H+H Blog

Louise Farrenc: A French Romantic Composer Ahead of Her Time

Louise Farrenc By Benjamin Pesetsky With thanks to Teresa Neff Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 premiered on a program alongside Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the Société des concerts du Conservatoire de Paris. It was 1849, and she was a piano professor in her mid-40s at the Paris Conservatoire. Her symphony’s premiere was notable not only …

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Q+A with the Composer | Jonathan Woody

Brooklyn-based composer and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody recently composed his Suite for Orchestra after the works of Charles Ignatius Sancho, an H+H commissioned work based on music in the compositions of Charles Ignatius Sancho (1729 – 1780), the first person of African descent to publish classical music. In this blog post, Woody discusses more about the …

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Charles Ignatius Sancho: Man of Music and Letters

Charles Ignatius Sancho By Benjamin Pesetsky Sancho’s Early Life Charles Ignatius Sancho (1729–1780) is remembered by the British Library as a “writer, composer, shopkeeper, and abolitionist.” We know a great deal about his life from his letters, with further details provided by a 1782 biography. According to this account, Sancho was born on a slave …

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Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Through the Years

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violinist, Fencer, Soldier, and Classical-era Composer of African Descent By Benjamin Pesetsky With thanks to Teresa Neff Joseph Bologne’s Early Life Joseph Bologne (1745–1799), Chevalier de Saint-Georges, held a remarkable number of occupations and positions during his life: composer, conductor, violinist, impresario, champion fencer, military officer, and nobleman. All even …

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Italian Baroque Music: Performances and Patrons

By Benjamin Pesetsky With thanks to Teresa Neff The Italian Baroque Scene Most Italian Baroque music was written for the spare-no-expense world of the aristocracy, particularly in Rome. But that doesn’t mean it was all composed for the same purpose: in fact, there were big differences between music intended for sacred and secular use, as …

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Handel’s Messiah: Fact or Fiction?

By Sally Bradford With thanks to Teresa Neff Few masterworks of Baroque music can rival Handel’s Messiah for its eternal popularity. Many of us are familiar with Messiah, but some may have heard myths and legends about this great work. How many of these questions are you able to answer correctly? 1. Did Handel write …

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Baroque and Classical Music Legends: Corelli and Handel

By Benjamin Pesetsky With thanks to Teresa Neff Rumors and Legends The lives of Baroque and Classical music composers are rich with legends, making it hard to distinguish myth from history. Some misconceptions are modern inventions due to the passage of time, but others actually sprang up during the life of the composer or shortly …

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Music Soothes Through Troubled Times | Q+A with Teresa Neff, PhD

Great music has helped us survive troubled times before. We asked our favorite musicologist, Hogwood Historically Informed Performance Fellow Dr. Teresa Neff, PhD, about H+H’s experience in the 1918 pandemic. Did H+H cancel concerts in 1918? No H+H concerts were cancelled in 1918. The first concert of the season was Messiah, on December 22, 1918. …

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On Being HIP: What is Historically Informed Performance?

H+H follows Historically Informed Performance practices, commonly shortened to HIP. Because H+H performs music from the 17th though the early-19th centuries, current understanding of the musical traditions associated with those centuries underlies any performance decision.

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Wow – What a year at H+H!

Dear Friend of the Handel and Haydn Society, Thank you for being a part of the H+H story this past year. Everyone here deeply appreciates your presence at our concerts, your applause, and your support. As memorable as this year was, and as extraordinary as the performances of our H+H orchestra and chorus were, none of it would have happened without you.

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