Music for an Elector and King: the Hanover Hofkapelle during the reigns of George I and II

Coffey, Helen (2015). Music for an Elector and King: the Hanover Hofkapelle during the reigns of George I and II. In: Händel und die Musikgeschichte des Hauses Hannover, 10-11 Jun 2014, Halle, Saale, Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft e. V., pp. 135–152.

Abstract

The accession of Georg Ludwig as Elector of Hanover in 1698 brought significant changes to the musical establishment of the electoral court. Unable to subsidise the Italian opera introduced by his father Ernst August, Georg Ludwig's musical patronage focused on his group of instrumentalists, which increased in number during his reign. These musicians continued to be employed there following the elector's departure for London in 1714 when he became King George I of Great Britain. Records in the Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover provide a clear picture of the musical personnel of the Hanover court during the reign of Georg Ludwig and his successors, as well as the movement of musicians between their posts there and in other establishments. Yet despite the valuable details presented in archival sources, these records are not as informative about the works performed by Hanover musicians during this period. This paper will build on previous scholarship by considering the range of repertoire available to musicians in Hanover during the first half of the eighteenth century and will demonstrate the continuing popularity of Handel's music there.

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