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Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Time Capsule: 1759

Let’s take a quick look back in time…to 1759…a year of news and a year to remember.

TC-1759-wedgewood

Photo: quimby (flickr)

Brick sculpture of master potter Josiah Wedgwood.

In American news, a young George Washington, married Martha Dandridge Custis in early January, 1759. Martha was the initial First Lady of the United States, a term that wasn’t used until after her death. She was known during her lifetime as “Lady Washington.”

In other American news from 1759, William Thornton was born on May 20th in the British Virgin Islands, West Indies. Thornton is best remembered as the architect who designed the United States Capitol. He was the first to hold the positions of Architect of the Capitol and Superintendent of the United States Patent Office.

On May 1, 1759, Josiah Wedgwood founded Wedgwood, a British pottery firm located in England that continues to this day. During the mid-1980s Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal to form Waterford Wedgwood. Its long history has sustained its reputation as one of the more distinguished British businesses.

In other English news, German composer George Frideric Handel died in London at the age of 74. One of the most famous composers of the 18th Century, he was given full state honors and buried at Westminster Abbey. Over three thousand mourners attended the funeral. Handel’s “Messiah” is one of several of his works that has been in continuous performance since his lifetime.

Music Excerpt

George Frideric Handel: Concerto for Harp in B-flat major, I.Allegro moderato
Maxine Eilander, harp, Cyndia Sieden, soprano, and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra/Stephen Stubbs — Handel’s Harp (ATMA, 2009)
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album cover

Additional information about people, music, and events mentioned in this time capsule

Josiah Wedgwood and His Pottery
William Burton
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album cover

Handel: Messiah (1751 version)
Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of New College Oxford, Edward Higginbottom (Naxos, 2006)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty
Helen Bryan
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Incidental Architect: William Thornton and the Cultural Life of Early Washington, D.C., 1794-1828
Gordon S. Brown
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

George Frideric Handel: Concerto for Harp in B-flat major, I.Allegro moderato
Maxine Eilander, harp, Cyndia Sieden, soprano, and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra/Stephen Stubbs — Handel’s Harp (ATMA, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Josiah Wedgwood and His Pottery
William Burton
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Handel: Messiah (1751 version)
Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of New College Oxford, Edward Higginbottom (Naxos, 2006)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty
Helen Bryan
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Incidental Architect: William Thornton and the Cultural Life of Early Washington, D.C., 1794-1828
Gordon S. Brown
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

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