Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Time Capsule: 1700

Let’s take a quick look back in time, to the year 1700. . .the birth of Michel Blavet and Luigi Vanvitelli, the death of John Dryden, and more...

dryden

Photo: Dcoetzee (Wikipedia)

Portrait of poet John Dryden by Sir Godfrey Kneller, (1698).

In the same year that English explorer William Dampier became the first known European to visit the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea, musician Michel Blavet was born.  Blavet’s prodigious musical talent enabled him to become proficient at numerous instruments; although, he ultimately chose to specialize in the flute and bassoon.  He soon became known as the finest flutist in France, praised highly by the likes of Voltaire and German music critic and composer Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg. Blavet was hired as a musician for the Duke of Carignan and the Count of Clermont.  His most prestigious positions were attained from 1738 onward.  At that time, Blavet served as principal flutist for Louis XV’s Musique du Roi, as well as the Paris Opera.  His vocational success enabled him to turn down a position at the court of Frederick the Great.  That appointment was subsequently taken up by Blavet’s friend and colleague Johann Joachim Quantz.

Memoirs of a Buccaneer: Dampier's New Voyage Round the World, 1697 (Dover Maritime)
William Dampier
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In 1700 London, the illustrious poet John Dryden died.  At the time of the Restoration, the highly learned Dryden established himself as one of England’s leading literary voices. He worked as both literary critic and playwright, composing comedic plays charged with the chief political issues of his day.  Dryden’s satirical works established the heroic couplet as the standard form of English poetry.  This poetic style served to inspire generations of 18th- and 19th-century poets, including Samuel Johnson and Alexander Pope.

Selected Poems (Penguin Classics)
John Dryden
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The Cambridge Companion to John Dryden
Steven N. Zwicker
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In Naples, engineer and architect Luigi Vanvitelli was born in 1700.  The son of a Dutch painter, Luigi received training in art as a youth.  He travelled to Rome and studied with architect Nicola Salvi, collaborating on projects such as the Trevi Fountain.  Vanvitelli also designed facades for St. John Lateran’s archbasilica, the Palazzo Poli.  His most ambitious commission was the Palace of Caserta, one of 18th-century Europe’s largest buildings. Vanvitelli devoted himself to the design and construction of the palace from 1752 until his death in 1773.

Italian Baroque and Rococo Architecture
John Varriano
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The year 1700 also saw the birth of Gerard van Swieten, a physician and vampire hunter for Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. In 1755, van Swieten was sent by the empress to investigate purported sightings of vampires in parts of rural Austria.  To combat the superstition, van Swieten published a report in which he qualified vampire sightings as no more than “a vain fear, a superstitious credulity, a dark and eventful imagination, simplicity and ignorance among the people.”

A short account of the most common diseases incident to armies. With the method of cure. Translated from the original of Baron Van Swieten, ...
Gerard Swieten
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In Berlin in 1700, Prince-elector Frederick III founded the Prussian Academy of Sciences.  The decision to establish an academy devoted to both the sciences and the humanities was prompted by the suggestion of philosopher Gottfried Leibnitz.  The academy’s centuries-long history featured ground-breaking intellectual contributions by members such as Pierre-Louis de Mauperthuis, Étienne de Condillac, and Immanuel Kant.  During World War II, the academy’s Jewish members and employees were expelled.  Further reorganization occurred under the post-war Soviet Military Administration.  Following German Reunification, the academy was finally disbanded, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities was established in its place.

The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz (Classic Reprint)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
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Music heard in this time capsule:

Michel Blavet: T.8: Troisieme Livre de Sonates, Op. 3: Flute Sonata No. 3 - I. Vivace (excerpt)
Kerstin Frödin, recorder — Works of Sandström, Broman, Hotteterre, Blavet, Telemann, and Shinohara (KMH , 1999)
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Michel Blavet: T.8: Troisieme Livre de Sonates, Op. 3: Flute Sonata No. 3 - I. Vivace (excerpt)
Kerstin Frödin, recorder — Works of Sandström, Broman, Hotteterre, Blavet, Telemann, and Shinohara (KMH , 1999)
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album cover
Memoirs of a Buccaneer: Dampier's New Voyage Round the World, 1697 (Dover Maritime)
William Dampier
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album cover
Blavet
Claire Guimond
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album cover
Selected Poems (Penguin Classics)
John Dryden
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album cover
The Cambridge Companion to John Dryden
Steven N. Zwicker
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Italian Baroque and Rococo Architecture
John Varriano
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
A short account of the most common diseases incident to armies. With the method of cure. Translated from the original of Baron Van Swieten, ...
Gerard Swieten
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz (Classic Reprint)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Laura Osterlund

Laura Osterlund is a scriptwriter for Harmonia, recorder player, and student at McGill Univeristy in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, she moved from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois to Montreal in pursuit of a B.Mus. with major concentrations in Early Music Performance and Music History. Laura is an active musician throughout Montreal and Chicago and an avid memberof the movement to promote Early Music performance, pedagogy, research, and appreciation throughout North America.

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