Music and Theatre in Handel's World: The Family Papers of James Harris, 1732-1780
James Harris (1709-80) was an author of philosophical treatises and an enthusiastic amateur musician who directed the concerts and music festivals at Salisbury for nearly fifty years. His family and social circle had close connections with London's music-making: his brother was a witness toHandel's will, and his correspondents sent him lively reports on all aspects of musical life in the capital-opera, oratorio, concerts, but also about the leading performers, music copyists, and instrument makers. In 1761 Harris became a member of Parliament and thereafter divided his time betweenLondon and Salisbury. His letters and diaries provide an unrivalled record of concert- and theatre-going in London, including exchanges of letters with David Garrick about a production at Drury Lane. As his children grew up an engaging family correspondence emerged. We learn of his daughters'involvement in concerts and amateur theatrical productions; his son, who pursued a diplomatic career, reported on operas, concerts, and plays in the court of Frederick the Great and Catherine the Great. Now, for the first time, it is possible to enjoy in full the lively first-hand descriptions fromHarris's family papers, which contribute fascinating insights into contemporary eighteenth-century musical and theatrical life.
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4th Earl advertised afterpiece anthem April attended August Bach Bach's Bath Batt Berlin brother Cathedral composed Covent Garden dancing December deleted Diary of George diary of James Dined at home—went Drury Lane Duke Durham Earl of Shaftesbury Elizabeth Harris father February Friday Garrick George Harris Gertrude Harris Handel harpsichord Harris family Harris's hear Italian J. C. Bach James Harris jr January Jennens JH's JHjr John July June King King's Theatre Knatchbull Lady last night letter Lincoln's Lord Louisa Harris Madrid Malmesbury Malmesbury 1870 March Messiah Miss Monday morning musicians November October opera company oratorio organist Oxford performance play presumably probably programme Radnor referred rehearsal Richard Owen Cambridge Sacchini Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury Festival Salisbury Journal Saturday season September sing singer sister soloists songs St Cecilia St Giles's St James's Street subscription concerts sung Thomas Harris Thursday Tuesday Wednesday William Winchester Winterslow Wyndham