Thomas Jefferson

March 8, 2011

Thomas Jefferson –   Thomas Jefferson was a lifelong musical enthusiast. He was a keen violinist, and notated his copy of  Francesco Geminiani’s The Art of playing on the violin (1751) with quotations from Jean-Jacques Rousseau  His large collection of music including the works of the greatest composers of his day, CPE Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn., […]

Joseph Haydn

March 8, 2011

Josef Haydn Haydn’s Quartet Op 64 No 5 (6) is the most popular of all of his chamber works, and filled with the vigour and colour which so endeared him to players and audiences in the UK. It is, for all of its popularity, a revolutionary piece, inverting and subverting as many preconceptions about the […]

William Hamilton

March 8, 2011

William Hamilton (NPG D35272‘A cognoscenti contemplating ye beauties of ye antique’ by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey hand-coloured etching, published 11 February 1801            Charles Burney’s visit (October 1770) to William Hamilton in Naples is one  which I would have loved to tagged along on:  ‘After dinner, we had music and chat till supper. As […]

Charles Burney

March 8, 2011

Charles Burney LISTEN [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Charles Burney was a great traveller in music. His research trips across Europe investigating ‘the current state’ of music not only provide insight into the immediate present of composition and performance, but thanks to his insatiable curiosity, glimpses into salons of all types, of conversations around musical […]

Horatio Nelson

March 8, 2011

Horatio Nelson –  Sometimes the links between our sitters are utterly banal. But it is in the most everyday action or circumstance, that the essence of connection lies. Of course, with Forster, it was ‘Miss Schlegel’s’ accidental theft of ‘Leonard Bast’s’ umbrella at the Beethoven concert that precipitated the confronation between two different, but overlayered […]

Edwin Landseer

March 8, 2011

Edwin Landseer LISTEN:[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Landseer’s sketches of performers face, in more ways than one, in two directions. Some were executed from life, from the wings of theatres, or in drawing rooms and music rooms. However, some were produced as, themselves, salon performances-almost like a very high level game of charades, […]

Leigh Hunt

March 8, 2011

Leigh Hunt Paganini-6th Caprice, preceded by Leigh Hunt’s ‘Paganini’ live at the NPG[Audio clip: view full post to listen] LISTEN:[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Leigh Hunt was the great nephew of the great painter of historic tableau, Benjamin West: ‘the mild and quiet artist at his work; happy, for he thought himself immortal.’’ […]

Luigi Marchesi & ‘Cervetto’

March 8, 2011

Cervetto/ Marchesi –   Luigi Marchesi’s career stretched across the revolutionary generation. He was lionised by the Burneys, by Stendahl, by Napoleon, and gave singing lessons to Niccolo Paganini. Paganini-‘Adieu a Londres’ Peter Sheppard Skaerved Violin[Audio clip: view full post to listen]  Upon hearing him for the first time, Maria Cosway wrote to Thomas. Jefferson:  ‘The […]

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

March 8, 2011

Madame Vestris –  Madame Eliza Vestris (1797-1856) was the daughter of  the artist Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi.  In 1813 she married Augustus Arnold Vestris, the dancer, and ballet master of the Kings Theatre. A contralto, she made her debut on the 20th July 1815 at the King’s Theatre, in Peter Winter’s opera, Proserpine. She made her […]

Charles Mathews

March 8, 2011

Charles Mathews –  On the 8th April 1834, the comic Charles Mathews gave his last ‘at home’ at the Adelphi Theatre, scripted by Richard Peake. On the 7th, 9th and 11th April, Paganini gave some of his final appearances in the UK, on the same stage, four years after his first appearance. [i][1] The recent […]