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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Handel Advertises His Wares

An interesting tidbit from the 18th Century. From my friend, Dan Garshman.

Handel Advertises His Wares

On October 29 in 1739, Mr. George Frideric Handel took out an advertisement, announcing that he was now accepting subscriptions for his new set of 12 Grand Concertos for strings. He had, in fact, finished the first concerto one month before, on September 29th, and spent the next five weeks polishing off the other 11 at the rate of one every two or three days. Handel’s publisher was John Walsh, Jr, who had a shop in London at the sign of the harp and oboe in Catherine Street on the Strand. In addition to being a music publisher, Walsh also billed himself as “instrument maker to his Majesty.” One hundred twenty-two copies of the music were to be printed and sold at a pre-publication price of two guineas each. His Royal Majesty, George II, and the Prince of Wales were not among the initial 100 subscribers, but the list did include three royal princesses and the Duke of Cumberland, and two copies each were sold to the Academy of Music in Dublin and a certain Mr. Charles Jennens. It was Mr. Jennens who was to provide the text for Handel’s next major oratorio, “Messiah,” and the city of Dublin the venue for its famous premiere. So, in 1739, just as today, it pays to advertise!

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