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Baroque Era

Britain, Netherlands, Spain, Austria agree two treaties of Vienna • A Spanish coastguard pillages a British ship and lops an ear from its captain, Robert Jenkins—an incident which later leads to war • Voltaire (Fr): Histoire de Charles XII (of Sweden) • L’Abbe Prevost (Fr): Manon Lescaut • George Lillo (Eng): prose tragedy George Barnwell

Persia and Russia agree Treaty of Resht: Russia abandons claims to Astrabad, Gilan and Mazandaran • British parliament bans imports of hats from colonies, to discourage colonists from competing with home manufacturers • Western Japan suffers a severe famine • Explorer Sieur de La Verendrye (Fr) establishes Fort St Charles on the Lake of the Woods (now between Canada and USA) • Voltaire (Fr): Zaire
James Oglethorpe founds Georgia colony in N. America • John Kay (Eng) patents the flying shuttle, a landmark in textile mass-production • Charles Fay (Fr) discovers that charges of static electricity may be resinous (positive) or vitreous (negative) • Alexander Pope (Eng): poem
Essay on Man 
In the War of the Polish Succession, Spanish troops defeat Austrians at Bitonto (It) and take Naples and Sicily; Russians take Danzig; Polish ex-king Stanistaw Leszczyriski flees to Prussia, and Augustus of Saxony becomes king as Augustus ill
 • Voltaire (Fr) comes under political attack for his Lettres sur les Anglais, in which he advocates English-style representative rule • Philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (Swe) publishes his mystical Prodromus Philosophise • Charles-Joseph Natoire – Venus Demanding Arms from Vulcan for Aeneas
Statesman Sir Robert Walpole continues as Prime Minister of Britain in second parliament of George II • War of the Polish Succession ends: Augustus III confirmed as King of Poland; Austria recognises Carlos of Spain as Carlo IV of Naples and Sicily; Russia is now largely master of Polish affairs •
Alexander Pope (Eng): Moral Essays and Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot

Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles (1 April 1697 – 25 November 1763), usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist.



Around this time Johann Sebastian Bach completes his Double Concerto in D minor for two violins. It will become the most famous work of its kind, hailed as one of the pinnacle instrumental works of the Baroque period. This year also sees the publication of his Clavier-Ubung I, a collection of six previously published keyboard partitas.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043

Johann Sebastian Bach - Sechs Partiten [(Clavier Übung I BWV 825-BWV 830) (Cd No.1)]
(00:00:00 - 00:19:51) Partita 1 B-Dur (BWV 825)
No.1 - Praeludium (00:00:00 - 00:02:08)
No.2 - Allemande (00:02:09 - 00:06:15)
No.3 - Corrente (00:06:16 - 00:09:15)
No.4 - Sarabande (00:09:16 - 00:14:43)
No.5 - Menuet I + II (00:14:44 - 00:17:23)
No.6 - Gigue (00:17:24 - 00:19:51)

(00:19:51 - 00:40:54) Partita 2 c-Moll (BWV 826)
No.7 - Sinfonia (00:19:51 - 00:24:39)
No.8 - Allemande (00:24:40 - 00:29:46)
No.9 - Courante (00:29:47 - 00:31:56)
No.10 - Sarabande (00:31:57 - 00:35:33)
No.11 - Rondeaux (00:35:34 - 00:37:05)
No.12 - Capriccio (00:37:06 - 00:40:54)

(00:40:55 - 01:12:30) Partita 6 e-Moll (BWV 830)
No.13 - Toccata (00:40:55 - 00:48:14)
No.14 - Allemande (00:48:15 - 00:51:58)
No.15 - Corrente (00:51:59 - 00:56:26)
No.16 - Air (00:56:27 - 00:58:06)
No.17 - Sarabande (00:58:07 - 01:03:55)
No.18 - Tempo di Gavotta (01:03:56 - 01:06:03)
No.19 - Gigue (01:06:04 - 01:12:30)

Johann Sebastian Bach - Sechs Partiten [(Clavier Übung I BWV 825-BWV 830) (Cd No.2)]
(00:00:00 - 00:20:05) Partita 3 a-Moll (BWV 827)
No.1 - Fantasia (00:00:00 - 00:02:13)
No.2 - Allemande (00:02:14 - 00:05:38)
No.3 - Corrente (00:05:39 - 00:08:31)
No.4 - Sarabande (00:08:32 - 00:13:00)
No.5 - Burlesca (00:13:01: - 00:15:05)
No.6 - Scherzo (00:15:06 - 00:16:20)
No.7 - Gigue (00:16:21 - 00:20:05)

(00:20:06 - 00:54:10) Partita 4 D-Dur (BWV 828)
No.8 - Ouverture (00:20:06 - 00:26:41)
No.9 - Allemande (00:26:42 - 00:36:55)
No.10 - Courante (00:36:56 - 00:40:23)
No.11 - Aria (00:40:24 - 00:42:42)
No.12 - Sarabande (00:42:43 - 00:48:38)
No.13 - Menuet (00:48:39 - 00:50:04)
No.14 - Gigue (00:50:05 - 00:54:10)

(00:54:11 - 01:17:33) Partita 5 G-Dur (BWV 829)
No.15 - Praeambulum (00:54:11 - 00:57:00)
No.16 - Allemande (00:57:01 - 01:02:26)
No.17 - Corrente (01:02:27 - 01:04:24)
No.18 - Sarabande (01:04:25 - 01:09:49)
No.19 - Tempo di Minuetta (01:09:50 - 01:11:40)
No.20 - Passepied (01:11:41 - 01:13:15)
No.21 - Gigue (01:13:16 - 01:17:33)

Giovanni Bononcini comes to blows with The Academy of Ancient Music (formerly The Academy of Vocal Music) having tried to pass off a madrigal by Antonio Lotti as his own. Although unacknowledged plagiarism is rife at this time (especially in opera), the Academy views the blatant deception with disgust. Bononcini leaves England for a while to avoid facing the negative publicity.

