Music in 18th Century Salisbury Rediscovered
We are performing an interesting concert on 28 June based upon research taken from old Salisbury Journal reviews of 18th Century “Subscription Concerts” organised by James Harris in Salisbury.
A concert programme found in a rare letter in the Hampshire Record Office dating from 1740 has provided the starting point for a unique opportunity to discover what it would have been like to attend one of the subscription concerts held fortnightly in Salisbury during the 18th century.
In the Medieval Hall, Salisbury on Sunday June 28th at 6.00 pm, Salisbury Baroque will perform some of the works from this programme featuring soprano Nicky Ogborn in songs by Handel together with concertos by Geminiani.
Researcher and Salisbury Baroque member, Nigel Wyatt, says “The fortnightly subscription concerts were at the heart of a wide range of music-making in Salisbury. Performances of the music from the original concert programme will be complemented by vivid descriptions of these occasions from first hand accounts in journals and letters which provide fascinating insights into the musical life of Salisbury at this time.”
In the letter of February 1740, Mr John Kent of Winterslow informs James Harris, of Malmesbury House in the Close, about recent events in Salisbury and then goes on to list the pieces chosen for the next subscription concert. These concerts were held in the Assembly Rooms on the site now occupied by Waterstones Bookshop.
Founded by David Morgan, Salisbury Baroque was set up in 2010 to enable local players (and some colleagues from further afield) to share their passion for the music of Bach and Handel and their contemporaries with audiences in historic settings. Using copies of instruments of the period and authentic playing style, the group brings to its audience a sense of intimacy and style difficult to achieve with larger forces and modern, heavier instruments. The ensemble has built an enviable reputation in the Salisbury area for lively, engaging performances, and attracts a loyal and enthusiastic local audience.
Chair and Hon. Treasurer – Salisbury Baroque