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A Trip to Britain with the Great Composers

Live Performance of Works by Haydn and Chopin

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0132
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Haydn often performed in London’s Hanover Square Rooms

“It is fearful! It is mad! I am mixed up and confused. London is the most grandiose monster on the face of the earth. How can I compress into one letter what I have experienced in three days!”

Those are the words Felix Mendelssohn wrote to his family after arriving in England’s great capital for the first time in April 1829. Like many composers before and after, he was to discover a country thrilled to hero-worship glamorous artists from abroad. Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Chopin all concertized in elegant new public halls, built to accommodate an eager middle-class flocking to applaud enthusiastically.

In a recital with commentary, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin serves as tour guide to the England these masters found. Through delightful music plus contemporary letters and newspaper articles, she follows our favorite composers as they hobnob with royalty, dazzle the critics, complain about the weather, and admire the ladies. Her live performance includes works by Haydn and Chopin.

British-born Franklin has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Library of Congress and NPR, exploring intersections among classical and jazz music, film scores, and the fine arts.

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