London: Meeting point of 18th century composers
Thursday May 21st 2015 8:15 PM
Location: Paleiskerk, Paleisstraat 8, Den Haag
Works by Händel, Pepusch, J.C. Bach a.o.
Tickets can be purchased at the Musica Antica da Camera website
Pre-concert talk at 19:30h by Wout Strootman.
The burgeoning of London’s concert life around 1700, a development unparalleled elsewhere in Europe, resulted from a confluence of many different factors. With the end of the Commonwealth in 1660, music could be more openly promulgated as a legitimate leisure activity, whether an amusement of the idle rich or a learned pursuit of the connoisseur. Growing wealth and the expansion of mercantile interests contributed to the rise of an urban élite that was itself constantly changing and enlarging. There was, therefore, ready patronage for music in a leisured class of aristocratic and bourgeois enthusiasts, who yet lacked the means or inclination to maintain their own musical establishments. London’s musical life was untrammelled by restrictions, dominated neither by opera nor by the court;
Musicians nurtured in the new urban milieu developed an alert sense of commercial potential, their emerging professionalism reflected in increasingly virtuoso technique and public projection of their art. Foreign instrumentalists captured the imagination of London connoisseurs with their dazzling virtuosity and flights of fancy, transporting listeners with expressive powers to match the latest Italian singers. There was also a growing sense of the autonomy of instrumental music, especially orchestral music, around which programmes could be structured.
By 1720, therefore, London had developed a lively concert life.