonged to Handel. It was quite eerie – I felt like a time-traveller. Playing old or replica instruments is not something I’m able to do very often.
Hello – yes I do remember you telling me. (I am Frances, author of this blog and Frances Wilson’s Piano Studio!). Have you ever been to Hatchalnds, near Guildford (Surrey)? It has a wonderful collection of early keyboard instruments, including a piano which, alledgedly, Chopin played when he was in England in 1848, and a piano autographed by Elgar. Plus sundry spinets, harpsichords, clavichords etc….
I’m taking a party of my students and those of a colleague to Handel House in the winter where the kids will have the chance to play the replica Ruckers. Should be a lot of fun. Sadly, I was not able to play the harpsichord when I visited yesterday, though I was itching to….
Certainly somewhere I’d like to go next time I’m in London – which, sadly, probably won’t be in time for the Grayson Perry exhibition at Victoria Miro (I thought the TV programmes -and what I could see of the tapestries on TV- were wonderful).
I think I mentioned my close encounter with a replica of Handel’s harpsichord in previous comments.