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Music on the Grand Tour

Peter Medhurst

Friday 8th March 2019



Peter gave a Study Day on paintings and music last year which was so enjoyed that it was obvious we should invite him again. Peter is a musician and scholar who combines his musicianship with a deep understanding of art and it is this combination that makes his Study Days so interesting.


Following is a resume of the Study Day; a breakdown of the lectures can be found on the booking form.

A booking form is available on the website.

When it was at its peak in the 18th Century, the Grand Tour was recognised as one of the rites of passage for the young British nobility and upper classes. We know a great deal about the places visited, the reasons for travel, the mementoes brought back and the influence these travels had on the British sensibility.

Yet music has been a neglected aspect in the study of the Grand Tour and that is the subject for this Study Day. For some travellers, music played a very important part in their enjoyment of Italy and, for some, it was the principal reason for going. Some were professional musicians but there were many British tourists who indulged in whatever musical offerings Italy presented.

This Study Day takes a close look at 18th Century Italian music - the composers, the performers, the form and styles - and determines exactly what it was that drew musical British travellers time after time.

Music will include the Miserere by Allegri, excerpts from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, keyboard sonatas by Scarlatti, arias from Handel’s Italian operas and music by John Stanley, J C Bach, Corelli and Marcello.