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.