Posts tagged Music and Musicians (36)
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Charles Avison
Music and Musicians
Charles Avison
The most important English-born composer of Handel’s day, known for his tuneful music and very busy diary.
Music by Charles Avison
(1709-1770)

WHILE in the employment of Ralph Jenison, MP for Northumberland, Charles Avison found time to develop an interest in music, encouraged at home by his father Richard; and on March 20, 1734, he was rewarded with a concert in Hickford’s Room, London, and time to study in the capital with Francesco Geminiani.

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No. 1
Franz Schubert
Music and Musicians
Chopsticks
Ethel Smyth puts on a show for a self-declared music enthusiast.
By Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)

WHILE travelling with my mother I had been told about a charming newcomer in our neighbourhood whom she had as yet seen little of, but who was said to be very musical and looking forward to meeting the Leipzig daughter.

Knowing what ‘very musical’ amounts to in England expectation did not run high, but on the day she had been asked to lunch I sat down at the piano, just for fun, as her dogcart drew up at the door.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Thomas Arne
Music and Musicians
King George I (1714-1727) to King George II (1727-1760)
Caught in the Act
Young Thomas Arne goes to extreme lengths to conceal his musical talent from his family.
By Charles Burney
(1726-1814)

HIS love for Music operated upon him too powerfully, even while he was at Eton, for his own peace or that of his companions; for with a miserable cracked common-flute, he used to torment them night and day. When he left Eton he used to avail himself of the privilege of a servant, by borrowing a livery and going into the upper gallery of the opera, which was then appropriated to domestics.

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No. 3
George Frideric Handel
Extracts from Literature
At a Solemn Musick
John Milton shows his appreciation for noble words and music in uplifting harmony.
By John Milton
(1632-1704)

BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav’ns joy,
Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ
Dead things with inbreath’d sense able to pierce,
And to our high-rais’d phantasie present,
That undisturbed Song of pure concent,
Ay sung before the saphire-colour’d throne
To him that sits theron.

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No. 4
Johann Baptist Cramer
Music and Musicians
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Glorious John
JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.

BY 1784, thirteen-year-old Johann Baptist Cramer was such a naturally gifted pianist that Muzio Clementi, his distinguished teacher, performed a duet with him in public. Four years later, Johann toured Europe, and again in 1799, attracting the notice of both Haydn and Beethoven, who declared him the finest pianist of the day.

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No. 5
Ethel Smyth
Music and Musicians
The Free-Wheeler
Composer Ethel Smyth buys a new-fangled ladies’ bicycle, and scandalises the neighbours.
By Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)

IN the Illustrated London News were to be seen pictures of wild women of the usual unprepossessing pioneer type riding about Epping Forest, and I at once decided to buy a bicycle.

Aunts, cousins, and friends were horrified ... never has the word indelicate been bandied about with more righteous conviction. But my mother said this was perfect nonsense.

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No. 6
Ludwig van Beethoven
Napoleonic Wars
Ode to (English) Joy
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was commissioned by a fiercely independent Britain, and Beethoven was excited to oblige.

ON June 9th, 1817, a letter arrived at Ludwig van Beethoven’s residence in Baden informing him that friends at the Philharmonic Society in London, anxious for his well-being and finances, could offer him 300 guineas for two new symphonies by January 1818, to be conducted by Beethoven himself in the capital.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel and Thomas Arne
Music and Musicians
Anne Ford Thicknesse
A young English girl in Dr Johnson’s London struggles to share her gift for music.

ANNE Ford was a pretty, gifted musician who sang and played both the English guitar and the viola da gamba (not then considered a very ladylike instrument) to the delight of London’s fashionable society, including Thomas Arne.

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No. 8
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
Beethoven’s First
Everyone wanted to know who Beethoven’s favourite composer was.

A QUESTION many people asked Beethoven was ‘Who is your favourite composer?’

Englishman Edward Schulz recalled hearing Beethoven say over dinner, ‘Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived’, and Johann Stumpff, a London-based instrument-maker who visited Beethoven in 1824, received the same reply. ‘To him I bow the knee,’ Beethoven added, and promptly did.

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No. 9
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
King William IV (1830-1837) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
‘My English Joy’
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)

WELL, I’m off on Monday. Beginning to pay my visits p.p.c.. Count Reuss is gone away to Kreutz. Called yesterday on Madame von Goethe, dined with Benecke, and played at Cricket with some Englishmen, which made the Germans stare very much, as they never saw the game before — we had English bats and balls.

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No. 10
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Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.

About our calendars

Today in History
1771 Lord Mansfield sets Thomas Lewis at liberty
From our Archive
By William Wordsworth
(1770-1850)
God’s covenant of love is a fresh joy every time it appears.
By William Pitt the Elder
(1708-1778)
William Pitt the Elder berates Parliament for treating the public like know-nothings.
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.
By William Windham MP
(1750-1810)
William Windham MP was appalled at the idea of levying a tax on man’s best friend.

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Polyword ‘Vine’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘wallow in resentment’ (4 letters), and ‘English composer’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.