Handel and Hendrix???

Here is a pair for you! 

Jimi Hendrix 1942-1970

George Frederic Handel 1685-1759

Yes, friends, Hendrix and Handel are together at last. Or, rather, at first!  In a wonderful coincidence, the two composer/performers lived in the almost the same building, separated by one wall and about 200 years. Here is the article that explains the new exhibition at London’s Handel House Museum.

Handel House Museum
25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London

For more about the Handel House Museum, click here.

For those of us who see little in common among the two, other than gender and profession, the article points out several things.  Both were immigrants to England, Hendrix from the U.S., Handel from Germany. Both were improvisers, Hendrix on the electric guitar and Handel on the harpsichord.

The actual Hendrix apartment is now used as office space for the museum, but they hope to restore it to the look Hendrix had in the 60’s.

I (Victoria) visited a couple of years ago when the exhhibition, in addition to the restored rooms of Handel’s time, concerned The Messiah and its performances, first in Dublin in 1742, and later, when the most familiar version was adapted as a benefit for the Foundling Museum in London in 1754.

The buildings used for museum have shops on the first floor. The access to the museum is from the rear, where new entrances with elevators have been added in a creative adaptive reuse, worth seeing in itself. I recommmend it as a nice respite from the large museums of London — or the tribulations of Mayfair shopping.

Last June 2010, when Kristine and I were in London, we attended a wonderful concert at St. Martin’s in the Fields off  Trafalgar Square. As we considered whether to go, Kristine said she wanted to hear Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music.  Guess what they played?? Yes, selections from the Royal Fireworks Music, as well as music by Bach, Mendelssohn, and others, including a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah.  Not a note, however, from Jimi Hendrix.

The Handel-Hendrix exhibition runs through November 7, 2010.

1 thought on “Handel and Hendrix???”

  1. On the fortieth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, a new book explores how London loved him, lionized him, and then killed him.

    In September 1966, Jimmy James arrived in London from New York with $40 and a guitar stolen from the Rolling Stones. Four years later, having astonished the world with his music, he died in London under the name of Jimi Hendrix.

    Swinging London was the epicenter of a revolution in music and fashion, sex and drugs, but it had never seen or heard anyone like Jimi. And Jimi had never felt so at home.

    In Jimi Hendrix: London, journalist and poet William Saunders retraces Jimi’s London odyssey, weaving the story of his public and private life around the studios and clubs, hotels and apartments, back streets and concert halls where he lived and played. Drawing on interviews with some of Jimi’s friends, and presenting an unforgettable cast of characters (including a Who’s Who of aixties’ rock and pop icons), Saunders explores how the city and the guitarist transformed each other.

    Jimi Hendrix: London, by William Saunders (Roaring Forties Press, 2010), is available online and at bookstores. Visit http://www.roaringfortiespress.com to get a taste of the book.

Leave a Reply