Good Friday
Johann Sebastian Bach directs his St Mark Passion, a parody work comprising pre-existing compositions, including chorales, the Funeral Ode cantata, and funeral music from Cothen.

J. S. Bach - Passion selon Saint Marc BWV 247

First part
00:00 1. Chœur - Geh, Jesu, geh zu deiner Pein!
05:17 2a. Récitatif (Ténor)
05:41 2b. Chœur - Ja nicht auf das Fest
06:25 2c. Récitatif (Ténor)
07:08 2d. Chœur - Was soll doch dieser Unrat?
08:02 2e. Récitatif (Ténor)
08:10 3. Choral - Sie stellen uns wie Ketzern nach
09:02 4. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
11:25 5. Choral - Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht
12:09 6a. Récitatif (Ténor)
12:27 6b. Chœur - Wo willt du, daß wir hingehen und bereiten
14:13 6c. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
16:38 7. Choral - Ich, ich und meine Sünden
17:27 8. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
19:54 9. Aria (Basse) - Mein Heiland, dich vergeß ich nicht!
27:29 10. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
28:26 11. Choral - Wach auf, o Mensch, vom Sündenschlaf
29:19 12. Récitatif (Ténor 1, Ténor 2, Basse)
31:38 13. Choral - Betrübtes Herz, sei wohlgemut
32:33 14. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
33:24 15. Choral - Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt
34:12 16. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
36:03 17. Aria (Soprano, Alto) - Er kommt, er kommt
39:40 18. Récitatif (Ténor)
40:46 19. Aria (Ténor) - Falsche Welt, dein schmeichelnd Küssen
43:17 20. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
44:26 21. Choral - Jesu, ohne Missetat
45:28 22. Récitatif (Ténor)
46:11 23. Choral - Ich will hier bei dir stehen

Second part
51:58 24. Aria (Ténor) - Mein Tröster ist nicht mehr bei mir
01:00:18 25a. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:01:30 25b. Chœur (Soprano, Basse) - Wir haben gehört
01:01:57 25c. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:02:08 26. Choral - Was Menschen Kraft und Witz anfäßt
01:02:54 27. Récitatif (Ténor1, Ténor 2)
01:03:25 28. Choral - Befiehl du deine Wege
01:04:35 29a. Récitatif (Ténor1, Ténor 2, Basse)
01:05:48 29b. Chœur - Weissage uns!
01:06:01 29c. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:06:06 30. Choral - Du edles Angesichte
01:07:16 31a. Récitatif (Ténor, Soprano)
01:08:34 31b. Chœur - Wahrlich, du bist der einer
01:08:56 31c. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:10:07 32. Aria (Ténor) - Zerschmettert mich
01:15:08 33. Choral - Herr, ich habe mißgehandelt
01:15:57 34a. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse 1, Basse 2)
01:18:37 34b. Chœur - Kreuzige ihn!
01:18:40 34c. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
01:18:54 34d. Chœur - Kreuzige ihn!
01:19:45 35. Aria (Alto) - Angenehmes Mordgeschrei
01:24:47 36a. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:25:36 36b. Chœur - Gegrüßet seist du, der Juden König!
01:26:48 36c. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:27:10 37. Choral - Man hat dich sehr hart verhöhnet
01:28:04 38. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:30:05 39. Choral - Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn 
01:31:02 40a. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:32:08 40b. Chœur - Pfui dich, wie fein zerbrichst du den Tempel
01:34:15 40c. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:34:26 40d. Chœur - Er hat andern geholfen
01:35:44 40e. Récitatif (Ténor, Basse)
01:37:06 41. Choral - Keinen hat Gott verlassen
01:37:56 42a. Récitatif (Ténor)
01:38:05 42b. Chœur - Siehe, er rufet dem Elias
01:40:01 42c. Récitatif (Ténor 1, Ténor 2)
01:40:49 43. Aria (Soprano, Basse) - Welt und Himmel
01:47:38 44. Récitatif (Ténor 1, Ténor 2)
01:50:12 45. Choral - O Jesu, du mein Hilf und Ruh
01:50:46 46. Récitatif (Ténor 1)
01:51:50 47. Chœur - Bei deinem Grab und Leichenstein

Having backed the wrong side in the Giovanni Bononcini affair, composers Maurice Greene and Michael Christian Festing leave The Academy of Ancient Music and establish the rival Apollo Academy at London’s Devil Tavern, Fleet Street.

29 May
George Frideric Handel and Heidegger end the Second Academy’s opera season in profit, thanks largely to some cost-effective revivals of old productions.

