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Avison Falls into Depression

Donald Macleod focuses on Avison's distress at changing musical tastes and the deaths of his wife, and friend and mentor, Francesco Geminiani.

By the time he reached his 50s, eighteenth century composer Charles Avison was a huge success, teaching, conducting, performing and publishing music in his home town of Newcastle. But times were about to change as London's passion for outdoor concerts reached the north of England. Avison ranted about the "flood of nonsense" offered in the way of music at these events and looked back fondly on the good old days, when music wasn't only about how many tickets you could sell. He was further depressed by the deaths of his wife and his great friend and mentor, Francesco Geminiani. Meanwhile, in London, his almost exact contemporary, John Stanley, was carving out an impressive career of his own, despite being blinded in an accident when he was just a toddler.

1 hour

Music Played

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  • Charles Avison

    Sonata in C major for Harpsichord and accompaniment, Op.8 No.2 (1764)

    Performers: The Avison Ensemble, Pavlo Beznosiuk, director

    • Divine Art: DDA21214.
  • Charles Avison

    Concerto Grosso in G major Op. 9 No.1 (1766)

    Performers: The Georgian Concert

    • Diversion: 24108.
    • 1.
  • Charles Avison

    Concerto Grosso in C, Op.10 No.4 (1769)

    Performers: The Avison Ensemble, Pavlo Beznosiuk, director

    • Divine Art: DDA21211.
    • 24.
  • John Stanley

    Voluntary in D minor Op.5 No.8 (1748)

    Performer: Richard Marlow, organ

    • Chandos:CHAN0639.
  • John Stanley

    Voluntary in G minor Op.5 No.9 (1748)

    Performer: Richard Marlow, organ

    • Chandos:CHAN0639.
  • John Stanley

    Organ Concerto Op.2 No.3 in G major (1742 arr.1747)

    Performers: The Parley of Instruments Paul Nicholson organ, Roy Goodman, conductor

    • Hyperion: CDA66338.
    • 11.

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