Tagged with Mozart

Child Prodigies

Child Prodigies

James Ferguson grew up in rural Scotland in the early 18th century. Like most families, the Fergusons could not support their children so sent them to work at an early age. James became a shepherd but spent his days making models of mills, spinning wheels and any other mechanisms he saw. At night he lay … Continue reading

Origins of Mechanical Music

Origins of Mechanical Music

I’ve been trawling through my archives, unearthing scraps of paper with indecipherable scribblings on them, but found one that got me thinking. This is a bit of a rambling post, (no surprise there?) so please bear with me. This comes from Humphrey Jennings’ Pandaemonium 1660-1886 The Coming of the Machine as seen by Contemporary Observers. … Continue reading

Falling from Fame

I have been unearthing the story of the Davies sisters for a few weeks now, and it is a truly astounding one. Marianne or Mary Anne, was born in London in 1745 and soon became a musical prodigy on harpsichord before discovering Franklin’s glass harmonica and becoming a virtuoso on it. She taught her sister … Continue reading

Mozart for President

I was in the National Museum of Wales the other day, where there is a collection of 18th century portraits on show together.  A young man looked at them, smiled, and said, “They’re all Presidents of the United States, aren’t they?” They were not, but I asked him why he thought so. “I like them.  They’re … Continue reading

Henry Edmund Goodridge (1797-1864) Architect

Henry Edmund Goodridge (1797-1864) Architect

The architecture of Bath, England, is dominated by the 18th century father and son John Woods, but there were a number of later radical and remarkable architects, such as H.E. Goodrige who deserves to be better known. I discovered his work when researching my waking guides to the city, and I really like his Cleveland … Continue reading

Call Me Wilhelm or Amadeus

Call Me Wilhelm or Amadeus

There are a lot of authors that have fallen through the holes in history and fashion, but there’s one that really does deserve to be resurrected -the Prussian grandfather of Gothic literature, E.T.A Hoffman (1776-1822). You may know the surname, but just not all the stuff he did. He is the subject of Jacques Offenbach’s … Continue reading