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Through to the beginning of the 18th century, the attitude of many wealthy Europeans towards travelling changed radically and permanently. Sportsmanlike fellows set forth on horseback. Technical progress with elaborate equipages and luxurious accessories heightened the pleasures of riding in a coach and made it possible to distinguish oneself stylishly from one's less privileged contemporaries. Indigent or cost-conscious travellers had to make any change of location the hard way by Shank's pony, plodding along dusty, muddy streets or paths – hiking had not yet been declared a pleasure for stressed city dwellers. Special clothes, silver chamber pots, portable escritoires or even camp beds and clean bedclothes accompanied the Europen aristocraty on its Grand Tour through Europe and beyond. Sprung barouches, allées, canals and boats, reliable stagecoach timetables and enjoyable company could add to a journey's conveniences but where not necessarily available everywhere. Greedy innkeepers who cheated their customers, highwaymen an pickpockets, poor fare and lousy accomodation where room, bed or straw had to be shared with unknown fellow travellers and a rich variety of bugs might sometimes sully the pleasures of a journey, but not quench the new enthusiasm for travelling which also gradually fascinated a bourgeoisie in its quest for erudition. [...]

 

aus: C. Schnurmann: "Rise and Shine, it's Time To Go!!"

englische Übersetzung von Susanne Kessler in: "Als die Royals aus Hannover kamen.

The Hanoverians on Britain's Throne 1714-1837", S. 202 ff.

 

 

  

"Then very often thereupon I rise, look to my purse, and if it is turned to fair weather, I take a coach and for 18 pence fly to London; this during my stay I have done some 14 times. On arriving I forget myself very easily, and in order to show you somewhat that it is scarcely possible differently, I shall give you a sketchy picture of an evening in London in [...]. For this I shall take Cheapside and Fleet Street [...]. Imagine a street about as broad as the Weender, but, if I take everything together, probably about 6 times as long. On both sides high houses with windows from plate glass. The lower floors consist of boutiques and seem to be entirely from glass; there, many thousands of lights illuminate silver shops, copperplate engraving shops, bookshops, clocks, glass, tin, paintings, womenfolk-finery and unfinery, gold, gemstones, steelwork, coffee rooms and lottery offices without end. The street seems illuminated as if to celebrate a Jubilee, the apothecaries and materialists display glasses in which Dietrich's Gentleman of the Chamber could bathe himself, with varicoloured spiritibus, and overlay whole square rods with purple-red, yellow, verdigris green and sky blue light. The confectioners bedazzle the eyes with their chandeliers and tickle the noses with their displays, their entire effort and expense for one to turn both towards their houses; there festoons of Spanish grapes are dangling, alternating with pineapples, around pyramids of apples and oranges, in betwixt slip watchful and, what wholly untethers the devil, often unwatched white-arm'd nymphs with silken little caps and silken train dresses. They are conducted by their gentlemen to the pastries and cakes, in order to make even the sated stomach lascivious and rob the poor purse of the penultimate Shilling, because to tempt the hungry and rich, the pastries with their atmosphere alone would be sufficient. To the unaquainted eye all this seems a marvel."

aus: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Sudelbücher (Bd. IV), S. 371,

englische Übersetzung von Susanne Kessler in: "Als die Royals aus Hannover kamen.

The Hanoverians on Britain's Throne 1714-1837", S. 221-2

 

 

 

[...] When the Hanoverian Senior Equerry Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg attended a performance of Georg Friedrich Handel's opera Agrippina on December 26th in Venice, Elector George I had already been second in the line of succession to the English throne for some time. Thus it was probably a nicely planned action when von Kielmansegg managed to engage Handel as Hofkapellmeister (director of the court orchestra) in Hanover – a Senior Equerry at the Hanoverian court was indeed permitted some liberties, but to engage a director for the orchestra was certainly not among them. Hence premeditation seems likely – all the more so because Handel, the 'caro sassone' who had Venice at his feet for his admirable Agrippina, just as Rome had been in the two preceding years on account of two Italian oratorios and his incomparable organ playing, was provided at the Hanoverian court with musical assignments not at all commensurate with such early fame. And strictly speaking there was no need for a Hofkapellmeister at all, as there were elready two: Jean-Baptiste Farinel from France and the Belgian Francesco Venturini, who regularly substituted for the apparently frequently absent Farinel.

Handel, only 24 years old at the time of his engagement, could already look back on a remarkable career when the call came from Hanover: organist at the Reformed Dome in Halle, violinist, harpsichord player and composer at Hamburg's Opera on the Gänsemarkt, musician and composer in residence for Cardinal Pamphili in Rome, the hub of the Catholic world, and now also successful in Venice, the world's capital of opera at that time. [...] In 1710, the year of his appointment, he travelled via his home town of Halle and Düsseldorf to London, where in 1711 he brought his opera Rinaldo to performance at the Queen's Theatre on the Haymarket, and from where he returned to Hanover only in the summer of that year, having vastly exceeded his alloted travel time. It seems that George I did not resent this, because Handel received his full negotiated annual salary. [...]

 

aus: A. Waczkat and B. Schaff: "Music and Literature within the Sphere of the Personal Union"

englische Übersetzung von Susanne Kessler in: Als die Royals aus Hannover kamen.

The Hanoverians on Britain's Throne 1714-1837, S. 212

 

 

 

 

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