[Handel, George Frederic. (1685-1759)]

The Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1751 - WITH A CONTEMPORARY REPORT OF HANDEL'S MESSIAH

An original issue of the Gentleman's Magazine, published in London in April 1751, containing a mention of a performance of Handel's Messiah on April 18: "Was performed in the chapel of the Foundling Hospital, the sacred oratorio Messiah, under the direction of G. F. Handel, Esq.; who himself play'd a voluntary on the organ; the amount of the sum for the tickets delivered out was above 600 l." (p. 185). The complete magazine is a treasure trove of historical tidbits, including news of the latest court cases and crimes, historical essays, an original song by Thomas Green, poetry, stock prices, international news, letters, and several excellent wood cuts, including a centaur (p. 153) and a lemur (p. 174). The notice on the Handel performance is preceded by the news that "A cowkeeper was fined 20l. for felling a distemper'd cow."

A superb and rare lifetime mention of a concert of Handel's Messiah, still popular and bringing in funds for the Foundling Hospital 9 years after its premiere in 1742, in an all-round fascinating contemporary publication. 

Front page with the masthead of St. John's Gate; printed by E. Cave, jun. 55 pp. Lacking rear wrapper, but with binding intact and otherwise in very fine condition. 4.75 x 8 inches (12 x 20.5 cm).

Founded by Edward Cave (1691 - 1754) under the pen name of Sylvanus Urban, the British monthly was one of the earliest magazines published, and one of the most successful, remaining in print for over 175 years. It was the first publication in history to utilize the title “Magazine," and it features articles on a variety of subjects, including pages summarizing the most notable news of the month at home and abroad, "obituaries, with anecdotes, of remarkable persons", the month's activities in Parliament etc. (13591)

Classical Music