Johann Mattheson publishes his manual on improvising from a given bass: Grosse General-Bass- Schule.

J. Mattheson: Two Prob-stücke from the Grosse Generalbaß-Schule (1731)

Inspired by his continental experiences, Swedish composer Johan Helmich Roman launches Stockholm’s first concerts.

Johann Adolph Hasse takes up his new post of Kapellmeister to the King of Poland and the electoral court of Saxony.

13 September
Johann Adolph Hasse's opera Cleofide premieres at the Hoftheater in Dresden. Johann Sebastian Bach and his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, attend the performance.

Johann Adolph Hasse - Cleofide

27 January
Piano inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori  dies in Florence, aged 76. As yet, no major composer has demonstrated any real interest in Cristofori’s hammer-action instrument.

2 February
George Frideric Handel scores a hit with his one new production of the season, Poro, re dell’lndie (Porus, King of India). Adapted from Pietro Metastasio's Alessandro nell’Indie, the opera runs for 16 performances at Londons Kings Theatre.

George Frideric Handel - POR, THE KING OF INDIAN HWV 28

1 October
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, aged 17, begins studying law at Leipzig University.

25 November
Johann Sebastian Bach's 
celebrated cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (commonly known in English as Sleepers Wake) is first performed at Leipzig.

Bach - Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140

11 December
Giovanni Alberto Ristori's comic opera Calandro (1726) is revived for a performance in Moscow. It is the first Italian opera to be staged in Russia.

Giovanni Alberto Ristori - Calandro

12 December
Composer Christian Cannabich is 
baptised in Mannheim.

Christian  Cannabich

Johann Christian Innocenz Bonaventura Cannabich (bapt. 28 December 1731 in Mannheim – 20 January 1798 in Frankfurt am Main), was a German violinist, composer, and Kapellmeister of the Classical era. A composer of some 200 works, he continued the legacy of Johann Stamitz and helped turn the Mannheim orchestra into what Charles Burney described as "the most complete and best disciplined in Europe". The orchestra was particularly noted for the carefully graduated crescendos and diminuendos characteristic of the Mannheim school. Together with Stamitz and the other composers of the Mannheim court, he helped develop the orchestral texture that paved the way for the orchestral treatment of the First Viennese School.

Christian Cannabich was the third child of Martin Friedrich Cannabich (1690–1773), a flautist, oboist and music teacher at the Mannheim court. Cannabich père was the personal flute teacher of the Prince elector Carl Theodor which in itself created favourable conditions for Christian Cannabich's later career. 
As a boy, he studied violin with Johann Stamitz (1717–1757), composer, violinist, concertmaster and leader of the Mannheim court orchestra. He joined the violin section of the orchestra as a scholar (i.e. aspirant) at age twelve (1744), becoming a full member two years later. In the year 1748 he is listed in the annual court and state calendar (Churpfälzischer Hof- und Staatskalender) as a violinist living together with his father in Moritz lane.

In 1750, Charles Theodore, Prince elector of the Electorate of the Palatinate, sent Cannabich to Rome to continue his studies with Niccolò Jommelli, maestro coadiutore of the Papal Chapel and also a successful opera composer. He remained in Rome until 1753, and followed his teacher to Stuttgart after Jommelli's appointment as Ober-Kapellmeister in the Swabian capital of the court orchestra. In 1756 Cannabich returned to Italy for a second time, this time to Milan, where he undertook additional studies with Giovanni Battista Sammartini.
In the spring of 1757, after the premature death of Johann Stamitz, he was called back to Mannheim to assume Stamitz's post as first violinist (together with Carl Joseph Toeschi).

During the 1760s and 1770s Cannabich visited Paris frequently, had his music performed at the Concert Spirituel, and his symphonies and trios printed there. Most of Cannabich's works after this date were published in Paris.
In 1774 Cannabich became director of the Mannheim court orchestra; as such he not only led the orchestra as concertmaster, but also had the duty to compose the ballet music for the court ballets choreographed by Etienne Lauchery, the Maître de Danse (court ballet master). Four years later (1778) he moved with the court to Munich when Charles Theodore, his lord and master, became elector of Bavaria.

In the 1780s the elector cut back on the orchestra's budget and reduced the number of musicians from 95 to 55. The musicians complained about cutbacks in payment and reduced income. It is alleged that Cannabich himself had to live on one-third of his former stipend during the last years of his life, which forced the aged musician to go on concert tours and, perhaps for the first time in his life, to do what other, less fortunate musicians had to do all their lives — scramble for money.

Cannabich died while visiting his son, Carl, in Frankfurt am Main in 1798.

