Mr Langridge at Vauxhall Gardens
Langridge regales the Premium channel with a group of songs from his first GMN CD – A Georgian Entertainment. These songs are quintessential English creations from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and many of these songs would have found their way into the famous Pleasure Gardens and Tea Rooms of Georgian England.
With the rise of the middle classes in eighteenth-century England there followed a desire for entertainment outlets to eat-up all of that hard-earned money - and so opera and music clubs of all shapes and sizes sprang up. In London, the Pleasure Gardens were a great source of entertainment for the newly-moneyed masses. For a modest fee, the Gardens provided refreshments, music and, well, other entertainments for all socio-economic groups as the entry price was cheap and the pleasures multifarious. These were idealised rural paradises on the edge of London where dowager Duchesses, Doctors, artists and even musicians rubbed shoulders. For once, the classes in England could mix and mix they did, too often in late night amours by the illuminated fountains and in late-night drunken riots - a practice which hastened the demise of the gardens in the nineteenth century.
The wonder of their age, the Gardens featured prominently in the artistic life of London during their hey-day. Pepys wrote about the Pleasure Gardens in his diaries, Canaletto painted them and the finest composers and poets of the age filled their perfumed air with the most entertainig of ballads and ditties.
Philip Langridge and company hark back to old England with A Georgian Entertainment:
Maurice Green: Orpheus with his lute
James Hook: Steadfast Shepherd
Stephen Storace: The Curfew Tolls
Johann Salomon: Go, Lovely Rose
Maurice Green: Go, Rose, My Chloe's...
John Blow: What is't to us
William Boyce: The non-pareil
World Première Sviridov recording from Dmitri Hvorostovsky.