Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birthday Ode

Ah, finally.

Well after a frustrating wait for Blogger to actually let me post today it is time to celebrate the birth of George Frideric Handel born this day in 1685. George's father wanted him to be a lawyer so despite what I tell Banished Jr. it isn't always best to listen to your dad.

In London, historic houses have 'Blue plaques' that record their famous residents. In Brook Street there are 2 blue plaques right next door to one another. Handel lived at No.25 from 1723 until his death in 1759. At No.23 one  Mr. Jimi Hendrix resided from 1968 to 1969.  Important information? No. Fun? You bet!

To celebrate his birthday here is music he composed for the birthday of another, 
Queen Anne's Birthday Ode. 
Here the largo Eternal Source of Light Divine is sung by Alfred Deller and the Oriana Concert Choir. The wonderful trumpet is by Richard Rudolph.
I can never post too much Alfred Dellar.

The Birthday Ode for Queen Anne did double duty. It also celebrated the recent Treaty of Utrecht (1712). The treaty ended the  War of the Spanish Succession, brought a degree of peace to Europe ( it didnt last it never does) and served to deprive Captain Toby Shandy of his hobby-horse.

My Poor Uncle Toby.

You don't know Uncle Toby? The sweetest natured man in all of English literature? Then see my links across for The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

It seems this post covers three of my hobby horses in one bumper package, Handel, counter-tenors & Laurence Sterne. And the marvellous thing is, I only learned of the Odes 'Two for the price of one' origin in researching this post. So if noone else learned anything useful today then at least I did.

The smoking batteries. Uncle Toby and Trim make ingenious use of two hookahs in their hobby-horsical pursuit of realism. Illustration by George Cruickshank.

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