Johann Christian Cannabich Flute Quintets Op.7 Nos.3-6

1. Fl Qnts In D Op.7, No.5: Andantino  0:00
2. Fl Qnts In D Op.7, No.5: Allegro Vivace
3. Fl Qnts In D Op.7, No.5: Minuetto 1 & 2. Grazioso
4. Qnt In e Op.7, No.3: Tempo Giusto  16:43
5. Qnt In e Op.7, No.3: Andantino Affectuoso
6. Qnt In e Op.7, No.3: Non Tanto Allegro
7. Qnt In G Op.7, No.4: Allegro Non Molto  31:25
8. Qnt In G Op.7, No.4: Andante Un Poco Di Moto
9. Qnt In G Op.7, No.4: Tempo Di Minuetto
10. Qnt In G Op.7, No.6: Non Tanto Allegro  46:23
11. Qnt In G Op.7, No.6: Andantino
12. Qnt In G Op.7, No.6

Christian Cannabich - Médée et Jason, ballet

Christian Cannabich - Les fetes du Seraïlles (ballet suite)

Johann Christian Cannabich. Sinfonia in B flat major

Christian Cannabich - Sinfonia in D-major

Christian Cannabich: Quartett für Oboe, Violine, Viola & Violoncello

Christian Cannabich - Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon & Orchestra in C major

Christian Cannabich


4 December
John Gay, inventor of the ‘ballad opera’, dies in London aged 47. Buried in Westminster Abbey, he has prepared his own epitaph:


Life is a jest
and all things show it
I thought so once
and now I know it.


John Gay (30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732) was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.

7 December
John Rich opens The Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, London, with profits from The Beggars Opera.

15 February
George Frideric Handel premieres his opera Sosarme, re di Media at the King’s Theatre, London. High-quality music lifts a shabby libretto, resulting in 11 performances.


Handel's Fernando, Re di Castiglia (HWV 30) was first performed in February 1732 in London as Sosarme, Re di Media. But that's not the whole story. The evolution of this opera puzzles: at first Handel set it in Portugal with characters' names completely different from those we now know… only the villain, Altomaro, keeps his. Dionisio (Dinis, or Dionysius, King of Portugal) becomes Haliate, for example. Fernando King of Castile, the lover of the king's daughter, Elvira (Elvida), becomes Sosarme. Several recitatives were cut. Acts One and Two were revised; only Act Three was specifically composed under the new title, Sosarme. So what we have is a sort of first draft of something later better known in its later (and changed) form. The essence of the story, though, remained unchanged and was carried through to the new work. It's a story of misplaced love, rebellion, treachery and rivalry and strife within families. For dramatic impact, that story is what matters – not setting or names. It's possible that Handel made the changes that he did both because the other opera he staged in 1732, Ezio was too close to disaster for Handel to take risks; and because the makeup of his company changed significantly at that time. In any case, this recording is a success.​

Italian composer-keyboardist Lodovico Giustini issues his 12 Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte in Florence. These sonatas appear to be the only piano pieces published in the first half of the 18th century.

Lodovico Giustini - Sonata No. 9 in C, Op. 1

23 February
In celebration of George Frideric Handel’s birthday, a staged version of Esther (1718) is performed privately at Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, London. Handel devotee Princess Anne suggests that the oratorio be transferred to the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket.

Jean-Marie Leclair issues his Sonates en trio for two violins and continuo (Op. 4), in Paris.

Jean Marie Leclair - Sonates ( Livre IV )
01. Sonate II (mi mineur) 00:01
02. Sonate VIII (do majeur) 19:46
03. Sonate XI (sol mineur) 38:25
04. Sonate VI (r  majeur) 51:31

31 March
Composer Franz Joseph Haydn is born to a village wheelwright in Rohrau, Lower Austria.

Giovanni Battista Sammartini's first opera, Memet, is performed in Lodi. Movements from two of his (undated) symphonies serve as introductions to Acts 2 and 3.

The Opera is nothing but a public gathering place, where we assemble on certain days without exactly knowing why.

Voltaire, writing to Pierre-Robert Le Cornier de Cideville.

Giovanni Battista Sammartini. Sinfonia in A major from 'Memet' (Mehmet)

2 May
George Frideric Handel gives the first public performance of an English oratorio with his revised Esther, at the King’s Theatre, London. (The Bishop of London has permitted an unstaged version only.) Members of the Royal Family attend and the work is repeated five times.

George Frideric Händel - Esther

Johann Gottfried Walther publishes Musicalisches Lexicon in Leipzig. It is the first music dictionary to contain both musical terms and biographies of composers and theorists, past and present.

Johann Jacob Walther - frontispiece Musicalisches Lexicon - 1732

The opera company of John Lampe, Thomas Arne (Snr) and Henry Carey purloins Handel’s Acis and Galatea (1718 )for a run at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket. Adding insult to injury, they even employ Handel’s cook, Waltz, in the production. Outraged, Handel hurries his own revised version at the King’s Theatre, achieving moderate success thanks to the participation of his operatic stars, Senesino and Anna Strada.

Handel - Acis and Galatea - HWV 49

8 October
Joseph Leutgeb, austrian horn virtuoso, born.

15 January
George Frideric Handel’s first new opera of the season, Ezio (Aetius), fails miserably, surviving only five performances.

G.F. Händel: «Ezio» HWV 29

27 September
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
aged 22, stages his first comic opera, Lo frate ’nnamorato (The Lovelorn Brother), at the Teatro dei Fiorentini in Naples.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Lo frate 'nnamorato 

Joseph Loutgeb

Joseph Loutgeb, (b. Vienna, October 8, 1732 -  d. Vienna,

February 27, 1811)

Austrian horn virtuoso for whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed several concertos. He worked as a freelancer in Vienna during the 1750s, and in the early 1760s performed solo works by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-99) and the brothers Michael and Joseph Haydn in a series of concerts at the Burgtheater. In 1763 he entered the service of the Elector of Salzburg as a horn player in the court orchestra, remaining, with frequent periods of leave for touring, until 1777, when he moved back to Vienna to open a cheese shop. He continued playing until 1792.

