Eighteenth-century London’s pleasure gardens were public, commercial venues that hosted an array of musical entertainments, including organ recitals, vocal programs, and instrumental works such as Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, premiered at Vauxhall in 1749. Impresarios drew on the music of the court, opera house, and concert hall for their open-air spectacles. By also offering art exhibitions, food and drink, and private spaces, they created an atmosphere of Arcadian escape. Composers’ views of the gardens varied: Handel was dubious, but saw his works regularly performed, whereas for court composer Haydn, London’s commercial music scene represented unprecedented freedom. And for pleasure garden audiences, performances were always more than just a concert.
Handel - Trio Sonata in G Major, Op. 5, No. 4, HWV 399: III. Passacaille
Handel - Arias from Acis and Galatea
J. C. Bach - Quintet in D Major for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Basso Continuo Op.11/6
Haydn - Scottish songs
Haydn - London Symphonies Arr. Salomon