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George Frideric Handel - Musical Walks

Handel in London: Musical Walks. Donald Macleod explores Handel's London.

Donald Macleod embarks on his first walk through Handel's London, featuring the composer's home of 36 years and its immediate environs. Beginning at the Handel House Museum on Brook Street, Donald is given a guided tour by its director Sarah Bardwell. He then meets Lewis Foreman at nearby St George's in Hanover Square, the church in which Handel worshipped, played the organ and rented a pew. Then, Carllisle Street in Soho and the 18th-century offices of Private Eye magazine, where art director Tony Rushton talks about his passion for former resident J C Smith, Handel's friend and amanuensis.

Next, Macleod traces Handel's royal connections. Starting at Westminster Abbey, he meets organist James O'Donnell to survey Handel's decorative tomb, before being joined once more by Lewis Foreman for a stroll along Whitehall to the historic Banqueting House and Queen Mary's Steps on the River Thames, where the royal party of 1717 departed for the famous performance of the Water Music. Then, the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, for which Handel composed a birthday ode for Queen Anne.

Donald Macleod and Lewis Foreman continue their exploration of Handel’s London at some fascinating sites along The Strand where Handel conducted his musical business, from visits to publishers to private performances in an enthusiast's attic and a local tavern. The museum of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children and Handel's favourite charity, is also on the walking tour.

Donald Macleod and Lewis Foreman then follow the trail of Handel's time working at Cannons for the wealthy Duke of Chandos near Edgware in north London. They visit the church of St Lawrence Whitchurch, an astonishing survival from the baroque era for which Handel wrote a number of works, and the former site of the Duke's huge mansion, now the North London Collegiate School.

Donald Macleod concludes his walking tour of Handel’s London by following the composer's footsteps through the city's historic theatreland with writer and broadcaster Roderick Swanston. They traverse the West End in search of the theatres in which Handel's operas were performed, from the former King's Theatre in Haymarket to the former incarnation of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and a long-vanished third opera house at Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Release date:


1 hour, 26 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer George Frideric Handel

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