The manuscript of Concerto No. 2 in E-flat, K. 417, the first of the pieces Mozart finished for Leutgeb, is inscribed: “Wolfgang Amade Mozart has taken pity on Leutgeb—that ass, ox, and fool—in Vienna on 27 May, 1783.”

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (21 June 1732 – 26 January 1795) was a harpsichordist and composer, the fifth son of Johann Sebastian Bach, sometimes referred to as the "Bückeburg Bach". He is not to be confused with other similarly named members of the Bach family.

Born in Leipzig in the Electorate of Saxony, he was taught music by his father, and also tutored by his distant cousin Johann Elias Bach (de).
Bach wrote keyboard sonatas, symphonies, oratorios, liturgical choir pieces and motets, operas and songs. Because of Count Wilhelm's predilection for Italian music, Bach had to adapt his style accordingly, but he retained stylistic traits of the music of his father and of his brother, C. P. E. Bach.
Bach died 1795 in Bückeburg, aged 62.

Joseph Loutgeb
Johann C F Bach


Pietro Antonio Locatelli issues his technically-progressive L’arte del violino, comprising 12 virtuoso violin concertos, each with a cadenza-like caprice for solo violin in the first and last movements.

Locatelli - L'arte del violino - Violin Concertos, Op. 3 

Johann Sebastian Bach presents the Kyrie and Gloria of his future B minor Mass to the Elector of Saxony I (Friedrich August II), in the hope of gaining an | honorary position of Kapellmeister.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Mass in B Minor BWV 232 (Cd No.1)]

Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville, aged 21, moves to Paris and publishes his Sonates pour violon Op. 1.

Georg Philipp Telemann’s Musique de table or Tafelmusik is published in three instalments in Hamburg. Each part begins with an orchestral suite, and continues (unusually) with concertos and chamber sonatas. With a publication subscription of 206 names, ranging from amateur and professional musicians to dukes and princes, it becomes Telemann’s most famous instrumental collection.

Telemann: Tafelmusik (Selection)
00:10:31 Ouverture and Suite in D Major for oboe, trumpet, strings and basso continuo (from Musique de Table 2nd production): Air Tempo Giusto
00:17:00 Ouverture and Suite in D Major for oboe, trumpet, strings and basso continuo (from Musique de Table 2nd production): Air Vivace
00:19:57 Ouverture and Suite in D Major for oboe, trumpet, strings and basso continuo (from Musique de Table 2nd production): Air Presto
00:25:12 Ouverture and Suite in D Major for oboe, trumpet, strings and basso continuo (from Musique de Table 2nd production): Air Allegro
00:28:55 Quatuor in D Minor for two flutes, recorder & basso continuo (2nd production): Andante
00:31:54 Quatuor in D Minor for two flutes, recorder & basso continuo (2nd production): Vivace
00:35:38 Quatuor in D Minor for two flutes, recorder & basso continuo (2nd production): Largo
00:38:48 Quatuor in D Minor for two flutes, recorder & basso continuo (2nd production): Allegro
00:43:11 Concerto in F Major for three violins, violino grosso & basso continuo (2nd production): Allegro
00:48:22 Concerto in F Major for three violins, violino grosso & basso continuo (2nd production): Largo 
00:52:54 Concerto in F Major for three violins, violino grosso & basso continuo (2nd production): Vivace
00:56:12 Conclusion in E Minor for two flutes, strings & basso continuo (1st production): Allegro

27 January
George Frideric Handel produces his masterly Orlando at the Kings Theatre, London.

Containing some of his most expressive music and featuring Senesino in the leading role, the work manages a modest ten-performance run only, due to waning public interest in opera seria.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Orlando HWV 31

17 March
George Frideric Handel's oratorio Deborah premieres before a royal audience at the King’s Theatre, London. Handel is widely criticised for greediness, having significantly increased admission prices.

The production fails.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Deborah, HWV 51 - Symphony & Chorus - Let our glad songs to heav'n ascend

15 June
The Prince of Wales, eager to oppose the tastes of his father, King George II, conspires with the Duke of Marlborough to create the Opera of the Nobility. They engage the composer Nicola Antonio Porpora to spearhead the rivalry with Handel’s opera company, itself in disarray having lost its £20,000 investment.

George Frideric Handel takes his opera company to Oxford, having lost many of his star singers to the Opera of the Nobility, including Senesino. He revives Esther and Deborah, and also presents a new oratorio, Athalia. Despite some xenophobic resentment, Handel reels in the audiences and makes a massive profit.

Handel - Athalia, HWV 52 

5 September
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi introduces his comedy La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress) between the acts of his serious opera Il prigioniero superbo (The Proud Prisoner), in Naples. Staged with a cast of three, one of whom is mute, the galant-style intermezzo becomes an exemplar of Italian comic opera.

Pergolesi "Del mio valore al lampo" (Il Prigionier Superbo)

11 September
Francois Couperin, one of Frances foremost composers, dies in Paris, aged 64.

1 October
The 50-year-old Jean-Philippe Rameau begins his operawriting career with Hippolyte et Aricie, introduced at the Paris Opera. The production features the inimitable ballerina Marie Anne Cupis de Camargo.

Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo (15 April 1710 in Brussels – 20 April 1770 in Paris), sometimes known simply as La Camargo, was a French dancer. The first woman to execute the entrechat quatre, Camargo was also allegedly responsible for two innovations in ballet as she was one of the first dancers to wear slippers instead of heeled shoes, and, while there is no evidence that she was the first woman to wear the short calf-length ballet skirt and the now standardized ballet tights, she did help to popularize these.

La Camargo Dancing, by Nicolas Lancret, c.1730

Hippolyte et Aricie de Jean-Philippe RAMEAU,  1/2

Hippolyte et Aricie de Jean-Philippe RAMEAU, 2/2

29 December
The Opera of the Nobility launch their first season with Nicola Antonio Porpora's Arianna in Nasso (Ariadne on Naxos) at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London. The opera company deliberately schedules its performances on the same evenings as Handel's Royal Academy.


Nicola Porpora - Arianna in Nasso


Johann Sebastian Bach writes his Coffee Cantata around this time, telling of a girl’s secret passion for drinking coffee. The work has been composed for the students of Leipzig University’s collegium musicum, who perform regularly at Zimmerman’s Coffee House.

Bach - Coffee Cantata, BWV 211 

The London publisher John Walsh issues George Frideric Handel’s Op. 3 Concerti grossi, probably without permission.

G.F. Händel: 6 Concerti Grossi Op.3
1. Concerto No.1 in B-flat major/G minor HWV 312  0:08
2. Concerto No.2 in B-flat major HWV 313    8:38
3. Concerto No.3 in G major HWV 314   19:55
4. Concerto No.4 in F major HWV 315    28:07
5. Concerto No.5 in D minor HWV 316   41:08
6. Concerto No.6 in D major HWV 317    50:52

17 January
Composer Francis-Joseph Gossec is 
born in Vergnies, South Netherlands.

26 January 
George Frideric Handel stages his opera Arianna with significant success against the competition of the Opera of the Nobility. The production sustains 16 performances at the King’s Theatre, London.

G. F. Händel - Arianna in Creta HWV 32

Despite a popular revival of Il pastor fido, George Frideric Handel and Heidegger decide to terminate their business partnership as the opera season closes. Handel moves his productions to Covent Garden.

Reinhard Keiser composes the Singspiel Circe, his final opera for Hamburg, furnishing it with German and Italian arias (including arias by Johann Adolph Hasse and George Frideric Handel) in equal measure.

Heidegger hires out the King’s Theatre to the Opera of the Nobility for its new season of Italian opera. In a further blow to George Frideric Handel, the company also signs up the leading castrato of the day Farinelli.

Composer-violinist Jean-Marie Leclair, recently appointed ordinaire de la musique du roi, publishes his Troisieme livre de sonates, dedicated to Louis XV.

Jean Marie Leclair - Troisieme Livre de Sonates Op. 5

In Paris Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville brings out his Sonates en trio Op. 2 and Pieces de clavecin en sonates Op. 3.

Mondonville: Trio Sonata No.6 in C Minor Op. 2

Mondonville - Pieces de clavecin en sonates

Sonata No.1 in G minor  0:00

Sonata No.2 in F major  6:34

Sonata No.3 in B flat major 12:26

Sonata No.4 in C major  19:21

Sonata No.5 in G major  30:36

Sonata No.6 in A major  36:26

25 October
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s serious opera Adriano in Siria, starring the castrato Caffarelli (Gaetano Majorano, 12 April 1710 – 31 January 1783, was an Italian castrato and opera singer, who performed under the stage name Caffarelli), struggles at the Teatro San Bartolomeo, Naples. This year has seen the composer’s appointment as deputy maestro di cappella under Domenico Natale Sarro, in Naples.



4 November
Antonio Caldara becomes the first of around 40 18th-century composers to set Pietro Metastasio's La clemenza di Tito. The opera is premiered at Vienna’s Hoftheater.

A. Caldara: La Clemenza di Tito

Giuseppe Tartini's Op. 1 collection of violin sonatas, including the folksy Sonata pastorale, is published in Amsterdam.

Tartini - Solo Violin Sonatas

9 November
George Frideric Handel begins his first opera season at Covent Garden with a further revival of Il pastor fido. The opera features a new prologue, Terpsichore, in which the French ballerina Marie Salle, (1707–1756, was a French dancer and choreographer in the 18th century known for her expressive, dramatic performances), dances the part of the muse. Salle and her dance company perform ballets in each of Handel’s productions throughout the season.

George Philipp Telemann publishes Six Concerts and Six Suites in Hamburg. These cleverly-constructed ensemble pieces allow parts to be omitted in order to create trio and duo combinations.

Telemann Six Concerts Et Six Suites I (1734 )1 de 3

Telemann Six Concerts Et Six Suites II (1734) 2 de 

Telemann Six Concerts Et Six Suites III (1734) 3 de 

Johann Sebastian Bach begins the direction of his Christmas Oratorio at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. The six-part work, composed with a great deal of recycled music from his cantatas, is performed one part at a time over the festive period up to Epiphany (6 January).

Johann Sebastian Bach - Christmas Oratorio BWV 248

26 December
Giovanni Battista Sammartini’s opera L’ambizione superata dalla virtu (Ambition Exceeded by Virtue) opens in Milan.

François-Joseph Gossec

François-Joseph Gossec (17 January 1734 – 16 February 1829) was a French composer of operas, string quartets, symphonies, and choral works.


The son of a small farmer, Gossec was born at the village of Vergnies, then a French exclave in the Austrian Netherlands, now in Belgium. Showing an early taste for music, he became a choir-boy in Antwerp. He went to Paris in 1751 and was taken on by the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. He followed Rameau as the conductor of a private orchestra kept by the fermier général Le Riche de La Poupelinière, a wealthy amateur and patron of music. Gradually he became determined to do something to revive the study of instrumental music in France.

Gossec's own first symphony was performed in 1754, and as conductor to the Prince de Condé's orchestra he produced several operas and other compositions of his own. He imposed his influence on French music with remarkable success. His Requiem premiered in 1760, a ninety-minute piece which made him famous overnight. Years later, in 1778, Mozart visited Gossec during a trip to Paris, and described him in a letter to his father as "a very good friend and a very dry man".

Gossec founded the Concert des Amateurs in 1769 and in 1773 he reorganised the Concert Spirituel together with Simon Leduc and Pierre Gaviniès. In this concert series he conducted his own symphonies as well as those by his contemporaries, particularly works by Joseph Haydn, whose music had become increasingly popular in Paris, finally even superseding Gossec's symphonic work.

In the 1780s Gossec's symphonic output decreased as he began concentrating on operas. He organized the École de Chant in 1784, together with Etienne Méhul, was conductor of the band of the Garde Nationale of the French Revolution, and was appointed (with Méhul and Luigi Cherubini) inspector of the Conservatoire de Musique at its creation in 1795. He was an original member of the Institut and a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. In 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the Conservatoire was closed for some time by Louis XVIII, and the eighty-one-year-old Gossec had to retire. Until 1817 he worked on his last compositions, including a third Te Deum, and was supported by a pension granted by the Conservatoire.

He died in the Parisian suburb of Passy. The funeral service was attended by former colleagues, including Cherubini, at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. His grave is near those of Méhul and Grétry.

Some of his techniques anticipated the innovations of the Romantic era: he scored his Te Deum for 1200 singers and 300 wind instruments, and several oratorios require the physical separation of multiple choirs, including invisible ones behind the stage. He wrote several works in honor of the French revolution, including Le Triomphe de la République, and L'Offrande à la Liberté.

François Joseph Gossec - Grande Messe des Morts - Requiem(1760)

François-Joseph Gossec - Te Deum а Grand Orchestre (1779)

François Joseph Gossec - Symphonie à 17 parties in F-major (1809)

François-Joseph Gossec: Symphony in E-flat major Op. XII, No. 5

François-Joseph Gossec - L'Offrande à la Liberté (1792)

François-Joseph Gossec Symphonie Es-Dur op.12 Nr.5

François Joseph Gossec - Dernière Messe de Vivants (1813)

François-Joseph Gossec


Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni's Concerti a cinque Op. 10, for three violins, viola, cello and continuo, is published in Amsterdam.

Tomaso Albinoni - Concerti a cinque Op.10

Concerto a 5 in B flat major, Op. 10, No.1  0:00
Concerto a 5 in G minor, Op. 10, No.2  6:39 
Concerto a 5 in C major, Op. 10, No.3  16:45
Concerto a 5 in A major, Op. 10, No.5  25:00
Concerto a 5 in F major, Op. 10, No.7  33:22
Concerto a 5 in G minor, Op. 10, No.8  42:31
Concerto a 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No.11  52:03  
Concerto a 5 in B flat major, Op. 10, No.12  59:25

Johann Sebastian Bach brings out his Clavier-Ubung II. Included in the keyboard collection is the Italian Concerto (for unaccompanied clavier).

Johann Sebastian Bach - Italian Concerto In F Major, BWV 971

During revivals of his oratorios EstherDeborah and Athalia, George Frideric Handel introduces the organ concerto to the English public. The works premiered will later appear as Nos. 2-5 of his Op. 4 collection (1738).

Johann Schobert, composer and harpsichordist, born

16 April
George Frideric Handel presents Alcina at Covent Garden. The opera proves popular, running for 18 performances to the end of the season. At that point Handel's castrato star, Giovanni Carestini, quits both the company and England. The ballerina Mile Salle also leaves England in the face of public opposition—primarily for being French.

Handel - Opera `Alcina`  HWV 34

8 January
George Frideric Handel presents Ariodante at Covent Garden. The opera contains some of his finest music, but manages only a modest run of 11    performances.

George Frideric Handel OPERA `ARIODANTE` HWV 33

8 January
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi stages L’Olimpiade at the Teatro Tordinona, Rome. The opera meets with a cool reception, though gains acclaim in later years. Towards the end of this year the composer enjoys better success with the comedy Il Flaminio, in Naples.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: 'L'Olimpiade', Dramma per Musica

In Venice the Pieta governors reinstate Antonio Vivaldi as their maestro di cappella. They grant him an annual wage of 100 ducats, but demand that he curtails his travelling.

23 August
Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les hides galantes (The Gallant Indies), his finest opera-ballet, is performed at the Opera in Paris. Directly inspired by Andre Campra’s L’Europe galante (1697), the drama is set in four exotic locations: Turkey, Peru, Persia and North America. In a preface to the work Rameau attempts to pacify the ‘Lullists’ (those loyal to the style of Jean-Baptiste Lully) by asserting his allegiance to French traditions.

Jean Philippe Rameau -  Les Indes Galantes

5 September
The last of Johann Sebastian Bach's sons, Johann Christian Bach, is born in Leipzig.

12 January
John Eccles dies at Hampton Wick, aged around 66.

Maurice Greene is appointed his successor as Master of the King’s Music.

24 September
Setting a revised version of Pietro Metastasio’s libretto La clemenza di Tito, Johann Adolph Hasse's opera Tito Vespasiano inaugurates the Teatro del Sole in Pesaro. The cast includes the composer’s wife, Faustina Bordoni, and the castrato Carestini.

1 February
The renowned castrato Farinelli stars in Nicola Antonio Porpora's opera Polifemo, introduced at the King’s Theatre, London.

Porpora - Opera Polifemo Aria 'Alto Giove' 

26 November
Francesco Maria Veracini’s first opera, Adriano in Siria, is staged by the Opera of the Nobility at the King’s Theatre, London. Famous as a violin virtuoso, Veracini leads the orchestra and enjoys a 20-performance ran of his work.

Francesco Maria Veracini: 'Adriano in Siria'

Johann Christian Bach

Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh surviving child and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as "the London Bach" or "the English Bach", due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart.


Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth- an age gap exemplified by the sharp differences in the musical styles of father and son. Even so, father Bach instructed Johann Christian in music until his death in 1750. After his father's death, he worked (and lived) with his second-oldest half brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was twenty-one years his senior and considered at the time to be the most musically gifted of Bach's sons.

He enjoyed a promising career, first as a composer then as a performer playing alongside Carl Friedrich Abel, the notable player of the viola da gamba. He composed cantatas, chamber music, keyboard and orchestral works, operas and symphonies.
Bach lived in Italy for many years starting in 1756, studying with Padre Martini in Bologna. He became organist at the Milan cathedral in 1760. During his time in Italy, he converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism and devoted much time to the composition of church music, including two Masses, a Requiem and a Te Deum. His first major work was a Mass, which received an excellent performance and acclaim in 1757. In 1762, Bach travelled to London to première three operas at the King's Theatre, including Orione on 19 February 1763. That established his reputation in England, and he became music master to Queen Charlotte. In 1766, Bach met soprano Cecilia Grassi, who was eleven years his junior, and married her shortly thereafter. They had no children.

By the late 1770s, both his popularity and finances were in decline. By the time of Bach's death on New Year's day 1782, he had become so indebted (in part due to his steward embezzling his money), that Queen Charlotte stepped in to cover the expenses of the estate and provided a life pension for Bach's widow. He was buried in the graveyard of St. Pancras Old Church, London.

Johann Christian Bach - Piano Concertos, Op. 7

Johann Christian Bach - Symphonies 1/2
Sinfonia In G, Op. 6 No. 1
Sinfonia In D, Op. 6 No. 2  8:09
Symphony In E, Op. 6 No. 3  16:24
Sinfonia In B Flat, Op. 6 No. 4  23:29 
Symphony In E, Op. 6 No. 5  29:44
Symphony In G minor, Op.6 No.6  37:42
Symphony In B Flat, Op. 18 No. 2 46:57
Symphony In D, Op. 18 No. 4  55:51
Symphony In D, Op. 18 No. 6 1:06:08

Johann Christian Bach - Symphonies 2/2
Symphony In E-Flat, Op. 18 No. 1
Symphony In D, Op. 18 No. 3  11:30
Symphony In E, Op. 18 No. 5 23:33
Symphony In B-Flat, Op.9 No.1  39:01
Symphony In E-Flat, Op. 9 No. 2  48:25
Symphony In B-Flat, Op.9 No.3 1:00:49
Overture In D: La calamita  1:06:22

Johann Christian Bach Piano Sonatas Op 17 N 1-6

Johann Christian Bach - Sinfonie Concertante 1- 4

Johann Christian Bach - Flute Concertos en D and G

Johann Schobert

Johann Schobert (c. 1720, 1735 or 1740 – 28 August 1767) was a composer and harpsichordist. His date of birth is given variously as about 1720, about 1735, or about 1740, his place of birth as Silesia, Alsace, or Nuremberg.

In 1760 or 1761, Schobert moved to Paris where he served in the household of Louis François I de Bourbon, prince de Conti. He composed many books of sonatas for his instrument. Schobert also wrote harpsichord concertos, symphonies and the opéra comique Le Garde-Chasse et le Braconnier.

In Paris, Schobert came into contact with Leopold Mozart during the family's grand tour. Reportedly, 
Mozart biographer Dyneley Hussey writes that it was Schobert's music that opened up Mozart to the possibility of adopting a poetic stance in his music.

Schobert died in Paris, along with his wife, one of their children, a maidservant and four acquaintances, after eating poisonous mushrooms.

Johann Schobert - Sonatas for Harpsichord Op.7 & 14

Johann Schobert - Piano Concerto No.3 in G-major, Op.13 (1765)

Johann Schobert - Trios for Harpsichord, Op 16

Johann Schobert
Johann Christian Bach

Charles-Joseph Natoire – Venus Demanding Arms from Vulcan for Aeneas

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